Naming novels is an important action. What title did you choose?
As a writer, I know how important a title of a novel or any story can be. It’s part of the first impression a potential reader has about your book. Pair it with an intriguing cover, and there’s no way that reader will put your book down. How do you choose a name that hasn’t been used excessively and will catch the reader’s attention?
The process is different for everyone, but here’s a few tips to help you find the best one.
Write a List
There is something called a ‘working title’, which means it’s the title for your book right now, but it could change later. You don’t have to go with the first title you choose, so brainstorm several different ones with a central theme.
Personally, I like titles that are short and snappy. Something that piques interest, but doesn’t require you to stop and take a breath to finish saying it. I find that titles are longer when it’s a self-help book because it has a main title, followed by a colon. Children’s book titles are very straight forward like The Cat in the Hat or Charlotte’s Web. It tells you exactly what is going to be in the book with as few words as possible.
Find Inspiration in Your Genre
I mentioned two genres prior (children’s and self-help), but there are several out there to discover. If you have an idea of what genre your book is closest to, Google the best titles in that genre. Some titles can defy genres, or combine two, but do your best to categorize it. It might give you an idea of the phrasing you want to use in your title, and let you know which titles have already been taken.
Don’t Spoil the Story!
You want a title that will intrigue the reader, but not give away the whole story. It needs to pair with the description on the back of the book (sometimes on the inside of the sleeve) to give the reader a tidbit. You wouldn’t name a mystery novel The Butler Did It, if he in fact is the killer. That gives the whole story away, and there wouldn’t be much point for the reader to buy it.
That title might work if it’s meant to be comedic/satirical. It could be one of the themes in the story without giving anything away. Since that line is quite cliche, it could intrigue some readers to learn more about your book. Did the butler really do it? Why is everyone always picking on the butler?
The point is to think about what’s in the story and choose a title that represents some of the main themes, characters, and plot lines without telling the reader how it ends or revealing the biggest plot twists.
Google When Naming Novels
It can be tough to find a title that isn’t used or unique enough to be the only thing that comes up in a search engine. I failed to do this with my first novel, and there’s tons of books on Good Reads that have the same name. If you Google your chosen name and find a huge hit coming up in the results, your book title might get buried or confused for the already popular book. If that happens, figure out a similar title you could use, or choose a new one entirely.
Be Proud of the Name
When you finally choose a name, be proud of it. Be confident that the name will be enough, along with the book cover and description, to get the reader’s attention. Don’t overthink it too much, as your writing talent is most important. Go with your gut, ask opinions of others, and put your book out there with a smile on your face. Good luck!
Thanks for reading this! What advice do you have for naming novels?
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