Create Titles that Spur Sales

August 2006
by Susan Kendrick

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Some great titles just
happen, but most are painstakingly developed. For his first book, Swim with the Sharks
Without Being Eaten Alive, Harvey Mackay hired a creative team to
hold focus groups to generate titles. Its final ballot, which included Swim with the Sharks,
listed 800 possibilities.

 

As with most things, having a
process or formula is a huge help in developing a title and subtitle with
substance and flair. Begin by following five pieces of advice:

 

·      First decide what the title has to
say, and only then think about how to say it.

·      Use short words. Your title should
be easy to say, hear, and remember. You’re going to talk about the book a lot. Choose
a title that you can live with for a long time and that other people will want
to talk about, too.

·      Don’t expect the title to do it
all. It should hit readers on some gut, intuitive, or emotional level and
magnetically draw them in to take a closer look, online or in a bookstore. The
subtitle should then clearly define the benefits of the book for its target
audience. You have the back cover for killer headlines and all the juicy
details that will get people t…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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