Book Titles that Make Big Bucks

Do you know how readers decide to buy a book? 1) They get a referral from a friend. 2) They see an interesting book title on the best-seller list. 3) They look up a topic (generally non-fiction) and look for a book closest to their interest (generally based on titles). 4) They browse in the bookstore looking for an interesting title ? then they read the book jacket copy. 5) They look on an Internet bookseller's website to find out what other people bought under that title or subject, then they look at book reviews. 6) Finally, generally based on title and book jacket copy or book reviews, they buy your book.

Have you ever bought a book just because of the title? I remember one time when I was browsing in a local bookstore and the book title I was looking at was so provocative; I just had to have it. It turned out to be a humor book, very funny and entertaining. But I never would have purchased the book if it weren't for the title. I wouldn't have even noticed it! Many other times I've seen ads for business books relating to marketing or sales and found an irresistible title, I simply had to have it!

Here's how a great title helped to sell 300,000 books while a poorly chosen title for the same book sold only 1500 copies. Just as a headline can make all the difference in an ad, so the title of your book, especially a non-fiction one, can make the difference between dramatic success (300,000 copies sold) and failure (1,500 copies sold). Would you like to know the secrets of what makes the difference?

For example, here are two actual titles for the same book that were tested, one against the other. One of these was a winner and the other a loser. "The Squash Book" vs. "The Zucchini Cookbook".

In this case, the second book title did better than the first (300,000 copies sold) because it was more specific, letting people know that it was about zucchini squash. It also addressed the needs of the many people who grow zucchini in their yards and don't know what to do with them all. In addition, the title, "The Zucchini Cookbook" let people know that this was a cookbook and not a book about how to grow the vegetable or some other topic related to zucchini. "The Squash Book" only sold 1,500 copies! So, does being specific sell? You won't know until you test.

This particular example underlines the importance of testing your title before you actually publish your book. Try testing several good book titles, then pick the one that did best, you'll be a lot closer to sales success than by just guessing.

An aspiring author created what he thought was a cute book title, "Swimming Chickens". Later he decided that the dismal sales of his literary effort were due to the title he had chosen so he came up with a new one. After reviewing the "hot" topics in the National Enquirer and other such publications he came up with this remarkably successful title "Lose Weight Through Great Sex With Celebrities: the Elvis Way". The book sold several hundred thousand copies and you can still find it on Amazon.com.

Do you think that only short titles sell? There are many examples of direct response marketers who have used long titles (up to 17 words) and still been very successful, often more successful than with short titles. The interesting thing is that direct marketers live or die through the success of their book sales so they test everything before they make a big sales effort.

Here's an example of a case in which a direct marketer bought the rights to an excellent book, with a very short title, that was not making money. He changed the title, then took the book from almost no sales to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. The original losing title was "The Letter Book" and the multi-million dollar winning title was "Slash Your Letter Writing Time by 80% and Write Better Letters". Which version would you buy?

Another remarkable example of improved sales with a better title involved a self-published book called "The Entrepreneurs' Manual", which sold only 12 copies. The direct marketing savvy author renamed the book "Why SOB's Succeed and Nice Guys Fail in Business" and sold 700,000 copies over a period of several years.

When creating your book title, be sure to use important keywords if you plan to sell it online. I recently came across a book about Internet auctions that did not have the keyword eBay in the title. Even though the book received good reviews, prospective buyers overlooked it, because when someone typed in eBay, this excellent auction book did not show up. Since eBay is the premier auction site on the Internet, the keyword eBay should certainly be included in the title of any such book.

Now you have seen the power of a good book title in action. Many authors, publishers and self-publishers have used ideas similar to the ones in this article to turn book sales disasters into book sales success!

Teddi McDonald has been an Internet marketer and copywriter for over 7 years. She writes winning Internet sales copy and helps clients earn more money from their websites. Contact her through her website goal setting

Copyright 2005 Teddi McDonald

You have permission to reprint this article when the author text box and live hyperlink along with copyright are preserved intact.

In The News:


What We Need to Make a Good Author Marketing Platform
Digital Book World
And if you read a lot of books, you probably have a Goodreads account and may have even found a few blogs you trust for book recommendations. But it's on the other side of the discoverability equation (helping authors get discovered) where there's room ...


Deutsche Welle

How BookTubers are changing book marketing
Deutsche Welle
She's known as Little Book Owl. Anyone wanting to become a successful BookTuber might be inspired by her style. Her channel already has nearly 132,000 subscribers, so she seems to know a thing or two about what works best. Actually, she readily shares ...


Business Lexington

Book review: Daily devotionals for motivating marketing professionals
Business Lexington
Marketing: Whether you're an entrepreneurial start-up or a multimillion-dollar conglomerate, it's the pivotal base of your business success. And while most of us have been exposed to it since we were born, successful marketing remains a major challenge ...


