How to Craft Your Title & Subtitle

I got a book in the mail last week from someone inspired to write a book. I think they’ll have a hard time selling their book organically (outside of their intimate circle of friends and family) because they didn’t quite nail the title or subtitle. And, I get this question a lot:

How do I title (and subtitle) my book? 

Think of your title as the “what.” Answer this question:

What is the book about? 

With You Must Write a Book, that’s what the book is about. My newest book is: The Miracle Morning for Couples. Easy, right? Actually, yes. Your book title should very easily and succinctly tell what your book is about (and hopefully, be easy {enough} to remember). More great examples:

The Four-Hour Work Week

Crush It!

Never Pay Retail for College

Money Talks

When titling your book, go with the obvious and easy. Don’t over-think, go with your gut!

The subtitle seems like it could be tricky, but ultimately it’s the answer to this question:

What is the promise of my book? 

In other words, what will the reader get as a result of reading the book? The subtitle of the book I received is Crossing the Finish Line is Just the Beginning. I don’t even know what that means (and no, I’m not calling out the author or telling you the name of the book). I don’t know what I would get as a result of taking the time to read the book. So I’m probably going to add it to my “to donate” pile instead of my “to read” pile.

Let’s use You Must Write a Book‘s subtitle again as an example:

Boost Your Brand, Get More Business, and Become the Go-To Expert

You know exactly what you’re going to get when you read the book: you’ll boost your brand (get more name/logo recognition), get more business (make more money!), and become the go-to expert (differentiate yourself from the crowd). Everyone says they’re the expert, but you have a book and that, my friend, makes you the expert!

You have about six seconds to convince someone to buy your book when it crosses their path, and your title and subtitle have gotta be fantastic. Make sense?

In 2012, Pam Grout wrote the international #1 bestseller E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. It’s sold bajillions of copies (give or take) and is still ranking well on Amazon, even after several years. Way to go, Pam! But she first published the book under the title God Doesn’t Have Bad Hair Days. Same book, bad title and subtitle. It’s ranked about 300,000 on Amazon (a.k.a. it’s not selling very much).

The right title and subtitle can make tons of difference in the success of your book. Have questions? Press reply and send me an email, or leave it in the comment section of the blog.

{Big Announcement}: I’m doing the You Must Write a Book LIVE Coaching Course a few times a year, based on You Must Write a Book, and you can grab your free copy here. In the Course, I walk you through every aspect of the book creation, writing, publishing, launching, and marketing process (and so much more)! If you’re interested in learning more, visit here or send an email to to schedule a complimentary 15-minute discovery question to see how I can help you bring your book to life.

Stay cool, writer friend!



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