What Are the Elements of a Great Book Title?

October 1, 2019
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by Aimee Laurence

Need A Title For Your Book? Understand The Elements All Great Book Titles Share

Writing an amazing piece of fiction or non-fiction will mean nothing if you get the title completely wrong. With that in mind, here are the most important aspects to consider when selecting the best possible book titles.

 They provoke intrigue, but don’t give the whole game away.

If at all possible, a book title should leave the reader wanting to discover exactly what lies within. The most successful book titles entice the reader to want to know more, but at the same time, no one wants to feel they know the whole plot just from reading the title. It’s a fine line, so tread carefully.

They give an idea of what the book is about.

Most book titles give clues as to what the book will be about, which really is just common sense. You wouldn’t buy any other product if you had absolutely no idea what it was, and you wouldn’t go to the movie theatre to see something if you had no idea what it was about, so why would you take that risk with your book? You may argue that the summary at the back of the book will give the game away, but if your title has failed, most potential readers will not even get that far.

“Established authors can afford to be enigmatic with their book titles because the audience buys because of the author, not the title. Most authors do not have that luxury” advises Tracey Singh, an editor at Paper Fellows and Academized.

They are not overly long.

At the opposite end of the scale from being enigmatic with single-word titles, long-winded titles don’t work well either, usually because readers find them overly pretentious, or they give much too much information regarding the narrative. Try to keep within the confines of the tried and tested when it comes to the length of your title. If and when you become a bestselling author, you can do what you want.

They give the genre away.

“Most people have a preferred genre, and actively look for books which fit their taste. The last thing you want to do with your book title is fail to attract those readers you know will like it, and falsely advertise it to those who you know won’t”, warns Stephanie Johanssen, a proofreader at State Of Writing and Big Assignments.

The title of your book must attract readers of the genre that you are writing, so an ill-conceived title will completely fail to reach your target audience. That is not an accident; that is an oversight. Chances are that you know what typical titles in your genre look like, so follow that style to give your book the best possible chance.

They don’t break the rules.

Even if it is not your intention to sell your book on Amazon, it will eventually find its way there anyway. And that is certainly no bad thing, because that is how most books are bought in this day and age. However, then you must appreciate that Amazon, and indeed all e-commerce sites, have strict rules and regulations that must be adhered too. For example, you cannot use words in the title that advertise other products, and you cannot mention the names of other authors. You must also not allude to anything regarding rankings or offers, or make any false claims. Knowing these rules and respecting them in relation to your book title will ensure your book is available on all of the most popular sales mediums, which is exactly what you are looking for.

They are considered.

Advice surrounding selecting a title for your book will sometimes center around not overthinking it, or going with your first idea. Frankly speaking, this is not just bad advice, it is potentially fatal for your book. Publishing history is riddled with examples of books that failed to sell due to an ill-conceived or lazy book title, and then there are examples of books which saw their titles amended and saw fortunes dramatically changed for the better. Good advice would be to absolutely spend time thinking about what an effective title for your book is, and then conduct the necessary research to ensure that it truly is the right choice.

Conducting research can range from the informal (getting the feedback of friends, family, peers and colleagues) to the savvy (using sites such as SurveyMonkey, creating a social media group, or running a keyword-generation test). The point is that publishers understand that the title of the book can make a huge impact on sales, and if the professionals focus on this, then you should too.

Aimee Laurence is a content marketer and editor at Essay Services and Write My Essay. She Writes about book publishing and follows lots of bookstragram accounts. Also, Aimee reviews manuscripts at Assignment help online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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