How To Come Up With a Book Title – Emily Gale

I love brainstorming book titles . . . or chapter headings . . . or horse names (did you see my last blog post?) . . . I just love naming things. Do you?

When it comes to book titles, I believe there are two important things to consider:

  1. Try to make it sound “catchy”
  2. Don’t try to please *everyone* (you can’t)

Catchy could mean different things. It could mean:

  1. A short title that uses rhyming words or words that start with the same letter, eg. Playing Beatie Bow; Fearless Frederic; Small Spaces; Noni the Pony; Toad Rage.
  2. A long title that gives you clues about what is in the story, eg. How To Make A Movie in 12 Days; Zadie Ma and The Dog Who Chased The Moon; The Year The Maps Changed; The Girl, The Dog, and the Writer in Rome.
  3. A weird title that makes you think: huh? what’s that about? eg. The Way of Dog; Rainfish; Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief; Seven Wherewithal Way; Are You There, Buddha?.

Some people say that a short title is better because it’s easier to remember.

Some people love one-word titles.

Some people think you should put the character’s name in the title.

Some people think that being absolutely original is the number one priority.

In truth, there is no perfect system for coming up with a title, and no title that everyone will love. That’s why my second tip is “Don’t try to please *everyone*. Please yourself! 

If you could re-name some books, what would you call them instead?

Here is a blurb (the writing on the back of the book that explains what it’s about) from one of my books: read it and try to come up with a title. Or see if you can rename a book you read recently, or your favourite book.

Until next time,



The blurb:

Cat and Fanny have never met. They both live in the Sydney, but more than a hundred years apart.

Cat has recently started at a new school on a sports scholarship, and she’s feeling the pressure of early-morning training sessions and the need for total commitment.

Fanny loves to swim and she dreams of the Olympics, but family chores and low expectations for girls make it hard for her to fit in any training at all.

But one day, in the cool ocean water at Wylie’s Baths, Cat and Fanny mysteriously swap places. And they find themselves facing some awkward, amusing and completely unexpected challenges.

What’s it like to live someone else’s life?



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