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Publication Title
Judging a book by it's cover page.

Titles can mean many things to many people. Subject matter and scope of project can vastly effect what is "acceptable" and marketable for a given book. There are no hard and fast rules, but here is some food for thought.

The title can be excellent advertising. It can impact many things during the manuscript process, as well as how easy it is to find for use and enjoyment, once it has been published. The title may change several times before a manuscript is completed and change is good. Brainstorm - don’t just pick the first thing you think of. Experiment with ideas, content, and wording, to represent your body of work. Your title should pack the most information in a single sentence and have the best rhythm and sound when read aloud.

Based on the project, consider:

  • Reflect the subject

  • Use keywords - This will help online marketing.

  • Simple and straightforward - The title is not a place to add mystery or restrict your audience by education level.

  • Length of title (including subtitles) - For some types of books longer titles are allowed for, even expected.

  • Considers the target reader

  • Set the hook - "Judging a book by it's cover."


  • Brainstorming is a great way to get started.

  • Don't leave setting the title until the last minute - good titles reflect the time spent selecting them.

  • Realize your marketing text, summary and/or cover "blurb" can further explain the title and build reader's intrigue/interest.

    • Use of variable data printing can further customize or personalize title pages. i. e. "Carolyn's history of the Crowders", providing space on the page for the owners surnames included in the book or immediate family index listing, etc.

When considering a title, the following considerations may also influence your choice:

  • Cover design - on spine (consider space for library labels) and front, how does it fit in the space available and how does it look with the chosen fonts and sizes. If the title is long, or you wish to use a large type, where is the best place to line break for an effect that is pleasing to the eye. If a long title is desired, does the entire title go on the front and spine, or just the "meat" of it?

  • Title page - don't over clutter when using desired elements. Many of the same considerations for the cover should be looked at.

  • Advertising: Does the title help or hurt the design of promotional pieces, fit into subject lines (email, filing, reference, etc.), forms (print and electronic, book listing and cataloguing (sales and library catalogs, bibliographic references, etc.)?

For more suggestions on this subject and more, order our book:
wholesale price eligible G550-$20.00 WRITING Family History Or Genealogy For Pleasure and Profit Complete Edition, by Gregath Company, Inc., *updated* 2015. ISBN: 978-0-944619-00-1, 8½x11", softbound book, 132 pages, suggestions & examples of all facets of your project for the typist and/or computer user. Note: All G prefix books 100 pages or more, this one included, that are SB can be special ordered in hard cover edition - contact for details. Also available on disk. | Click here for more information.

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Page Last Updated: January 09, 2019

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