Most people think that having a big publisher, an unlimited advertising budget, a PR consultant on speed dial, and a flashy cover are the things that can help you find success with your book.
And while these factors, if you’re lucky enough to have them, can no doubt contribute to your success, there is ONE simple (and free) thing that the majority of authors overlook.
It’s a very simple thing that you can do in a few minutes, with just a little research. And overlooking it can certainly make your sales suffer, without you really knowing why.
What is it?
Making sure your book’s title is unique.
Why should you do this? For a very simple reason: people will find your book a lot more easily if yours is the only book for sale with that particular title.
When readers want to find a book, what do they do? Likely they go to Amazon and search for the book’s title.
If you’re an unknown author, prospective readers may not necessarily remember your name to match it up with the title. If they’re presented with several books all with the same title, how will they know which one is yours? They may even end up buying someone else’s book when they started off searching for yours.
How disappointing to get someone to take action and attempt to buy your book, only to lose the sale because they were confused about which book was actually the one they were looking for.
Now I’m sure you can probably think of examples of successful books that have the same titles as other books. But truthfully, in this technological age where everything is searchable at the drop of a hat, online sales (rather than in a bookstore) are so important for self-published authors, and readers have such busy lives that they make buying decisions in a split second, it really is advantageous to have a unique title. It will give you the best chance as a self-published author to maximise sales of your book.
So how can you check if your title has already been used? Just use Google search, and Amazon search. Very quickly you’ll be able to see what other materials are for sale using the title you want to use.
We worked with a client recently who had tentatively decided on a title, but when we did a little research we found there were already 3 books currently on Amazon with the same title she wanted to use. So we gave her the same advice we’ve written here: come up with something unique, and make sure people will only find your book.
Now, we know deciding on a title can be one of the trickiest elements of writing. We’re not saying it’s going to be easy to find a unique title, that matches what you want to say, and is punchy, intriguing and descriptive at the same time. But include ‘unique’ as one of the prerequisites to choosing your title, and you’ll already be a step ahead when it comes to making your book stand out.
Have you struggled to think of a unique title? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
We’re Peter and Caroline O’Connor. Creating beautiful book cover designs for authors all over the world is our passion. Every author should be able to benefit from a beautiful book cover design (not just the lucky few who get signed by a big publisher). We design, podcast, and coach authors full-time so we understand your struggles. Currently accepting new clients.