- Sunayna Prasad
Coming Up with a Terrific Title
Ah, titles, you’ve got to love them—or dislike them. Titles matter a lot for a book to sell, whether it’s commercially or self-published.
In traditional publishing, the publisher comes up with the titles for books. But in self-publishing, the author is responsible for his or her book title. And that can be a big challenge.
If you don’t know, authors who take the commercial route have to give up control (if they even get accepted, which is super-difficult) for their manuscript. The publishing house decides everything. But if a writer chooses to self-publish, he or she gets to retain full control.
That being said, he or she needs to do homework and research on what would work for getting his or her book to sell. While self-publishing is receiving a better reputation that before, unfortunately, it still has a kind-of weak one. Too many indie authors don’t take careful consideration for their products and will decide on ideas that just appeal to them.
That was an issue with me when I first published the beginning installment of my “Magical Missions” series in 2013. I wanted to use alliteration, so I titled the story, “From Frights to Flaws.” Little did I know that it was a weak title and people said that it hadn’t made sense. When I revised and re-published the new version in 2018, I kept the original title, but added 2nd edition to it. Sales improved, but not to my satisfaction. Once again, I was told that my title made no sense.
So, I did a poll somewhere and came up with an alternate title, “The Frights of Fiji”. The new title pleased people more and got the most votes. I then changed the title, as well as made a few minor updates to the cover, blurb, opening chapter, and even got to have the story be perma-free.
Titles can be difficult to brainstorm. So, now I come up with a few ideas and have people vote for which they think is the strongest. This can be a good idea for when you need to title your book(s).