Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

The Power of Book Titles

When I'm asked, "What's the best thing I can do to promote my book?" ... I often say, "Come up with a great, attention-getting title."

Sadly, it's usually too late for the author to use that tip, since their book is already published as Prairie Dogs by the Dashboard Light or some similarly vague and confusing title.

Make no mistake, a strong title will be one of your biggest book marketing tools -- along with killer content, smart use of the Internet, etc. So make sure you spend a lot of time crafting your title before you publish -- or even begin writing -- your next book.

A great title ...

  • Tells you exactly what the book is about
  • Lets you know who the book is for
  • Spells out a reader benefit
  • Uses words in a clever and concise way
My favorite type of title is the two-parter. A short (two to four words) main title, followed by a slightly longer subtitle.

Here are some examples:
  • The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days

  • Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

  • Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams
A new fav of mine is Skinny Bitch. (Sorry if you're offended by that.) It doesn't really have a subtitle, but the prominent description on the cover serves the same purpose: "A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous."

Look over the examples above. Really examine the word choices. Notice how they hit the four hot button issues I listed earlier.

Here are more good examples of strong two-part titles:
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't

  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
And two examples of simple one-line titles (each only seven words long):
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  • How to Win Friends & Influence People
Now you know: Your book's title can make or break its reach into the marketplace. So take whatever time you need to come up with a great one.

-Bob

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