Digital Book World

Social Media Marketing Must Be Manageable
Digital Book World
Along with organizing your time, you might consider learning how to piggyback everyday tasks to include social media marketing. Sandra Beckwith's 7 Ways to Promote Your Book While Watching TV can start your wheels turning. Waiting rooms are great ...

and more »

PR Newswire (press release)

Book Marketers Win Big with Authors Marketing Pro
PR Newswire (press release)
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Authors Marketing Pro (AMP) is helping authors, publishers, and distributors sell more books by automating the book marketing process -- saving time and money! AMP was started with the intention of solving a ...

and more »

Digital Book World

Social Media Marketing Must Be Sustainable
Digital Book World
In How to Market a Book, Joanna Penn writes, “The first job of an author is, of course, to write great books, but these days, their second job is to market them.” Penn goes on to address the misunderstanding many authors have about marketing: I know ...

and more »

Book Marketing Workshop series Sept. 9-Nov. 18
Quad-Cities Online
The Book Marketing Workshop series will be held every other Wednesday evening starting Sept. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Nov. 18. Applications, mainly required to help in planning workshop sessions, are due no later than Aug. 23; details are ...

and more »

Linsey Deverich embarks on new book marketing campaign
Benzinga
In 2014, author Linsey Deverich launched her memoir, "Wandering Through La La Land with the Last Warner Brother" (published by AuthorHouse), the untold true story of her long-time relationship and engagement to Jack L. Warner. Now Deverich is ...

and more »

Lenawee Now earns top marketing award
The Daily Telegram
For the second year in a row, Lenawee Now received a top state marketing award presented by the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA). The award went to Lenawee Now's community book, “Pure Michigan — Lenawee!” It was selected as the ...


Mobile Marketing Watch

Global Marketer Shares Keys to Customer Centricity in New Book
Mobile Marketing Watch
Global Marketer Shares Keys to Customer Centricity in New Book As more information than ever is now being transmitted instantaneously, Denyse Drummond-Dunn, President and Chief Catalyst of C3Centricity — a global consultancy that helps businesses ...

and more »
Google News

Five Tips To Consider When Choosing A Publisher

Choosing a publisher probably seems like a complicated task, however,... Read More

A First Time Authors Publicity Kit Materials

If you're a new author that has been requested to... Read More

Quiz: Will Online Book Marketing Help Sales?

Most authors sigh a sigh of relief when they finish... Read More

Your Book Marketing Plan - Winning Strategies and Tips

Many authors hit a roadblock when it comes to putting... Read More

Raise Your Hand If Youd Consider Giving Up The Rights To Your Book Forever

If Random House pulls up to your house with a... Read More

FSBO Author believes in Bookswaps

Hi Noel,I absolutely love your website, As an MS sufferer... Read More

Dont Clone your Book or Business Marketing

Remember that the miracle of cloning sheep has its drawbacks.... Read More

Top 5 Book Selling Tips

TIP # 1Online reviews are paramount in importance when it... Read More

Book Publishing Without Pain

When I meet an author with a great book concept,... Read More

Why Should I Buy your Book?

How would you like to have countless people clamoring for... Read More

Book Events - Make Yours Successful

A book event (a book signing) is a popular way... Read More

Increase Book Sales: At Book Fairs, Festivals and Trade Shows

Play a bigger game with your book sales by expanding... Read More

Ready, Set, Go Sell Your Book In The Real World!

We hear a lot these days about more books actually... Read More

Never Pay Full Price for a Book!

Are you an avid reader? Are you trying to instill... Read More

Increase Book Sales: When a Book is No Longer Just a Book for Sale

Do you have books sitting in your garage that you... Read More

Authors Should Be Optimistic

A client wrote me recently and asked what I thought... Read More

Attract More Buyers to Your Book: Use Metaphors

Surprise your potential buyers. Give them chocolate frosting!After we entered... Read More

The Book Signing

Tomorrow night is my first Local Writers Fair. I've been... Read More

Best Selling Book Cover Design

To get a book cover design may be expensive and... Read More

Discover 3 Easy Ways to Promote Your Articles

Are you using these methods to promote your articles?If not,... Read More

Writers: The Truth About Advertising, Publicity, and PR

Many of us are trying to do business and don't... Read More

Super Profitable Techniques for Selling Books By Mail

The total number of books sold by small, part-time mail... Read More

How Many Ways Can You License Your Tips Booklet?

You've been thinking about writing a tips booklet. After all,... Read More

How To Market A Suspense Novel In An Online Multimedia Format

If you haven't heard of the author C.F. Jackson or... Read More

Make your Book Stand Out From the Crowd: Know your Audience

Most authors say, "Everyone will want my book, and when... Read More