6 Criteria To A Great Title
“What’s in a name?”, Shakespeare once said.
Today we asked, “What’s in a title?”
What about a great title? The truth is, your book could have some great, standout titles — the trick is finding it.
Here are six criteria to a truly great title.
A great title jumps out at you! It practically screams at you from the shelves: “READ ME! READ ME!”
What is distinctive about your book? Is it the subject matter; your perspective; your experiences? Ask yourself what makes your book stand out or how it differs from others of its kind.
To discover what makes your book distinctive, you must truly believe it is special (and it is!). Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time convincing your audience of the same belief.
It has a certain flow; a great title rolls off the tongue and is pleasant to say.
Imagine readers telling their friends about your book; a title with a certain ring to it will be more easily repeated and spread to a broader audience.
If your book is a technical subject matter and you’re having trouble parsing down the title, consider a subtitle. A subtitle offers the best of both worlds: a pleasant, smooth title with the benefit of a more descriptive subtitle.
That is, appropriate to your subject matter and brand.
If this is your first book, you have a bit more creative freedom to establish your voice and image of your brand. Once you’ve started publishing books, your readers may expect a certain cohesivity or relatedness between your products.
If that’s the case, ask yourself if your title is appropriate for the image you’ve established or the image you intend to establish.
At the very least, your reader should be able to say your title. What might make sense to you, may be too “out there” or eccentric for the average reader — find a happy medium.
Next, readers should be able to identify with your title. One way to do that is by embracing quirky or creative titles.
A new common trend is intentional misspellings of words. For example, the fast-growing, ride-share service, Lyft. It’s a unique spin on a simple word, which is still easy to say but stands out.
People love your title! It meets all the criteria: fun to say, fun to share and easy to identify with.
Consider running a focus group among your friends or family. Come up with a list of potential titles, then ask for their feedback.
Total honesty is what you’re looking for! Run through the criteria we mentioned and see if your titles fit the bill. If nothing catches their fancy, ask for suggestions — what would they like to see in a title?
Be open to feedback and don’t take negative feedback personally — it’s strictly business!
Do you legally have the rights to use and own this title? This is an important factor; you can not overlook. Trademarking your book title can be your most valuable asset and building block of your brand.
On the other hand, unknowingly using a title, you do not legally own the rights to, can lead to a multitude of headaches and financial setbacks.
A book title is akin to a first impression — is your book making a great first impression?
Still getting your book OUT of your head and ON paper? Our publishing services will give you exactly the push you need.