One of the first things a potential book buyer notices is the title, sometimes along with the book-cover design. A memorable title can positively impact book sales. So, it’s important to “get it right”. However, that can be a daunting line item on your book-creation to-do list. Here are some suggestions.
Create a title that:
- Asks a question—This can hook the reader’s thinking process.
- Lists one or a few benefits—This can hook the reader’s feeling process.
- Has a colon or dash—Start with a keyword, followed by a colon or dash, then a statement or question. This will pull the reader in.
- Contains a “do” or “don’t”—This tells the reader that you’re going to provide information on how to perform something better by doing some thing(s) or not doing some thing(s).
- Expresses some emotion—People buy emotionally and justify rationally, so an appeal to their feelings can be effective.
- States one or a few facts—If your book is non-fiction, listing facts will appeal to an audience looking for information on your subject.
- Offers help—This one can be a bit tricky. In spite of the number of “self-help” books, offering help implies that a reader is helpless at some level. This can be a turnoff. So, offering to provide information or work with the reader to solve a problem is more effective.
- Inspires—People love to read success stories or stories about people who overcame obstacles.
- Contains words like “hack” or “how to”—”Hack” means to “make use of a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing something.” This word in a title is a current trend that can attract readers. But the tried-and-true “How to …” always works
- Contains one or more keywords—These are words or phrases that people use when searching, so they can be a big draw.
- Is negative—Discussing myths, mistakes, or errors in thinking will often pull in readers.
- Contains a number—Examples include: “10 ways to …” or “Results in just 10 days”. These are quick and effective hooks for many readers.
- Strong words—Avoid using soft, vague words the leave the reader unaffected. Replace them with words that energize readers or somehow affect them emotionally.
- States “How to start …”—Just getting started is often the toughest part of any task. Sharing ways to begin can be an attractive title.
- Arouses curiosity—This is a sure-fire hook. It draws the reader into wanting to know more about the subject or plot.
- Who, What, When, Where, and Why—These are the newspaper reporter standbys.
Next time you’re struggling with creating a memorable title, use one of these categories to inspire you.
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