Last Updated on: January 3rd, 2017
Book titles are not as easy to create you might think. Neither are blog post titles!
Non-fiction books are sort of like blog posts. Just longer.
So are e-books.
And, just like with blog posts, if you don’t have a catchy, captivating title, no one is going to read your content.
More and more bloggers are becoming non-fiction authors now. BUT they don’t always create the best titles!
But if you want to have a high-ranking book or e-book on Amazon (or elsewhere), you need to have an awesome book title.
There are many ways you can create such a title.
There are also many tools you can use to do so.
In this article, we will look at the 5 ways for creating an awesome book or e-book title.
We will also look at which 4 tools you can use to do this.
But before looking at the steps of the title creation process and the tools you can use to create a book or e-book title, we will first look at the difference between books and e-books as well as the publishing pros and cons for each.
What’s the Difference between Books and E-books?
An e-book is an electronic book, usually a PDF (portable document format), that readers can access from either a computer screen, a tablet/iPad, or a mobile device.
A book is essentially the same thing, but is also made available in print. Printed books are typically longer than e-books, but not always.
With the advent of self-publishing and the creation of POD (Print On Demand) companies (such as CreateSpace), anyone can now become a legitimate author.
Most people use Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to publish e-books.
In the words of Pat Flynn (from his e-book), “Kindle has become a prominent force in the publishing world, and can now provide the same amount of authority as you’d get with a print book.”
However, there are pros and cons to creating and publishing both e-books and print books.
The Benefits of Publishing Books or E-books
The major benefit of publishing either type of book is that you can earn passive income (also called residual income). This is money you earn even when you are not actively working!
(Active income, on the other hand, is money that stops coming to you when you stop working.)
Another benefit is to ramp up your expertise in a particular field. Publishing will offer you credibility as an expert.
Once you’re a published author, you can also offer public speaking services. Many authors speak via Ted Talks or TedX Talks. Others appear on talk shows (such as Oprah!). You can also organize your own event to speak at, or seek out opportunities to speak at other events.
Plus, you can have book signings, be invited to be a guest author, become a guest for radio and TV programs, and even boost your business through branding.
When others see that you’re an author, they will see your photo, logo, colors and graphics, and will consider you as an “instant expert” in your niche. This will brand you as the go-to business for your area of expertise.
Becoming an author will also boost your confidence, open doors to more paid opportunities, and even help you earn more sales through your business or acquire more clients or customers.
It will also allow you to grow your email list and get more traffic to your blog!
The Pros and Cons of Publishing Books
- Easier to read
- People are more comfortable purchasing a hard copy book
- More difficult to pirate
- You get fulfillment of seeing your published work in stores
- Hard copy (printed books) are more expensive to create
- You face the possibility of not having enough books printed for number of orders, creating the problem of having backorders
The Pros and Cons of Publishing E-books
- They are easier and faster to create
- You can automate the delivery process
- There is no such thing as backorders or oversupply because you have an infinite amount of electronic copies
- You have no printing or publishing fees (other than perhaps creating a cover image)
- E-books are easy to give away for free to others (often done in exchange for reviews)
- It is easy to correct errors and issue revisions or updates
- It is harder to get people to buy an e-book (according to some people)
- Security and piracy is an issue
- It might be harder to read than a hard copy book
- You might have less satisfaction as an author because others might view it as not a “real” book
Why Your Book or E-book Title is So Important
There are many reasons why your book or e-book title is so important.
Your title serves many functions. It will be used to get others interested in your book. It will be used on your cover. It will be used in your Amazon listing. It will be used in your advertising, marketing, and branding promotions
It also might be used in your promotional products, such as T-shirts, flyers, or other promotional materials you create, such as presentation slides, and/or a special website you create solely for your book (in the domain name).
Your title will also be used in book reviews and in the titles of blog posts by those who will write book reviews for you.
It might also be used as a one-line bio on TV or for magazine articles, as the brand name for other ventures (courses, conferences), and “The thing readers (hopefully) will say to their friends 5000 times”!
Your book title can also help you establish your authority in a subject and even be a start for a series of books.
And it definitely needs to be good so that you have high sales conversions! 😉
How to Write a Good Book or E-book Title
Writing a good book or e-book title is difficult. It’s almost like performing a science experiment!
This is because there are many different elements you need to consider. In fact, there are 6 really important ones.
The 6 Elements of a Good Book or E-book Title
A good title should:
1: Grab your attention.
2: Be memorable and specific.
3: Be informative (give an idea of what the book or e-book is about).
4: Be easy to say and not be embarrassing or problematic for someone to say aloud to their friends.
5: Be short enough to fit into Tweets when you’re promoting it.
6: Be something you won’t get tired or sick of saying repetitively (because you will be saying it a lot!).
For more information, read How to Title a Book: Making Titles That Sell.
How to Write a Great Book Title suggests that you also “avoid clichéd nouns like ‘chronicles,’ ‘tale’ and ‘adventure’ in your title,” make your title original, and “use literary devices like puns, alliteration, and plays on established titles to make your book memorable.”
While they also suggest that you “don’t be afraid of long titles,” you should bear in mind that you can have a subtitle for your book or e-book, and that this subtitle can be longer than the title.
You can also have a longer title and a shorter subtitle. It all depends upon your personal choice, and the topic and genre of your book.
Should You Subtitle Your Book or E-book?
This is the question that has everyone asserting a different opinion.
Some say YES. Some say NO.
I say IT’S UP TO YOU.
If you are writing a fiction book or e-book, you don’t need a subtitle.
However, if you are writing non-fiction, you should have one. Your subtitle is your explanation.
And if you are planning on selling your book on Amazon (which you probably will, because it’s one of the largest online retailers), then you should consider creating a subtitle for your book or e-book.
