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Writing Books/Title Of Books


QUESTION: How can one give a perfect, great title to a book?

ANSWER: Hello Johnny and the best to all Norwegians!

In seeking the best title for a book, my favorite method is to view my text as though it is scrolling on a marquee, like over a movie theater or live show. I can't say why, but for me, this method produces a title satisfactory (to me, at least), 90% of the time. You don't have to do it consciously for very long before it becomes kind of a subconscious habit as you review your text.

Other methods include quotes, Biblical quotations, phrases from poetry, etc. Just be conscious that you are looking for a title without thinking about it to much.

I hope this helps. If it does, a good rating would be greatly appreciated.

And thank you for writing!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: You write: "In seeking the best title for a book, your favorite method is to view your text AS THOUGH IT IS SCROLLING MARQUEE LIKE OVER A MOVIE THEATER OR LIVE SHOW." What does that mean; could you please clarify that area? How do you give a title to a book? In other words, specifically share me your viable method.
Again, you write: "other method include quote, Biblical quotations, phrases from poetry, etc."
It is good to know that phrases from poetry, quote...can be used to give title to a book, but it is sad to say that how to use those things are not explained, known.
Besides, what does this expression signifies: "just be conscious that you are looking without think about it much"? SO I'D BE EXTREMELY HAPPY IF YOU RE-EXPLAIN MY PREVIOUS QUESTION(how can one give a perfect, great title to a book) IN LAYMAN'S TERM, THAT IS, IN DEPTH!

Hello Johnny:

You are asking me to explain the unexplainable. I don't understand what part of "As though it is scrolling like a marquee over a movie theater or live show" you don't understand. If you have never seen a marquee and are not acquainted with movie theaters or live shows, you would probably not be able to picture this.

How to explain how to use a phrase from poetry, the Bible...hmmm. Maybe we'd better take a  moment here to explore the function of titles. As you probably know, titles come in all types and sizes. I have just finished a book called "The Widow," and another called "The Nightingale." These are popular books, but to me, at least, the titles are failures. In many instances, the title is the first contact the reader (and potential buyer) has with the book. What does "The Widow" tell the reader about the book? Nothing, except perhaps that the book may be about a woman who is a widow. So? That certainly doesn't prompt me to want to buy the book. Is "The Nightingale" about a bird?

Better titles are certainly available. "All the Light We Cannot See" I think is a marvelous title. I could not see any connection to the book, but perhaps that's my fault. Anyway, the title is intriguing. Your title must resonate with you, must excite a feeling in you, and there is no explaining how that happens. If it happens to you as you read quotes or poetry or your text, that's great, but no one else can make it happen for you. Certain people seem to have a talent for titles, others apparently do not. Perhaps you are one of those. If that is true, you may decide to let someone else to read your text then suggest a title.

Keep trying, don't give up. This may be a skill you can develop as you go along.

And good luck with your book.  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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