How to Choose a Good Book Title

While it may feel like a simple few words, the title of your book is what gives it the best chance of being read. It is the first thing that your potential audience will read before they even open the cover. It is also what can persuade an editor to read your manuscript and publish your work.

Here are some tips to help you generate new book title ideas.

1.Keep it concise

Keep your book title as concise as possible. Long book titles are difficult to remember and don’t stand out to readers as much as short titles do. If you feel like you can’t get your complete message across in just a few words, consider adding a subtitle as well. 

2. Always keep your target audience

Always keep your audience in mind. You are writing for a specific group. For example, writing a science fiction story will appeal to a different group than a romance novel. If your story is an international thriller or takes place in another country, play around with some non-English titles.

3. Make it easy to remember

Your book title should be easy to remember. Potential book titles can include the name of the main character, your favorite line in the book, the setting of the book (where it takes place), or the theme of the book.

The more complicated the title, the easier it will be to forget or confuse with another book. Be sure to include keywords in the book title that describe the most important character, place, image, or idea of your story.

4. Create something original

A good book title needs to be as original as possible. Think of your title as an invitation: it should give a hint of what the reader can expect from your story without giving too much away. Leaving something to the imagination is what will motivate people to buy your book.

5. Note down ideas as you write

Some writers get hung up on the idea that they need to come up with the perfect book title before they start to write their book. You will find that as you dig in and start writing your story, ideas for titles will naturally come to you. Keep a running list as you go. Don’t feel like you have to edit yourself either. Write everything down, even the titles that may feel ridiculous at the time. You never know what will stick.

6. Give your book a thorough read

Once your book is finished, give it a thorough read and think about what it is trying to say. Take notes as you go in case you come across a descriptive phrase, image, or piece of dialogue that perfectly captures the theme of the book.

7. Recruit friends for brainstorming sessions

We all have that friend who is incredibly creative and good with words. Recruit them for a brainstorming session. You may want to have them read a few chapters of your book first or summarize the story and characters to give them some context. Then sit down and have some fun coming up with different book titles. You’ll be surprised how far you will get when someone else helps with the process.

8. Browse similar genres

Poetry books are typically going to have different kinds of titles than autobiographies or other works of nonfiction, browse book titles in similar genres to gain inspiration and ideas. Notice if there are particular trends or styles that authors follow in naming their books. Think about what appeals to you in certain titles, and brainstorm ideas for your book with similar characteristics.

You can also do an internet search for “best-selling mystery novels” or “nonfiction best-sellers” and see if these popular books have something in common. Remember, you don’t want to copy an existing title, but something could spark an idea that leads to you creating your own.

9. Read it out loud

When you have your list narrowed down to your top book title contenders, read each one out loud to see how it sounds. See if you can shorten the phrase, or keep one or two keywords and combine them in a different way. Creating a strong title often involves trial and error, so play around until it feels right to you.

10. Try out some book title 

When you’re feeling stuck, sometimes it can help to get outside your head and let a book title generator do the work for you. The goal is simply to give you a wide range of options and potentially spark new inspiration.

Here are some of the top book title generators, by genre:

Nonfiction

Fiction

Science Fiction & Fantasy

11. Identify the problem your book will solve

Many readers like to know what they’re getting into when they pick up a new book. The title of your book should clearly state what skill you are teaching or how it can help the reader solve a particular problem. The more straightforward the name, the more likely it is that your ideal readers will find it.

Pay special attention to the first 4, since these are key characteristics of a good book title. Then work your work down the list to get your creativity flowing.

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