Many of us have at least an idea about a book we’d like to write. If you spend some time clarifying your idea, you should be able to come up with a heading to put at the top of the proverbial blank page that no one likes to face. Your heading will serve as your guidepost, something to help you steer the flow of your thoughts, questions, and ideas to write down for THIS book. (You may discover that you have important things to say which don’t fit under your heading, so note these elsewhere in order not to lose them. Use your heading and stick to the topic at hand.) 

I always call this my “working title” because it almost certainly is going to evolve, change, and end up differently on the final cover of my book. So, you don’t need to fret about it being the perfect title at this point. Its job is to inspire you to write the book so that eventually there is a cover needing a final title. 

Here are some tips for creating a good working title (and later, your final title) for your nonfiction book.

  • Is the title easy to say (pronounce) and remember?

People who read your book will want to tell everyone about it, right? Make that easy for them. Shorter titles are easier to remember and to share.  Many best-sellers have only one, two, or three words.  Go for five words or less.  Examples you know:   Awakenings; The HelpAmerican Sniper; Thirteen Days; Unbroken.

  •  Does the title arouse curiosity?

Evoke curiosity without being too cryptic. Have a hook or intriguing point. 

Good examples: Into the Abyss; The Accidental President; When Breath Becomes Air. 

The title gives a hint related to the topic.  

Don’t worry; you’ll have yards of words at your disposal when you write your subtitle. That’s where you give more of a description, or your promise to the reader. (And you’ll include plenty of SEO key words.) Example: 

The Forgotten 500:

The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II

3) Does the title help those tuned in to WII-FM ?  

A prospective reader is checking out “What’s in it for me?” Think about YOUR target reader and his or her strongest interest. Your title can indicate some value, a reason why it’s worth their investment of money and time. It can imply the benefits.

Back Smart; Real Estate Rescue; Your Money or Your Life.

Just as a captivating title will get people’s attention, writing down your WORKING TITLE will get YOUR attention.  Creating a working title will help you clarify your topic, think about your target reader, and stay focused as you write your many points and ideas.  

Did you know that Barbara Dee has a complete blueprint you can use to plan and write your book? Click here

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