The title of the book is one of the first things that potential readers notice. In addition to the cover, this often decisive influencing factor is whether readers take a closer look at a book and inform themselves further about it or quickly devote themselves to the next book. You should therefore think about it in advance and find a suitable book title.
In this article, we will show you how to find a suitable book title for your publication and which mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
1. You take the first book title that comes to mind.
You spend months writing your book. Now it’s finally done and all you have to do is find a suitable book title. Your first idea doesn’t sound so bad. Quickly put it on the cover and finally publish the book. Stop! To get the best result and the largest possible sales of your book, you should invest more than one thought in your book title. We present you with some ways to find a book title.
- Find a book title about the plot
The easiest way is to go over the plot and try to find a book title about it. Many book titles describe what happens in history and have become very successful with it.
for example: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by Joanne K. Rowling
- Find book titles – place and time
Another way to find a book title is the place or time in which the story takes place. This already reveals a lot about your plot and makes many readers curious about what could happen in this place.
for example: “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie or “Night on the Seine” by Jojo Moyes
- The name of the main character
Names are also popular book titles. Many authors simply choose the name of their main character as the book title for their stories.
For example “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare
- Find provocative or striking book titles
If your readers stop in front of your book in the store and talk about the title, then you have done everything right. This is particularly easy to achieve if you find a provocative or eye-catching book title.
for example: “Passing the ass also goes away” by Alexandra Reinwarth or “The four hours week” by Timothy Ferris.
2. The found book title is already protected.
With all the millions of books and e-books, you may find a book title that is already in use by another author. In contrast to other countries such as the USA, in Germany book titles can be protected by title protection. So if you want to publish a book, you should definitely research whether your desired book title is already protected. Always the first release of a title counts as the original. Otherwise, publishers or authors could threaten you with legal consequences and assert their claims.
3. Your book title consists of one word
One-word titles are not wrong per se. But the likelihood that other authors will already use the same book title increases enormously. In addition, it can quickly happen that your book title quickly gets lost in the mass of books published daily.
If you decide on a book title that consists of only a single word, you should definitely ask yourself the following questions in advance:
- Is the title already assigned or reserved?
- is the chosen word exactly matching the content of my book?
- Are there synonyms for the word that I have not yet considered?
Tip: One-word book titles are particularly commonly used in the genres of crime and thriller. Here you should also make sure that there is no confusion because words sound very similar. For example, if you want to publish a thriller with the word “damned”, you should definitely keep in mind that there are already numerous thrillers with a similar word sound. For example, “Damnation” by Stieg Larsson. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage when you publish it. Here you should consider for yourself whether you want to achieve this similarity or rather find a new book title.
Your book title is very long or complicated
Also, the opposite, a very long or complicated book title, can have a negative impact on the success of your book. Very long and especially complicated titles, e.B. by foreign words or foreign names, will hardly be remembered by a reader. This may have a negative effect on word-of-mouth recommendations. On the other hand, long book titles quickly catch the eye and can thus arouse the interest of readers. Of course, it must be borne in mind that the book title accordingly occupies the majority of the designed book cover.
By the way: If you have not yet been able to find a suitable book title, we also recommend taking a look at the current list of customers. Here you get help several times:
Recognizing current trends
You will get a feel for current trends in the book industry and can thus derive the following points for your own book title:
Of course, if you want to find a suitable book title, you should not only rely on the current trends. However, a look at the bestseller list can still be helpful to get an idea of current publications and book titles from other publishers and authors.
You can get inspired by other book titles and maybe even derive your own book title. Do you particularly like the sound of a title? Or do you find the book particularly interesting, in which the author already asks a direct question to the readers in the title? Do not hesitate to transfer this to your own publication and thus find a suitable book title.
5. You do not use keywords.
This point mainly appeals to advice and non-fiction authors. Especially as the author of a non-fiction work, you can increase your findability by using keywords in the book title. Readers search for specific terms when they are looking for new reading. You should research these search terms and identify the keywords most relevant to your book. Then try to find a book title that uses one or even more of these keywords. But beware: Don’t use too many keywords in one title. This quickly seems unnatural and may even be a deterrent. Good keyword research pays off and is also useful for other metadata of your publication.
In order to include further keywords in your book title or to explain it, you can work with a subtitle, especially for non-fiction works. This explains their book title in more detail and helps potential readers to narrow down the choice of the right book.
For example: “Vegan in four weeks – how to start a healthier life” or “Become an author in a year – in 12 steps to the first novel”.
Even fiction titles sometimes work with subtitles. Here, however, above all, a series affiliation is shown.
For example: “Damnation – the second part of the Millennium Trilogy” or “Murder on the Coast – a North Sea Thriller”
6. Your book title does not arouse curiosity
Book titles that are too long or too meaningless are quickly overread. The books, therefore, sell worse than those with a particularly striking title. Be sure to try to arouse curiosity with your book title and to stay in the memory of your readers.
Many authors think very long and hard about a suitable book title and others find it spontaneously in the writing process. For example, to find suitable book titles, you could go into a brainstorming session. For example, you could write down all the titles, words, and associations that come to mind in your book. This can be chaotic and unsorted – sometimes the best ideas arise.
What is brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a creativity technique in which you first write down all your ideen, collect them, and then sort them into specific categories. For detailed brainstorming, you should take a lot of time and prepare a pen and paper. You can now create certain supercategories in advance or simply think about them. In the case of the book title, you could narrow it down into the following categories:
- Title with one word
- Title with place or time
- Title with name
- Questions and longer titles
Then try to sort out your ideas. For example, you can create a large collection and create everything in individual subcategories. And then it is sorted out. Delete all titles that:
- You have already been able to find them during a search in the VLB or on another page
- Which does not immediately trigger an association with your book
- That is misleading or have a strange sound
- Which are very complicated
Maybe you’ve already found the perfect book title. Or you have a small list that you can continue to work with and that you can constantly refine.
7. You don’t get feedback
If you are still unsure, you could also ask other authors or acquaintances if they have ideas for a suitable title. Of course, these people should know a little something about your story or maybe even have already read it. This allows you to quickly evaluate whether the title fits your book. You can ask the following questions in conversation:
- Does the title make you curious and would you become aware of the book?
- Is the title understandable or can it possibly be misunderstood?
- Do you like the sound of the title?
- Is the title too long or too short?
- Does the title reveal enough, but not too much about the content of the book?
- We are sure: together you can surely find a suitable book title!
We hope that after reading our article, you have been able to collect some new ideas for suitable titles or even find a book title. If you have any further questions, just take a look around our site.
Surely you have already made quite a bit of progress in your novel. If you need further help or are thinking about how best to publish your novel, we recommend one of our further articles.