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How to Choose a Book Title for a Bestseller, Fiction Or Nonfiction
When it comes to selling more books, choosing your book title is one of the most important decisions you have to make. Your book title will be responsible for a large part of your sales, so you need to choose it carefully.
All bestselling authors know about the importance of their book titles.
Let’s find out more.
How to choose a good book title
No matter if you are about to publish a novel, a self-help book, or anything in between, a great book title is as important as a headline. A good book title makes people check out the book, as a good headline will make people read an article or news piece.
For example, would you rather read a book titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or one titled “The Process of Acquiring Companions and How You Can Influence Them”?
It’s obvious that the first one is more catchy, and no wonder it became such a great hit. The “secret” to a good book title is to focus on your audience.
But how do we find out what the audience wants?
By doing a lot of research and putting yourself in their shoes.
Research the topic you are about to write, the bestselling book list on that subject, and what kind of information people want on that subject.
More tips on how to choose a good book title:
- ● Use descriptive titles. Your readers must have a basic understanding of what they are about to read from your title. Leave poetry and metaphors for inside the book.
- ● Use simple language. No fancy words in the book title. Use simple and clear language that even a humble reader can understand. Even if you write in a domain that requires scientific or complex terms, you have more chances to sell books by writing a simple title.
- ● What’s in it for the readers? People don’t care about you, they care about what they can get out of your book. So make sure to keep in mind this question when choosing a title. If the book doesn’t make the reader understand at the first glance what they are going to get from reading it, you are doing it wrong.
- ● Use a bit of mystery. While your title should be clear and concise, try to spread a bit of mystery in it. Don’t reveal everything from the book in it. Make them curious and eager to read it. For example, “Think and Grow Rich” is making you curious, “how am I going to get rich by thinking?”
- ● Use something already popular. This is a common trick to get a bestselling title. Follow the footsteps of other popular books regarding the topic of your book and the way the title is done. If you notice in your topic that books with very short titles (like 3 words or 4) sell better, that’s what you should use.
- ● Say a lot by saying a little. A known copywriting trick is to distill a headline to have as few words as possible while saying the same thing. You want to eliminate unnecessary words and try to reduce the title as much as possible without removing the message behind it. “Think And Grow Rich” could have been called “Think You’ll Be Rich And You’ll Grow Into It”, but that was unnecessarily lengthy.
Now that you’ve got the basic tips on how to choose a good book title, now let’s dive into the actual process.
The Process of Choosing a Bestselling Book Title
Here is the basic process that you can follow to choose a good book title.
Do Book Market Research
You want to look for similar books in your market. Create a list with all the tiles and subtitles of bestsellers in your category, with an emphasis on:
- ● The words and phrases used in the books’ titles and subtitles.
- ● The words and phrases used in the books’ descriptions.
- ● The words and phrases used in reviews left by readers.
By doing this step, you will have plenty of keywords and phrases that you can use for your book title and subtitle.
Use a Book Title Generator
These tools are easy to use and they can generate lots of interesting ideas. Sure, some results are not that inspired and rough, but it’s an easy step do to that adds a lot of options to brainstorm.
Some things will be so unique they will blow your mind.
Here is a list of the best book title generators I could find that didn’t suck:
- ● Nonfiction – Book Title Generator
- ● Nonfiction – Portent’s Content Idea Generator
- ● Nonfiction – KopyWritingKourse Book Title Generator
- ● Nonfiction – Title Generator
- ● Fantasy – Fantasy Novel Title Generator
- ● Fantasy – Random Book Title Generator
- ● Sci-fi and Fantasy – UKRifter’s Book Title Generator
- ● Science Fiction – Pulp Sci-Fi Title-O-Tron
- ● Fiction – Adazing Book Title Generator
- ● Fiction – Story Toolz Half Title Generator
Give them a try and write down the most interesting names they came up with. You might be surprised at the ideas they can help you generate.
Brainstorm Title Ideas
Now that you have a big list of potential titles and keywords, start brainstorming titles for your book.
Write as many ideas as you can think of, nothing it’s too stupid or boring.
Let the ideas flow and don’t censor yourself.
Pick Your Best Ideas
Now choose from the list of ideas the top 5 book ideas, the ones that make you feel they are going to be great. Ask yourself “If I had to buy one book from these, which one I would buy?” and select one by one until you have 3 to 5.
If you don’t have 3 great book titles, try doing more research or ask your friends and family about it. Online groups filled with writers can also help you out in this regard.
Or if you work with a ghostwriter, give them a ring about it. They sure have plenty of ideas drawn from experience.
Now Choose One
After you have 3 or 5 best ideas for a book title, you need to pick one. Ask your audience if you have one, ask a group of readers in the niche you are interested in and even your current clients.
Try to find the best-sounding title, the most catchy and intriguing. Keep the other 2 written somewhere in case you need to test their effectiveness in the future by launching the same book with a different title to test the sales.
Now you have a good book title to use for your next bestseller.
The hardest part is over. Just kidding, the hardest part is coming now… the book writing.
But don’t worry. If you want to hire a writer to do the heavy lifting for you, you can hire a ghostwriter with over 10 years of experience and over 100 bestsellers under his belt.
Check out my ghostwriting service.