Choosing a book title is never easy, but even less so in the age of keywords and SEO. In the electronic age, finding a title that really grabs the attention of your desired audience is challenging. In many cases, the title is an afterthought; considered less important than the content, and in some ways that’s accurate, but without a catchy title to get your point across you may never hook readers into the content at all.
A poorly chosen title can leave your book dead in the water before it ever has a chance.
Understand Your Reader
Before you ever draft titles for your book, you must first understand your ideal reader. Who are you writing to attract? Start by writing down the characteristics of the people that you want to appeal to. Finding the right title is a matter of properly pegging your readers and their needs.
You Can’t Please Everyone All The Time
A lot of writers, especially those just starting out, want to pick a generalized title to reach a generalized audience. Don’t do this. Take the time to target the specific people who are going to hold an interest in your subject. Decide on your ideal demographic by understanding their age, education level and life goals. This will better help you name your book in a way that will get the attention you’re looking for.
Now that you understand your audience and their needs, it’s easier to specifically target them by making specific promises. Use your title to call readers to action! Tell your audience why they need your book and what they could stand to lose if they don’t purchase it right now. Also consider the use of numbers in your title; this can add a certain urgency to your message. For example, you might be interested in a book entitled, “Sailing Sales: Increasing Your Profit”, but it might be more urgent with a name like, “30 Days To Sailing Sales And Increasing Your Profit”.
Listen to the opinions of others. Roll your title off your tongue and really think about how it sounds. Ask your friends to read your title and give their opinion. Ask questions throughout this process. Make your title short, concise and accurate.
Leave Something To Curiousity
It’s always best if you can intrigue your reader. Ask a question with your title that can only be answered by reading your book. Use language that is specific and which will spark your readers imagination. Make a promise that your book is going to deliver something that will engage and enlighten.
Picking a title isn’t an overnight kind of thing. You need to sit with your potential titles and realize that it’s best not to marry yourself to anything prematurely. At any given time, you need to be open to feedback and really listen to it.