Some of the best titles promise to help readers achieve a desired goal or get some wanted benefit. They specifically call out an end result that people want:. Some of the very best titles are just basic statements about what the book is. There is nothing wrong with this, it can work well, especially for strictly instructional books. As we said, people use titles to judge if the book is for them.
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Part of helping people understand this can be targeting them in your title. You can target specific audiences by naming them or by describing their characteristics. This works especially well if you have a series of books, and then do versions targeted to specific niches. You tell the reader exactly what problem your book solves in the title. This is similar to the promise of a benefit, but not the exact same thing; a benefit is something additive, like being sexy. A solution to a problem takes away something negative, like losing weight. Specifics, like numbers, add credibility and urgency to your titles.
The can provide structure for your information, or they can make hard things seem easier. Specificity enables people to engage the idea in a more concrete way, and gives bounded limits and certainty on time frames as well. Using statements that seem to be impossible, unusual contrasts, or paradoxes can make readers curious about what is in the book.
The idea is to make a claim or statement that seems a little far-fetched or fantastical, but promises delivery. This is very popular now with headline writing on sites like UpWorthy and ViralNova. The iconic recent example of this with books is one we already mentioned, The 4-Hour Workweek. Everyone wants to know how to work 4 hours a week, except it seems impossible, so you pick up the book to see what that guy is talking about. Humans think in symbol and metaphor. Using these powerful devices can help you create a title that really resonates.
Alliteration is the use of the same letter at the beginning of all or most of the words in your title. This makes things easier for humans to remember. This is common in book titles and tends to work well—taking a famous phrase and altering it in a way that makes sense for you book. Done poorly, these kinds of titles can seem cliched and cloying instead of fresh. This is very helpful, especially if you want to create a brand or company or extended product line out of your book, or brand a character name.
Many authors try to create new words; few succeed, so try this sparingly.
The most important element of this technique is that the word is easy to say and understand. If you are truly stuck and cannot think of anything, read some books about copywriting. They are not specifically about book titling, but copywriters have to understand the sell triggers, and they will give you tons and tons of examples. These are three of the best out there:. That being said, copying a popular book makes it VERY hard for your book to stand out, and pretty much guarantees a lot of negative reviews from people who are not getting the book they expected.
That being said, you can trademark a title, if it is part of a larger brand. If this is confusing, and you have a book title you think might be a trademark infringement, then talk to an IP attorney. Also, make sure you check that the title and subtitle have the right keywords you want to address your market, and aligns with any domain and brand issues you have. At this point, you should have a long list of title ideas.
Everyone has opinions on book titles. Most of those opinions are stupid and wrong. Even people who get PAID to come up with book titles editors, publishers, etc. If you imagine any other reaction than this one, you need to re-think your title, and probably change it. Remember, so much of book marketing boils down to word of mouth, and word of mouth is all about people signaling things to other people.
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You want your book title to inspire and motivate the right people to talk about it, because it lets them signal the right things to their friends. This is a great piece about the step-by-step process of using Google Adwords to test a title. If you have a large audience already, you can also use Survey Monkey. For real customer feedback, I recommend using Pickfu. I would also recommend Google Survey. This is real market testing of real people and can be done fairly cheaply. In fact, posting on social media is about the worst possible way to test a title.
And even worse, everyone on your social media has an agenda relative to the author that will often put you off-kilter. Generally speaking, they want to make you happy. Furthermore, oftentimes colleagues will be critical—because they are jealous. It happens a lot, and they will give you bad advice, even if only unconscious. And some authors will go to their marketing teams for title advice, which can often lead you way off-kilter.
Do you know the saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee? The way we like to frame it is that the title is the hook, and the subtitle is the explanation. The subtitle is the promise of the book. Some examples where subtitles help contextualize the title and deliver the promise of the implied title:. Book Writing.
This is the most important book marketing decision you'll make. Watch The Video. Also, do not leave all the loose ends as such until the very end. Try to tie the loose ends as and when possible: be it your second book in the series or the penultimate one. The horror genre is known to have nerve-wracking plots and unexpected twists and turns, so try your hand in writing a horror novel. One of the easiest ways to grasp the concept of writing a book series is to read a few highly popular existing series.
A book series also has high chance of being picked up for converting into a movie, giving you an extra incentive to learn how to convert your book into a movie script. Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by JK Rowling. The story is about how Harry and his friends fight against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to be immortal. The series set numerous records and sold more than million copies, making it the most sold series in history.
Additionally, it was also translated in 73 languages and also set the record for the fastest-selling book series ever. The series was also made into movies, which were incredibly popular as well. Set in the fictional town of Narnia, a fantasy land of magic and mystical beasts and animals, the series revolves around the adventures of the children of the land trying to uncover the history of Narnia.
The book has sold over million copies and has been translated into 47 languages. The series has also been adapted several times for radio, TV and movies. The Hunger Games is a series of adventure novels written by Suzanne Collins. The trilogy focuses on the lead character Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Every year in Panem, children from the districts are selected to participate in a death match called The Hunger Games. The story explores how the main characters get through the death race and rebel against the Capitol.
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The books were all best sellers and have sold 65 million copies in the US alone. It has also been sold in 56 countries, translated in 51 languages and converted into a movie. A pentalogy of adventure and mythological fiction, Percy Jackson series is written by Rick Riordan. The series has sold over 45 million copies in 35 countries and has been on The New York Times Bestseller list for weeks.
It began as a sequel to his previous novel Hobit, but became a standalone series of its own.
It is one of the most critically acclaimed and popular book series ever written. The story revolves around the main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who created the one ring that can rule the other rings of power. The book has reference to pop culture and continuous to inspire many works of art, books and other literary work. It has sold over million copies and has been reprinted plenty of times and translated into 38 languages.
A science fiction for the young adult, the series is written by James Dashner. Calling themselves Gladers, a group of teenagers transport themselves to a remote outpost. They land themselves in trouble after discovering a diabolical plot from an extremely dangerous and powerful organisation named WCKD. The series has been received well and has also been made into a movie.
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Now, a popular TV Series titled Game of Thrones, this epic book series has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. It has also been translated into at least 45 languages. As you can see, most of these book series have been written over a long period of time. With concentration, perseverance, passion and creativity, any good writer can write an amazing book series. So tell us; as an author, do you prefer writing individual novels or book series? And as a reader, which book series made you spellbound.