Amazon provides you with the option of allowing you to have a subtitle.
By including a subtitle, you are increasing your chances of ranking higher in search results.
According to Amazon, “Titles are the most frequently used search attribute” and “The subtitle should contain the actual subtitle of your book as it appears on your book’s cover in order to provide the most optimal reader experience. Do not insert anything in the subtitle field besides the actual subtitle of your book. Book subtitles that are unnecessarily long, or contain extraneous terms, can lead to inaccurate or overwhelming search results and impair readers’ ability to make good buying decisions.”
Also, according to their guidelines, “Your title and subtitle together must be fewer than 200 characters. The subtitle will appear on your book’s detail page, and must adhere to the same guidelines as your title.”
Here is an example for you. You can see the title and subtitle in the above screenshot.
From NOPE to HOPE: How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts and Live a Happier Life contains 76 characters, and is the title and subtitle of the e-book I will be publishing soon. Note that it is non-fiction.
Because Amazon also asks you to categorize your book or e-book in a browse category, if you include a subtitle for it, you will have a better idea of which categories you can list it in. You are allowed 2 categories.
“A browse category is the section of the Kindle store where users can browse to your book. Think of the browse category like the sections of a physical bookstore (fiction, history, and so on). You can select up to two browse categories for your book. Precise browse categorization helps readers find your book, so identify the most appropriate categories for your book.”
My e-book will be categorized in
1: BODY, MIND & SPIRIT > Inspiration & Personal Growth
2: SELF-HELP > Motivational & Inspirational
Once you think you have come up with the perfect title and subtitle, you should think of two or three more, and get feedback on them. Poll others in Facebook groups and Google+ communities. Ask your friends which one is best, and get them to tell you why.
The more feedback you get, the better your title will become.
Often, your title (and subtitle) will go through many revisions before it is perfect.
I can say the same for the cover, too! But that’s another topic, for another day. 😉
However, if you’re curious… here are the two covers currently in the running for my e-book (and the watermark from the second one WILL be removed):
5 Ways for Creating an Awesome Title… and Which Tools to Use
Once you have gone through the 10-step process of planning and writing your book, you’re going to need a book title.
And now that you understand why a title is so important, here are X ways you can create one.
Write down all of your ideas and thoughts. You can use a mind map, which you can create by brainstorming my way.
“A mind map is a diagram for representing tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject.”
For specific help on brainstorming using the concepts from your book or e-book, read Picking the Perfect Book Title. It provides ideas for both fiction and non-fiction books.
2: You can ask others for help.
This is a no-brainer and doesn’t need much in the way of explanation. However, whom you ask is important.
Feedback on your book title is critical to your book’s success. If someone doesn’t like the title, chances are that they won’t read your book.
Would you read a book called Eat, Eat, and Eat Some More?
I doubt it. It sounds silly, and it doesn’t tell you what the book is about. (Is it about weight loss, or how to get fat?)
But I bet you would read a book called How to Eat Your Way to Your Ideal Weight, especially if weight loss was one of your goals!
Recently I helped a blind man publish a book. The title he chose was It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag. Clearly, you can see from the title that weight loss is what the book is about, and you can infer that portion size is one of the topics that will be discussed in the book.
3: Remember to Use Keywords
Keywords are words that are searched for often, and allow you to rank high in the search engines.
SEO (search engine optimization) is something that is important when deciding your title. You want your book to be found by strangers, right?
The Importance of Keywords to Ranking Your Book on Amazon provides you with help on choosing appropriate keywords, and where to place them – in your title or subtitle.
How to Choose the Right Kindle Keywords teaches you:
- the difference between “Amazon Keywords” and “SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Keywords”
- 2 methods for finding more money-making keywords
- where to place your keywords so as to increase your rankings and exposure
- and… the Kindle software that does everything for you within a few clicks!
Take a look at the tutorials! This software is easy to use!!!
>>>BUY IT NOW<<<
4: Experiment using different title generator tools.
1 – You can start your brainstorming session by using Portent’s Title-Maker tool.
This will give you a rough idea for a working title (and subtitle).
2 – You can use any of these 15+ creative title generator tools (even though they are mostly used for blog posts, they are great for creating book titles too!).
3 – You can also check your title using CoSchedule’s Blog Post Headline Analyzer.
This will analyze your title (and subtitle) using four criteria for the words you have chosen for your title. They are: common words, uncommon words, emotional words, and power words.
It will provide you with a percentage score, which you can then re-test after you have altered your title (and subtitle).
Manipulation of this tool to improve your score will help you create a better title for your book or e-book.
It will also tell you your title type, how your book will look in Google, and how it will look in email subject lines.
5 – You can use Moz’s Keyword Explorer to help you target keywords for your book or e-book.
The only problem with this tool is that it limits you to 2 queries/searches per day.
5: Consider the description of your book or e-book.
How will you describe your book or e-book to others, and to Amazon?
Can you clearly describe it one sentence, or do you need a few?
Book descriptions do not have to be limited to one sentence, but you should be able to tell someone what your book is about within a few.
Amazon allows you 4000 characters to describe your book. However, this also includes any html code that is added to it. For example, if you want certain sections of your description to appear bolded or italicized, you need to have a description that is shorter than 4000 characters to allow for the characters of the code to be inserted.
After Publishing on Amazon…
Once you have created your title (and subtitle) for your book or e-book, and have published it on Amazon, you can then use the Amazon Sales Rank Calculator to help you understand the connection between Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank number and Kindle e-books sold per day, so that you can improve your sales!
Where Are YOU in Your Writing and Publishing Journey?
Are you in one of these 4 phases to a successful online author’s life?
Are you still in the “idea stage”?
Regardless of where you are, you can ask me for help with publishing your book.
I’m here for you!