Do Book Titles Matter?

Simply put, yes.

When doing your cover art, you are going to want to have you book title in mind. There are a few key questions you should think about before naming your story.

Consider these points when titling your book.


How many words do you need to convey what your book is about?

After joining a author group this week, I got to see how many authors just slap words on a cover, do not think about the image and say they are done. A lot more should go into the cover, considering that is the FIRST selling point anyone is going to see in your novel.

Word usage is important. You want to invoke something that readers will feel and understand. Try a few words or a string of them and see if they make sense to you. What do you feel when you do these things?

A prime example was with my novel title. I have four elements in the story:

1. A woman who makes poisons is framed for murder
2. Said woman is trying to street race cars because she needs to to find out answers and gain trust back with associates and her “community”.
3. A detective keeps getting in her way while she tries to clear her name and still maintain her double persona.
4. People keep dying and someone wants to kill her.

With that said, my original title no longer worked because it did not contain those elements. “Legend of the Water Viper” sounded more like a fantasy novel or something out of a Chinese fairy tale. That wasn’t what I wanted readers to think. It’s dark fiction, laced with paranormal and mystery.

That was the reason Turbulence was chosen as its title. It fit all four elements and kept with the theme of the main character. It also shows that there is constant action and that there are roadblocks that the main character has to face.

But it also is a car term, which is what I’m trying to incorporate into the novels.


If you have a title, can you shorten it so that way it fits on your cover?

Too many people have small fonts or such fancy fonts that readers cannot see what their title is. This is extremely important in today’s market, considering that you only have a thumbnail to read a title on or any other eBook selling site.

eBooks are a good part of your fanbase, so typography is EXTREMELY important. If people can’t read it, they’re not going to buy it. That simple.


Profanity in a title does not sell a book.

Repeat after me: It does not make a book sell.

Any self respecting writer is not going to title their book with profanity, yet again, there were a few examples this weekend that I saw.

As a writer, I am not going to take that seriously and overlook it, even if someone has an awesome blurb on the back that took days to do. Your first cover is the impression people will have. Act as if it’s your job, because it is. You are there to make books sell so you can live at the end of the day.

That and please your fans. And unless your character is trashy (and even then) refrain from using profane words in your title at all costs.


 When thinking about your title, also think about your pen name.

When the cover artist did my cover, he used my full name, which took up half of the bottom of the art. Because in my genre most men write them, I took up the initials and then my last name. It works for me.

Find what works for you and run with it. You’ll be surprised at the feedback you get.


Do you have the right word on your cover?

Key words are important. It took much thought into my title because I wanted something all encompassing and to convey everything.

But please make sure it is a word that has the correct meaning. It would not be good if you published it to find out it wasn’t what you meant at all.



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