Dog with untitled book

How Do I Test a Book Title for My First Book?

June 1, 2021
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One way to test a title s to list three possible choices and ask a friend or writing group to choose a title they find most appealing. You could also post a title in an online group and ask for feedback.

Remember, a title cannot be copyrighted, so in a public arena it will be fair game for copying. Big publishers avoid using a title that is already in the marketplace. Another good way to test a book title is to study the titles of bestsellers.

Why are they appealing?

How do they hook you?

Notice that all four of these New York Times bestselling titles seem to ask a question that compels you to want to read the book to learn the answer.

What happens when justice sleeps?

What was the last thing he told her?

That summer, what happened?

Who are the people we meet on vacation?

John Grisham’s SOOLEY is currently number 3 on the Times list. But when you are Grisham, you can get away with more obscure titles. Yet, we do wonder who Sooley is.

WHILE JUSTICE SLEEPS by Stacey Abrams THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave THAT SUMMER by Jennifer Weiner PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry
  1. WHILE JUSTICE SLEEPS

by Stacey Abrams

3. THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME

by Laura Dave

4. THAT SUMMER

by Jennifer Weiner

5. PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION

by Emily Henry

 

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This post was written by Doris Booth

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