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How to Write a Provocative Book Title That Grabs Way More Readers

  • By Earma Brown
  • Published 06/1/2009
  • Writing

Is your book title provocative? Does it reach out and grab your potential readers’ eyeballs and compel them to read? To create a provocative book title, one must aim to provoke action, thought or feeling. In other words your title should capture the interest, engage, or shock the senses of your reader? The book cover including the title is considered one of the most important elements of the book. Seventy-five percent of 300 booksellers surveyed (half from independent bookstores and half from chains) identified the look and design of the book cover as one of the most important components. They agreed that the jacket is prime real estate for promoting a book. Here are a few tips to create a provocative book title that reels your readers in like fish on a hook. 1. Ignite interest in your message with a provocative book title. You ignite interest with reader benefits included in the title. Let your potential reader know exactly what you are offering to solve inside your book. For example, “7 Easy Steps to Lose Weight and Keep It Off!” Your readers are always interested to know what’s in your book for them. Ignite interest by putting the WIIFM benefit right in the title. 2. Offer specific information in a provocative book title. General information doesn’t grab attention as well as specific information. The writer has to work on this one. A good way to be specific is add the numbers. You know like how many or what percentage. For instance, “How to Write Articles That Get Read Way More,” will not pull as much interest as, “How to Write Articles That Get Read 300% More.”

3. Increase interest with alternate effect words. Have you noticed how some words with the same meaning have a different effect than other words? Like, 72 hours sounds like a shorter or faster time frame than 3 days. Or 300% mor

e sounds like a bigger benefit than 3 times more. A marketer friend used, “How to Sell 300% More of Your Product in 72 Hours Than You Did All Month,” instead of its less effective counterpart title, “How to Sell 3 Times More Products in 3 Days Than You Did All Month.” Create a provocative book title that sounds bigger, faster, better, etc. using alternate words that mean the same thing. 4.Use the shock effect to create a provocative book title. Has a shocking title grabbed your attention, recently? One of the most popular shows Oprah has done was a show stating that “experts now estimate that up to 40 million women suffer from a loss of sexual desire; it’s likely their partners suffer too.” She even called it “A secret epidemic.” The title that helped pull the viewers in was, “Wives Who Don’t Want Sex.” Create a shocking title for your book backed by a shocking statistic to grab a lion’s share of your audience’s attention. 5. Engage your readers with a negative slant. “5 Website Mistakes to Avoid That Drive Your Site Visitors Away In Less Than 2 Minutes” was one of a writer friend’s most popular titles. My site could be driving visitors away that fast? I’ve been working hard to get site visitors; I want to know what would drive them away so fast. Provocative statements pull at our attention like an electric shock. They make us curious. They sometimes make us angry. They make us feel a lot of different things but most of all they make us read. Don’t wait to develop this important skill. Add the magnetic pulling power of provocation to your front book cover. Provoke your readers to action by grabbing their interest, stirring their emotions or adding specific benefits. Then keep them reading through hot attention grabbing chapter titles and even bullet points throughout your book. Create your best provocative title and pull way more readers than you ever dreamed. Title well and prosper!

Are you ready to develop a provocative book title for your own book?



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