Picking a Book Title That Sells

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Book Title

First impressions count.

We judge books superficially. That’s reality. In this age of streaming media, instant downloads, and lightning speed communications, to get someone’s attention, you really have to stand out. You have to pique interest from the start—and then, it’s up to your content, your work, to keep them hooked.

You may have penned the best business strategy book, the most effective diet tips, or the most inspirational memoir. But without the right title, without the right hook? That book you slaved over for countless weeks—maybe months—is languishing at the bottom of a stack. It’s forgotten. It isn’t jumping into a customer’s hands.

Want to learn how to turn your “maybe someday” title into a “must-read” attention-grabber? Read on below!

  1. Do your research. What other books on your topic are already out there? Which ones will be sitting on the shelves next to yours? That’s your competition. And of those books, which titles make you want to pick up the book to find out more? See what those titles have in common, and you’re creating your own genre-specific formula for the right way to title your book. A misleading title may get readers to pick up your book, but they’ll put it right down again when they discover it isn’t what they were expecting.
  2. Keep it simple to understand. Unless your readers are already looking for your book (in which case, they’ll be pretty motivated to pick it up anyway), you’ve only got the attention of your potential reader for a few seconds. I’ve seen clever, “punny” titles work. I’ve also seen them fall flat because shoppers were too overwhelmed by other choices to think about the gimmicky title long enough to “get” it.
  3. Make it clear who needs your book. To sell more books, you want your title to grab the people who need your book but don’t even know it. A title or subtitle can get this message across plainly (e.g., The Guide for Busy Working Moms, Confessions of a Health Food Nut). These examples have the added plus of including an easily searchable phrase—something that is very valuable in the Age of Google. The back of the book can tease a little more. You want to turn a browser into a buyer—and reader.
  4. Be just unique enough to stick in mind. No, I don’t mean the content of your book. Uniqueness is a selling point there. But while you wouldn’t want a title as plain as Internet Marketing (unless you write college textbooks), you also wouldn’t want a title that’s so off-the-wall bizarre that people will never find it in an Amazon or Google search. This goes back to #2 above. Unique titles may be easier to remember than dull titles, but they can also be more difficult to understand…which may lead your potential buyer to forget.
  5. Use your audience. Once you’ve got a few titles you like, reach out to others to get their honest opinion. I’m not just talking about your best friend or your parents or Mr. Fluffy on your couch (hey, pets can be critics, too!), though their opinions are invaluable as well—I’m talking about tapping the brains of your audience. The people who are already your customers, or the people you want to be your customers…you need a title that makes them say, “I want!”

Remember, choosing an effective book title is just as much a part of your book marketing as designing an eye-catching book cover or targeting your advertising.

To learn more of my proven secrets for picking a book title that will SELL YOUR BOOK, check out my 3-day Bestseller in a Weekend webinar! You’ll get more than just tips on choosing a book title—you’ll also step behind the closed doors of the publishing industry and learn the writing tips that bestselling authors swear by, and what tools savvy marketers keep under wraps.

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