Writing your first book can be quite a big task in itself but also an incredibly exciting time. There are so many elements to consider such as finalising your contents, writing that first draft, editing, proofing, cover design and typesetting. However there is one simple task that often proves one of the hardest to complete – choosing a bestselling book title.
Why is your book title so important?
The title of your book is the first thing the reader sees or hears about your book. Therefore it must stand out and catch their attention for them to investigate further – hopefully reading the description and then actually buying a copy.
A great title attracts people to the book and gets them talking about it.
Now I know that you also need to have a great description, cover and of course great contents but if the title is lousy, confusing or just plain embarrassing, then a reader will get no further than looking at the title and then dismissing it. All good bestsellers have catchy or memorable titles – this is what you need to create.
Therefore in this blog post, I’m going to share five simple tips for helping you come up with a winning book title:
Keep it short and sweet
Keeping your title short and sweet is one key to creating a great book title. Firstly this makes it easy to say but it also makes it easy to remember – great for recommendations. If your title is too long or complicated, people mix the words up or perhaps just forget it entirely.
Short titles are often very attention grabbing, which is exactly what you want to be doing.
A snappy and short title works well because it can be read when the book cover is small. What do you mean ‘small’ I hear you ask? Think about Amazon.co.uk – when you search for books on there and view the results, a small image of the front cover shows up. Short titles will stand out clearly as they can be written in BIG FONT on the front of the book. Long titles will blend into the background as they can’t be seen or read as clearly.
Capture the imagination and emotions
A title that inspires an emotional reaction will also inspire a potential reader to look at your book further and investigate what it is about. Whether you capture the imagination, pose a question or spark a sense of mystery, anything that draws the reader in by using the emotions is what you need.
Think about the book title ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Dr Spencer Johnson. It immediately asks the reader a question and presents them with something to think about. Catchy, memorable and mysterious all in one!
The popular book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill does a similar thing. Immediately the reader thinks about growing rich – inspiring an emotional response and perhaps tapping into a pain they have at the moment i.e. they are currently not rich!
What is the reader’s problem? Can you address this in your title?
Another approach to creating a winning book title is to make it very informative. If you can clearly communicate in just a few words exactly what your book is about you will tap into your target reader market very quickly. It immediately appeals to the right person because they know at a glance what the book does. If your book is a How-To book for example, perhaps you include the words ‘How-To’ in the title.
Think also about keywords i.e. the words people search for on Amazon when they are looking for a book. If your main title contains an important keyword then it is likely to come up in searches online. For example, if your book is about meditation, it would make sense to have the word meditation in the title.
Back Up With a Subtitle
So far this may all sound like a lot of things to include in a single title. Therefore but it makes a lot of sense to back up a short catchy title with a subtitle that explains further. In fact you can include most of the informative stuff in the subtitle and many more keywords as well to really boost your marketing.
Here are two examples from my own books:
Title: Learning Linocut
Subtitle: A Comprehensive Guide to the Art of Printmaking Through Linocut
Title: Amigurumi Animals
Subtitle: 21 Cute Crochet Patterns
As you can see I love a bit of alliteration but if you take the first example ‘Learning Linocut,’ this title is very short, catchy, includes an essential keyword but also describes exactly what the book does. The subtitle includes an additional description of what the book is to make it crystal clear and is even packed with more keywords.
Take Your Time
The key to creating a winning title is taking your time in making a decision. Very few people can just sit down for five minutes and just come up with the perfect idea (but congratulations if you can!)
Instead, why not begin with a brainstorming session where you take a notebook and pen and write down every single word and phrase associated with your book. Perhaps even look at other books in your niche for ideas. Don’t dismiss anything – write every single thought that comes to you.
Once you have these, start to pull together a few ideas as options. Change the order of the words, look at a thesaurus and even ask friends, family and colleagues for their opinions. Create four or five different versions. You can then mull it over or come back to it at another time entirely.
Also, keep a notebook on you at all times in case a spark of genius strikes you at a random moment!
Some people start writing a book with a working title in mind and then after completing their first draft and letting the contents and purpose of the book sink in, a final title is then decided.
Still Need Help With Your Book Title?
I hope this helps you to come up with that winning title. If you need any help or opinion on your potential book titles please feel free to pick my brains and share this with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/susansworlduk/