What’s In a Name? How to Craft a Great Book Title

This post is excerpted from The Independent Publisher: How to Build and Promote Your Bestselling Book

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.” —Mark Twain

The words that comprise the title of your book, though few, are some of the most important ones you’ll write on the whole project. If you doubt that, consider this: do you think John Gray would have sold millions of copies of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus if he had stuck with his original title for the book, which was What Your Mother Couldn’t Tell You and What Your Father Didn’t Know? Would you have picked it up, carried it to the checkout, and whipped out $16.95 if it had that title?

“Writing a book that lacks a title feels a bit like owning a car with no license plates,” novelist Nicholas Weinstock wrote in an essay in Poets & Writers magazine. “Sturdy and stylish as the vehicle might be, as smoothly as the narrative may be running, the thing will not be allowed in public without some assortment of letters riveted squarely to the front.”  Continue reading