Week 5: Your Book Coming to Life!

Journey-to-Authorship-Program

Your Book Title        

The title of your book will serve many different functions, so it is imperative that much thought and consideration will go into choosing the right title.

These are the purposes the book title will serve for you:

  • To convince someone that they are interested in purchasing your book.
  • The Cover of Your Book
  • The listing of your book on Amazon
  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • T-Shirts, Flyers and other promotional material
  • Slide Presentations
  • Your Domain Name
  • Book Reviews
  • Book Review Blog Posts
  • Interviews on Radio, Podcasts and TV
  • Guest Blogging Opportunities
  • A Brand Name for Joint Ventures, Courses or Conferences
  • And, something that people will share with their friends!

These are the ingredients of a good Book Title:

  • Short:  A shorter title is easier to remember, to type, write, use as the URL to your website, social media comments or tweets.  Your title should be five words or less, otherwise people will have to use their brains to repeat it.  The easier and faster to say the title, the better, and the fewer the syllables the better.
  • Specific: Aimed at a tightly focused, highly targeted audience.  (Remember your Avatar!)
  • Memorable:  The more specific, original and short the title is, the easier it will be to remember, to write or type into Amazon.
  • Provocative:  It is better to divide a crowd than to bore a crowd.
  • An Obvious Promise:  The best titles promise to solve a problem or help readers achieve a desired goal.  Readers of nonfiction books are looking for help…not entertainment.
  • Image:  The title of a book should project a warm, successful and positive image.
  • Grab Attention:  Engages the readers curiosity
  • Matches the Essence of your Book

Your goal is to differentiate your book in a way that will set it apart from the competition.

Remember:  Make sure that you, (The Author) will not get sick of repeating the title over and over again!

Start Brainstorming

  • Find 20 books on Amazon that are in the same genre as your and whose titles you like.  Write them down, then think both about what you like and what you don’t like about the title.
  • Take out a pad and paper and make a list of words related to your book.  Put them in columns: nouns | verbs | adjectives.  List words that capture what you want your reader to think, do, or feel after reading it.  Also, list words that describe what your book is about.
  • Write down anything that you think conveys the essence of your book.  Use visual words that suggest a scene, create emotion, sensations, location or questions.  Shoot for at least 100 words.
  • Would any of those words work as a single word title?  Experiment with different word combinations, such as an adjective-noun or a verb-noun.  Look up words in your Thesaurus and find as many word combinations as you can.
  • From your lists, come up with at least 20 possible titles.

Then STOP!

Put it away for a minimum of 24 hours.  Often walking away from it lets your mind work on it without the stress.  Your subconscious mind will keep working on it, so that when you return, there is a good chance your eyes will catch fresh possibilities.

  • Now go back to your title list and narrow it down to three to five possibilities.  Perhaps brainstorm with classmates, family, friends and colleagues.
  • Narrow it down to one title.
  • Compare with your list on Amazon, to make sure it is not too similar or generic.

Now ask these questions:

  1. Does the tone of the title match the tone of the book?
  2. Does it convey the message to the right genre?
  3. Will it attract attention?
  4. If the book were sitting on a book shelf with only the spine showing, would it still attract attention?
  5. Would a potential reader have any idea what the book is about just from reading the title?

Have you made your decision?

CELEBRATE!!!

Then wait a month or so while you are still writing, and review your title again.

Do you find yourself emotionally attached to the title you have chosen?

 

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5B:  Your Book’s SubTitle

You have 3 – 4 seconds to ATTRACT someone to your book with a really great hook.

Your book title, subtitle and cover simply must win your target audience’s attention.  Appeal to their egos, their vanity, their needs, their greeds, first.  Once they buy your book, then you can earn their trust with your content.

Let’s face it…writing your book is a HUGE endeavor.  You want to make sure that this book of yours produces results worthy of the months of hard work and effort you have put into writing it.

Most of us are not writing fiction books.  We are writing books to build a business or to support a business that is already established.

Many authors don’t even realize that they should have a subtitle.  If you want people to purchase your book, you have to quickly give them a sense of what it’s about and what’s in it for them.

While titles can and should be punchy and attention getting, a subtitle is generally the workhorse of the two.

It elaborates on the premise established by the title, while providing more of the nuts and bolts of your subject matter.

Adding subtitles to books is an effective way to appeal to potential customers and increase the odds of a book being found online. Subtitles are useful for both fiction and nonfiction and they can even be added to books that are already published.

Your goal is to find a perfect customer who has the mindset, means and resources to implement what you are giving them so that they can be successful.

You are not writing your book for the sake of charity.  You are writing to help focus your time, energy and efforts on multiplying your value…and make money doing so!

This being said,

  • Your target market needs to be specific and have money.  Make sure that you are focusing on a niche or topic with fans who buy.  A niche that is busy and crowded is great because that means there is plenty of room for you.  NOTE:  Do not try to sell to poor people or those who are unaware that they have a problem.
  • The problem that your target market has is a problem that people will pay to have fixed or cured.
  • The benefit or outcome from reading the book you have written and from their implementing what is in that book needs to be something tangible, measurable and easy to understand.
    • If you cannot show and share social proof that you know what you are talking about works and cannot support it with relevant stories, then interview others who has.
    • You can be an instant expert and manufacture credibility by “borrowing” it from published statistics or interviewing other experts.
    • The more PROOF you have in the form of stories, pictures, before and after images, videos, testimonials, endorsements, etc. the better for you!

Basically…if you do not have it…borrow it!

Here is the BIG BONUS!

Amazon’s book and author pages rank highly on Google.  Authors like John Cote (listen to our interview with him), was found online by an event promoter who was searching online for the keyword phrase “Word of Mouth Marketing.”  John got an amazing speaking engagement because Amazon gets great search engine rankings and Google indexed his book…sending his searcher directly to his book…and to him!

Incidentally, that speaking engagement led John to multiple 6 figure deals for John in an industry he knew nothing about!!!  That industry?  Medical Tourism

How did he get found?  Take a look at his SubTitle!

John’s experience has been transforming for him and his family.

Our advice is that an word in your title and subtitle that is cute and clever, needs to GO.  You will have plenty of time to win the hearts of your readers…after they purchase your book!

If you do not HOOK them in 3-7 seconds with a great cover graphic, title and subtitle, you will lose them.

Our goal is to help you win their attention, appeal to their needs and gain their trust

Consider this:

If you went to a hairstylist and the stylist was dressed like a homeless person, how would you feel/react?

If a rolex watch was packaged in a crumpled up cardboard box, would you think it is worth $15,000?

If you decided you wanted plastic surgery, would you skimp on how much you would pay the surgeon?  What is your impression when you see someone who went to a horrible plastic surgeon???

Treat your book like it is your face, and spend the time and effort to choose the perfect title, subtitle and cover graphics.

Nonfiction Subtitles

Nonfiction books often have a short, catchy main title, followed by a longer, more descriptive subtitle. The subtitle is a good place to clarify the benefits of the book, identify the target audience, and include keywords that people might search for online. Here are some sample subtitles:

  • 15 Ways Young Adults Can Build Good Credit
  • The Easy Way for New Mothers to Lose Weight
  • A 10 Step Plan for First Time Entrepreneurs

Here is a basic formula:

T   This book is for_______________________(describe your audience/avatar, who has/have___________________(problem), so that you can (get a benefit, result, outcome, etc.

Ok, so let’s get down to work…and do not be afraid to test, refine, tweak, rinse and repeat!

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