Is Your Ineffective Book Title Costing You Sales?

Today’s post is by publishing industry expert, Cheri Breeding.

Did you know that a strong book title can many times translate to more sales for the author? Or that a weak (or ineffective) title can many times mean lackluster sales?

Not only do readers judge a book by its cover, but they also find books based on their title. For instance, if you’ve written a book about the battles of the Civil War, you surely want readers to find you using the term “civil war” or “civil war battles”. If your title is not reflective of the subject, you can miss out on readers. The title Love Lost, for example, would not be one I would click to if I’m looking for information about the war. Your title, while catchy and creative, just cost you a sale.

You should consider ALL of the following when choosing a book title:

  • How catchy is it (will people remember it)?
  • Is it unique/original (search bookstores for other books with the same title)?
  • Does it include the keywords/phrases you want to be found for?

Remember your title doesn’t have to stand alone. A strong subtitle can help a title that may not be descriptive enough alone. Referring to the example above, Love Lost: Short Love Stories of the Civil War is much more descriptive and would encourage a reader searching for “Civil War battles” to at least take a peek (provided you have an attention-grabbing cover).

While a subtitle is not required, you can see that many times it can make the difference by adding a few additional keywords, etc. that are related to the title.

DISCUSSION: What tips do you have for authors choosing a book title?

Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

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