Creating and perfecting a title for your book is no easy feat: in fact, it’s one area where I find most authors get stuck:
“What do I call my book?”
However, naturally, making sure your title is powerful, strong and compelling is crucial if you want the book to sell well AND if you want people to want the book the moment you say the title!
The following are 4 essential elements your title must have in order to catch and hold the attention of your prospective readers:
The first component of a great book title is that it must be clear. In other words, it has to make sense. It’s important that your title isn’t confusing for your reader. They need to understand what the book is about when they read it. I don’t suggest being overly cryptic or complicated with your title, as you don’t want the reader to have to think to work out what the book is about.
(NOTE: This is the number one issue I see with book titles when I coach authors, that the title doesn’t accurately communicate a) what the book is about, b) the genre of the book, and c) what the reader will get from it.)
The second component is that your title is unique. I don’t recommend creating a title that is a play on famous books like The Secret or Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Books that sound too much like another famous title often don’t stand out – and readers (and people in general) can get the sensation that you aren’t original or creative enough to do something different. There are an infinite number of combinations of words in this world – more than anyone could ever count – so work towards a title that is unique and catchy. I do believe there is a perfect title for your book that is unique, and that accurately represents your character as well as the main message of the book.
The third component of a great title is that it is sexy – and I don’t mean sex itself! What I mean by this is that when you say it out loud people respond with, “Oh! I like it!”. The book Think and Grow Rich has a sexy sound to it – it’s punchy and intriguing. You ideally want a title that both looks and sounds good.
The fourth component of a great title is that it creates some kind of curiosity for the reader. It must grab their attention – and make them wonder what the book is about. This can be achieved through either your title or subtitle – or both.
Besides these four core components of a great book title and subtitle, you can also consider the following when deciding upon your title:
- A book title/subtitle shouldn’t be too long. Either your title or subtitle should be shorter than the other one. It needs to be easy to say – both for you and other people!
- Is the title catchy enough?
- Does the title explain to the reader what the book is about?
- Does the title match the internal content of the book?
- Will the title challenge people or create controversy?
- Does the title talk about the outcome that the reader will get from the book?
You can have a lot of fun creating the title for your book. It’s all too easy to become overly concerned with whether your title is ‘right’. Whenever I am creating a title for a book, I put aside all concerns about whether the title is right or wrong, and place my attention on finding the title that sits right with the author (whether it’s me personally or a client) and that matches the book well.
Try to see the title-creation part of becoming an author as an adventure – an exploration – as opposed to a chore: something that you have to do. Bring your creative mind to the table and be open to possibility.
Giving your book a title is like naming a child; it gives it a spirit of its own. And, titling your book is also a powerful stage in the book writing process where you bring the idea into a tangible format: as it will often capture, express and reflect the core message of the book (which will also be yours!).
SO, enjoy the process – and may the perfect title come to you!