Writing An Award-Winning Book Title

A terrible title can destroy your book and keep you from reaching the world with your words. The title is like a reader’s first impression right behind the book cover. So, how do you come up with a title that will propel your book toward success? 

I have a simple strategy that I teach the writers taking my course. Today I will share it with you all. 

Step #1: Find the top five best-selling authors in your genre and study them. 

What were the author’s last three book titles? Look for keywords that seem to resonate with the readers. While searching through these fifteen books you will notice patterns that might fit with your book. Keep in mind to take note of both the title and the subtitle of each book. 

Step #2: KISS

Remember that old saying, “keep it simple sweetie?” I say to “Keep it Short Sweetie.” Short book titles with no more than 3-5 words seem to work the best. You can make up the difference using a subtitle if necessary. 

Step #3: Start a list of possible book titles

Create a list of possible titles and then compare them to the best selling titles of your targeted authors. How do they compare? Are they longer or shorter? Did you use some of the same keywords? 

Step #4: Test it

After you get your list down to two or three possible titles, send them out to a test group and see which title gets the best response. 

I know this sounds strange, but don’t forget to make sure your title truly resonates with your book’s topic and purpose. Sometimes in the race to find the perfect, compelling title authors forget that their title must convey a message to the reader first and foremost. 


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