Developing an attention-getting title is perhaps the most challenging aspect of book marketing. Do not take it lightly as it will have a profound effect on sales. A kick ass title is one of the keys to selling an ebook.
How to Sell Books Online
The first thing you have to know about titles that sell on Kindle is something I teach in my blogging classes. I tell my students if they can grasp this one concept about the Internet they’re destined for great things:
People don’t read. They scan.
Simply put, if you’re trying to reach me—the blog reader, or more specifically, the online book browser– don’t make me work to figure out the meaning of your title because I’m not going to take the time to do it.
The Internet is not a magazine, newspaper or book where you sit down for a good read and have the luxury of masticating every word. If you don’t grab the reader quickly, they’ll move on.
People who read this blog post also read Selling An Ebook.
This argues for keeping titles short and instantly understandable. I should be able to read your title in less than five seconds and know exactly, without question, what your book is about. This is easier to do with nonfiction titles but you fiction folks should adhere to this principle as much as possible.
A Great Example Of What Not To Do
I had a client come to me because her book on infertility was selling so badly she could practically hear Amazon laughing at her. I thought she was going to have a stroke when I recommended she change the title of her book. She was very upset. She had actually trademarked the title, and used it everywhere in her marketing materials (she’s an infertility therapist). Thankfully, she relented.
This was her title:
Hopeful Heart, Peaceful Mind
Quick! Tell me what this book is about. You can’t. Not really. Yes, of course, it’s about infertility, but how vague is that? Is it about the latest infertility treatments? About managing your infertility doctor? The title has a kind of Zen feel to it. Is it about meditations to enhance fertility? It’s anybody’s guess.
This brings us to my fundamental premise about titling books:
DO NOT LEAVE ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION.
If I can’t tell what the book’s about in the title there is very little chance I’m going to click on it to find out. I have better things to do. Remember, I don’t read; I scan. And if I scan a book title that doesn’t tell me exactly what’s in the book I’m on to the next one.
Here is the new title I developed:
Managing The Stress Of Infertility
How To Balance Your Emotions, Get The Support You Need, And Deal With Painful Social Situations When You’re Trying To Get Pregnant
Is there any doubt about the content of this book or whom it’s for? Notice two things: It has a short title and a long subtitle. While this is admittedly almost impossible to do with fiction, it’s something highly advisable for nonfiction. The short title tells you what it’s about while the long title explains the benefits.
Did my client’s new title work? It bears repeating that her book languished in Kindle’s basement for two years, selling an average of one or two books a month. When we re-packaged it with the new title (and all the marketing strategies in this book) it hit the Top 10 Books On Infertility within two weeks. Same book, same price, different marketing strategies, stellar results.
If you already have a title for your book you might want to consider changing it, even if it’s already up on Kindle and requires you to create a new cover. It will make a huge difference in your sales.
I hope this post helped you better understand how to market and sell your ebook. Next week I’ll be continuing with strategies for attracting buyers by highlighting book cover designs.