Authors can’t under-estimate the importance of their book cover title. It’s part of your first impression and can mean the difference between selling ten books and selling ten thousand books. In this post I’ll cover five different book title types you can consider for creating better book titles, used for both non-fiction and fiction books.
You can choose between any of these types of titles depending on your type of book and what it’s about. Remember you need to captivate, intrigue and make an impact to potential buyers.
1. A short title
Defines the book which is supported by a great sub title to present the message and context for the book. A fiction example would be The Help – Change begins with a whisper. Some non-fiction examples are Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life and The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.
The short titles are memorable and easy to say, yet the subtitle serves to convey what exactly readers will be getting from the book, the benefits the reader will have from reading it. Too many people mention what the book or product features, but people subconsciously want to know what they’ll get out of it.
2. The long title
Best used for huge benefit driven titles. Says everything it needs to say in one title. Common for non-fiction books. No subtitle is used here because the content and benefit presented is all in the one main title. An example would be the popular classic book How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. It’s clear what the book is going to deliver and what readers will get from reading it. In this case it’s about how to effectively relate to people and creating optimal relationships.
3. Popular saying, with a creative play on words
This is where you can use a common, well known phrase and add a fresh spin on it. There’s the element of instant recognition as people can immediately relate to it. These have an inbuilt familiarity about them and are easy to remember because of this. An example would be Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories. Based on the common phrase ‘Do what you love‘.
4. A shocking title
This can be very effective. Goes against the grain. Dramatic, extreme or contrasting. This can be a bizarre title that creates intrigue or uses bold and potentially controversial phrases to capture attention. A great example of this is the recent book Go the F**k to Sleep. You’ve no doubt heard about it in the media, who jumped all over this reporting on the appropriateness and controversial nature of the title. It worked.
5. Series and/or brand title
Creating a consistent title that carries over a series of books. This can become your brand. It’s identifiable and a level of trust can be built with readers. Examples of this are The dummies guides and for Fiction would be the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series with each individual book being accompanied by a unique main title.
Title food for thought
So now you should be thinking more about how to really leverage your book title for marketing and promotion benefits for capturing the attention of potential readers and the media. Here’s a few tips below to consider when creating your next book title, for maximum effectiveness in order to sell more books.
For non-fiction, think about:
- What do people relate to?
- How will your potential readers, your target market, benefit from your book?
- What motivates people who are interested in your specific topic?
- Is there a contrasting angle that could be controversial?
- Will it make for a good series title if you publish future books?
For fiction, consider:
- Making it memorable
- Making sure it’s easy to pronounce, so it’s easy for people to spread word about it
- Be sure it relates to your audience. What resonates with chick lit readers will be different to those horror genre fans
As you can see, your future book marketing begins right from the book title and it’s crucial you get this right. So many (too many) independent authors don’t spend any time or consideration on this. Rather than just coming up with a generic title you believe simply describes the book, think about how you can play with the words and phrases to create better book titles.
‘Capture the attention of potential readers and the media and you’ll be on your way to generating better book sales’.
Creating titles with a BANG!