How To Come Up With A Good Book Title: The title of a book is the very first impression a writer gives about his book. Serving as a first impression, this makes it challenging for writers to arrive at a title which is satisfactory to them and as well fulfills the purpose of a book title. Book title is the name ascribed to a book by the writer. The title ascribed to a book should have some reference to the content of the book. Titles are not given to a book without purpose. A book title should be one that reflects on the content of the book either by way of symbolism, foreshadowing, and even the central idea.
A good book title should be able to grab readers’ attention and trigger their curiosity as to the content of the book. Book title need not be complex or sophisticated; it should rather be unique and memorable. It should be simple as such that can be easily internalized and reproduced. A good book title should bear an expectation and should have some level of suspense.
The tone of the title should also reflect on the tone of the content. Long titles are not always encouraged. It seems best to use concise titles. Your book title should be evocative; it should be such that brings forth memories, mood, feeling and imagery. Having pointed out the nature and expectation of a book title, here are tips on how to arrive at a good title for your book.
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How To Come Up With the Perfect Book Title
1. Finish writing the book first: The prominent African writer, Wole Soyinka stated that he choosed the title of his book, “The Man Died” long after he had completed the book. He pointed out that he had conflicts choosing its title. Book titles are never chosen first before the writer beings the book. An inspiration on a suitable title can be had at any point even after the book has been completed.
As a matter of fact, writers continue to alternate their chosen title even when the work is close to being published. Finishing the books before arriving at your preferred title is not a bad practice at all.
In fact, it is a much recommended practice. Don’t go focusing on having a title yet while your work is still in progress. This does not mean that you shouldn’t at least have a draft title. You should rather focus on the purpose of the writing, the theme and the central ideas. It is the theme and the central ideas that bear the direction at which the writing is heading to. You can always get a suitable title after the work has been completed.
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2. Make a list of your suggested titles: By the time you are done with the book, a number of titles are already hovering in your mind. It is best to put them down in writing. If you come across more ideas, you can always add them to the list. This makes it a lot easier; you would be left with enough options to choose the most suitable from the list by elimination method.
3. Engage an editor: An editor is an expert in the writing and publishing field. Your editor would certainly have to specifically peruse through your book in the course of editing it. Therefore, he will be well abreast with the information contained in it.
Asides proffering his suggestions, your editor can evaluate the list of your options and know what is best for your book. You can as well extend the engagement to your friends. Your friends can help you suggest a name from the theme and the central ideas of your book.
4. Beware of Existing Titles: The title of your work should not be found fighting for a space with an already existing title. One of the features of a good book title is that it must be unique. It is best for it to be a title that has not formerly been used by another author.
Therefore, to arrive at a good book title, a writer should conduct searches in check of an existing conflicting title. The implication of using an existing book title is the absence of the necessary feature of uniqueness, coupled with the fact that it may cause your work to encounter difficulty with selling out and dominating.
5. Consider your Favourite Lines in the book: From the content of the book there are lines that are more appealing to you; you have interest in them, and encountering those lines gives you confidence in respect to your work.
You may consider using one a combination of two or more of them as your title. You can as well twist and garnish it with literary imputations and devices, as long as it does not loose its purpose as a book title. You can make a list of your favourite lines from the book and then consider the most satisfactory to you and suitable for your audience.
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6. Consider the reoccurring lines in the book: Reoccurring lines in a book in another angle from which one can arrive at a good book title.
7. Use of Symbolism: Symbolism is a literary device employed by writers to represent a concept through symbols or underlying meanings of objects or qualities. Put simply; they are objects and symbols used to represent concepts. A writer can derive the title of his book from the symbols employed in the writing. Symbols can be very suitable for a book title.
It qualifies in almost all the characteristics of a good book name; the use of symbols as a book title can make it concise, precise, symbolic, foreshadowing (hint), unique, memorable, imaginary, and so on. In arriving at a good book title, consider making a compilation of all the symbols employed in the book from which you can choose the most appropriate that represents the general theme of the book.
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8. Consider using the Protagonist’s or the Villain’s name: This is a very easy way of coming up with a good book title. Where the books is a fiction, you can simply adopt the protagonist’s or the villain’s name as your book title. The protagonist is the main character in a literary work while the villain is a vile character in a fiction who wears a bad character especially by antagonizing the hero.
So may writer employ this strategy, for instance, Othello by William Shakespeare. There are no rules to the use of protagonist’s or the villain’s name as the title to your fictional work. It is simple and straightforward.
9. Stick to your genre: While considering a book title for your book, you should stick to the genre on which you have written on. You cannot for instance, use a poetic line as a title to a prose work.
You should also make sure your title aligns with the field, category, subject or are of your writing; be it motivational, inspirational, politics, sports, religion, and so on.
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10. The purpose of the book: While choosing your book title, you should have in mind the purpose of the book. The readers will always flip back to the cover of the book in the course of their reading to discover why the book was given its title.
They should not get disappointed in that regard. At the completion of the book by the audience, they should be able to establish a link between the book title and the content of the book. A book title should be such that reflects the purpose of the book.
11. Use of Thesaurus: Thesaurus is a publication usually in the form of a book that contains synonyms and sometimes antonyms of given words. In choosing your book title, you should consider making reference to thesaurus. Instead of using a regular title, thesaurus can suggest sophisticated synonyms (words similar in meaning) of the title which you intend to use. This will enhance the uniqueness of your title.
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Coming up with a good book title is a process. It is a bunch of brainstorming exercise on its own part. A lot of attention is usually given to the book title both by the writer and the audience, because it is the very first impression of the content of a book. The tips proffered in this article are practically resourced tips by which you can make the best of your book title.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.