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How To Choose a Title for Your Novel

How To Choose a Title for Your Novel


The success of your book can depend on the title that you choose. The title is the first thing that most potential readers will see about your novel. It largely determines whether they pick the book up, look further into it and then buy it – or not!

Generally, a book’s title gives the reader something to think about. It should be a basic description of what the book is about and it should convey the tone of the story.

The book title is the author’s invitation to potential readers to come into his or her world of fiction and stay for a while.

  1. A Good Book Title
  2. A good title will help you sell your book to the general public – as well as to a publisher. Its purpose is to create interest in your story. It can make the reader want to buy the book – even before opening it.

    An exciting title will have captivating words. It grabs the readers’ attention and entices them to read further. It creates curiosity about the content of the book by telling the reader something about the moral of the story or a deeper meaning of the book. While a title has to be relevant to the story, it should not give away too much detail about the plot or the ending.

  3. A Bad Book Title
  4. A bad book title can turn off potential buyers altogether. A wrong title can give a bad impression by misleading potential readers. For example a love story should not be called, Killer Puppies.

    Likewise, boring titles can turn people away from your book – by failing to draw them in.


  1. Some Do’s
    • Word play is good, something with double meaning that keeps the reader guessing – but not misleading
    • Use keywords or names from the story, something that best describes the content, theme, location or setting of the story, or a meaningful quote from the book, or the name of a character in the story
    • Use catchy words, something memorable
    • Choose a keyword then expand on it (Love becomes His Mighty Love or Impossible Love)
    • Decide how much of the story you want to give away in the title
    • Use keywords or phrases that give a partial summary of the book

  2. Some Don’ts
    • Stay away from titles that have been previous used in the same genre as yours, recently published or over-used titles – they can confuse people
    • Should not be long – not more that 5 or 6 words
    • Don’t be misleading – Out of the Darkness He Crept is not appropriate for a book about Christian romance
Choosing a title for your book is about marketing.

It is about selling your story to potential buyers by creating interest.

I am grateful to numerous articles on the web on choosing a book title for the source material for this article. Search on “How To Choose a Title for a Novel” for countless articles on this topic.

Akili Kumasi
G.I.L. Publications

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