An Author’s First Marketing Device

Storming Heaven, by Kyle Mills

I Do, but I Don’t, by Cara Lockwood

We’ll Meet Again, by Mary Higgins Clark

The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly

You Had Me At Halo, by Amada Ashby

Elvis Takes a Backseat, by Leanna Ellis

Playing for Pizza, by John Grisham

My Name is Russel Fink, by Michael Snyder

These are among the books on my shelf. Some are written by authors everyone knows, some by folks no one knows, a couple by people I know personally. So if you’re looking at the authors to see why I bought these books, you’re only partly right.

I liked the titles.

The Last Sin Eater, by Francine Rivers

The Survivors Club, by Lisa Gardner

Death du Jour, by Kathy Reichs

Fire Dancer, by Colleen Coble

Thyme for Love, by Pamela S. Meyers

Funny thing about book stores. They have only so much room to present books with the covers facing out. In fact, publishers tend to pay a bit extra for such a face-forward presentation. Which means the title is often the first thing a browser sees as he’s scanning the shelves, which, in turn, means the title is a selling point.

If you’re Mr. Famous Author, all you need showing is your name–Grisham, Reichs, Gardner, Rivers. But if you’re breaking into the scene, you’ll need every advantage you can get. How does your title measure up? Is it a good teaser? Does it make a browser want lift the book from the shelf to see the cover–the second biggest selling point?

Take extra time with your title. It should pique curiosity even as it clues the reader in to what the book is about. It should be catchy, intriguing, inviting.

So, how’s your title?

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Writing Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An Author’s First Marketing Device

  1. joannesher says:

    Those ARE great. My (working) titles aren’t bad – but I probably need to work on them. Super post.


  2. Wonderful, Linda! I know several authors who get a title for a book before the characters have even tapped them on the shoulder.


  3. Lynne says:

    Great post, Linda. And so true. A title is a fun thing to work with. And I think it’s cool if you work the title into the dialog somewhere in the book. Only once! It really thrilled me with my first book, when I got a smiley face and a favorable comment from my editor when 3/4 of the way through the manuscript I used the title to express a very important “aha moment” for my heroine.

    Love your blog!



  4. Great point. I think we (read: I) overlook that all too often. My focus in naming a story has always been thematic, but I think can of several books off the top of my head that I became interested in just from their titles.


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