So you have an idea and want to put it into words. If you are considering writing a new book, everyone has to start somewhere. There is one problem. You haven’t decided on what you will call your new book. The title of your book should reflect what it is about. For example, if you are writing a book of poetry, present a title that reflects the emphasis of the poems written. If you are writing a novel, consider several facets of the book: main character(s), plot, time element (or era), location or an event. If writing an self-help book, select a title that features the main topic. The same concept goes for historical books; choose a time element (or era) or topic the readers will want to read. Even well-established authors have problems putting a name to their new written work. Some writers struggle with this process; however, there are some points to remember:
- If writing a sequel, follow the pattern. Relate your sequel to your first publication in sequence. I find it easier to focus the title on main characters, events, plots, locations or periods of time. Pick a title that will be catchy to the readers’ eyes and easy to interpret throughout your book. You want an attention grabber. For example, if writing a series of novels on the American Revolution, give titles of the colonial themes in that particular era.
- Don’t get caught up on selecting multiple titles. That only causes frustration and delays. Try to limit to two or three titles and decide which one would best fit your book. I find that usually my first choice (not always) is the best.
- Be confident in your choice of titles. Even accomplished writers sometimes dislike the title(s) of previous books. I found this to be true in one of my books. Remember, once published, it is very difficult and often impossible to go back and change the title without spending a bunch of money. In addition, to make any changes to a published work, printing is stopped temporarily until all of the changes are made. This means you will lose money on book sales during that time.
- Enjoy the writing process. Once you name your book, stick with it and write your manuscript. Usually, three months is a reasonable time. Sometimes there are exceptions. If there are interruptions, like personal illness, health issues, family matters or such, it make take longer. There is no maximum length of time to finish your manuscript, no matter what the publisher tells you.
- Avoid super long titles, if at all possible. I’ve seen some books with up to ten words, while others have one word as titles. If you find it difficult to name your book, try splitting it up into a main title and a subtitle. Readers look at very long titles as too complicated to read. They may avoid buying the book and bypass it online or at the bookstore. You need an eye catcher, but not a long pending title.
- The most important point is to not select a title that has already been published by another writer or author. If you find a similar title, change the wording a bit. A good way is to search online websites. Amazon is a good place to start. There are others, such as Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Ingram and Smashwords (an online website for English-speaking writers and authors).
I’m sure I’ve missed a few points along the way. Please add your comments or feedback. I would love to hear from you all.