5 Tips for Choosing Your Title

60 Second Advice by Anne Brees

Choosing your title can be a nerve-wracking process. It is supposed to represent everything that your novel is in just a few words. How could you possibly know the right words to choose?

  1. Look at the titles within your genre. Sometimes looking at similar books can give you inspiration for ways to name your book. For example, a lot of dystopian books have the trend of having one word names. This will also help in the marketing of your book.
  2. Search for synonyms. Sometimes you have the right idea for your title, but it just doesn’t flow smoothly. If you simply google ‘[your word] define’, a list of synonyms will appear below the definition. These can help you find the perfect words for your perfect title.
  3. Experiment with different forms of speech. Once you get the right words, sometimes they still don’t flow. Sometimes you simple need to change the form of speech. Say you wanted your title to be something like “The Honesty Search”. That doesn’t flow very well. Change “search” from a noun into a verb. Now you have “Searching for Honesty”. You could change “honesty” from a noun into an adverb. “Honestly Searching” or “Searching Honestly”. You can get a variety of different titles by simply changing the form of speech.
  4. Define what is most important for your character. Your title should represent your book. Find what is at the heart of your book and try to turn that into the title. If you use this strategy, your readers will have one of those ‘a-ha moments’ when they see how your title fits perfectly into your book.
  5. Make sure there are no similarly titled books. It’s horrible for marketing to have a similarly titled book. People will constantly be confused about which book is the correct one if they don’t know your name.

Remember: If you are getting your book traditionally published, you don’t always get to chose your title. Sometimes the publishers change it. However, your title is generally the first thing that agent see when you query to them. Your title is important, even if it isn’t the final one chosen.

How do you choose your titles?


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