Why do some book titles explode off the page like fireworks while others fizzle only to go completely unnoticed?
The answer is that many people create titles based upon their personal emotions, rather than from time tested principals and techniques. The title is the most important aspect of any writing. It is the seduction, the anchor that draws the reader in.
It has to create that initial spark of interest that will make the buyer stop in their tracks and reach for your book over all the others. It has to literally kick butt!
The biggest hurdle in your marketing campaign will be to capture the attention of the public. You may have a well written, thoroughly comprehensive book, possibly the next best seller, but if no one opens the cover, or downloads your book, they will never realize its content or value.
Your book could be sitting on the shelf of a Barnes and Noble®, or making its way across the internet, either way, you are in competition with millions of others hoping to do the same thing… lure the reader in like bait.
If you only had a split second to catch the eye of a potential prospect, you need to consider this question, “Does your title sound “BIG” enough to make the reader believe they can gain “BIG” results from your book?” Your title should cause an impulsive reaction, while simultaneously answering one of the following questions:
- What help does it offer the reader?
- What questions does it answer?
- What does it tell the reader?
- Will the reader be fulfilled?
- What benefit does it offer?
- What does it teach?
- What hope does it deliver?
- What promise is it making?
Equally, the title should be a window to the contents of the book. It must speak to the reader and say… “open me” and… you will “learn, gain, or receive” the following.. .
When considering your title, think about how you can combine power and allure,with impact and clarity. While your title should stand-out, it should also send a clear message about the contents, without confusion or guess work.
Take a look at the two following examples. The first title is a book currently listed on ebook.com. Both titles are catchy, both stand out:
Big Womens Undies and Biker Beards
While this title clearly stood out and was quite different. My first reaction was curiosity, then confusion. The content or story line offering was unclear. I simply had no real clue about the actual contents based upon the title alone, just wild speculations… “bikers, women… bikers and big women… undies? Huh?!”
The book description reveals that it is “a collection of two peoples experiences, a satirical adventure about taking the time to look past the goggles and big women’s undies without judgment or fear, thus avoiding the looming potholes,” (of life?).
The problem is that someone looking for self-help, (as the description further states “preconceptions are like bugs on our goggles and judgment is just another pothole in the road;”), would most likely move right past this title, even though it might offer a whimsical and informative take on life. Referencing the previous questions, the title falls outside of answering any of them.
As a pet lover, the second title popped off the shelf for me…
“How To Make A Dog Smile”
The title was humorous, and it falls within a few of the question categories above. It suggests an offering of help or instruction, “How To;” as well as a potential benefit, a “happy dog”. It was in fact, a collection of head shots of dogs of varying breeds and sizes, smiling wildly with humorous references and annotations. If my dog didn’t smile wildly as a result of this book, I sure did on my way to the cash register.
Keeping in mind that the title should always relate to the content, there are five main categories for structuring good titles.
Use of “Power Words”
Power words .. words such as Secret! Revealed! Power! Money!, receive millions of hits daily by people lured to the internet in search of hope and answers behind these words.
Companies spend thousands in advertising and marketing dollars to develop ad copy incorporating “Power Words”; equally, big dollars go to pay-per-click engines in a quest to capture the interest of people drawn in these words.
Calculating The Secrets of Life
The Secret Formula For Creating Best Selling Titles
Short Sale Secrets Revealed
Use of the “How To”…
How-to’s offer instruction; or give practical advice to a reader. on almost any topic imaginable. They can also paint a picture or describe how someone else may have accomplished their own personal goal, and include suggestions that could be emulated.
How P.T. Barnum – Made Millions
How To Be A Motivational Manager
How To Live Abroad
Use of the “Benefit” Titles…
Here the reader perceives that the book,will enhance their well-being or life in some way… possibly through instructions, suggestions, or solutions that may lead to good health, wealth, or happiness.
Think and Grow Rich
The Power of Wellness
Mind Over Matter
Use of Successive Words or Alliterations
This is where the same letters at the start of two are more words are used in the title.
War of the Worlds
Talks on Talking
Pride and Prejudice
Use of Rhymes
Used with humorous or fun content, rhymes are used in contents geared to capture the attention of readers in both adult and children’s writings.
Let’s Make Money Honey
Zeus on the Loose
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Some titles will fall into more than one category, as in the example of the title “The Power of Wellness” above, which includes a “Power Word”, but also falls under the “Benefit” category, and “Mind Over Matter”, falling under the successive category as well. Identify the category that your content falls under; it may be one or more. Next, brainstorm.
Begin with a few words on a blank piece of paper, and start linking keywords, thoughts, and short sentences. Pull together all the power words that you can think of, along with descriptive words and phrases.
Play with the words, changing them around. Be creative and unique. Come up with your own branding rather than playing off of other titles or slogans. How many other ways can you say the same thing? Repeat the titles over and over again.
Once you have developed several title options, conduct a title search under Goggle search engine to see it the same title comes up, in order to avoid using one that someone else already has. A title that closely resembles another, may cause your prospective customers to be redirected to the wrong website.
A good title will always emerge from the contents of good writing, you just have to keep at it until the right one surfaces.
J. Von Robinson has been successfully selling online for the past two years. You can find the author’s newest eBook release, “From Broke To Five Acres In The Wine Country”, addressing the things you must do, and things you should avoid in order to maneuver your way to online riches.
It offers a candid look at what the author did wrong, and how turning things around have resulted in success. “From Broke To Five Acres In The Wine Country” is the author’s true story of the quiet and obscure road to wealth, which has lead to the 5 acre estate in the middle of the Northern California Napa Valley Wine Country.