Get in Touch

telephone number

01234 711 956

How to choose the perfect title for your novel

5 September 2016

Free Guide to Publishing


Get your free guide to publishing with expert industry advice, tips and hints.

Ok, first - a disclaimer, and something of an admission. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect title’ for a novel. And that doesn’t mean this blog post was a cheeky attempt to get you clicking; it simply recognises the eternal search for perfection as being something that makes self-published authors special.

The fact you’re reading this post means you care, and that matters.

Although we can’t help you find the perfect novel title, we can give you some rather useful pointers on choosing one that best fits the narrative and, crucially, grabs the imagination of potential readers.

So, without further ado, here are 6 great tips for choosing a novel title:

1. Use Google

Chances are, you’ve got a few ideas swimming around in your head, but you’re concerned about their originality. Google is the best friend you can have when picking a novel title; use it to research just how original an idea yours is. If you’re the first person to coin a phrase - you’re onto something.

2. Layer in a hidden meaning or two

Some of the most successful books ever published feature titles that only begin to make sense once the reader is a good two thirds or so into the novel. A hidden meaning within your title creates intrigue and quickly becomes unforgettable when the reader hits upon it’s origins.

3. Don’t forget the point of view

Writing in the first person? Make sure your title fits with the rest of the story on that front. ‘Sarah’s Last Stand’ offers far more weight and coherence with the novel if instead titled ‘My Last Stand’.

4. Don’t give the game away

You’re desperate for people to get to the twist on page 198, but don’t let your enthusiasm get in the way of creating a suspenseful title. Avoid sabotaging the plot by giving the game away within the name of your book; refer to tip 2.

5. Use strong, active verbs

Marketers are forever reminded the importance of using strong, active verbs when promoting a product or service. The same goes for your novel. What sounds more enticing: ‘Love Beneath the Cherry Tree’ or ‘Desire Beneath the Cherry Tree’?

6. Always use a working title

Some authors will only start writing once a brilliant title enters their head, but that’s a rare occurrence for most of us. Don’t sweat over the title of your novel from the start - just write. Chances are, it’ll come to you as you get deeper into it. Just use a working title that encapsulates the main theme - you can ditch that and give it a proper name later - there’s no rush.


We hope the above list helps in your quest to grant your novel the title it deserves. And remember - if you’ve got some tips of your own you’d love to share with the self-publishing community, click below to tell the world your story:


Image credit

© Copyright 2024 New Generation Publishing

Web Design Northampton by New Edge