Banging your head on the wall, thinking about how to write the perfect book title? The struggle is real! Because no matter how well-crafted is the context of your book, but people will only get to know about it if they choose to read your book. And the first staple to entice them into reading your book is a catchy, relatable yet surprising book title. Your book title should be like a siren call that will lure all the readers to your story despite any obstacle in their way. If you are a marketing student, you must have read that companies spend millions to create a catchy product title, and they spend the rest to market that title. However, 90% of the time, readers decide whether or not to pick up a book by title alone. So, you better buckle up yourself if you want to excel with your book.
Underline The Fact That Book Titles Are Important. But Why?
If you are still apprehensive about the essentiality of a good title, let's give you some examples. Following is a list of original titles from some of the famous books before they were re-written. Such as,
- First Impressions → Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
- Men Who Hate Women → The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)
- Tomorrow is Another Day → Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
- Atticus → To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
- Twilight → The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
- Fiesta → The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway)
- All's Well that Ends Well → War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
So, have you understood the difference between a generalized title and an outstanding one? Which not only excites the readers but stimulates them to open your book in the first place. Even if you are confused about how to format poem titles, the drill is the same. A good title does several things. From predicting the content to catching the reader's attention and it also helps to reflect the tonality of the piece of writing. For example, the moment you read the title, 'The Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell or 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton, you immediately get the poem’s essence. The title also makes it easier to find or access work.
Characteristics of a Good Book Title
So far, you must have understood the essentiality of a title. Now, let's discuss the characteristics. It should be:
People's attention span is decreasing day by day. They are always stuck with their mobile. So, if you want to pull their attention towards your book title, you have to write a title that works like a magnet. There are many ways to do that. You can deal with something controversial, provocative, and exciting or make a promise etc. The correct title will help your book to stand out among hundreds of others.
For example, take the title 'A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, which best seller book of 2020. If your potential reader is a thriller fan, they will be immediately intrigued by the title.
You can copy someone else's book title but should you? Not just because of the ethics, but that will take away your individuality. So, come up with a title that compels the readers to pick your book. Avoid popular titles and try to write something personal and unique.
- Memorable & Searchable
Imagine you have read a fantastic book. The next day, you discuss the book with your friends, they ask you about the name, but you couldn't recollect it. Sad right? Do you want your text to be treated like that and lose your potential readers? If the answer is no, then try to come with a title that stays with the readers for the rest. Choose something easy to remember and search because that will bring back your potential readers.
- Provide Insight & Informative
Your book title is like the profile picture of your account. So, the title gives a glimpse of what the reader can expect from your book. An insightful title is almost like a philosophical question. You can go on cultivating it even years after reading.
For example, take ‘Great Expectation’ by Charles Dickens. Even after 160 years of its publication, people still remember it. It is unique, simple, and memorable. It carries the central essence of the novel of what the readers can expect. The title itself symbolizes the protagonist's desire for his future.
- Short & Simple
Keep your title short and simple. It is memorable, easily understandable, and it also gives space to design the book cover. One-word titles are best. If you can't, aim to keep it around five words or less.
So, next time you try to name a book, consider these characteristics.
Proven methods on How To Punctuate the perfect book title?
Now comes the structuring part. How to write THE IDEAL book title? It is an altogether trial & error process that you need to practice regularly. However, you can utilize the following proven methods to crack the codes easily.
- Relax & Brainstorm
It takes time to generate excellent creative work. So, don't hurry. Instead, relax and allow your thinking to stretch during the process to brainstorm.
- Make a draft
Make a draft of your thoughts that could serve as a potential title.
- Answer the W's
Begin your title with What, Who, When, How, Why or Where. Or try to answer the reader's possible question. It increases the curiosity among the readers.
Who is the novel about? Forrest Gump (Winston Groom), Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)
When does your novel take place? Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel GarcíaMárquez)
What is the novel about? The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
- Use numbers
Numbers are catchy, simple and easy to understand. They immediately grab attention. Even if you are writing a blog title or book, you can start with a number.
- Use Poetic phrases
You can use poetic phrases. But it doesn't need to be too flowery or rhythmic.
- Use alliteration. Like, 'The Golden Goose' or 'Air Awakens' by Elsie Kova etc.
- It can be descriptive like 'A midsummer night's dream' by William Shakespeare.
- Take feedback
You can ask others for their reviews. Jot down all the feedbacks; it might help you with a new point of view. Then, edit and re-write accordingly.
Ultimately the title depends on you. You are the author. Following the constructive guidelines, you will be able to generate several book titles.
How to write book titles in MLA & Chicago style?
In terms of technicality, the common questions students ask like, are book titles underlined? Should book titles be in quotes? Are book titles italicized in MLA?
Following is an answer to those questions related to style.
Write A Book Title in Essay in MLA Style
If you are asked to cite in MLA referencing style, the rules are as follows:
1. The full book name should be in italics, followed by a period.
For example: Last Name, First Name. Italicized Title. Publisher, Publication Year.
2. If the book’s name has a subtitle, it should come after the title and should be separated using a colon.
Example: Last Name, First Name. Italicized Title: Subtitle. Publisher, Publication Year.
3. If the source used is part of a chapter or essay, place the title in quotation marks, and put a period in the end. The main title then follows it in italics and a comma at the end.
Rules for Writing a Book Title in Chicago style
1. Capitalize the first letter of all nouns, adjectives, and verbs in the book name
2. Don't capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions, or prepositions
3. The title should be in italics, and punctuation marks in the book's title should also be italicized
4. Instead of italics, use a quotation mark if the book is part of an anthology. If you still cannot grasp the techniques or develop any good ideas, you can contact our professional writers.
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