Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Art of the Title

Finding the right title for your book is crucial. An inspired title can create the right buzz for the book and help it along in its journey towards success.

Today, I have on my blog Debeshi Gooptu Bakshi. She is a former journalist turned author who lives and works in Gurgaon. Debeshi's book which was published by Juggernaut Books in January 2017 goes by the intriguing and creative title of Dragon Aunty Returns

In this post, Debeshi talks about how you can ensure you have a title that is unique and memorable...



Do not judge a book by its cover.

Isn’t this a proverb all of us have grown up hearing and believing?

Ironically though, proverb aside, books tend to be judged by their titles and covers. People do it all the time. How many times have you walked into a bookstore and been wowed by a fantastic title and cover of a book whose author you knew nothing about? I’m guessing – quite often!

Despite what life tells you, the cover and title of a book is very important and, as an author, you need to make sure you spend precious time conjuring these up. The reason I say conjure is because your title should be like the white rabbit you pull out of the hat. A magic trick no one else can replicate. That will ensure your book will live on in the memory of your readers forever. Your Unique Selling Proposition. Isn’t that what all us authors want?

To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Little Women, The Great Gatsby, The Kite Runner, The Mistress of Spices, Fear of Flying, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, My Name is Red, these are some of my favourite books. Don’t you just marvel at the ingenuity and creativity behind the evocative titles? Wouldn’t you be tempted to read books with names such as these? If you haven’t already!

The other day, an author I know was tweeting about a thriller she had written and the title intrigued me. I went looking for the book on Amazon and found ten other books with the same name! It took me a while to get to the book I was looking for. It turned out to be a lovely read. What a shame about the repetitive titles though. A brilliant book, buried in lists of books with the same name and nothing else in common.

So what does one do to create a title for a book that cannot be copied by anyone else? With copyright laws being dodgy, there is no way to actually copyright a book title. But you can do the following to make sure your title is safe.

Make it Short - Make sure your title is short and attention-grabbing. A long meandering sentence is not a good idea. You can have a sub-title if you need one.

Conveys what the Book is About - The book title should give an idea of what you are writing about and that’s not the easiest task in the world. To summarise thousands of words into a 3 to 4 word title. Put your thinking cap on and get creative. Be funny if your genre is humour. Not otherwise.

Evocative - The title should be evocative and resonates with your readers.

Run a Search for Similar Names - The best thing to do is run a search to make sure someone hasn’t already written a book with the same name before.

Once you have ticked off all the boxes, you can only pray that once the book is published, no one comes up with the same name. Great minds do think alike you know! Here’s wishing you luck on that one!


Do you have a favourite book title? Would love to hear your thoughts about why you love it.


2 comments :

  1. Good article. wishing the very best for Debeshi's new book. The title itself is relly intriguing.

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    1. It is indeed,Preethi. Thanks for visiting!:)

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