7 Ways to Brainstorm the Best Title for Your Book

In a recent post, I revealed how to find the perfect title for your novel. First, brainstorm appropriate titles, second, test how often the titles are searched on Google, and third, make sure few others have the same title. My method for finding the right title is designed to help your fans-to-be discover your book.

Recently, I’ve finished the draft to the sequel of my bestselling thriller The Torah Codes. Now I’m applying my method of finding the best title, and the system works so well that I’ve discovered all of my title ideas are bad titles!

I quickly ran out of title ideas, so I resorted to 7 brainstorming methods I didn’t reveal in my previous post.

Below are great ways to expand ideas for your book title.

1. Use Google’s keyword tool – Look up “Google’s keyword tool” in Google’s search engine. When you open the top search result, type in a list of titles you already have in mind. No need to log in, just check your title ideas and you’ll see a list of relevant keywords similar to your original ones. I found several new title ideas this way, but none fit the requirements for being a good title.

2. Browse through an index – Find a text book that covers themes or the message in your novel and look at the terms listed in the index. In my sequel, the protagonist doesn’t understand why bad things happen to good people. I looked for title ideas in a commentary in the Book of Job. While I did come up with new title ideas, I also confirmed that none of them passed my test of being a good book title.

3. Read descriptions of similar books – Find a novel similar to yours, or a textbook with a similar message, and read its description on Amazon. You might just find words or phrases that describe your story that you hadn’t thought of. In my search, I learned of the word “theodicy” which perfectly described my novel. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit the “appropriate title” requirement because anyone doing a search for the term “theodicy” is not looking for a thriller to read. It also sounds too much like “The Odyssey.”

4. Use the “Keyword Map” tool – At www.kwmap.net, type in a word and you’ll see related terms searched by others. When I typed in “theodicy,” I came across the phrase “the problem with evil” as a title idea but that, too, didn’t satisfy all the requirements of being a good title. There were too many books with a similar title, and too many webpages with the same title.

5. Look up keywords used for websites – Find a website with similar themes to your book, right-click (Ctrl-click for Mac) anywhere on the page, and choose “View Page Source”. Eeek! Scary computer code! Near the top you should see: meta name=”keywords”. Beside that will be a list of keywords the website uses for that web page. I used this approach to find the words “God” and “evil” which led to a new bunch of title ideas. The best title in terms of being searched the most with the least amount of competition was “evil God.” But that didn’t satisfy my requirement of being an “appropriate title” for my book.

6. Make a tag cloud – On www.tagcrowd.com, you can cut and paste your text into a text box and see the most common words in your manuscript. You can even exclude the words that wouldn’t fit a title, such as “said” or “didn’t” or “it.” This is great for seeing which words come up the most in your novel and for getting new ideas on what might be a fitting title. I couldn’t find anything that worked for my novel, but I had a thrill seeing what words I used most!

7. Revisit brainstorming your own ideas – All of these tasks help get the creative juices flowing and will likely have you come up with new title ideas on your own. After looking in Google’s keyword tool, indexes, website’s keywords, and other brainstorming tools, I was able to think of a great working title for my sequel: “Fighting with God.” The phrase accurately portrays my protagonist’s state of mind, there are few books that have “Fighting with God” in their title, and there are over 12,000 monthly searches for “Fighting with God.”

Brainstorming a title for your book can be fun, but also incredibly time consuming. I’d say I spent a good ten hours finding my perfect title. Incidentally, “Fighting God” was also a good candidate, but it sounded too much like “Finding God.” So if someone told their friend to read “Fighting God,” their friend might mishear the title and buy the wrong book.

So what do you think is your best title? And how long does it take for you to come up with titles? Please post your comments and shares below!

***
Book marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra today to begin the conversation on how he can help you now via FacebookTwitter, or contact him through this blog, or email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.

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8 Responses

  1. Ezra, thanks for the timely article and great ideas — I tried this on the first of the two title-less books I’m working on, and it now has a title. I’m planning to try it on the other one tonight. Many, many thanks.

  2. Ezra Barany says:

    You’re welcome, Margaret. I’m glad my article helped. And thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It’s nice to know my articles are being read. Best of luck to you!

    -Ezra

  3. Sebastian Clouth says:

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  4. Great post! I just re-pinned it on Pinterest. 😉

    I found my first book’s title by researching symbolism related to its theme. Turned out well, as the title has multiple meanings—will be fun to see who picks up on which.

  5. I like this website very much so much wonderful information.

  6. Linda Schott says:

    10 years ago I was browsing the library at my church and came across a self help book. The thing that caught my attention wasn’t the book but the Author. It was my name on the cover spelled the same way I do. Now if I want to get my books published some day could this hinder me in anyway?

  7. Beth Barany says:

    No, not necessarily. It depends several things, including what genre your book is and the other author, if that other author has other books out, etc. The main thing is you don’t want readers to be confused. You may need to add a middle initial, for example.

  1. October 22, 2012

    […] 7 Ways to Brainstorm the Best Title for Your Book […]

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