A great title and/or subtitle can land a book sale. Your title must make readers want to pick up your book, buy it, and read it. Play our Title Word Pool Game with your friends to find a brilliant title for your book.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSERTING POLLS
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WHAT WE COVER IN THIS VIDEO
Titles can be metaphoric, clever, poetic, or silly. It doesn’t really matter how, but your title must make readers want to read your book. And for nonfiction, it must express clearly what your book is about. A subtitle can be just as important as a title.
0:22 A great title can sell a book, especially nonfiction. Arielle has sold a book based on the title alone. We give examples!
0:42 Introducing the Word Pool Game for finding your title
0:49 Step 1 – On a big board, write down every word you can think of related to your book.
1:10 Step 2 – Assemble a group of friends. Pro tip: get some literate and interesting friends.
1:30 Step 3 – Start mixing words to form titles that are new, catchy, and spark joy.
1:55 Step 4 – Take notes as you and your friends are throwing out titles. Think about main title and subtitle.
2:48 Step 5 – Narrow down to a short list of about six titles. Share those titles and ask for opinions. Have people rate the titles they like best. Try a poll on social media to see which title readers like best.
3:50 Rick Beyer thought his title was stupid. Arielle convinced him to share it, and that title — THE GREATEST STORIES NEVER TOLD — went on to be a mega-bestseller.
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Our fabulous Kansas City Pitchapalooza winner, Genn Albin, gives us part 3 of 4 of her journey to a six-figure deal for her YA dystopian fantasy novel, Crewel:
I was an agented writer. Now it was time to whip the manuscript into shape and outline the sequels. Mollie and I worked like fiends for three weeks, passing revisions back and forth and discussing submission strategies. During that time a sneak peek to one editor turned into a pre-empt offer. We kept working on revisions and opted to submit to a list of editors on the Friday before Memorial Day. On Tuesday we got our second offer with a choice of editors at the house. I took four phone calls that day to discuss editorial and marketing strategies. The next day we had two more, and a fifth offer came in on Thursday. That afternoon my agent asked for everyone to submit best offers and marketing plans.
Once again I found myself torn between two amazing choices. I knew I couldn’t go wrong either way, but by the end of Thursday a final offer and an amazing marketing plan landed in my email. As soon as I saw it, I knew my choice was made. Not only did I have an enthusiastic editor offering, her enthusiasm was shared by her whole imprint.
My agent suggested I sleep on it to be sure and I spoke to her early in the morning to let her know I was sure. On Friday, June 3rd, exactly one month since my first meeting with Mollie, she sold my book in a three book deal to Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. I was going to be a published author!
As soon as I had the official announcements, I emailed it to Arielle and David. I can’t share what David said because it’s not PG enough for a blog post, but, suffice it to say, they were ecstatic.
So that’s my wild ride, and what did I learn from it? A lot of people think this business is about luck, but I believe we make our own luck. It can be scary to tae chances and put your work out there, but there are so many opportunities if you’re just willing to take a chance. I could have left my name out of the box at Pitchapalooza. I could have given up on getting my query into the live event. I could have chosen an agent who wanted to run spell check and submit. Those would have been the easy choices. But I was tired of dipping my toes in the water, so I jumped in the pool. And what do you know? I can swim.