Sample of books edited and/or sold to publishers by Author One Stop, Inc.

by Randy Peyser

Catchy titles entice people to buy books. But do you know how to title your non-fiction book so it sells to a publisher or reader?

Put yourself in this scenario: A shopper walks into a Barnes and Noble. She’s browsing a particular section for a certain type of book. Perhaps she wants help to solve a problem in her life, or she’s searching for an inspiring, good read in a moment of leisure. As she browses through the books, there are a wide number of options she can choose from.

Remember, all she sees is the spine of your book. That means your title on the spine of your book must be strong enough and compelling enough for her to pick your book up off that shelf. Your title may be catchy, but will it be strong enough to get her to pick up your book?

Here are 8 different ideas to help you title your non-fiction book

1)  Include your target market reader in your title. Think in terms of “I help WHO do WHAT? Example: “A Single Woman’s Guide to___________________”.

2)  Short titles often sell well: Examples of bestsellers: Blink, Pivot, and even my book, Crappy to Happy. You can include a longer explanation in your subtitle.

3)  Focus your title on your reader’s need, not necessarily on your brand. Don’t title a book by your brand just because it’s your brand. Publishers care about selling books, and readers care about solving a problem or enjoying a satisfying read. No one will buy your book just based on the fact that it is your brand statement.

4) Use keywords in your title. Readers use keywords to search on Amazon and Google, so why not include keywords in your title and subtitle?

5)   Choose a title that is easily remembered. Tell a few friends your potential title. Two days later, casually ask your friends if they can recall the title of your book.

6)  Ask your colleagues for title suggestions. You can do an informal survey or use Offer some possible titles, and give your colleagues the opportunity to provide their input or ideas for your title as well.

7)  Check Amazon to make sure your title isn’t taken. Titles can’t be copyrighted, but it can be confusing to readers, who may purchase the wrong book.

8) Make sure your title contains words that people can easily spell.

Randy Peyser is a Literary Advocate and the CEO of Author One Stop, Inc., a national publishing consulting firm. Author One Stop, Inc. provides editing, ghostwriting, book proposal polishing, and services to pitch books to literary agents and publishers.,, (831) 726-3153.


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