Picking a book title should NEVER be like picking a dessert at a restaurant.
The title for your book should never be a random after-thought. Picking a good title for your book is like a science with a dash of art!
Thanks to the power of Kindle algorithm (to complicated internet code that helps us pick our next favourite read), selecting your WINNING book title can be as easy as clicking a few pages and analyzing the data Amazon delivers with a discerning eye!
In the publishing industry, editors pray for the perfect book title — a tight high-concept combination of words that crystallizes the content and intention of the work. A title so scintillating and irresistible that millions of readers want to run out and buy this book immediately or download it with urgency on their e-reader.
With a little bit of guidance, there’s really NO reason to pray, when you can easily learn to pick your WINNING book title with the precision of a surgeon!
I’ll be honest, I never (EVER) pick a title for a book or for a client’s book without doing research on Amazon.
I want my title to stand out and capture my ideal reader’s attention.
Basically, I select my title in a contrary fashion than most authors who tend to randomly select a title that is too often uninspired or confusing.
I’m always quite concerned when clients give me one of the follow explanations to justify their title selection:
“I feel like X will get people more interested than Y.”
“I feel like X embodies the ideas in the book better.”
“I feel like X will convert better.”
Here’s the problem: Your feelings are probably wrong, while Amazon will NEVER-EVER-EVER be wrong about which titles are top sellers!
You cannot be “emotionally” to a title or else you’ll hinder your chances of selling large quantities of books and you can kiss your chances to making it on the list of Amazon Top Sellers.
Amazon Makes Is As Easy As Pie To Select The Perfect Book Title
The reality is that you can select an EXTRAORDINARY book title in a manner of minutes.
That said there are some basics you should always consider when selecting your book title:
* Less is MORE. Try to keep down the number of words to a precise and evocative few.
* More can also be EVEN better. If it’s impossible to be brief, try something deliberately long like “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex but Were Afraid to Ask”. That worked REALLY WELL.
* Don’t rely on the subtitle to explain what the book is really about — it’s the title itself that people see first when scanning a catalog or bookstore shelf. Remember, you have 3 seconds to catch that ideal reader’s attention.
* Avoid clichés and hyperbole like “Best”… “Most”… “Radical New”…
* Research the title on Amazon or Google. You can’t copyright a title; therefore you’ll often notice there’s more than one book with the same one. Avoid taking a title that’s been used too many times or already belongs to a famous book.
* Try out your title on a variety of people, including people with different tastes, people who are not family and friends, who are educated about the subject or not, who are cool and uncool – be curious and open to the market.
* Put a “promise” in the title of how-to books, like The One Minute Manager.
* Welcome controversy, like Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great.
Your Perfect Book Title Should Capture The Essence Of Your Book
In order for your title to stop your ideal reader dead in their track as they surf Amazon, it must capture the essence of your book and explain it in a concise way.
Let’s use these bestsellers to illustrate that point:
* The Hunger Gamesè an event that drives the action
* The Last of the Mohicansè the protagonist’s place in society or history
* Pride and Prejudiceè over-arching themes of the book
* The Magus, Hannibal, Jawsè a dominating antagonist
* Ringworld, Dune, The Beachè a special place, society, or world:
* Bridget Jones’s Diaryè the protagonist’s unique personality, abilities, or attitude
What if your book does lend to an easy title?
Let Your Subject And A Bit Of Creative Guide You In Creating The Perfect Book Title That Helps You Sell MORE Books
If selecting a winning title, isn’t as easy as the examples I’ve shared, you’ll need to be a bit more creative.
Here are a few ways other strategies to help you pick a great title for your book:
1. Add Or Subtract
* Use a character’s title in place of their proper name: The Lord of the Rings
* Add an action word to the main idea: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
* Make a generic character name more specific: Anne of Green Gables
* Add a descriptive word to the main idea: Brave New World
2. Extract Dialogue From Your Book
* Monsters of Men refers to a character’s statement regarding the effects of war
* Gone With the Wind is an expression used by Scarlett O’Hara, which in the title stands as a metaphor for the social changes sweeping through the American South
3. Amp it up by Adding Emotion, Metaphor, or Imagery
* Consider the feelings or aspirations of a particular character toward your subject. For example, A Prayer For Owen Meany refers to John
* Wheelwright’s mourning of Owen Meany (while also alluding to the religious themes of the book)
* Use a visual description from your manuscript. For example, Hills Like White Elephants evokes a strong visual image, whereas Conversation at a Train Station would not
* Use a metaphor from your manuscript. For example, To Kill a Mockingbird refers to dialogue in the novel, but is also a metaphor for the killing of innocence or the innocent
4. Curiosity Makes Your Book Title Clickable
* Express the central theme as a dilemma: Honour or Survival
* Create a question: Who is to Blame?, Where is Joe Merchant?
