Book titles and subtitles are the “secret sauce” that sell more nonfiction books and build lasting personal brands for their authors.
The right title gives your book and your personal brand a competitive edge that can last for years.
Let’s start with an excellent example of a sales-oriented book title, then move on to 10 example-filled articles and blog posts.
Nancy Ratey’s The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain To Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents illustrates many of the best practices described in #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles, the first book written about choosing nonfiction book titles.
Title must communicate at a glance
One of the best ways to come up with the perfect nonfiction book title is to combine a short, descriptive title with a longer subtitle that provides additional details.
- The Disorganized Mind title says it all. In simple, everyday language, it targets a symptom and targets its intended readers. Like many effective book titles, it’s a metaphor that is easily recognized and easily remembered.
- The positive subtitle builds hope, positions the book, and adds detail. The subtitle’s continues the sales message by promising a positive outcome and emphasizing the word “control.” Equally important, the subtitle’s emphasis on “coaching” positions the book apart from the many books on the topic that emphasize a medicine-oriented solutions.
Message + sound = book sales
But, what I especially like about the the subtitle is the detail it provides at the conclusion of the title, with the alliterative trio, Time, Tasks, and Talents.
Alliteration, repeated consonants, or words beginning with “hard” sounds, sell books (and movies and TV shows). Alliteration creates a pleasing rhythm in the reader’s minds as the words are read.
The more you analyze book and popular culture titles, the more you’re likely to find alliteration present as a title technique.
In this case, the repeated “t” sound at the start of the three words both unifies and underscores the three main benefits that readers will gain from reading The Disorganized Mind.
Do you want to learn more about book titles?
I continue to be fascinated by not only the importance of book titles to book sales and writing success, but also by analyzing the building blocks of book title success. In addition to #Book Title Tweet, here are some other articles and blog posts that analyze the power of book titles and how to choose the right book titles:
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- 6 Characteristics of Effective Book Titles. Survey, with examples, of examples of book titles that illustrate the 6 key characteristics.
- How Book Titles Build Personal Brands. Case study of how architect Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big House series, translated her book into a series, and launched a powerful personal brand.
- How to Use Urgency to Sell More Books. Ideas and tips for selling more books by adding urgency to book titles and subtitles.
- Why Book Titles with Metaphors Sell More Books. Article describing the role of metaphors in book titles and series titles like Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing.
- How to Create SEO-friendly Headlines & Book Titles. Published & Profitable guest post by Susan Daffron.
- Tips for Timeless Book Titles that Build Lasting Brands. Examples of timeless book titles that continue to sell books and build personal brands decades after their first appearance.
- Testing Your Book’s Proposed Title and Subtitle. Ideas and tips for testing your book’s title and subtitle before its too late!
- How to Sell More Books by Choosing a Title That Speaks Directly to Your Reader’s Needs. Article emphasizes importance of using the right type of verb in your book title.
- The 10 Commandments of Nonfiction Book Title Success. Handy summary of what works and what doesn’t work when choosing a title for your book and your personal brand.
- Lessons in choosing book titles that sell & build brands. Analysis of a carefully-positioned book title published by the New York Times.
What are your favorite examples of book titles that do a great job of both selling and personal brand building? Share your favorite book title examples and favorite book title resources as comments, below. Thank you.