The title is one of the most crucial things to your book’s success. It can draw readers in, or send them away, so it’s important you choose it carefully. These are the things to keep in mind when deciding the title of your book–the things I most considered when choosing the title for my novel, Outliers.
The title needs to mean something to your book. You aren’t going to name your book “Apple”, if it never mentions the fruit once, right? Choose a meaning that reflects your story well. Think about what important words, themes, and symbols are mentioned a lot in your book. For my novel, (to be published this summer!) one of the main reasons I chose the title Outliers, is that an Outlier is a number that stands out, and is often expelled from data. The protagonist and other characters with special abilities are often called Outliers, and the Takers are trying to expel them (from life & society). It doesn’t necessarily have to be an exact word or phrase that is said in the book, either, but just make sure it holds meaning to the story.
Try to make your title interesting, something that will capture the attention of readers. If readers see an uninteresting title, they’re going to assume an uninteresting book. Think about the books you usually pick up. What makes them stick out to you? What makes them memorable? Once you have a working title, you might even want to ask around about what people think when they hear it. A title is a first impression, and you have to make sure it’s a good one (or there probably won’t be a second).
In order to create intrigue, you also have to have some uniqueness. You need to create a title people haven’t seen a thousand variations of. This title needs to be memorable, impactful. You don’t want to have a title so similar to all the others that it becomes forgettable. Obviously some similarities can’t be avoided, there might even be a book or two of a similar title, but try to avoid it where you can. And you don’t only have to look for similar book titles. For example, are you going to title your book Frozen, when you know it’s already a popular movie? Guess what will come up when people search for your book–not your book. Create a title that you think will make people notice your book, want to learn more, and also allow your book not to be washed away in a sea of like titles.
In short, you want to pick a title that represents your book well, and stands out in the eyes of readers.
What’s a book title that’s stood out to you? Do you have a title for your story? What made you choose it?
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With all of this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!