* Create an implied question by including the name of something unfamiliar: (what is) The Da Vinci Code, (who is) The Great Gatsby
* Create curiosity by mentioning something clearly important without explaining it: How I Escaped Alcatraz, The Surprise In Mary Myers’ Coffin
5. Add Some Perspective
* Ask how a particular character would feel about your subject, then restate your title through that emotional filter: A Mother No More
* If your subject is a character, ask how they see themselves and restate the title that way. For example, Holden Caulfield wouldn’t be a very exciting title, but the way Holden Caulfield sees himself—as The Catcher in the Rye—makes a great title.
* Ask “when” or “where” about your subject, and use the answer to create an indirect reference instead of a direct one. For example, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a more compelling title than Airstrip One or Oceania, which are the actual names of the dystopia described in the book.
* Identify a unique point of perspective in your book, then restate your title in a way that makes this point of perspective clear: Bears Without Hats
* If your subject is a flawed character, use a self-description that emphasizes their flaws. For example, a novel about a mediocre-but-egotistical salesman might be titled The Best Damn Salesman on the East Coast.
MOST Powerful Strategy To Select The Perfect Book Title
Once you’ve done your initial brainstorming, you’ll find yourself with a number of titles and it’s time to pair it down to the WINNING BOOK TITLE
When it comes to book titles, this is the kind of data you need to be looking for:
1.Unbiased. It has to be from people that don’t know who you are. We need strangers.
2.A/B split. People have to clearly choose one potential title over another.
3.Numbers. We need more than five or ten people. We need to test titles to hundreds of people.
Your Perfect Book Title Is A Vital Part Of Your Book Discovery
Let’s face it, you write and publish books in order to touch and influence a lot of people, right?
If you can get a large number of people that have never heard of you to make a split second decision between two different potential titles, then we’ll be able to see exactly what strangers will think when the title of your new book shows up on Amazon, Twitter or anywhere else.
The easiest way of doing this is via a split test!
1. Brainstorm on potential contenders. The first thing you need is a list of potential titles. I recommend at least six, but the more you get the better.
Where do you get the titles?
a. People who will review your draft
b. Research on Amazon
c. Research on forums
d. Research on GoodReads
Once you have your list of at least six titles, you move on to the next step.
2. Create A-B Testing. John Reese is one of the first Internet marketers to have made over $1 million during his online launch in 2005-2006.
One of the keys to his success was testing every components of his marketing.
Many Internet marketers are able to make large amounts of money online because they test-test-test and test.
As an author, you can to the same.
Here’s What It Looks Like A-B Testing To Select The Perfect Book Title Looks Like
If this is your first time using A/B split testing to determine which book cover would attract more buyers, here’s a simple explanation:
“A/B split testing is a method for validating which title out of two options a person is most likely to be interested in.”
The reason we’re only testing two titles at a time is this makes the choice simpler for the responders and is more likely to get a split-second decision.
PickFu is ideal tool to do A/B split testing to select a winning title.
The tool is simple to use and very affordable. That’s exactly what you need to test your titles.
Here are the steps to get your first PickFu A/B split:
1. Sign-up and log inside the tool
2. Set each poll question to “Which book would you buy?”.
Insider’s tip:You want to keep it purposefully vague in order to get the most unbiased response.
3. Do a new poll for each of your brackets.
Put TITLE #1 against TITLE #2 and then write down the result.
Same for TITLE #3 against TITLE #4 and so on.
Insider’s tip:Put the winner of your first split against the winner of your second split and you’ll end up with a REAL winning book title!
4. Don’t second-guess the data. You’ll be surprised at the results.You might still be married to your title even after hundreds of people told you which title they prefer, but remember their feedback is COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE feedback devoid of emotional ties – which is how your potential will react when they do see your book cover on Amazon!
Selecting The Perfect Book Can Seriously Boost Your Success On Kindle
Let’s be completely honest here, it can be challenging selling books and selling enough books to make it to the top rankings.
You’ve put a lot of work into your latest manuscript, now it’s time to give it every chance to succeed.
Picking a winning book title – one that will catch people interest and get them to click on your book – is an important part of your book marketing strategy.
Don’t pick a title based on your feelings. You’re too close to the project and will make an extremely biased decision.
The only way to make a good decision is to get stranger’s split-second, un-biased feedback.
By following the tips I’ve shared inside The Ultimate Guide To Picking A Book Title, you’re putting yourself in a winning position to pick a book title that will help you sell more books!
>>> Here Are A Few Additional Posts You Might Want To Read To Help Boost Your Book Marketing Efforts:
5 Book Cover Tips To Sell More Books On Kindle