Book Titles – Where do they come from?
I get asked a lot about book titles, the “How do I develop one and know if it’s a good one?” question.
I’ve found when I’m asked to help with the title, I go through a series of questions with the author, digging deep into the why, how, what motivated them to write the book in the first place… then we dialogue and I usually am the ‘devils advocate’ coming up with as many arguments, ahem, questions, as possible so we flush out what the underlying concept is. the process I use can be different for each client that asks for this service. We all have a different way or system that we think and I elicit from the author theirs.
For sure one way is to write down a bunch and have people vote, another way is to go through the manuscript looking for ‘themes’ and writing them down, also any re-occurring words and then haul out the Thesaurus and create a whole other list.
Then, start creating phrases of 3-5 words, short preferable. Look at them over and over and keep reworking them until you get what you want. Hopefully, from a designers point of view, there will be some ‘meat’ in the title to assist with the sell. I’ve know a book to be written with one title and end up with a totally different one when it’s done. .. kind-a like a movie script!
And, of course, keeping in mind who the audience is for you book. What are their interests, mind-set, demographic, etc that are another part of the equation.