Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Choosing a Title -- An Author’s First Marketing Device - Guest blog by Linda Yezak

What should you consider when choosing a title? Does it make that much difference? Today I am handing over the blog to author and blogger, Linda Yezak, who will discuss that topic with you.

Here's a thumbnail sketch of her credentials: Content Editor for Port Yonder Press, ditorial Assistant for Terry Burns, Hartline Literary Agency, Copy Editor- Scienda Quarterly, Contributing author-Beyondaries, and author of Give the Lady a Ride. In addition, she does freelance editing, proofreading, critiquing and speaking engagements.

Now look at the titles below and think about your reaction to them.
Storming Heaven, by Kyle Mills
I Do, but I Don’t, by Cara Lockwood
We’ll Meet Again, by Mary Higgins Clark
The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly
You Had Me At Halo, by Amada Ashby
Elvis Takes a Backseat, by Leanna Ellis
Playing for Pizza, by John Grisham
My Name is Russel Fink, by Michael Snyder

These are among the books on my shelf. Some are written by authors everyone knows, some by folks no one knows, a couple by people I know personally. So if you’re looking at the authors to see why I bought these books, you’re only partly right.

I liked the titles.

The Last Sin Eater, by Francine Rivers
The Survivors Club, by Lisa Gardner
Death du Jour, by Kathy Reichs
Fire Dancer, by Colleen Coble
Thyme for Love, by Pamela S. Meyers

Funny thing about book stores. They have only so much room to present books with the covers facing out. In fact, publishers tend to pay a bit extra for such a face-forward presentation. Which means the title is often the first thing a browser sees as he’s scanning the shelves, which, in turn, means the title is a selling point.
If you’re Mr. Famous Author, all you need showing is your name–Grisham, Reichs, Gardner, Rivers. But if you’re breaking into the scene, you’ll need every advantage you can get. How does your title measure up? Is it a good teaser? Does it make a browser want lift the book from the shelf to see the cover–the second biggest selling point?

Take extra time with your title. It should pique curiosity even as it clues the reader in to what the book is about. It should be catchy, intriguing, inviting.

So, does your title alone create an interest to pick up the book or pass it by?

If you would like to learn more about Linda and her writing or book her for a speaking engagement, here's the link to do just that. 


  1. The things that catch my eye are the title and the cover. Even with blogs, I read the title and decide if I want to read the post.
    This was a good post and informative.

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I'm with you on wanting the cover to catch my eye. That doesn't mean it has to flashy, it has to create a concept or feeling about the story.

  2. Hi!

    I really enjoyed reading this! The post caught my eye because I just recently did a guest post called "T Is for Title." For a slightly different approach to the same topic, see my take on it at Dawn Malone's blog.