Having published several books, Liv has heard lots of opinions on what is required for a good book title. It hasn’t been easy for her but she has learned a lot of facts that can help you craft catchy titles irrespective of genre. Here are some of the essential things to consider.
There’s plenty of advice out there
Generally, you’ll find lots of people telling you what’s wrong with your titles. Maybe it’s because people find some joy in pointing out what you are doing wrong. However, most of these people can’t offer valid alternatives.
It’s no surprise that most of the advice people give you is seldom based on sound data. If you take some time to look at all the great book titles in history, you’ll realize there are a few contradictions to mainstream advice. And it’s funny how a stunning piece of advice will contradict another expert advice. For instance, some people believe in titles with promises while others swear by titles with certain numbers.
What matters in picking a good title?
Considering the tons of advice floating out there and as gathered from individuals with many years of experience, here’s what is important.
- The title should be short and be able to fit almost anywhere. And since we are literary living online, it should also be easy to share on social media platforms.
- Make it memorable by crafting an original specific phrase. Think of it this way, people need to search for the book in online shops so you should make it memorable and easy to type.
- Let the title be provocative enough to get the audience interested. Of course, this results in a divided audience but as long as those following you comprise a significant number, then it becomes an ideal outcome. But remember that there’s a lot of titles that over promise the readers only to disappoint them. Be careful not to give extremely provocative promises that are unachievable.
- Make it easy to say when marketing the book. Because you’ll be saying this title for a few years make it exciting when mentioned. In addition, it’s not just you who’ll be saying the title but everyone who’s involved in the sales. Give them an easy time when they say it for a few thousand times.
- The title should match the core theme in the book so that your readers will appreciate more after reading. It’s perfectly possible to make a highly potent title by making it flow with the book’s core. Basically, you can focus on organic titles to enhance the suitability and performance.
Make a list of possible titles
If you want to get past the challenge of selecting a title, it’s always a good idea to make a long list. Put down all the potential candidates and include anything that is likely to fit into the context. Don’t rush with this and you can even take a few recreational trips with some outdoor coolers and try to brainstorm. After you’ve made a good list, try to get some input from a few experienced people before narrowing down on a specific title.
Use modern tools to test the titles
Once you have narrowed down to few titles, it’s possible to gather some data. Using A/B testing methods have proven to be very efficient in solving the dilemma of a book title. Although this won’t answer all your questions, it will shed light on what people will respond to the proposed title. Perhaps the best thing about this is that it helps you to use valid data to inform the final decision.