You’ve decided to change your book title, but you’ve already got a cover, and you’re thinking you still want to use the cover because you like it. If the meaning of the new title is identical, it will work, but if not, this could be a big mistake.

Let’s say your title has a different meaning. For instance, your first title talked about the joys of parenthood with a newborn, so you use a playful font and a cute picture of parents enjoying themselves with their new baby and you like it so you’d like to keep it.

But, now you’ve changed direction with your title; your subtitle talks about the lack of sleep and adult companionship, how trying it is, and how to turn it around. The focus is entirely different, so your font and graphic need to reflect that.

One way to pick a better font is to look at the other books in your niche that are bestsellers and approach the topic in a similar way to the way.

Extra tip: I just worked with a client who had a playful font that needed to be changed to match her new title, and we found that the two bestsellers on similar topics had more “serious” fonts as well as similar colors, and both had a band either at the top or bottom of the cover. One was all in caps and one had caps and small letters. When you see recurring elements, use them, but also make sure your cover still looks different in the overall design.

The other pitfall is let’s say you change the title but you think you can use the same subtitle you had before. But, can you? You’ve got to analyze what your title is saying and make sure that your subtitle follows from your title. It may not.

So, if your title were Bringing Up Amazing Humans with the subtitle How to Give Your Kids More Love. it may seem like they still go together, but actually what the new title is about is not about loving them as much as it is about how you parent and raising good kids, so the new subtitle would be more about breaking the cycle of not-so-great parenting and raising good kids. See the difference?

You have to look at your title with a critical eye. Assume you never had a subtitle before to make sure that you don’t fall into non-critical thinking that can lead you to stick to the original subtitle, mislead your readers, or confuse them, lose sales, or worse, get sales and end up with angry buyers who didn’t learn what they thought they were going to learn in your book!

The bottom line is don’t get so attached to your title, subtitle and cover that you cannot be flexible and do what is best for your book, so you can make it a #1 bestseller, sell books, and create happy customers and clients because after all, isn’t that the point of writing it in the first place?

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Ellen Violette helps busy creative visionaries, leaders, speakers, and authors, write, publish, launch to #1 bestseller, and market their book to get more clients, make more money, make a bigger impact, and leave a legacy.

She is an award-winning book and business coach, podcast host, CEO of Create a Splash Marketing & Grammy-nominated songwriter.