More on Book Titles for self-publishing authors

How effective is your title? Did you know that a professional, optimized book title can, in some cases, mean literally thousands of extra dollars in book sales? We recently covered book title news and the importance of your cover in your book marketing efforts.

You may still be considering among a number of book titles, even if your manuscript is near complete or even complete. Or, maybe you’ve had the title of your book in your mind for a long time, even before you began writing. In either case, let’s take a closer look at the importance of book titles.

People do judge books by the cover, and that includes the book title. Effective book titles can sometimes mean the difference between lackluster sales and a very successful self-published book, especially in today’s marketplace.

Amazon is by far the largest book marketplace, and as we know, it an exclusively online retailer. The fact is more and more readers are finding products online, and books are no exception. With that dynamic it is increasingly important that your book title be rich with keywords and key phrases – search terms that potential customers might type into Amazon & Google when looking for information on the topic of your book.

This is particularly true for non-fiction books, but fiction and even poetry can benefit from a well chosen title and subtitle. You may be thinking wait a minute, I don’t want to dilute the artistic value of my book with an optimized book title. The good news is that you don’t really have to. Online sales don’t require that your subtitle be included in your actual cover design. However, it is valuable for them to be included in the distribution information for your book in places like online databases and the copyright registration. This helps with search engine optimization.

Here is what we suggest you consider in selecting your book title and subtitle:

  • Consider its originality and/or uniqueness
  • Review your title suggestion and synopsis to compile a list of keywords and/or phrases for your book
  • Search and Google databases for other previously published books with titles similar to yours. Here is a screen shot of a simple Google search result on “Baseball History” for example (click image to view regular format in your browser:

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One thought on “More on Book Titles for self-publishing authors

  1. In addition to a “fake” keyword-loaded subtitle for use online but not printed on the cover, a fake square cover design can show up better than a standard vertical rectangle, and can have a competitive advantage.

    The Amazon display space can be as little as 115 pixels square. A typical vertical book shows up as only 75 pixels wide and wastes about ONE THIRD of the available real estate.

    Brent uses this technique for his books.

    Michael N. Marcus
    — “Get the Most out of a Self-Publishing Company: Make a better deal. Make a better book,”
    — “Stories I’d Tell My Children (but maybe not until they’re adults),”

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