How do you create the perfect title for your novel?

I have spent the last few days working hard on my short story and trying to come up with a great title. I felt I should share my process with you and I would be very interested to know how you would (have) gone about choosing a title.


My two key aims for a title are; to be relevant and to be eye-catching.

There is no point coming up with an amazing title that has no relevance to the story. I would not want to cheat my readers in this way. It would be a waste of something that should help readers in choosing a book.

I know you will have heard of the line ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ Well I do. I like to see what style of art has been chosen and I am immediately judging that title as to whether it’s a good book for me to read.

I think a title is a great tool in attracting the attention of those who are likely to be interested in your book. For example, If I wrote a flowery title like ‘Pink roses’ then you would probably suspect it to be a romance. So if my story is more of an action then I should steer clear of the ‘Pink roses’ title.

This is all very objectionable and vague but I think you know by looking at a title what genre it is likely to be in, so when coming up with my title I am thinking about its relevance to the genre but also its relevance to the exact story.

In making it relevant to the story I must try to make sure the title doesn’t give away a plot twist, the title must not give away the ending. A few that I played around with did just this and would have therefore ruined any suspense.

So if my title is relevant and doesn’t give away the ending then I must think on whether it will stand out. Is it unique?

This was my downfall and I am now struggling over what to do. I came up with a title that I felt fit the story perfectly, but then I discovered that the title was already in use for a fantasy novel. 

I must decide whether to carry on regardless, as the story is very different to mine (the title being the only similarity that I could see), or should I keep looking for that elusive great title.


So this is my process so far, what about you? Do you have a title fixed from the start that never changes? Do you go through a great number of possible titles? What would you do if you found another novel baring your title?


8 thoughts on “How do you create the perfect title for your novel?

  1. You could always nick a line/phrase from Shakespeare. It might take a bit of time to find one that hasn’t already been used, but it guarantees a classic, already-in-the-public-consciousness title.

  2. I go through a lot of titles, especially if the book changes. Sometimes it takes me forever to come up with a title and sometimes it’ll just hit me out of the blue. I’d say keep striving for a great title. And don’t be afraid to ask friends for input. 🙂

    1. Thank you for commenting. I have got a few friends reading through and giving me feedback so I will be running my titles ideas past them to make sure they fit, I can get quite frustrated so I hope it doesn’t take me too long to find a good title. I have an okay one atm but who wants to read an ‘ok’ book lol.

      1. Sometimes okay title can turn into great title if it really does well to describe the work. Trust that it will come, but for me I focus on stressing more on what’s in between the covers than what’s on them. It’ll come to you. They always do.

  3. Use the one that clicks with you, and it’s okay if it’s not the only book with that title as long as other books by the same title have different subject matter. If the subject matter is too similar, then keep hunting until you feel that click again. I think it should have a feeling of “rightness”.

    1. Yea i’m on the hunt for a new title and have an ok one so far but will keep thinking. Thanks for commenting :).
      That’s what i’m looking for, one that just clicks 😀

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