A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away, “Star Wars: A New Hope” was originally titled:

“Adventures of Luke Starkiller, As Taken From the Journal of the Whills, Saga 1: The Star Wars”


Now there’s a mouthful. Try putting that on a thumb sized e-book cover. Do ereaders come with retractable magnifying glasses?

Book titles are one of the top first impressions readers have of your book. A clunky or cliché book title can prompt them to scroll on instead of giving it a chance. But don’t despair, there are a few ways to avoid this.

First: Research other book titles in your genre

Not only will this help you find what’s popular out there, but it will also keep you from titling your baby too similar to other titles.

Second: Meet reader expectation

Titles give a broad impression of what the reader can expect in the story. In other words, it can convey whether it’s a grittier story or a humorous one. If you choose a lighter title, be sure that the story isn’t one of darkness and carnage. Confusion often equates annoyance and/or loss of interest.

Third: Title length

Remember that old “Adventures of Luke Starkiller” title? Sure, it sounds cool but it’s too much to remember. Be sure to pick something that doesn’t require a deep breath to say all at once. Not to mention you have limited visual space on your ebook cover.

(On a side note, I’m also thankful they changed Luke’s name to Skywalker. His original last name just doesn’t encapsulate his character as we know it. But that’s a subject for another post.)

To sum up: The essential elements of a book title:

  • Memorable
  • Short and Punchy
  • Conveys story tone
  • Different from others out there

I’ve asked for title suggestions from my beta readers as they read through the completed draft of my novel. Sometimes fresh eyes see themes and threads better, but let’s face it. Titles are hard. Personally, I find it easier to name my children than to think of a title but at least there are some guidelines to go by while figuring it out.


Want more on this topic? Check out this article: http://www.indiebooklauncher.com/resources-diy/how-to-pick-a-title-for-your-book.php

Or if you’re really stumped, have a look at this nifty title generator website and see if you strike gold: http://fantasynamegenerators.com/book-title-generator.php#.VPsL8_nF9qV