Consider Using One-word Titles

November 15, 2016

The cliche about judging a book by its cover also points to judging a book by its title. As you think of a title for your book, consider using just one word to tempt your reader. For example, Stephen King’s books include Carrie, Firestarter, Cujo, Christine, Thinner, It, Misery, and Desperation–all one-word titles.

If you prefer nonfiction examples, you can look to Leadership by Tom Peters, Winning by Jack Welch, or Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

Here are some reasons to consider using one-word titles. They

  • Create visual impact on your book cover.
  • Are easy to remember.
  • Free you up to use a subtitle to describe your book.
  • Help the reader associate a common word with your book.
  • Can be easier to create than figuring out a multiple-word title that’s memorable and repeatable.

When searching for your one-word title, keep these tips in mind and decide which one fits your title’s purpose.

  • Create a powerful image in readers’ minds.
  • Encourage the reader to do something, to take action.
  • Offer a double meaning.
  • Describe a problem or controversy.
  • Appeal to a broad audience rather than a specific segment.

Here are some tips to help you find your one-word title.

  • Start with, “My book is about___________________.”
  • Do a Google search on your topic and see what words come up.
  • Test your one-word title with your writers group or any other group you trust to be honest with their feedback.

One-word titles are easy to remember and easy to repeat (which helps others in recommending your book). If you can write a book, you can find the right title for it. Happy writing!