Names of books and the importance of standing out.

July 6, 2016

 

I was talking to a fellow writer and picking titles for books. He mostly stumbled on them by the time he had finished writing the book. I know the title for my books before I even start. They often lead to important plot developments. I'll give you an example: I'm busy writing my sixth novel about a dragon and an accidental pirate. I've got another book in the series in my mind and it sounded a bit like the plot to Midsummer Nights Dream and think why the heck not so the next steampunk I'm doing is going to be called the Mechanicals (of course) and there will be a Lysander and some others popping up that are familiar.

 

But picking a title for a book can be difficult for some. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid steering wrong.

1. Don't be too cliche- my second book I wrote I made the mistake of calling it 'You Can Run' I really should have checked first how many books were called this. I had checked with my first book. I got excited and didn't go through the proper checks for my second book. On Goodreads you have to go through over 10 books before mine pops up. Visibility is important. 

2. Have a mystery- I read an article that said that most of the most popular books leave a question on the cover of the page. Like Harry Potter. You ask who the heck is he and what is going to do with a stone? Is Harry the Philosopher?

3. Keep it short or make it catchy- Also don't do weird spelling. People want something that is easy to remember so alliteration works or something very quirky it sticks in your mind like 'the enchanted chocolate pot'. People find books online and if the title is too long to remember to type they won't be able to find you.

4. Have Meaning- don't pick something random because it sounds cute or something. The title has some certain meaning to the rest of the text as it sets up expectation to the reader. If you mention tigers in your title there better be tigers in the book.

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