7 Ways to Cure Title Trauma
Selecting the right title for your book can be extremely challenging. Whether you are writing non-fiction, fiction, or poetry, if your title doesn’t excite and compel readers, they won’t want to look inside the pages of your book.
Many authors spend lots of sleepless nights on the book titles. Here are some tips that will decrease the angst and help you find a great title.
1. Stop looking for the perfect title. The idea of perfect gets us all stressed out and makes the search for titling a book feel even more ominous. Aim for an interesting title, a compelling title, or a marketable title.
2. Understand standard titling rules in your genre. Non-fiction books generally have a title and subtitle. Novels usually only have a title. Poetry titles often generate a feeling, either something excessively plain like Stephen King’s collection, Good Poems, or are flowery and evocative like David Whyte’s House of Belonging. Some books of poetry have subtitles while others do not. You can understand the rules by looking at the top twenty best-selling books in your genre on Amazon. While it is exciting to be a rebel and disregard the rules, I don’t recommend it for it for your first books. New authors need to prove they can follow the rules and garner some success before breaking the rules.
3.Allow yourself to do lots of brainstorming. Think about your title in the shower, while driving, or taking a walk. Some of your best ideas will occur when you are moving your body.
4.Don’t fall in love too fast. Find a suitable working title you can live with while you are writing your book. The focus of your book may change during the writing process so allow some flexibility in the title until you have finished your manuscript. Your editor and publisher will often weigh in with title suggestions.
5.Speak your title. A title should be easy to say. Imagine a someone announcing you by sharing your book title. If your title contains words that are hard to pronounce or confusing, it will not flow well. To Kill a Mockingbird reads better than Atticus Finch’s Dilemma.
6.Consider the emotion. Your book title should stimulate a feeling for your reader, regardless of genre. Common title emotions include curiosity, fear, desire, dread, delight or pride. Novel readers want to feel entertained and swept away. Depending on the genre, they also may want to feel intelligent, lusty, horrified, or encouraged. Non-fiction readers want to solve a particular problem that gives them a benefit- such as success, happiness, money, health, or even deeper connection to their faith. Poetry readers want beautiful words used in a surprising or touching way. Ensure that your title evokes emotions that will appeal to your ideal reader.
7.Listen to your body. When I am brainstorming titles with my clients, I’ll get a tingle on the back of my neck when we find the right one. Others report a feeling in their stomach or a shiver up and down their arms. When you hear yourself say your best title, you’ll feel it in your body and your heart.
I hope these seven tips end your title trauma. If not, I’m glad to help. You can set up a complimentary consultation to talk about my book mentoring services by clicking here.