Are book titles important?
We all agree that a great book design is vital. Even though there is a popular saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we often do judge a book by its cover. While the cover instantly attracts the eyes, the book title arouses curiosity in the reader’s mind. The book title indicates the type of content a reader can expect from the book. The book is identified and remembered by its title. In short, it’s a lot like any name – a person’s name, a brand name etc. Then, for you, the writer, book title ideas are necessary.
Below are some examples of book titles. Each pair of titles has one title that will fascinate a reader. Read these examples and tick the one that you prefer
Blowing a whistle
The inside story revealed
Impossible to catch
I am catching him
Sita loves Rajesh
I hate to want you
If a title is so important, then the next question is how to write the perfect book title that will attract a reader to pick up your book?
Here are Top 11 Book Title Ideas to enhance the appeal of your book
- Think about the genre: If your question is how to write the perfect book title? The way to start is by understanding that the book’s genre will influence a book title. If the genre is romance, the book title can be – ‘Cannot live without you’ or ‘Call me by your name’. A non-fiction book which studies relationships, including love, will need to have a markedly different title so that, at first glance, a reader can understand that the book is non-fiction. A title can be –
- A study of relationships that survive (title)– factors that determine the kind of relationship you will develop (subtitle)
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
- Make a list of descriptive words: List all words that describe your book, e.g., romance, love, relationship and charged emotions. This list will help you piece together a title that appeals to you and the target audience.
- Leave the book title until the end: Don’t be in a hurry. Each step of your book is essential and so is the title. When you have all the inputs before you, it will become easier for you to mix and match the several words and ideas to generate your book title.
- Don’t overcomplicate it: In your enthusiasm for ‘how can I pick a title for my book?’ eschew complexity. Avoid making your book title too long or wordy, putting potential readers off. Keep it as simple as possible, preferably under five words or even less.
- Keep it relevant: Your book title must be relevant to your storyline or plot. If the book is a mystery genre, can the title be ‘How much I love you?’
- Create intrigue: The title should be such that it creates intrigue for the reader, so the reader wants to know more and delve deeper into the book. e.g. ‘And Then There Were None’, ‘Why not eat insects?’
- Use book characters: If you have characters in your book that are offbeat or different, then you can include them in your title, e.g. ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’, ‘Rebecca’
- Review your book title: Now that you have shortlisted or finalised your book title go ahead and review it by discussing it with other readers, friends etc.
- Get feedback from your target audience: Wherever your target audience is, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, ask them for feedback on your book title. If their feedback appeals to you, incorporate it. See the example in the image below.
- Don’t forget the subtitle: The question of how to write the perfect book title does not end with the title alone. The quest continues with a subtitle too. In non-fiction publishing, there’s a trend of evocative or abstract titles, followed by a subtitle that communicates the content. For fiction books, subtitles are added to clarify the novel’s content to a reader e.g. ‘Oliver Twist: The Parish Boy’s Progress’, ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family’ See the examples of subtitles in the images below.
- Use a title generator: If you have tried all the tips and tricks to find a solution to your question – how can I pick a title for my book? All the tips and tricks we have shared above and still haven’t developed an evocative title, then a book title generator will do the trick for you. There are several title generators. Here are some popular ones
- Fantasy name generators
- Awesome Titles
Remember, if you still cannot create the perfect book title, despair not. Save the draft of the title you are happiest with and revise it as you move closer to completing your manuscript. We are confident that, ultimately, you will hit upon a title that will attract readers.
Some oft-repeated questions writers ask about book titles.
In your opinion, how long should the title of a book be?
The average length of a title should not be more than five to six words long. If the book is non-fiction, the words should be less than five words. Subtitles are used to communicate the content idea and can be longer. Michael Tauberg answers the question – of how long should book titles be by stating that titles should not be longer than two to three words long.
Can one publish a novel with a title that already exists?
There are no copyright laws that protect a book’s title. Hence one can publish a novel with an existing title. However, authors like to vary the book’s subtitles so the book can stand out.
Can I register my title for my new book that I’m going to write?
Indian Copyright act does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts.
Do authors typically title their own books?
Authors like to title their books, as they are the best judge of the content that has been written and hence are well placed to create a title to reflect the genre and content of the book. For writers who need help, there are title generating sites.
How do I test a book title for my first book?
To test the best title book idea, share your title with other readers and writers’ groups or your followers on various social media sites and ask for their input.
Can two books share the same title?
Theoretically, two books can have the same title, but it becomes challenging to differentiate your book from the other. It becomes a concern when you start marketing your book. Hence, it’s best to choose a slightly different title or a different subtitle.
Are book titles copyrighted?
As per the Indian copyright act, the title of a book cannot be copyrighted. Hence a writer can copy the title of an existing book though it is not advised.
Why is the title of a book on the top of every page in that book?
A writer often opts to keep the book title as a header. This provides information to the reader. Also, when a book page is photocopied, it becomes easier to track the book from which the page is photocopied.
Some more blogs that you will find useful while designing a book.
Five Secrets to an Eye-Catching Book Cover
Delight the Reader, write Dialogues Using These 11 Tips