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John Howard Reid

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TITLES TO AVOID How to use Hollywood Classics Title Index
by John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, November 27, 2011
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011

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Is "Hollywood Classics Title Index to All Movies..." just a listing of old movie titles? It's much more than that, but you've got to realize how to use it.

HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS: TITLE INDEX TO ALL MOVIES REVIEWED...

For 99 cents, "Hollywood Classics..." will provide you not only with thousands of fascinating titles but names as well. Movie titles are chosen and designed for one reason only: TO HAVE SUCH A POSITIVE IMPACT THAT PEOPLE WILL BUY TICKETS!

To discover which words to avoid in your title and which words have a positive impact, Hollywood Classics Title Index is an excellent reference book, provided you know the easy way you can use it, described below! The above link will take you to Amazon Kindle. If you prefer NOOK at Barnes & Noble: Hollywood Classics Other e-book stores such as Apple and Sony also stock this book for only 99 cents!

Obviously, the book includes both highly successful and moderately successful titles, as well as titles that proved to be a total turn-off. Which are which?

All you have to do is to note how many times Hollywood has used a particular word in a movie's title. Personally, I just look up how many times the word was used at the beginning of a title, but you can easily do this with the whole title in an e-book, if you wish.

Until now, I've wondered why some of my novels achieved spectacular sales and were reprinted as mass market paperbacks; while other novels the critics hailed as masterpieces, such as "Prophet, Priest and King", achieved almost zero sales in hardcover, and still struggle to sell a few copies a month as a paperback or an e-book. 

If this "Hollywood Classics Index..."  had been available, I would have looked up "Prophet" and seen that it was never used in a movie title. From bitter experience, I can tell you that if Hollywood regards a word as a negative word, it IS a negative word.

Once or twice, however, I did get lucky. I had a book I wanted to call, "Fast Times in Paradise". But the publisher nixed that title and re-named the novel, "The Last Generation". It turned out to be my biggest success! Every newspaper in the country, bar one, gave it a rave review. Two hardcover editions sold out, while paperback and large print rights were auctioned off all over Europe.

So then I got to use my "Fast Times in Paradise" title for a sequel. Both my publisher and I thought it was a better book. But it bombed! It was a total wipe-out, even though "The Last Generation" continued to sell merrily along!

Now I discover that "Last" is actually a very positive word. No less than eleven movie titles begin with "Last" and the book notes that all were successful, Not a single one was withdrawn and re-titled! 

On the other hand, "Fast" is NOT a positive word. Only ONE classic movie title in the book begins with the word, "Fast". And that was way back in 1939. So "Fast" is most definitely a word to avoid. 

I see someone has complained that the first section of "Hollywood Classics Title Index to All Movies..." is just a listing of old movie titles. It is. You've got to realize how to use it. For example, here's a 1920 movie titled "The Man Who Had Everything". You could change that to "The Man Who Had Nothing", "The Man Who Had a Dream", etc.

Even more importantly, you can also see at a glance that "Man" is a word that carries enormous impact. No less than 33 movie titles begin with the word, "Man".

On the other hand, you might think of titling your book or story, "King of the Night"? Maybe you don't find that title appealing, but Hollywood has found otherwise. No less than twelve movies begin with the word, "King"; and no less than nineteen with the word, "Night"! 

Web Site: John Reid


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Reviewed by Richard Goodship 11/28/2011
excellent article.



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