Top Ten Tips for Book Titles that Sell Well
Judy Cullins c. 2006
A clever title is great if it is clear, but a clear title is
always preferable. The best? A clear and clever title. A
shorter title is better than a longer one. Your reader will
spend only four-eight seconds on the cover. While some long
titles have succeeded, usually the shorter, the better.
A title is part of your book's front cover. Busy buyers
bookstore buyers, wholesalers, distributors and your
buy mainly because of the cover. Dan Poynter, author of
Nonfiction, says, "The package outside sells the product
Make your cover sizzle.
Start with a working title before you write your chapters.
your topic, your subject and use the book's benefits in your
title if possible. Here's your ten tips for titles that
1. Create impact for your title-check out magizine print and
radio ad headlines.
Check out other authors' titles on the bookstore shelves.
Your title must compel the reader to buy now.
Which title grabs you? Elder Rage or Caregiving for Dad?
2. Include your solution in your title.
Does your title sell your solution? Make sure it answers the
question rather than asks one. For instance, Got Minerals?,
or Minerals: The Essential Link to Health. Use positive
language instead of negative. For instance, Without Minerals
You'll Die can be Minerals: The Essential Link to Health.
3. Make it easy for readers to buy.
Readers want a magic pill. They want to follow directions
and enjoy the benefits the title promises. For example, 1001
Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer gives at least 1001
ways for authors and publishers to market their books.
4. Expand your title to other books, products, seminars, and
Make sure that your title will work well with the title of
your presentations, articles and press releases you'll need
to promote the book. Such seminars and teleclasses titled
"How to Write and Sell Your Book- Fast!" and "Nine Sure-Fire
Ways to Publicize and Promote your Business on the
Internet." come under the umbrella "fast book writing,
publishing and promoting," and "promote your book or
business with the #One Way-The Internet."
5. Use original expressions--a way of expressing one idea
for your book--yours alone.
Sam Horn, author of Tongue Fú!, puts her special twist on
defusing verbal conflict. Check out the cliche' books. You
can tweak a cliche and make your book title memorable.
6. Include benefits in your subtitle if your title doesn't
Specific benefits and your audience mentioned in the title
invite sales. For instance, Marilyn and Tom Ross' Jump Start
Your Book Sales: A Money-Making Guide for Authors,
Independent Publishers and Small Presses.
7. Choose others' book covers in your field as models.
Go to your local bookstore with five-colored felt tips pens
and paper. Browse the section your book would be shelved on.
Choose five book titles and covers that attract you. Photo
copy or sketch those, noting the colors, design, fonts, and
sizes of fonts. Add other colors you like. Place the book
cover you love near your workstation to inspire you. For the
final copy, use professional cover designers if possible.
Your bookcoach can recommend some if you email her.
8. Be outrageous with your book title.
People do judge a book by its title. Your reader will spend
only four-eight seconds on the front cover and eight-fifteen
seconds on the back cover. Your cover and title must be so
outstanding and catchy that they compel the reader to either
buy on the spot or look further to the back cover. Take a
risk. Be a bit crazy, even outlandish.
9. Be your strongest salesperson self.
Choose the strongest words, benefits, and metaphors to move
your audience to buy. Titles do sell books. This picture or
feeling words to get started.
10. Include your audience in your title. This gives your
book a slant.
When your title isn't targeted other famous authors' titles
win out. Always make your title clear and make it easy for
your audience to recognize they need your book. Your title
and front cover is your book's number one sales tool. Short
titles are best, say three to six words. John Gray didn't
get much attention with his book "What Your Mother Couldn't
Tell You and What Your Father Didn't Know." He shortened it
to the now famous, "Men are From Mars, Women are From
An outstanding title sells books. Make sure to give this
part of your book, the number one essential "Hot-Selling
Point," some time and effort.
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Book and Internet Marketing Coach, Judy Cullins, can help you build credibility and clients, sell a lot of books, and make maximum profits. Author of 11 books including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast and The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic" Get her free eBook"20 High Octane Book Writing and Marketing Tips" and two free monthly ezines at http://www.bookcoaching.com