How to find the right title for your novel

No? Me neither. 

But, with the help of a lot of wonderful bloggers and writers who post “how-to” info, I’m getting better at understanding what makes a good title.

My word for the A-Z Challenge and the letter T is:


Over the past year, I’ve read a lot about titles and to be honest, I think I chose the wrong one for Tryouts for Ben. It was number five or six in a long list of working titles. But by the time that little book was ready I couldn’t decide and I all but flipped a coin. Not a good way to pick a final title.

So, how do you pick a good title for a book?

Most writers start with a working title, and usually as the story progresses other titles begin to emerge. Or so I’ve heard.

Other writers, probably more seasoned pros, know at the on-set just the perfect title. That would not be me. Just in case you were wondering.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a title is worth much more.

Whether shopping at B&N, browsing the stacks at the library or scanning Amazon for something to read, the first thing I read is the title. I often reject a book based on the title.

Your title is the first hook of your book.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a romance novel, thriller or children’s book, the title is the first words of your book a person reads.


Okay, just what have I learned this past year?

  • As always, I still try to learn from my mistakes. (Ben)
  • Research is important for the title too.
  • A title should peak the reader’s curiosity. Get their attention.
  • It needs to give the reader an idea of what’s inside the cover.
  • Don’t get locked in with the “working title.”
  • Look inside the story for words, phrases or names that might serve as a title.
  • Don’t try to be too clever.
  • Try the title out on friends and family. Some will like it, others won’t but listen to the why of both.

For your reading pleasure, head to the bottom of this post and find out more about picking the best possible title for your book. 

How do you pick a title?

Do you have any suggestions on picking a better book title?

Do tell!

Talk to me, the lights on and comments are now open.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdelland, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


4 Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Title For Your Book by Karen Woodward


8 thoughts on “How to find the right title for your novel

  1. I find that choosing a title for my story is usually the hardest part of my writing. I try to pick something that is related to what I’ve written but then I end up thinking that the title doesn’t leave much to the imagination. 😕 I almost always start off with a working title and end up changing it later on lol

    Liked by 1 person

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