Tips for picking a good book title and sub title - article

A book title has one purpose, and that is to get readers to open up your book and read it. Titles must captivate your audience to make your book standout in the marketplace. Awareness is key. Your title is a powerful tool. It may evoke controversy and debate. It may give readers the "warm fuzzies." It may shock readers to the core. A good title will target a specific audience and draw them in. A well chosen title is difficult to forget. It hooks readers, making your book impossible to ignore.

To understand how titles draw in readers, take a look at the New York Times Best Sellers lists and check out Indie Bestsellers Lists. Think about the titles. Most titles include a powerful specific noun. There is usually one modifier, if any. Some titles use alliteration to draw readers in. Many titles are one, two, or three words in length; few are longer. A strong title is one that will be remembered and shared with friends, so obscure or difficult to recall titles should be avoided. If verbs are used in the title, they are generally forms of active verbs and not "to be" verbs.

Non-fiction books often have titles paired with sub-titles. A strong title and subtitle will indicate on some level the benefit to the reader. Enthusiasm for your subject is welcome in a title. Many choose a provocative title with an explanatory subtitle. The title whets the reader's appetite and the subtitle hooks the reader. The title shouldn't be too obscure and offer a clue to the subject matter of a book, even if it is paired with a subtitle. If no clue is offered, the book is unlikely to reach its intended audience.

Some prolific authors use similar titles for all their books. For example -- Sue Grafton's alphabet series of mysteries of novels -- readers immediately know that many more of the same books are available. Janet Evanovich uses a similar title model for her Stephanie Plum series. By giving books with similar titles, the author is able to draw readers in, not for just one sale but multiple sales.

Finally, there is another important consideration when choosing a book title. Titles show up in search engines. You want to avoid titles that are too general. If searches turn up lots of different links, readers will not waste time to find your book. A unique title will bring your book to the top with every search, something you really want.

In closing an evocative title will put you in front the competition in the marketplace. Take the time to choose well.

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  • My book is called Marriage and INFIDELITY nothing goes unnoticed/karma strikes back ,I'm sure we all been there by the grace of God my dreams comes true!!! And the other one is called every man's wish/ and Another one called IT'S A TEENAGER THING,YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND  ....OF COURSE I DON'T LOL

  • A thought struck me as I read through this article. I've been writing my memoirs and this title came to me. "a tin of mixed fruit jam". Possible sub title would be, 'a personal journey through my early years in a multi cultural South African town, during the apartheid years. What do you think? My story deals with prejudiced people living and working side by side.
  • My book title is "when No Birds Sing". How to stop struggling with depression and anxiety and live your real life. It is mainly about increasing self esteem. What do you think? Was also thinking the sub title could be "Increase your self esteem and lower your misery". Instead of no birds sing. I could substitute it for. "Neglect Essence" or "Begger in my Rich.