How Do You Name Your Book?

gratefulComing up with the right name for your book is huge. It has to capture the heart of your story, be attractive to the eye, and also get noticed by search engines. When I wrote Grateful, I wasn’t concerned with SEO, but I did wonder if the title wouldn’t reach my audience, they being fans of college football. I settled on the title because gratitude was the primary theme of the memoir, and my friend, who happens to be a social media guru and a college football fan, liked it. There you go.

While reading The Power of Words and the Wonder of God, I was struck by this passage about how the general editor, John Piper, came up with the title.

I worked on the title — The Power of Words and the Wonder of God — the same way I work on a poem. I want it to be pleasing and memorable.

* First, there is an intentional cadence or meter I find pleasing: (“The POWer of WORDS and the WONder of GOD”).

*Second, there is consonance or alliteration between the W’s in “Words” and “Wonder.” Compare “The Power of Language and the Wonder of God” or “The Power of Words and the Majesty of God.” Both cadence and alliteration are lost.

*Third, there is assonance. Six of the nine words are dominated by the sound of the letter O: “Power,” “of,” “Words,” “Wonder,” “of,” “God.” Compare: “The Strength of Language and the Marvel of Deity.”

*Finally, I think the juxtaposition of “Words” and “Wonder” and “God” is unusual,¬†provocative, and attractive.

All of that, I think, helps people remember the title, not because it is displeasing — the way 9/11 is remembered because it hurt — but because it is aesthetically satisfying.

He put far more thought into his title than I did for mine, although I was mindful of alliteration in the subtitle: from Walking on to Winning it all at Florida State. The “at Florida State” was important to nail my bull’s-eye audience.

So how about you, how do you come up with titles? Have you come across any particularly well crafted ones? Do you know of any good book naming ideas?

Keep Discovering Writing.

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