Name That Book!

How many books hook you when all you know is the title? Before you even open the cover?

Most books should grab the prospective reader/buyer by the time he or she reads the cover matter.

So, how do you find the right name for your book?

Think about your story.

How can your summarize in very few words what is intriguing about your book?

Would Harry Potter as a book title alone have sold millions? No, it took more information and an avid word of mouth campaign that built as the series grew.

Some book titles are not “grabbers.” Dickens’ Oliver Twist has had enduring life and even became plays and films, but by its name alone might not have found popularity except for Dickens’ reputation built by publishing in installments.

In a recent week, Publishers Weekly listed bestsellers in hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction and mass-market paperbacks. Of the 10 non-fictions listed, cookbooks or diet books comprised half of the list. The rest were history, self-help on topics like money and “tidying up,” a celebrity’s humorous book, and one with a philosophical approach.

Fiction paperbacks all had two-word titles, except for one. Hardcover fiction had longer titles, with All the Light We Cannot See topping the list. Several of the bestsellers were by popular authors – not their first rodeo. The most intriguing title was, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, number seven on the list.

So, the most common predictability factor for a successful book is that the author was a bestseller before. They had to start somewhere. You can, too!

You might consider asking friends, family and random strangers what they think of a particular title. Would they want to read it – or pick it up to learn more from the dust jacket or by researching it online? That’s what you need to know.

It’s a crowded marketplace, so you must make your book memorable – starting with the title. Give it thought and plenty of time to get accustomed to it. You might be seeing and hearing about that book title frequently!


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