Articles and Features
Titles Sell Books
by Judy Collins
Don't be a sissy with your book title. People do judge a book by its title. It must be so outstanding and catchy it compels the reader to look further on the back cover. It must be easy to say, easy to remember, and clear in meaning.
A clever title is great if it is clear, but a clear title is always preferable. The best? A clear and clever title. A shorter title is better than a longer one. Depending on the source, your reader will spend only four seconds on the cover and eight seconds on the back cover. While some long titles have succeeded, the shorter, the better.
A title is part of your book's front cover. Busy buyers including book store buyers, wholesalers, distributors and your audiences buy mainly because of the cover. Dan Poynter, author of Write and Grow Rich, says "The package outside sells the product inside." Make your cover sizzle.
It's a good idea to start searching for your best title before you write chapter one. Start with a working title. Include your topic, your subject and use the book's benefits in your sub title if possible.
List ten or so titles and distribute them among friends and associates. Have them vote on the three they like best. Keep the list in your computer. Revise your title many times unless it's just right. Be open to brainstorming. Leave your judgment at home. Write down even what you think are losers, because later they may trigger some good ideas.
Go to your local bookstore with five colored felt tips pens. Browse the section your book would be shelved on. Choose five books that attract you. Photo copy or sketch those, noting the colors, design, and fonts and add colors you like.
Seven Criteria for An Effective Title
This is the time to be your strongest salesperson self. Choose the strongest words, benefits, and metaphors to move your audience to buy.
Judy Cullins: 20-year author, publisher, book coach
Helps entrepreneurs manifest their book and web dreams
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