Your title matters.
As a marketing asset, your title is only second to your book cover. It’s a big deal.
Whether your ideal reader is shopping at a brick-and-mortar store or online, your book title is a crucial marking piece that influences the buyer’s journey. It can either boost or kill your book sales.
How Your Nonfiction Book Title Influences Your Reader
Think about how a reader shops for books.
He either walks into a bookstore or logs onto an online shop like Amazon.
As he browses for books, he glances at the book covers. If yours catches his eye, he either picks up the physical book or clicks to get a closer look.
His eyes immediately dart to the title.
If you crafted your title correctly, it sends strong signals to your ideal reader that your nonfiction book will solve his problem or meet his need.
If the title grabs him, he’ll explore your book further to determine whether it’s the one he needs. This is where the rest of your marketing pieces come into play.
However, if your title doesn’t do its job, he’ll bolt past your book, and you’ll lose him before you can prove how great your book is and how it can help him.
Thus, the book cover grabs his attention, but the title hooks him. You can’t afford to get it wrong.
But don’t wait until your title is perfect before writing the first draft of your nonfiction book.
You Don’t Need to Nail Your Title Before You Write
As vital as the book title is for selling more books, you don’t have to nail it before you start writing your first draft.
I didn’t find the final title for my first nonfiction book until I had already written my first draft, conducted the preliminary clean-up, and created the leadership model that underpins my main message. The way I framed my central theme inspired the final title.
I’ve seen authors get stuck trying to find the perfect title for their nonfiction book and delay their writing. If you can nail the title right away, go for it. However, if you find that your quest for perfection feeds your procrastination, move on.
Use a Solid Working Title
You can write your first draft with a working title, the preliminary version of a nonfiction book title that sells more books. Your title will most likely go through various iterations before you publish your book.
Use a solid working title that:
- Promises to solve your ideal reader’s problem or meet a need, and
- Inspires you to write.
Later, you’ll focus on incorporating the elements of a nonfiction title that sells. For now, your working title should remind you of the direction you’re taking with your book and inspire you to press on, even when things get tough.
Don’t get hung up on the working title, either. Do the best that you can and start writing. Later, you will refine it and conduct market research before arriving at the final version.
A solid working title will help you write your first draft fast when combined with a properly written nonfiction book outline.
The more you write, the more your inspiration will flow, and the closer you’ll get to crafting a nonfiction book title that sells.
SYLVIA MELENA is the Founder and CEO of Melena Consulting Group, a leadership and management consulting, training, and nonfiction book coaching company. She is also the international award-winning author of Supportive Accountability: How to Inspire People and Improve Performance and the former Vice President of the San Diego Book Awards Association.
As an unknown author with zero platform, Sylvia’s first book became a #1 Amazon Best Seller, sold thousands of copies across five continents in its first year alone, and was used to train leaders in university and workplace settings. It also gave her exposure in the Society of Human Resources Management HR Today, Entrepreneur, the Human Performance Association, My Quest for the Best, LEADx, Fit Small Business, and other outlets.