How To Name Your Book

July 05, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro

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When I was working on my first book, I had no idea what to name it. I consulted with a top marketing and advertising specialist for help and his response was this: “Let the market decide the title for you.” So, that’s exactly what I did!

After reviewing the manuscript, searching the market for similar products, and listening to my input, the specialist offered the following eight title choices:

1. A Revolution in Strength: The Ultimate Strength Training Guide
2. Strength Training: Theory and Practice
3. Revolutionary Strength Training
4. A Professional’s Guide to Strength Training
5. The Power Book: The Ultimate Strength Training Strategy for Personal Trainers
6. The Definitive Book of Strength
7. The Elite Trainer: Strength Training for the Serious Professional
8. The Personal Trainer’s Guide to Strength Training

Early in 2009, we put together a poll with those eight titles and asked our e-newsletter subscribers for their opinion. We wanted their top three choices. Obviously, you know by now what the ultimate winner was, but here’s how the results broke down at the time:

 Title Total Votes1st Choice2nd Choice3rd ChoiceScore
 The Elite Trainer: Strength Training for the Serious… 2066838
 A Revolution in Strength: The Ultimate Strength… 1466232
 The Power Book: The Ultimate Strength Training… 1053223
 A Professional’s Guide to Strength Training 1242622
 The Personal Trainer’s Guide to Strength Training 1035221
 Strength Training: Theory and Practice 522111
 The Definitive Book of Strength 612310
 Revolutionary Strength Training 30124

I was told that authors are often blinded by their rigid opinions and sure enough, my top choices were ranked near the bottom of the poll! Whenever possible, let the audience decide. They’re the ones that are going to buy your book.

Ultimately, two things sell a book: the title and the cover. It’s often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but most people do! If that title and cover do not grab you within a few seconds, it’s likely that you will not be interested in the book regardless of the content. Once you secure a title, start working on the cover and pass it around to others for their opinion before making the final decision.

If you’re a fitness professional and you plan to write a book, try that approach. Come up with a number of possibilities for the title. Poll your mailing list for the top choice. Then, once you have the title down, get your graphic artist to mock up a few options for a cover design. Again, poll others for the top choice. Don’t decide yourself… let others do it for you.

By the way, if you’re interested in writing a book and having it published in as little as three months, I tell you how to do it in my webinar, The Business of Personal Training: 20 Principles to Success. Here’s a sample clip of the presentation: