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Worldbuilding: top tips for tantalising titles

February 28, 2015

I like alliteration best, but it doesn’t always happen. I also have one title with 8 words–A Pinch of Sweetness, A Slice of Murder. Way too long, but I really like it!

Matthew Wright

In this age of web-publishing, discovery is everything, And one way to help skew the calculation is with the right title.

Titles are the ultimate advertising slogan. They are the icing on the cake of the world the author is trying to build – summing up their creation in a few words. Problem is, titles have to do a lot of contradictory things. All at once they have to be:

1. Short and snappy – you have one or two words, maybe with a qualifying phrase if the book’s non-fiction.

2. Inspirational – the title has to get the reader’s imagination going – usually by promising the emotional response they’ll get from reading the book.

3. Descriptive – the title also has to say what the book is about. This is especially true of non-fiction.

4. Original – This may sound obvious, but it pays to check, and even publishers can fall…

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