Figuring Out What Makes a Great Book Title

Figuring Out What Makes a Great Book Title

Book publishing companies hire professional copywriters for figuring out what makes a great book title or “headline” because book publishing is big business; so there is a lot of thought that goes into making their titles as commercially-viable as possible.  Many well-known and highly successful books started out with other titles and grew into the ones that make them famous.

Visit the book store, notice how customers pick up a book, scan the front and back cover, and then put it down before going on to another book. The whole process takes about two seconds each. That’s all of the time you have to make an impression on a potential reader. In those two seconds, you must appeal  to three of the following five senses:

1) Sight: When someone first comes in contact with your book’s title, it is usually by seeing it on the front cover. So your title must  be aesthetically appealing.

2) Touch: Touch also means to “relate to”  your title must allow itself to touch by being able to relate to your readers or have some type of influence on them.

3) Sound: does your title have something good to say,  and say it well and say it often?  Remember your title will be heard often, so make it good.

4) Speech: If a person stumbles over the words, it will add to the difficult in marketing your book. Even if you are writing only for family members and friends, and you are giving away your book for free, there is still an element of marketing.

5) Smell: the title needs to have a distinctive quality or atmosphere, be sure it does not suggest that very little thought or concern was given to it, people will assume that the rest of the book is the same way.

Check out a recent bestselling book list, notice how many books out of 20 have a one-word title; two-word title; three-word title; four-word title; five-word title, etc.  The point is that the simpler/shorter the title, the better. How many did you find? How many appealed to YOUR senses? Now take a look at the working title of your book… is it compelling, does it appeal to the senses?

Remember to do something every day toward your book production and promotion… and contact me for consulting and design services… I will help you along in the process.

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