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The book title must grab my interest in just a few words. I personally do not like titles that are so long I feel as if I have read the book.
- I want my curiosity to be peaked.
- It should make me want to pick up the book and read the back cover.
- Then I open it and randomly read a few paragraphs as I flip through the pages.
Here are sample of titles that are intriguing and eye-catching:
To Kill A Mockingbird
Gone With the Wind
Gift From The Sea
And, I did buy and enjoyed every one of them. My favorite is Desiree.
Certainly longer titles have worked for many successful authors:
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent,
Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire
Often it is the non-fiction books that have the longer titles. My book is a perfect example: Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Just having “Outshine” did not seem enough. Just “Ovarian Cancer” sounded too boring. So, it became Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.
Here are some thoughts to consider:
- Does the title give at least a strong hint as to what or who the book is about?
- Is a character or sentence from the book a clever title?
- Is my title original? Google to see if other books have the same title.
- Have two or three ideas and then ask friends, family, or members of a book club for feedback.
If the title is intriguing or informative enough for the potential reader to pick it up, then it is the right title. The most important part of selecting a title is that it is meaningful to you. You must be proud of the title and feel good standing behind it.
Karen Ingalls is a retired registered nurse with a master’s degree in human development, which was a double major in psychology and human services. She is the author of the award winning book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir from which all proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. Her second novel is Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Her first novel, Novy’s Son challenges the reader to examine the issues of alcoholism, sexual addiction, and family dynamics. She has also written poetry, short stories, and has had articles published for professional journals. Karen also does presentations to promote her books and on subjects of health/wellness.
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