How to find the right title for your book: the practical guide

You have finally finished writing your book. After months and months of effort, the time has come to choose the right title and this is a task that is up to you if you choose to publish yourself.

Surely you have already given your work a temporary title, maybe you started to write with a title in mind.

But obviously that title is destined to change because now that the story is over, it will have taken on very different values ​​and that provisional title may no longer represent it.

Choosing a good title is essential to best represent the story and present it to the readership. So let’s ask ourselves a question.

What do you look at first in a book?

Never judge a book by its cover (or by its title).

It is said, but not done.

According to research, in fact, these are in order the things that a reader looks at before buying (or not buying) a book.

  • Title
  • Cover
  • Back cover
  • fins
  • Summary
  • First lines of the first chapter (incipit)
  • Price

This means that headlines are the first thing potential readers see, and it’s your first chance to make their mark. The title is the most important marketing tool for a book , without a title, the book does not exist.

The 5 attributes of a good title

These attributes will help you choose. A good title should:

  • Attract attention.
  • Be short: maximum four words (excluding conjunctions, prepositions etc.).
  • Be informative: make sure the subtitle keeps the promises of the book if you foresee one.
  • Be easy to read.
  • Don’t be embarrassing or problematic for someone who wants to say it out loud or share it.

Each title has its own title, but be original …

If you write genre fiction, the title should reflect the genre you write about.

For example, a romance will never have the title “Return from the grave” . But the title doesn’t have to be “The greatest love of my life” either .

Gender relevance should not be a forcing but a generic guideline that you must follow while still leaving room for your creativity. The important thing is to leave ambiguities aside so as not to confuse readers.

If you believe that the title you have chosen can create some headaches, ask the cover and synopsis for help. If you wrote a thriller and the title you chose is “The field of sunflowers” , maybe on the cover put a bloody sunflower to make it clear that something terrible happens in that field of sunflowers.

…or not?

There are thousands of poetry books that have the title “Poems” . Or that somehow contain the word poetry or its variants. There are thousands of thriller books that have the word “murder” in the title .

Is it about laziness on the part of the author? Poor creativity? A lack of respect for readers?

Maybe.

Or maybe it’s about taking advantage of keywords.

I am directly describing a concrete case instead of going into theory.

Many readers, especially strong readers, fans of a specific genre, search for their next book to read by browsing the catalogs of the stores, especially Amazon and looking for keywords related to their favorite genre.

Inserting those keywords in the title and choosing the right category , allows you to be tracked very easily.

By this I don’t mean that you have to approve your book to others, it would be a big mistake, but still think of a creative way of inserting a keyword in the title to give it more visibility, always being careful about the relevance to the content.

Choose from three to five book titles

Take a piece of paper and start listing all the titles that come to your mind.

  • What is your book about?
  • Are there synonyms that you can use to liven up the title?
  • What problem would you solve for your reader?
  • Can you express the title in a question?
  • Can you use alliteration?

Write down everything and then choose from three to five solutions that you really like. And go ahead with those titles.

Get free feedback using surveys

A good way to understand if the titles you have chosen are effective is to organize a survey.

You can publish a survey on your personal Facebook wall.

Social media is a great place to get feedback.
If you have a company page or an author page, on Facebook, publish a survey there.

If you are part of a Facebook group, enter the survey there if it is allowed: be sure to follow the group’s publishing rules!
Run a survey on your blog.

If you use WordPress, install WP-Polls, or you can ask readers to leave a comment of their choice. Send an email from your newsletter.

Sometimes friends or readers have useful ideas or suggestions. If someone offers you a suggestion you like, or if others reply that they like the title, add it to your Facebook survey.

Don’t forget to close the survey. A week of time should be more than enough.

Choose a title with a hook

A hook for the title of your book is great for your business: a creative phrase or two that explain what your book is about and what problems it solves.

It also helps to distinguish your book from other books in your niche. It is important to differentiate yourself from others.

Here is a summary of the tips for making good book titles:

  1. Brainstorm: Write down all the words and phrases that come to your mind related to the message of your book.
  2. Start by grouping these words and phrases into potential titles.
  3. Say them aloud, paying attention to the rhythm and sound. Make sure it is not difficult to pronounce them, because it will be difficult to remember them or tell them to others.
  4. Use the same three steps to create your subtitles. Make sure you don’t repeat any title information. Did you enter a keyword or two? How about powerful words?
  5. Assess who your audience is.
  6. Remember the acronym PINC Are you making a promise, creating intrigue, identifying a need, or simply declaring content or incorporating a combination of these?
  7. Are there unnecessary words you can delete?
  8. Get feedback. Try the possible titles with your fans and readers. You can ask for a contribution on your blog, create a survey with a service like SurveyMonkey or on your social media pages Facebook or Twitter.
  9. Watch titles on the same topic on Amazon or in a bookstore, to make sure you stand out from the competition. Titles that start with something generic like “Introduction to” can get lost in the huge offer already present with these titles.
  10. Ask yourself, “Does this make me want to keep reading?” The most important factor is that the title must inspire curiosity and interest.

 

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