In publishing as in life, first impressions are crucial. Along with your cover image, the first thing about your book that potential readers will notice is its title.
But what makes a good title? AuthorHouse suggests that a title should: 1) be interesting and memorable, 2) suggest the genre and/ or tone of your book, and 3) contain the proper keywords, so your book will show up in related searches. After all, there are a lot of books out there, both self-published and traditionally published. A great title, along with an eye-catching cover, is the best way to make yours stand out from the crowd.
Today, we present some tips on how you can give your book a winning title that will grab readers’ attention and increase sales.
1. Start with a Google search. If you already have an idea for a title, make sure it hasn’t been used already (especially for a book with a similar genre or subject as yours). A simple Google or Amazon.com search should answer this question in minutes.
2. Make a list of your favorites, and then seek feedback. Once you’ve come up with a list of your favorite five titles, for example, ask your friends and family what they think. You don’t necessarily have to go with the title that receives the most “votes,” but this technique can give you an idea of which ones just aren’t working.
3. Does your title match your completed story? You might have come up with a title early in the writing process—perhaps months or even years ago. Now look at your finished draft; is your title still appropriate?
4. Remember keywords. This especially applies if you’re writing a non-fiction book. When searching for books on your subject, what words are people likely to use? Whether it’s “fitness,” “programming,” “Italian cooking,” or “model ship building,” it helps to include those words in your title (or at least in your subtitle).
5. Provide a solution in your title. Again, this applies mainly to nonfiction. If your book addresses a problem, try to provide its solution in your title (The Mediterranean Diet: Fast, Healthy and Tasty Weight Loss).
That’s all for today, but come back next week when we present more book title tips.