Mastering the Trick of Titling

Tricky Titles FriesenPress

Choosing the right title for your book can be challenging. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace perfectly reflects the subject matter of his beast of a book. It’s a simple title, yet it prepares readers for the epic rollercoaster ahead. Of course, finding a title that is simple yet perfect can be tricky – especially when you have to pinpoint the genre of the book, make the title different from its shelfmates, and ultimately, intrigue readers enough to pick up the book. So, how do you do it?


Put on your Sherlock Holmes’ thinking-cap and visit your local bookstore – you’ve got some investigating to do! Familiarize yourself with your book’s genre and check out how other writers have constructed their book titles. Does your book title suit its genre? Which titles grab your eye and imagination? Why?

Theme & Keywords

Chisel out keywords from your manuscript that highlight the main theme of your book. If you’re writing a romance novel about love and war, then a few of your keywords might be – love, war, blood, roses, battle, and the heart. A couple of titles that could stem from these keywords are Love and War, Love’s Battle, Blood and Roses, and The Red Rose War.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Less is more. Be picky with your words and word count. Think about the cover of your book and how your title might look. If you’re writing a series, then choose a name that is flexible enough to adapt to your sequels. Remember, your book is a kind of brand, so it needs to be memorable, flexible, and original.

Notes from One Wordsmith to Another

Lastly, remember, you’re a wordsmith, so don’t be afraid to get creative. It’s your job to hammer out a title that will allure your readers. Poke away at your manuscript. Look for inspiration in your own words and story. Your title is in there somewhere!

Written by Galia Zavgorodni, FriesenPress Publishing Specialist
Edited by Christian Fink-Jensen, FriesenPress Marketing Manager