Creating Titles That Spur Sales

September 2005
by A PMA Roundtable

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The consensus is clear: titles
are powerful tools. But what’s the best way to come up with a book title that
will draw readers in, and how do you recognize a title that will drive them
away? As the sampling below shows, many PMA members have suggestions to offer.

 

In upcoming issues, we’ll
present techniques for testing titles once you’ve created them, and guidelines
for better titles from publishers who’ve developed them the hard way.

—Judith
Appelbaum

Listen for the Tipoff

If the author has supplied a
suitable title—it contains at least some clues as to what the book is
about, has a good keyword in it, is free of jargon, and is short enough to fit
on the cover—we usually go with it. Otherwise, I brainstorm (in person if
possible; by email if not) with a small group of people who have read the book,
including the author.

You know when you have a good
title because people start using it instead of using the author’s name to refer
to the book, or sticking to the working title, or saying, “That book about . .
. ”

Barbara
Hirshkowitz

Quaker
Press of Friends General Conference

www.quakerbooks.org

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