Throughout August, we’ve been running the 10,000 Word Summer Book Challenge.
We’ve had dozens of clients who have been working on their book; some in the early stages and others finishing their manuscript.
The second webinar of the month was an ‘Ask The Book Mentor’ session, and I was asked the following question:
How do I find a book title, cover and the first few lines to hook the reader?
There are many things that we advise clients to think about when writing a book, which are especially important if you want it to be a brilliant business building tool. If you’ve already downloaded the Get Started workbook, you’ll know that there are 21 questions we suggest you consider first!
I answered this question in the webinar, and I thought you might find useful too.
Your book title
The title (and subtitle) of your book is important, and there are various things to consider when deciding what to call your book.
I believe that your book title should clearly get across what your book is about, who it’s for, what problem the book is solving and the solution you’re providing. Oh and in a maximum of 8 words!
It’s not enough to be clever and use a phrase that means something to you (but nobody else!)
If you think about it, there will be two types of people who will buy your book.
1. Those who know and love you already. They may be part of your tribe or community, or will meet you at an event and want to get to know you better.
2. Then there are those who you’re likely to reach with your book, who may find it through a Google search, a recommended read on Amazon, or through a recommendation from a friend. For these type of people, having a title that grabs them is absolutely essential – otherwise they probably won’t find you or buy a copy.
So how do you choose a book title?
In this blog ‘What makes a bood book title?, that I wrote in January 2017, I go into this topic in more detail and give you some questions to consider when choosing a book title.
In a nutshell, you’ve got the safe title that tells people what they’re going to get from your book. Then there’s the snazzy title that will create intrigue and curiosity. To a certain extent, it depends on what you want your book to do for you.
Let me give you an example. We’re in the final editing and design stages of Louise Herrington’s book.
Louise’s book title is: The Singing Accountant’s Guide to Tax and Accounts
The subtitle is: Everything A Performer Needs To Know To Keep The Tax Man Happy
What I love about Louise’s title is that it does what it says on the tin. As an opera singer in her spare time, she’s known as The Singing Accountant, and it’s clear that her book is aimed towards performers (actors, singers, artists and such like). And if you haven’t yet guessed it, it’s all about doing your tax and accounts!
Louise has a wicked sense of humour, and she’s turned a potentially boring subject into something that educates and makes you smile, and the subtitle gives you a clue to her humour and what her readers are going to get from her book.
One more thing about the title. When you list your book on Amazon (and all of the other online book stores), the keywords you use are important, especially when you’re using your book to find a brand new audience.
Having the right keywords in the title, the description and the metadata (the information behind the scenes) are all likely to get a book noticed. If you want more Amazon tips, you can read my blog on this topic here.
Your book cover
As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover… But we do, don’t we?
The cover is one of the most important parts of a book. If it doesn’t stand out, make an impact, then people are going to pass it by and move onto something else.
At Librotas, we have a designer who creates bespoke internal and external design for our client books, as we know that it’s an important part of the process. Every book that is designed is unique and aimed towards the client’s ideal reader.
We’re in the final design stage of Azmina Jiwa’s book, Freedom to Be Me, which personally I love and it’s getting some great feedback already.
You can check out some of our other client books on our website.
Also don’t forget your book has a back cover! What do you do when you pick up a book? You look at the front, you turn over onto the back page, and what is written on this page will either hook you in or not. This is a perfect place to sell your book.
You want your ideal reader to resonate with what you say.
Talk their language.
Tap into the emotion of how they feel.
Tell them what your book will do for them.
Tell them a bit about you and why you wrote the book.
Evoke their curiosity to open up the book and read on!
The first few lines of a book – is your hook
As my third book clearly says on its book title, Your Book is the Hook. But actually how you start your book is also a hook!
I mean this in terms of the first few lines on the page. Many people who are thinking about buying a book will review ‘Look inside’ on Amazon and will glance at the first few pages to see where it is relevant or download a sample to their Kindle or e-reader device.
That’s why the first few lines are very important.
We’ve been working with Claire Brumby on her new book, The Winning Mix. Claire starts her book with the story of when she thought she was having a heart attack; an emotive start and very strong hook. It quickly taps into why she set up a food business, and leads into how she now mentors food entrepreneurs to do the same.
Whether you start with a dramatic story like Claire, your why, or some of the difficulties your readers are facing, having a strong introduction is something that we suggest all authors think about.
What things do you think are important in a book?
What do you think are the most important things that you consider when reading a book?
Which books have hooked you in with their title, cover or first few lines? I’d love your comments and shares.
And if you’d like help with any of these areas – finding your hook, your title, the design, back cover or the first few lines – please get in touch to find out how we can help you.