A great title can make your break your book! But, there are 7 common mistakes that I see authors make that keep them from making their books bestsellers.
Here they are:
Mistake #5: Your Title is not a Title at all…it’s a Subtitle or Just a Sentence.
So, how do you know if your title isn’t really a title? If your title is long, there is a good chance that it’s a subtitle or sentence and not a title at all. The exception is if it’s got a clever play on words like “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk.”
Here’s the type of “title” I’m referring to:
How to Build a Multi-Level Money Machine This title tells you what the book is about, but it is not short, or catchy, or clever. It should have been used as a subtitle.
A great title would be one that gives you the FEEL of a money machine without saying it, for instance, “Crank It!”
Remember, it is generally the subtitle that tells you what the book is about and the benefit of reading it.
Mistake #6. Your Title is Overly Sexual, or Insulting
Women make up 80% of the buying public and most will not be attracted to any of these types of titles, so it’s wise to stay away from them. Overly sexual titles are ones that play on words about either human anatomy or a sexual act. For, instance, The Missionary Position, Mother Theresa in Theory and Practice. (In all fairness, this one is saved by the subtitle. People who are interested in learning about her might like this book.) There are many others that are much more crude but I’d rather not give them more attention here.
The exception to this rule is when a word, that in the past has had a negative connotation, is turned around and owned as a positive word or phrase, so that it now has a positive connotation.
For instance, “Bitch”. One very successful franchise that uses this word is “Skinny Bitch” The book is called Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous!
Or, The Power of the Pussy (Dating, Marriage, and Divorce Advice for Women)
Mistake #7. Your Title is too Negative
You are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin your Day! Why would anyone want to read such a book? Mistake #7 Your title is too clever. What I mean by that is that some authors try so hard to be clever that they miss the mark. This happens quite often when authors try to create titles that rhyme in order to seem clever but the rhyme doesn’t really work. Instead they usually end up not making sense like Hit by a Farm, How I Leaned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn.
Or, authors think they are being clever, but actually falling into overly sexual category like,
How to Succeed in Business Without a Penis, Secrets and Strategies for the Working Woman.
When I first read this title, before I saw the subtitle, I honestly thought the author, who by the way was a woman UGH, was talking about business for men who had been castrated! But, seriously, there are so many better ways to say this than reverting to such crude language.
Creating a bestseller title is crucial to your book sales, so make sure you aren’t making any of the 7 mistakes that I’ve covered in this series. I suggest all 7 of them down and referring back to them each time you write a title to give yourself the best chance for success!
If you would like to learn more about writing great titles, check out my Secret Title Formula Report, www.bestsellerbusinessblueprint.com/title-formula-gift
Ellen Violette is a award-winning book and business coach, multiple #1 bestselling author, 3-time eLit award winner, contributor to Published! Magazine, and CEO of Create a Splash. She helps entrepreneurs gain authority, get their message out to make a bigger impact in the world, and change lives by becoming a bestselling author!
What makes Ellen unique is that she comes from a creative background as a Grammy-nominated songwriter, and she uses her songwriting background to help others create unique books, connect with their creativity, and rock their businesses! Her company also delivers done-for-you services.