A title is an important marketing device for your story. Like the cover image, it should help to entice your potential audience to become readers, and buyers.So what goes into your title? How do you know if it is any good?? A title should have at least a few, if not all, of the following characteristics:

  • It should say something about the content you’ve written, but not be so esoteric that only those who have read the book would understand.
  • It should create an emotional response in potential readers.
  • It should be unique and memorable.
  • It is usually fairly short and easy to remember.
  • It should be catchy.
  • You can also use a vital, or repeated, phrase from the story (especially if it will raise curiosity).
  • It may contain modest alliteration.
  • It may contain modest rhyming.
  • You should make sure your title isn’t offensive to others (unless you have an extremely good reason).

So now you have come up with what you think may be a great title, or better yet a list of great titles, and you want to test if it is any good. Here is a word of warning: if you go up to a friend or family member and flat out ask if the title is good, the answer will probably be “yes.” Most likely they will not want to hurt your feelings, or they will not understand what you are looking for. Here are a few suggestions so that you can get more helpful critiques.

  • Instead of just reading the title and asking if it is any good, instead read the title and ask what images it creates in people’s head, ask what genre and type of story they think it might be based solely on the title.
  • You can also ask this of strangers online via social networking sites or online surveys.
  • Go to an online bookstore and search for the titles you have come up with. If you get more than a few exact matches, your name probably isn’t unique enough.
  • Also after searching for your title, if you get a hit check out what genre the story is in. See if the book is similar to yours.
  • If you have a list of titles, have someone read them, or read the titles out loud to them, and then have them write down as many as they can remember. This will let you know which ones are more memorable. Try this experiment a few times if you can, and mix up the order of the titles so you can get more accurate results.
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