Be Aware of Titles!

Whether you’re writing a fiction or non-fiction novel, titles are very important. It could make readers check your book or plainly ignore it. I’ve seen some books with long titles that fit almost the whole front cover and give out the whole story. There are also those with just a single word in it. Though there is no exact rule on the number of words a title should have common sense would tell you that it’s not good to have a title as long as the length of the book cover. A single-word title is also not good if it is not accompanied by a cover that reflects the story or genre of the novel.

By now, you might have been told to create a catchy title in order to get reads or views. The “How To…” titles often make me flip through the book. They’re not only instantly appealing, they also answer a specific need of a reader. Someone who’s looking for tips on how to make book covers would instantly click the “read” button for titles that goes something like: “How to Make Awesome Book Covers” and might ignore those that merely say, “Book Covers”. Remember the “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” movie starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey? It earned around 180 million USD in box office worldwide, more than three times it’s production budget of 50 million USD. Although some movie critics put a thumbs down to this movie, it didn’t stop viewers to watch it because it has an interesting title. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll start all your book titles with the “how to”.  There are a number of ways to make your titles interesting without the “how to”. So instead of saying How to Seduce a Billionaire, you could simply say Seducing a Billionaire.  You could even use your character name like Harry Potter, if it sounds unique.

Aside from the catchy title, you also need to bear in mind that credibility is everything in writing. DO NOT write a book that says, “How to Make Your Book Popular on Wattpad” when your profile says you’ve been a member since 2012, you’ve uploaded a few works but none of them made it past the 2K reads. No matter how good and sensible your tips are, readers will doubt its credibility because if indeed you knew how, then you could have already applied it in your own stories. Also, do not give tips on how to earn followers on whatever site you are promoting, if your own number of followers does not exceed a hundred. However, if you’re an established writer like J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown or Paulo Coelho and you want to give tips to newbies on how to make a bestselling novel, your number of reads or followers on social media does not matter that much because you’ve made a name for yourself  in the real world. That alone gives you credibility.

Next time, you think about the title for your book consider this:  Will I check this out myself based on the title?


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