How to Choose a Book Title That Tells a Story

Posted December 3rd @ 6:48 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

To sell more books, choose a book title that tells a story, like Thomas Forrest Kelly’s First Nights: Five Musical Premiers.

This involves choosing a title and subtitle that communicates the facts and tells a story that will emotionally resonate with readers.

The strength of the title is the emotional appeal of getting an inside look at the drama of the opening night, combined with the composer’s journey to the opening night.

If you are a classical music lover, and you’re familiar with some of the “first night” stories–like the rioting that followed the first performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, you’ll understand the magnetic appeal of First Nights.

Using emotion to broaden the reach of your nonfiction book title

First Nights offers important lessons for anyone writing a nonfiction book to promote their expertise and build their personal brand.

Why? Because a book title that resonates sets your book apart from its competition.

A title that resonates also establishes an urgency and desire to buy not present in less interesting, simply factual titles. It does this by promising a more interesting reading experience.

There are tens of thousands of books about music history and the lives of the various classical composers, but, in just five words, First Nights: Five Musical Premiers cuts through the clutter.

Perhaps the best indicator of the success of the First Nights title is that it lead to a “repeat performance,” Thomas Forrest Kelly’s First Nights at the Opera, another 5-word title that says it all!

A strong title will also appeal to a broader market, giving you more opportunities to build relationships with more prospects.

Choosing your own story-telling book title

To apply the lessons of these “first night” stories to the nonfiction book you’re writing to build your personal brand, ask yourself: “What are the emotional moments associated with your topic or area of expertise?”

  • Turning points. What are the turning points where the information you’re sharing in your book would be most useful to prospective readers?
  • Language. What are the words your market uses when they’re in turning-point situations?
  • Before and after comparisons. What are the words your market uses when things go wrong, and they need the type of advice and assistance you offer? Likewise, What are the words your market uses when help a client successfully solve their problem you help them achieve a goal?

Often, the words you and your clients use in everyday conversation can provide the title you need to choose a book title that tells a story–your story! If you know of any other book titles that tell stories, please share them below, as comments!

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