The Importance of a Good Book Title

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I have seen a lot of books, both traditionally published and some self published, where the titles seem to have been an afterthought. The title of a book is extremely important as it should be a title that will grab the attention of a potential reader. I am very surprised to see some people work so hard on a novel, pay a lot of money for a copy editor, hire a graphic designer for a the cover and at the end they skimp out on the title. I know how hard it can be to name a novel that you’re writing—in fact, I have two unnamed novels myself—but we shouldn’t settle. We should put as much effort, if not more, as we did to write our novel.

There are many ways to approach finding a title for your novel. Some books, The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, for example, have a title that at first glance is pretty ambiguous and detached from the actual synopsis of the story, but which is explained later on in the story. I absolutely love this title and it is a perfect fit for the novel.

There are times when the best strategy for coming up with a book title is to keep it simple. Some of the best books that I have ever read have the name of the antagonist or protagonist as the title, or even the name of the town where the story takes place.

Your title represents your book and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sit down and write down dozens, if not hundreds, of possible titles that best seems to represent your novel.

Don’t settle: This is my best advice that I can give you. Even if it takes you just as long to think of a good title for your novel as it did writing your novel, please don’t settle. Do it for yourself and for your readers.

 

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  1. #1 by Mesnard on August 15, 2014 - 2:10 PM

    I agree with your sentiments here. Having a title is very important; and something which shouldn’t come across as disposable or interchangeable. I am not one to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes I get bummed when I see a title that comes of as generic or lazy. I can’t say all my titles are in the upper-echelon of creativity, but I can back their meaning up. Good post.

    • #2 by Cosmo Chico Rodriguez on August 15, 2014 - 8:02 PM

      Thank you for your kind words. I have to admit that I have passed on reading some books due to having a bad title.

  2. #3 by Mesnard on September 4, 2014 - 2:57 AM

    Titles catch my eye more than covers do. Most times I am just looking at rows of spines anyway if at a bookstore or a sale rack. Covers don’t often help in those cases. 🙂

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