Monday, May 18, 2020

5 Tips for Choosing Your Book Title

Your book’s title is the most important thing you can do to help it succeed. If you’ve written a novel and you need help with your title, ask yourself these questions, along with a few tips to consider when thinking about a title for your book.

The idea here is to come up with something that you will love, so make sure when you do your brainstorming and elimination, that you choose something you won’t get burned out on when creating a great title for your book.
  1. Keep it short.
  2. Think about spelling and pronunciation.
  3. Consider your book’s genre or category.
  4. Use one-word titles carefully.
  5. Look for duplicates.

Keep It Short

Short titles are easier to say, type, and remember. They fit nicely in tweets, URLs, and short bio descriptions. Try to stick to 7 words or less. When people remember your title, it’s easier for them to share it and word of mouth can grow faster than books with really long hard-to-remember titles. 


Spelling and Pronunciation

If your title is too hard for most people to say, they may buy a different title, instead. People don’t typically like to say words they have a hard time pronouncing, which could affect sales and word-of-mouth book recommendations. Do you really want to spend time correcting people on how to pronounce your title? This goes for characters too! Spelling counts!

Consider Your Book’s Genre

Your book title should give readers a clue to its genre. You don’t want your sci-fi to sound like a romance or horror title. 


One-Word Titles

One-word titles can sometimes be catchy (Divergent, Cinder, Speak, Island, 1984, Seraphina, Neverwhere, Twilight, etc.), but you could also run the risk of getting lost in search results. You might not want to have a novel about horses with the title Cupcakes if your book has nothing to do with cupcakes. Just sayin’. Make it relevant and unique.

Look for Duplicates

Titles aren’t copyrightable, so it’s not the end of the world if there’s another book out there with the same title. If it’s a bestseller though, I’d recommend changing yours to something different.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking About a Title for Your Book

After answering these questions, and thinking about the tips above, brainstorm a list of potential titles for your book. Let yourself go wild and crazy. Don’t hold back.
  1. What is your current “working” title, even if you think it’s horrible? 
  2. What is the genre of your book?
  3. What is the readership age of your book?
  4. What are your characters’ names?
  5. What is your book about? 
  6. What are some themes you’re exploring?
  7. Use Amazon Bestseller Lists to search for comparative titles in your genre.
Once you have a list of titles for your novel, start the elimination process and cross off the ones you really don’t like. Come up with your top 5-10 titles and ask your family, friends, and fellow writers which ones they like the best.

When you're ready to start querying, be sure to format your query letter properly.

What are some of your favorite book titles, whether you’ve read the book or not? Share in the comments below and let me know!

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