Alexander R Davis
The Title Of Your Book Will Be The Difference Between Feast And Famine
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
So you want to write a book, Part 5
What is the very first thing you notice when picking up a book? If you guessed the title, then you would be correct. The title of a book is often the first piece of information gleaned from a book, followed closely by the cover itself. For this reason, if you don’t have an eye catching title, then your book will flop. It needs to be something that will make your readers want to know more, something that is intriguing and powerful.
You want your title to be something that piques peoples’ curiosity. Having a question for your title can be a good way to go. People have an inherent desire to answer questions and if your title is a question, they are going to want to open the book and find the answer.
A shocking title can be another very good route. If your title shocks someone, they are going to want to get more information. People are drawn by the astonishing and extraordinary. If you can give them a powerful bit of information, they will be hungry for more.
And of course, you can go for mass production too. If you come up with enough titles, then you are bound to come across genius in at least one of them. This is the option we will focus on.
The beginnings of a title
When creating your title, you need to take some time. You are not simply going to pick one title and then call it good. If you do that, you are going to have a poor excuse for a title. You really need to put some deep thought into this. No matter how good your writing, your book will not be well received and get the attention it deserves, if your first impression is unimpressive. So, keep asking yourself, over and over and over again about your title. As you do this, you will start getting deeper and closer to the genius that is lurking inside of you.
The first thing you should do is come up with no less than twenty possible titles. You may think this a ridiculous amount, but it is not. You need to flush out the true title for your book and that wont likely happen if you only choose a handful. So, start by selecting twenty titles.
If you are having a hard time with the title, think of what your book is trying to accomplish. Think about the why behind your book. Thinking on the purpose of your book, should give you some ideas. At the same time you are pondering your title, you really should be looking up other books in your genre and focusing on those titles that have done particularly well. You don’t have to copy them, in fact, you shouldn’t, however, they can give you some good direction.
Finally, when you have those twenty, eliminate five. Down to fifteen, you will give yourself several days and then eliminate another five. This will leave you with ten remaining titles, the better half. Having come this far, you will now involve others in the rest of the process.
Your title isn’t for you
As with many things regarding a book, the title is not for the author, but for the readers. No matter what you like, you need to set your personal opinion to the side and do what is best to reach the readers. So, what do you suppose is the best way to know what readers are going to resonate with? There are many ways to ascertain this information, but the best and most simple way, is to just ask. Go out and find as many people as you can, in your genre and ask them to take a look at your ten titles, then rate them on a scale of 1–10. If you want to make it even easier, you could simply ask them which two they like the most.
As you are searching for people to take a look at your titles, make sure that you ask the opinion of no less than forty people. If this means hunting down complete strangers, or throwing your titles up online, great! The more eyes on your titles the better. With all the feedback, you will narrow your list down again. After getting the opinion of at least forty people, eliminate the five titles that got the least amount of attention.
Finally, you will be left will only five of the original twenty titles, which leads us into the last step. You are going to go to at least five bookstores and ask the workers about your titles. These people will know best, particularly the ones who cashier, because they constantly see what titles are being sold. Ask them to rate your titles and see which ones they think would be the most popular. These are the final authorities and you want their feedback. They will help you narrow your final list of titles down to one or two choices. This is exactly what you want. At that point you will either have a very clear choice or have the freedom to choose one of the two remaining that both had a lot of votes.
You really need to spend a lot of time pondering over your title. This is one of the first things people see and you need to make a good impression, if you want readers to do more than give your book a passing glance. Because this title is meant for others, make sure to enlist them in your cause. Let them narrow things down for you and give you the best chance of a winning title. Your title really can be the difference between a best seller and a flop. You deserve nothing less than the very best, so give yourself just that!yourself just that!