How to Write a Captivating Book Title

Your book title is the first thing a potential reader sees. It’s the key to getting them interested in reading your book. Think of it as the perfect opportunity to lure them into embarking on an interesting and exciting journey that you have created for them in the form of words. 

On average, eight out of ten people will read the title, but only two will read the rest of the content. In other words, if your title is boring, your book might never be picked up and read. So, it is important to consider your potential readers when coming up with your titles. When you incorporate what they want into that piece of content, they are more likely to read the entire book.  

In this article, you’ll learn what the good characteristics of a good book title are and some great strategies for writing a captivating one. 

What Is a Book Title and Why Does It Matter?

A book title is essentially the name of your book that helps people identify it.

Book titles can be descriptive, metaphorical, or intriguing. 

Whichever one you choose, it needs to be well-crafted. They catch people’s attention and drive readers to your book. That is why choosing the perfect book title shouldn’t be just a matter of personal preference. It should also be a strategic decision. Whether you plan to sell on Amazon or decide to host your ebook on your author website, choosing a title is a crucial aspect of the book since it can impact sales and how readers receive it. 

Of course, a good book title isn’t enough on its own. You’ll need to implement strategies to get people to see your book in the first place. For instance, if you sell your book on Amazon, you’ll want to increase your product visibility on the platform by using keyword-rich titles and descriptions. If you host your ebook on your site, you’ll want to enhance website traffic through effective SEO techniques.

The 5 Characteristics of a Good Book Title

But what exactly is a well-crafted book title? Here are the five elements that every good book title has:

1. Clarity

As an author, you must know how to write book titles that are not confusing; your title should be clear enough to convey the message or subject matter of your book. One key to achieving this effect is simplicity. 

Avoid using overly technical language or jargon that might be difficult for readers to understand. Instead, focus on using simple language.

Consider a best-selling title like Atomic Habits that’s clear and concise. The title can’t be subject to any interpretation.

Another way to achieve clarity is to determine the objective of your book and the message you intend to get across, then use this to create an amazing book title.

2. Memorable

A memorable title sticks in the reader’s mind long after they’ve put the book down. Think about a scenario where a reader is having a conversation with their friend, and remembers something you said in your book. 

A memorable title would be easier to recall in such a conversation. For example, famous books like The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night by Scott Fitzgerald are easy to remember and have become quite iconic over time.  

Memorable Book titles

Using memorable titles for your books can also help you build your brand as an author. They can help create a unique identity for you that readers can associate with your work.  

To write a memorable title, aim for something short and snappy like the examples we mentioned earlier. You can also use strong or descriptive qualifiers (we’ll talk more about this later). 

3. Engaging

An engaging title can make all the difference between a potential reader scrolling past your book and actually making a purchase. 

To create an engaging title, it’s important to use words that are attention-grabbing and thought-provoking. For example, words like “secret”, “proven”, or “ultimate” can create a sense of intrigue and excitement, making readers want to know more. 

Metaphors can also be effective in creating engaging titles as they can convey complex ideas or emotions in a concise manner. For example, the title Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy uses a metaphor to suggest that tackling the most difficult task first can lead to greater productivity. 

Metaphors can also make your book title intriguing. A  curious reader could wonder what the “frog” represents. So, they would be compelled to read the book.

4. Descriptive

An engaging book title is also descriptive. That means it provides the average person immediate understanding of what your book is about. This is particularly important for non-fiction books like self-help, history, and business books. 

For example, if you’re writing a book about SaaS content production, a title like “The Ultimate Guide To SaaS Content Production” will give readers an immediate understanding of what the book is about.

To make your book title descriptive, it’s important to consider the subject matter of the book and what you want readers to take away from it. This can help potential buyers determine if your book is relevant to their interests.

5. Unique

When it comes to choosing a title for your book, you should go for one that’s unique. To achieve this, try to avoid using generic or overused phrases. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel, you might want to steer clear of a boring title like “Falling in Love”.

Instead, think about what sets your book apart from others in the genre and try to capture that in your title. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, for instance, uses a line from Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” to convey the idea that fate plays a role in the lives of the characters.

Overall, using original titles will make your books stand out in a crowded market and attract readers who might not have otherwise discovered them.

6 Creative Strategies for Crafting a Book Title That Stands Out

Creating a book title goes beyond looking for a good name. In this section, we’ll explore six simple steps for crafting a title that stands out.

1. Identify Your Book’s Core Message or Theme 

If you want your books to have a significant impact on your readers, you must know how to write titles that capture the core message or theme of your book. However, identifying the core message of your book can be a challenging process. 

