7 Steps to a Super-Spicy Title

Today’s tip for my writer friends is how to come up with a title. Okay, I admit, this post is as much for me as for you.

Seven Steps to a Super-Spicy Title

MIND MAPPING

1. Look for key words and names.

My keywords and names are:

  • Nana
  • Secrets
  • Yikes!

 

 

 

 

And themes. My themes include:

  • Earning my nana’s praise and my place in the family lineage
  • Homelessness
  • Overcoming insurmountable life difficulties
  • Reparation
  • Repetition

 

2. Consider subtitles. Include the category or genre in the subtitle. This will help readers when randomly searching for their next book.

My categories and genres are:

  • Memoir
  • Venture
  • Wanderlust

 

3. Consider length. One-word titles are popular and catchy. On the flip side, one word and only one word can leave a reader clueless as to what it’s about.

 

4. Thinking about keywords and names, themes, subtitles, and length, make a list of possible titles.

 

This is my list. It comes from what some of you have told me and from my publishing house, along with my idea or two.

  • From Nana’s Girl to Elle: A Transformational Memoir
  • Nana’s Girl
  • One Was Never Enough: A Wanderlust Memoir
  • One Was Too Many and Two Were Not Enough: A Memoir of Secrets
  • Secrets: One Was Too Many and Two Were Not Enough

 

(Okay, I know, I broke a couple rules in coming up with that list. So, moving on–)

 

WHITTLING DOWN

 

5. Eliminate misleading titles.

 

My editor suggests not to use a title with the word “secrets”. He says this could cause my book to be miscategorized.

 

I have a problem with “Nana’s Girl”. I’m fifty years old.

 

Many of you have told me you like “Secrets: One Was Too Many and Two Were Not Enough.” Problem, being, this is an awfully long title for an e-book cover.

 

“One Was Too Many and Two Were Not Enough: A Memoir of Secrets” could be better–it has the category in the subtitle. Again, though, it is long.

 

6. Any titles left over after scratching out what could be misleading, Google these titles. If a title is already in use with popularity, eliminate it. Then, look at the title options which have made the cut. Hopefully, one of these will be a great title.

 

Nana’s Girl. An Etsy shop comes up on Google.

 

STILL STUMPED?

 

7. Let readers choose the title. Okay, my friends, as you follow my writing journey, what is your vote for my title?

 

And if you’ve written a story or poem, what worked for you to name it?

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3 Replies to “7 Steps to a Super-Spicy Title”

  1. Hmmm . . . . another suggestion? “Elle: Survival on Life’s Road”
    Too long? I think it descriptive . . .

  2. Thank you all, in person or online, for your comments. I’m happy to say a title has been decided for my debut memoir. If you’d like to share how you came to your title for your piece, please do. I’d love to hear about that.

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