The role of the book title is to draw its target readers towards the book. Absolutely, but before it draws its target readers it segregates them evidently. Check this book title “5-Minute Marketing for Authors: Get More Sales for Your Books in Just 5 Minutes a Day” by Barb Asselin. The title clearly defines this book is for the authors who want to market their book. A straight and visibly distinct target audience.
Then comes the USP or unique selling proposition of the book “Get More Sales for Your Books in Just 5 Minutes a Day”. WOW! What a fabulous proposition! Every author wants to increase their sales, but not all of them are marketing savvy. This book offers marketing tools and techniques for the authors and the most essentially you spend barely ‘5 minutes every day’ to market your book.
So the title
- Defines the target audience
- Brings them closer
- Gives enough reason to buy the book.
Now check this one, “Thus Spoke Chankya” by Radhakrishnan Pillai. Vishnugupta aka Chankya was an Indian philosopher, economist and royal advisor to the eminent King Chandragupta Maurya.
Chankya was famed for excellent political know-how and also for his incomparable military strategy. Under the guidance of Chankya, Chandragupta Maurya managed to stop Alexander the great from expanding his kingdom further in India.
His authored book ‘Arthashastra’ is considered as one of the most eminent book of economics, political science and Military strategy. Historians credits Chankya’s wisdom for the rise of Mauryan Empire.
Chankya was blessed with an extraordinary foresight and also an astute political knowledge. A prominent influence of Arthashastra can be observed in current Indian political and administrative system, foreign policies, and military forces.
So notice carefully, who are the target audience for this book?
- Readers who wants to learn about ancient Indian wisdom of economics and politics or political science
- Readers who has interest in Indian economics and politics
- And finally, the readers who are familiar with Chanakyas name and at least have some prior idea about his wisdom.
See, the book is not for everybody. The target audience is already defined, knowingly or unknowingly.
Why I need a name at all?
The purpose of a name is to simplify a description in one word.
“Bring the four-legged, wooden flat surface with a backrest, which can also be found in metal or plastic and is mostly used to sit?” It will be difficult as well as funny to repeat the same instead of“Bring the chair”, which is also more convenient. The purpose of a name is to identify a particular ‘object’ or ‘living being’.
The goal of a book title is a little different.
There are two main objectives of a book title,
- Intrigue the audience and bring them closer to the book.
- Inform the audience about the genre.
The task remains on how to intrigue the audience enough to bring them closer to your book. The title serves as the biggest call to action for the book.
“The subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson is a striking example. Even before you read it, the title itself helps the book stand tall and apart in the ocean of self-help books. You can never ignore or at the very least not take a glance at the book.
Let’s look at some striking, smart and distinguishing book titles that draw the readers to the book.
- How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, very bad day by Judith Viorst
- Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Lauren Weisberger
- The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the living dead by Max Brooks
- I Still Miss My Man But My Aim is Getting Better by Sarah Shankman
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? By George Carlin
- I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
- Fuck this book by Bodhi Oser
- Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
- In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd
- How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard
- The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck
- Even God is Single by Karen Salmansohn
- I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold it Online by Dixie Cash
- Steal this Book by Abbie Hoffman
- Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed by Lance Carbuncle
These examples are equivalent to just a drop of the ocean. There are millions of books but the intelligent ones stand out. Each of the above titles will intrigue you enough to at least read the book summary. Many authors complain that their book is not selling.
There is a four-step process for a first-time author to attract their target audience. This is step one and is the most significant.