Writing a book title that works
To the left, you see the cover of a book I wrote which includes some of this information. Marketing your book seems too difficult. One of the major problems is the book title. Many things go into writing a book title that works. But it is an issue I’ve been pondering recently. The basic questions are:
Who are you &
what is your book?
If you are like the rest of us, you’ve discovered (or soon will) that your original assumptions had little to do with reality. Today I came across some excellent resources to help us with this general concern. I believe they will help you a lot. So, please read the linked articles. The first is from Joanna Penn, indie author guru extraordinaire
On Changing Book Titles And Covers:…
This is an excellent article on what she went through to retitle and rebrand her original thriller trilogy. I have never read her books because they seemed like heretical Christian garbage—even worse than The Da Vinci Code. This article straightened me out, for the better, and now I am going to try her first one. It’s supposed to be a pure, heathen, thriller of the Clive Cussler, James Rollins ilk. I just threw out my complete collection of Clive because I no longer read non-Christian books—as a general idea. But now I have her first one downloaded, so I can check it out. Cussler’s books were one of my favorites. So, I want to know what she wrote and how she went about it. All of that aside, Joanna’s description of the process and decisions she went through is very enlightening.
The Truth About Choosing Book Titles
Scott Berkun has some very good, practical advice in the link above. The process always seems obscure and almost like arcane magic. But it is really quite straightforward once you get into it. But it is certainly not easy or quick. You are going to need to spend some time with this. It is quite possible that your current title simply is not working. If so, re-title it like Ms. Penn talked about in the first article.
There are seemingly silly online resources, like Malcolm Gladwell’s Book Generator. But, they can be helpful once you get started.
Rachelle Gardner has some good advice. Of course, Poynter.org has some powerfully focused points on the process written by Matt Thompson. And copyblogger has a list of articles.
Start with keywords!
You need to get this knowledge firmly into your brain to be used as your creative process begins chewing on your book title. Joanna wrote an excellent article about the process: The Importance of Keywords… I was pleased to discover that she recommended the same process I did in the marketing section of Writing In Holiness, and that she got it from the same source as I did. So, I’m not completely insane.
Keywords are the core of your book description and a great help is writing your title. Most importantly, they get you thinking along useful lines toward a title that might actually work and help you sell your book.
This is a long-term process that will define you
Much of authorship and self-publishing is about learning who you are and to whom you are writing. This is commonly called your brand—though I detest that concept when referring to a living, growing person. But you need to know your calling and your vision, to express it in Christianese. The earlier you begin to come to grips with this, the better.