Choosing a Book Title

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686px Continental typewriter Choosing a Book Title

Typewriter, Wikimedia by Sommeregger

The book title – it’s often the last thing written by the author and the first thing read by the reader. It provokes interest or disinterest. It has the power to turn browsers into purchasers. It encapsulates the entire content of the book and defines it’s tone. With so much riding on the title, it is one string of words, above all the rest, worth investing a significant amount of effort and thought into (not that the others aren’t important).

Writing a book title is not a science. There is no secret formula for us to follow and voila, out comes the perfect title for our book. (If there were, we would have integrated into one of our easy-to-use book-making tools.) That having been said, there is a method to the madness.

Here are some tips to help you arrive at that aha! moment – the one where the cartoon light bulb turns on above your head.

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Identify a tone – Every book has a unique tone and feeling. Our choice, combination, and cadence of words evoke a particular emotion. Humorous, inspirational, gloomy – whatever it may be, your title should reflect the tone of your book.

Brainstorm with a purpose – Create a running list of words that carry the same tone you have identified. You can separate and organize them by their part of speech – noun, verb , adjective etc. Let the words flow, so instead of getting hung up on finding the perfect combination, you are just generating single words to use later.

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Mix and Match - Keep your list flowing, generating as many different combinations as possible. Once you have created as many as you can possibly think of, save your work and step away from the project. Come back to it the next day and, with a fresh set of eyes, begin to eliminate titles. Once you have narrowed the list down to five or fewer, begin to ask trusted and respected opinions for input. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a title that sticks.

As we mentioned earlier, there is no clear-cut way to generate a perfect book title. As the author, trust your instincts and try choose a title that evokes the same emotion your book embodies. Happy book making!



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