Choosing the right title for your acim can make a huge difference when it comes to marketing and selling your book. It’s far easier to sell a book with a great title – even a poorly written book – than it is to sell a great book with a poor title.
Generally, there are two elements to composing a book title. The main title should be short and catchy while the sub-title basically tells the reader the benefits of reading the book. Some titles are self-explanatory and don’t really need a sub-title. However, many authors, particularly new authors, neglect to use a sub-title and as such are losing out on a primary marketing tool.
An example of a great book title that fires the imagination is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This book has no sub-title yet most people who read this title are intrigued to discover just how thinking can make you rich.
However, one of the titles that was originally considered for this book was “Make Oodles with Your Noodles”. Somehow, it doesn’t quite have the same appeal, does it? I doubt that if this title was used for this book that Napoleon Hill’s classic would be as well read as it is today and that would indeed be a shame because so many successful people have been inspired by this book.
But it’s not just new authors who make the mistake of not choosing a great title, bestselling authors can make the same mistake as well. For instance, Robert Allen, author of the bestselling “Multiple Streams of Income” once wrote a book which he initially called “The Challenge”.
Now, “Multiple Streams of Income” is another example of a great book title. How to make money is always a popular topic and who wouldn’t want to learn how to create multiple streams of income? The sub-title of this book is “How to generate a lifetime of unlimited wealth”. It’s what is generally called a “no-brainer”.
However, the title “The Challenge” is another matter. Robert Allen himself later admitted that this was a “terrible” title. A major problem with this title is that it’s too vague and yet it’s not intriguing enough. In addition, many people are sub-consciously put off by the issue of a challenge. People are looking for solutions rather than challenges.
“You don’t walk into a bookstore looking for a challenge. “Nothing Down” was great “Creating Wealth” was great but “The Challenge” where did that go?”
Robert G Allen
Sixty thousand copies of “The Challenge” were originally sold which would be a respectable number of books for many authors but not for someone in Robert Allen’s league. Also, had this book been written by a less well-known author with less book marketing experience it would have probably sold fewer copies.
The publishers gave him back the rights to the book and he later re-released it as “The Road to Wealth”. It was much more successful selling hundreds of thousands more copies.
So don’t underestimate the power of your book title to drive book sales. It’s probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your book and your book marketing strategy. There’s just one caveat to this. Choosing a book title is not a decision you should make entirely by yourself.
When it comes to deciding your book title, seek expert advice and also seek the opinion of your target market. It is often the case that your target market will not be attracted to the same title as you. And no matter how painful the decision to go with a title that you may not be enamoured with it’s far less painful than having your book bomb.