Your Story Title: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

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Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

The title of your story is the reader’s first impression of your writing and your first marketing tool to attract a reader. Coming up with a good title demands your attention and should never be an afterthought. There are ways and means to brainstorm titles and I have put together some articles and podcasts that share some useful advice on how to come up with a title that hooks.

  1. Book Title Ideas: Choosing Your Own & Generators to Use (self-publishingschool.com)

Self-Publishing School considers both non-fiction and fiction book titles. It discusses the use of book title generator tools and shares the best. That list covers fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. In a non-fiction title, readers are looking for solutions, so your title must include a solution to a problem. Using subtitles can also be useful for clarity. Making your title unforgettable is important and this article asks you 3 questions to think about for each area. With fiction, your title needs to be appropriate to your genre and should grab your reader’s interest. You can look to your characters for book title inspiration and get feedback from your target audience. Again, questions to consider are shared to get you thinking about your title.

  1. Book Title Generator • The Ultimate Bank of 10,000 Titles (reedsy.com)

Reedsy shares 8 ways to come up with book title ideas. These include free writing about your novel to find keywords and experiment with word patterns. Draw inspiration from your characters and keep your setting in mind. Analysing the titles of other books can also help. You might be surprised at how many books refer to other works in their titles. And lastly, if all else fails, generate a title through a book title generator. The article shares generators available for genres including fantasy, sci-fi, crime, romance, and mystery.

  1. Naming Your Novel: How to Choose a Fiction Title That Fits – TCK Publishing

Most potential book-buyers make a snap judgement about a book based on the title and the price. You need a title that’s both evocative and proactive, something that encapsulates the feel of your story but stays concrete as well, something that says everything about your book but gives nothing away. This article shares a 6-step guide to direct you through the brainstorming process. Looking to the writing is always your first port of call. Read through your book again, is there a line of dialogue that seems particularly poignant? Is there a singular description that stands out as provocative? Looking to your themes is the next step and the article asks you to think about what your book is actually about. Your title should be clear and concise. Short, distinct, and easy to recommend at a party. The last couple of steps are to consider whether your story is character or plot-driven, consider your audience, and think about asking a question that demands an answer. Each step is accompanied by examples from literature.

  1. 7 Tips to Land The Perfect Title for Your Novel – Writer’s Digest (writersdigest.com)

Your title is your first opportunity to stand out in the slush pile. What editor won’t be drawn to a clever and alluring title? Writer’s Digest tells us that googling your title is the best way to check its originality. Maximise your choices by listing 5 titles and asking people’s opinions. Remember your title should, like your prose, have a distinct voice and a consistent point of new. Select precise nouns and strong, active verbs. Most readers consider your title twice – once before they start reading and again after they’ve finished. The last but very important tip is to make certain your title matches your story.

  1. How to Come Up With the Best Book Title for Your Book – 2023 – MasterClass

This article discusses the most common attributes of good titles: short, evocative, memorable, and unique. It gives you 4 things to consider when titling a book, including one-word titles, existing titles, the genre, and inadvertent references. Masterclass also shares 4 tips for coming up with the best book title. You must consider your characters’ names, the setting, literary devices, and originality.

PODCASTS

  1. How to Choose a Title For Your Novel – LiveWriters

Choosing a title for your novel can be incredibly difficult. Although we want our book titles to be unique and clever, this isn’t necessarily the best way to sell books. The title of your book shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s one of the most important aspects of your book if you want to sell copies to the right readers. In this episode from Live Writers, they discuss what makes a good title, and what you should avoid, and offer some tips on how to get there.

  1. How to Title Your Novel — Well-Storied.

Choosing the perfect title for a story is tough. There’s no real process to it, no formula. Or is there? This episode from Well-Storied discusses the science of choosing the perfect book title. Whether a book is plot or character-driven often has a big impact on how it’s titled.

  1. Scribe Book School – How To Choose The Perfect Book Title (google.com)

This episode from the podcast Scribe Book School walks you through how to pick the perfect book title. They tell us that this is the most important marketing decision you can make for your book.

Keep in mind that your title is making the first impression on your reader so taking your time to get it right is essential. It’s always a good idea to sound out your title with other writers, friends, and family, and gauge their reaction. I hope you have found this week’s column useful. As always, please get in touch if there are any topics you would like me to cover.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel, The Lies Beneath – to be published by Poolbeg in April 2024.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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