You’ve written a book, but you have no clue what to call it. You have no idea how people can have their book titles completely chosen before they even finish the first draft because you’re still sitting here trying to come up with the semblance of a book name.
If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right space.
5-Step Guide to Help Name Your Book
The best thing you can do for your book is to give it a title that does it some justice. You’re looking to spark intrigue with your book title. It’s often the first impression people get of your book, even before they peek at the cover design, which ideally would be beautiful and on-point for your one, themes, and genre.
Step #1 Make a list of applicable themes and motifs in your book
Take some time while you’re editing or proofreading your book to jot down major themes, people or objects in your book. This could be various flora, people, place, objects or anything else found in your book. Jot down favorite passages that really mean something to the plot of your story.
This list can be as long or as short as you want but remember you’ll have to sift through it later. Make it manageable but get everything on that list that fits. You don’t want to regret it later when a moment of genius sparks.
If you read the genre in which you’re writing, which you totally should, you probably have an idea of what book titles in that genre look like, which takes us to step two.
Step #2 Using that list, create a list of possible book titles
Use the list of themes and people and objects to craft a few dozen book titles. Yes, a few dozen. Don’t just write three of four down and call it a day. Really spend time on these titles. Think about your book, its genre, and how you want the title to flow.
Take a few days and brainstorm those titles. Maybe checkmark the ones you really love but keep going. Great titles don’t always simply appear. Some only come after days of hard thought. Use the items in your list from step one as inspiration.
Step #3 Take that list and do some research
Once you have a list of 20+ possible book titles, take to the internet. Use the internet to see if there’s already a book out there with the same or similar title, or if the title even matches the genre. The more you research, the more you’ll find certain styles suit certain genres better than others.
Throughout this process, you’ll find certain book titles just don’t strike your fancy as much as others. Or perhaps they don’t fit your genre or the tone of your book. Or, with so many books in the world, it’s likely at least a few of them have already been used.
By the end of the research step, that 20+ list will probably be down to 10 or less.
Step #4 Dwindle it down some more
Now that you’re staring at a thoughtful and researched list, you’ll have to make some tough decisions. Reread your book. Give it another round of proofreading and really get into the heads of your protagonist. Which titles really fit their story?
You may have a favorite name, but if it’s not about something your protagonist comes into contact with, is it really relevant?
Not only do you want interesting and lovely names, but you want a name that’s relevant to the story. You want to give your readers a taste of your book, just like what many achieve with the cover design. They should work in tandem to hook the reader, even before the first page or before they read the book description.
Dwindle your list until you have a few solid options to choose from. Elicit the help of friends and family that read your genre. You may even ask your book editor’s opinion. The goal is to get your list to three potentials so you can make the final decision.
Step #5 Name your book!
Write book names that spark intrigue with an air of mystery, but also have enough clarity to give your readers a taste of what’s inside the book. The book title carries a heavy load, so it’s important to get it right.
The biggest thing to stress is that you don’t have to complete every step in one day, in one session. Choosing a book title is all about patience and understanding your book and target audience. A book title is more than just a string of words.
Great book names often navigate through many iterations before finding their final form, so patience is required when choosing your book title.