One way to identify your book’s core message is to ask yourself what the main idea or central theme of your book is. You can also try answering the following questions:

  • What is the message that you want your readers to take away from your book?
  • What ideas or thought patterns keep recurring throughout your book?
  • How do the various chapters—or characters–connect?

Importantly, identifying the core message or theme of your book requires a deep understanding of your work. So, you want to take sufficient time to reflect on your book’s content.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

When choosing your book title, remember that you’re writing for a specific audience. So, you want to use a title that resonates with them. This means that details like the reader’s age range, interests, niche, or fluency should be considered. 

For example, if you’re writing a children’s book, you may want to choose a title that is exciting and fun, such as The Adventures of Captain Courage or Alice in Wonderland. On the other hand, if your book is aimed at teenagers, you may want to choose a more intriguing title, such as The Secrets of the Universe Revealed or Teen Girls Survival Guide.

Typically, once you know who your target audience is, you can easily look up bestselling authors that target the same group and see the type of titles they use. Then use this as a guide to come up with your own unique title. Also, social media platforms and trends can give you a pretty good idea of what resonates with your audience.

 3. Brainstorm a List of Possible Titles

Now that you know your core message and target audience, you shouldn’t run off with the first title that comes to mind. Instead, try coming up with different potential titles until you find one that stands out. 

With the help of an generative AI like Writer, you can easily come up with numerous book title ideas. Simply input a precise prompt like the example below and you may just find something that works for you and your audience.

Finally, when brainstorming, don’t limit yourself to a few options. Feel free to jot down whatever comes to mind, even when you have AI suggestions. You can also explore other book title generators across the web.

 4. Use Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that describe the main topics or themes of your book. They are used to improve the discoverability of your content in search engines, online bookstores, and other platforms. 

For example, readers can go online in search of “books about success” and find these ones in the image below:

Using keywords in book titles

Notice that most of the publication titles in the example above have the word “success” in them. That’s how keywords work. 

So, find and use keywords that fit your book content. You can start by researching the terms that are commonly used in your book’s genre. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you find relevant keywords and phrases that people are searching for.

Once you have a list of potential keywords, try to incorporate them into your book title in a way that sounds natural and engaging. Don’t force the keywords into the title if they don’t fit or if they make the title sound clunky or awkward. Instead, focus on using the keywords in a way that adds value to the title and helps readers understand what your book is about.

5. Play with Words

Playing with words is another effective way to create an engaging and fun title for your book. Let’s see some interesting ways to use wordplay in your titles:

  • Alliteration: This is the repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning of multiple words in a phrase or sentence. Using alliteration in your book title can make it more memorable and catchy— especially for fiction titles. A good example is The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Brashares Ann.
  • Puns: Puns are a play on words that use multiple meanings of a word or words with similar pronunciation but have different meanings. With puns, you can create a clever title with a touch of humor and wit. See these examples of publication titles with puns:
  • Portmanteau: This is creating a new word by combining two words can be an effective way to make your book title unique. It is particularly useful if you’re trying to convey a specific message or theme. For example, you can create one-word titles like Mocktale by Joel Comm which is a combination of “mock” and “cocktail”. 
  • Rhymes: You can also try to create titles that rhyme. See The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.

Using wordplay is a clever way to create interesting titles, but you also want to be careful with them. A general rule of thumb is to make sure your title still clearly represents your book’s content.

6. Test Your Title

Testing is the next step in your book title selection process. You can start by seeking feedback from friends and family. When doing this, you want to ask specific questions like these:

  • Do they understand what the book is about based on the title?
  • Does it make them want to read the book?
  • How does it make them feel?

You can also share your title on social media and ask your followers for feedback. This can be done through a poll or by letting them tell you in the comment section. Additionally, try using tools like SurveyMonkey or PickFu to test your book title by asking anonymous people in your target audience to provide feedback. This will help you get more informed feedback, which you can use to improve your title.

In Conclusion 

Having a good book title is just like having the right bait on a hook. As an author, you must know how to write book titles that are engaging enough to attract your target audience. 

By implementing the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be equipped to create a distinctive title that captures your target audience’s interest. Just don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try out different variations. Also, remember that soliciting feedback from others can be a valuable way to refine your ideas and ensure your title resonates with potential readers.


Read More

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  • Madison

    June 20, 2023

    Awesome tips in title writing! Applicable also for making content online – and yes to keeping it memorable and unique!

    • Kotobee

      September 10, 2023

      Thank you for your kind words! You’re absolutely right; crafting captivating titles applies not only to books but also to online content.

      If you have any more questions or need further advice on writing or content creation, please feel free to ask. We’re here to help you make your content memorable and unique! 🙂


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