In advertising, it’s said, 80% of the effectiveness of your ad depends on your headline. Brian Clark of Copyblogger says
Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a compelling promise that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist. From a copy writing . . . standpoint, writing great headlines is a critical skill.
Selecting the title and subtitle will be the single-most important piece of copy writing you will do for your book. A great title will not sell a bad book but a poor title will hide a good book from potential customers. Both your title and subtitle must be a selling tool. They are the hook that help sales.
- David Crompton’s Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter (Glenstrae Press)
- James A Yannes’ Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich (Trafford)
- Daina Taimina’s Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes (A K Peters)
- Ronald C Arkin’s Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots (CRC Press)
- Ellen Scherl and Maria Dubinsky’s The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (SLACK Inc)
- Tara Jansen-Meyer’s What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua? (Mirror)
I’m sure you’ll be interested to know that Daina Taimina’s Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes took home the prize. If you think the book wasn’t worthy, consider the Product Description on Amazon: “Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes is a work of gargantuan proportions whose influence will be measured for decades to come.” So there.
Nothing is off limits—write down anything you can think of that conveys anything about your book. Use visual words that suggest a scene. Other words that evoke an emotion. A sensation. A location. A question. You should have at least 100 words.
In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War
Black Wave: A Family’s Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them
Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance
The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and the Birth of Modern China
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
- The subtitle has to adequately convey, at a glance, what the actual subject matter and scope of the book is.
- The subtitle also has to contain the one or two critical keywords that best represent your book.