The goal of a title should be to make it clear what the book is about and if possible be done in a quick, simple, and clever way. Doing so will peak the readers’ curiosity. If you’re a non-fiction writer and the goal of your book is to help readers solve a problem then the title should make it very obvious what problem will be solved. In addition, one component to a title that is often ignored is the role keywords should play.
Keywords within the title can be a touchy subject because if you place too much weight on keywords rather than offering a title that makes more sense based on the content then the title will come off as unprofessional and possibly dull. Here are the steps I recommend taking when developing your title.
- Identify your primary keyword from your list that you created. This is the word or term that is going to draw the most amount of traffic with the least amount of competition. If you do not have list use Google Keyword Planner or Long Tail Pro to develop identify at least 7 potential keywords.
- Take at least 20 minutes to brainstorm a list of possible titles that include the keyword but also make it clear what the book is about. Come up with as many as you can.
- Reach out to friends and family members who will be honest and constructive when they offer you their opinion. Take their input along with your thoughts and attempt to narrow the possible titles down to a total of three.
- Post a message to one of the Facebook groups that you’ve joined asking for their opinion on your final three possible titles.
- Pick a title.
- Compare the title you chose to your competitors and determine if that should influence your title in any way. Remember, it is a good thing to stand out but if your competitors appear to be offering something more valuable then you then you may have readjust it a little bit. To do this try to determine what you like about some of the other titles and integrate that into your title.
- Start the process over or finalize your title. Warning, this may be difficult for the first book you write. It is very common for authors to struggle with the title and never quite be 100% happy with it.
Worst case scenario you can always change your title but it will require some additional work and it will take time so you really want to be sure that you can stick with your title for at least a few months. I tell you this because if you find yourself stuck, unable to move forward, then give your top three possibilities to your most trusted friend and have him/her pick for you. I don’t recommend this but sometimes you need somebody else make the decision for you if you find yourself stuck in contemplation.
Lastly, consider whether or not you’re attempting to build a brand or target a particular audience.