Creating a killer book title

I’ve been following Valerie Peterson who blogs on publishing on for over five years now and thought her recent article on creating a killer book title was worth alerting people to. The article covers:

  • What makes a great book title
  • Using a step-by-step approach to creating a book title
  • Making a ‘good’ title ‘great’; and
  • Creating strong, clear subtitles

Creating a good title for your book is even more important than that very first sentence (a topic to be covered in a future blog). A good title helps ensure it will stick in the minds of prospective readers. A good book title, like an effective and appealing cover, is a vital marketing tool for the book (for example consider Fifty Shades of Chicken which has a killer title and a picture of a trussed roast chicken on the cover). Read about what makes a selling book title.

A catchy, “selling” book title sometimes erupts spontaneously from the mind of the author, the editor or perhaps even marketing, but more often than not creating a book title – like everything else about publishing a book – involves work. Read Valerie’s step-by-step guide to creating a book title.

OK, you’ve got a good title for your book, but how do you make it a killer one? The following case study describes how a just-OK book title became a title/subtitle combination that expanded the market for the book.

And lasting, it can be hard to get the whole idea of a book into the few words of a book title – which is why sub-titles were invented. Subtitles can be used to clarify or expand on the title of a non-fiction book (novels generally do not have subtitles although Janis Hills Bonnie’s Story – A Blonde’s Guide to Mathematics most definitely does). Read how your book can benefit from a strong, clear subtitle and how to write subtitles.

Next week I’ll be raising the question of just how many eBook readers you should own.

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About Andrew

Writer, editor and publisher including: former principal for the Davies Literary Agency; editor and publisher of The Western Australian Year Book for a number of years; and editor and writer for Afterlife - the Magazine for Atmosphere users.