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  • Book Title: How to Create a Perfect Book Title

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    Books - Perfect Bound, Self-publishing

    What’s the most important part of a book when it comes to attracting a reader’s attention? If you said, “the cover,” you’d be right, but a close second is the book title.

    Some authors spend days racking their brains to come up with a catchy, memorable title. Others have picked the book’s title before they even started writing. Even if you’re sure that you have picked the perfect title, it’s worth it to explore other options. You may come up with a title that’s even better than the one you’re set on using.

    Elements of a Great Book Title

    When you think about the most interesting book titles ever published, you’ll notice that they share specific elements. Read these suggestions and examples for inspiration. Do any of these elements apply to your book?


    Some books have titles that seem mysterious. They use fragmented phrases, snippets of quotations. They may use words or concepts that the author invented for the book. The titles draw readers in because they’re deliberately unclear, vague, or mysterious. Consider these examples:

    • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
    • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
    • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
    • Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
    • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
    • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer


    Some book titles feature funny statements that make the reader laugh before they even open the book. These books promise an ironic, satirical, or twisted look at the world. If you’ve written a funny book, give it a funny title.

    • The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
    • Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle
    • Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
    • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
    • The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack
    • My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel
    • The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe
    • Are You Loathsome Tonight? by Poppy Z. Brite

    Evocative of Specific Places

    In some books, the location where the story takes place is just as important as the characters. The title promises that you’ll be transported to another time and place. Is the location of your book important enough to merit placement in the title?

    • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
    • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
    • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
    • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
    • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
    • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

    Literary or Poetic

    Many authors use quotations from poetry, drama, the Bible, or other literary works to title their own works. Was your book inspired by a particular poem or another reading? Do you have a favorite saying or quote? Use it in your title.

    • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (from a 17th-century Persian poem)
    • A Passage to India (from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman)
    • A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve (from Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold)
    • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (from Shakespeare’s The Tempest)
    • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (from the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera)
    • A Time to Kill by John Grisham (from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:3)
    • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (from Shakespeare’s Macbeth)

    Some book titles seem mysterious at first, but as the book develops, their meaning becomes clear. They are related to a specific theme or plot point that is central to the book’s plot or character development.

    • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
    • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre’
    • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

    Start Brainstorming

    Are you ready to get the perfect book title for your book? Start a brainstorming session that fires up your creative side. Have a pen and several pieces of paper at the ready.

    Start a free writing session. Free writing involves writing down everything you can think of about your book. Don’t worry about making sense or coming up with anything resembling a coherent narrative. The whole point is to jot down the first words or phrases that come to your mind when you think about your book, its topic, or your characters.

    Spend 20 to 30 minutes free writing. When your timer dings, you will have a collection of phrases and words that might just lead you to a great title.

    Use a Book Title Generator

    If you’re stuck for ideas—or just want to have some fun—try a book title generator. It’s easy to do. Just “feed” the generator some basic information about your book, and it will come up with several titles in seconds. While you may not get an exact title, you will get some ideas you can adapt into the one that’s perfect for you.

    • TitleCapitalize: This free book title generator needs no login or account setup. Just enter a few words about your book, hit the generator, and watch as dozens of title ideas fill the screen.
    • FictionLit: Another free title generator, this one also allows you to search for suggestions by your book’s genre.
    • GeneratorFun: This is especially good if you’re having trouble coming up with a title for your children’s book.
    • Fantasy Name Generators: To use this generator, you simply choose a genre, and the site creates 10 random book titles for it.

    How to Get the Right Nonfiction Book Title

    If you’re writing a nonfiction book, the rules are a little different. In the nonfiction world, people need to know exactly what your book is about. If you’re set on a title that is creative, intriguing, or humorous, you need a strong subtitle to tell the reader what to expect from your book.

    You can do this more easily with biographies, histories, and books related to social issues. Check out these examples.

    • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen Dubner
    • The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
    • Set the Night on Fire: L.A in the 60s by Mike Davis
    • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

    Book Titles for Guides and How-To Books

    If you’ve drafted an instructional or how-to book, you must sum up the problem and solution in a short, catchy title that leaves little room for the imagination. Your focus should be less on creating intrigue and more on getting right to the point. You can still be creative and catchy. Here are some examples of authors who got it right.

    • How to Draw Cool Stuff: A Drawing Guide for Teachers and Students by Catherine Holmes
    • Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview by Thea Kelley
    • How to Work for an Idiot: Survive and Thrive without Killing Your Boss by John Hoover
    • 101 Magic Tricks: Any Time, Any Place by Bryan Miles

    The Right Book Title Will Sell Your Book

    To help your book stand out, you need a beautiful cover paired with a memorable, catchy title. Get those in place, and you’ve given your book the best possible chance to capture readers’ attention, get reviews, and make more sales.

    We hope you’ve found this guide useful. If you need help with any part of the book publishing process, Dazzle Printing can help. Contact us today or use our free online price calculators.


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