Publishing Expert Tips

Choosing a Book Title


Think of choosing a book title like creating an elevator speech. It’s a brief pitch to customers about the value of your book.

Sometimes choosing a book title is easy.  Some authors know the perfect title for their work before they even start writing their books.  Others spend years and years poring over their novel or documenting their carefully-compiled research only to reach the end have no idea what to name their literary offspring.  It may seem like choosing the perfect title is the easiest part of the writing and publishing process. Turns out that’s not always true.

As a team who’s collectively worked on thousands of self-published titles, we’ve seen all kinds of title for all types of books. There are those that the author has over thought. Those that don’t focus on their audience. Those that are just too indecisive.

If you’ve had an idea from the beginning of the work, use it!  Don’t over-think it!  Use the title was in your mind before you began the writing process, the title you’ve been thinking about has been a driving force throughout the entire process.  Or take the key topics from your book and transform it for a working title to the final title.  Make sure it is clear and concise.

Would “War and Peace” have reached the legendary literary status with the title “War, What Is It Good For?

Seinfeld-driven levity aside, the title is the first piece of building your book’stypewriter platform.  Consider:

  • Does your title help increase the brand that you are trying to create with your book?
  • When people hear the title, does it stick with them?
  • What keywords would someone search for in order to find your book?
  • Is the title clear and concise or would it confuse potential readers?
  • Is the title too long and “clunky” or  is it catchy and relevant to your audience?
  • Is your title unique?

Still can’t decide on a title? Why not ask your potential readers?

Sometimes self-published authors take to social media posting their ideas on Twitter or Facebook, asking their audience for feedback.  We’ve seen this method work for a number of Archway Publishing authors, after all, who knows what your target audience wants to hear more?  It’s a quick easy way to do market research.

Need more guidance? Keith Ogorek offers up seven things authors need to consider when choosing a book title on the Indie Book Writers blog. Whatever path you take; do your book justice and give careful consideration to finalizing your book’s title. After all “War What is it Good For?” might have sunk Tolstoy’s career…



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