You’ve hooked a reader with your title. But the book subtitle reels her in.
I’m talking primarily about your nonfiction book or eBook. Fiction titles typically stand alone. There are famous book subtitle exceptions, of course, such as Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. But more often, a fiction title is followed by a simple subtitle such as A novel or a variation of that, like A novel about the French Revolution.
But nonfiction book titles need a bit of an assist … and it comes in the form of a subtitle. Your book subtitle should grab the reader’s attention, include keywords (so it’s searchable – especially if you’ll publish it on Amazon), and be specific.
If that seems like a tall order, don’t panic. Crafting a book title and its subtitle, I’ve found, can be quite fun. Especially when you have a format to follow.
A book subtitle is a phrase that tells the reader why they should read the book or eBook.
It explains why a reader should plunk down her hard-earned cash for your book and then spend her time absorbing its contents.
All those qualities can boil down to a simple template. I use it when writing the subtitles for my own books. This nifty template can become your own personal book subtitle generator, too.
Book Subtitle = Audience + Benefit + Claim
Identify these three items and weave them together to write your book subtitle. Do so and you’ll find your book subtitle is attention-grabbing, includes keywords, and is specific.
Get your book done! Use this Book Writing Planner to write your book step-by-step.
Let’s put the template to the test by looking at a couple of book subtitle examples.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich
By Tim Ferriss https://amzn.to/3KkrqNt
Book Launch: How to write, market & publish your first bestseller in three months or less AND use it to start and grow a six-figure business
By Chandler Bolt
Writing Devotionals That Stick: A step-by-step guide for writing this unique genre for today’s busy readers
By Kathy Widenhouse
No Gym Needed: Quick & simple workouts for gals on the go. Get a toned body in 30 minutes or less
By Lise Cartwright
Gurus say 3-7 words. The book subtitle examples above are clearly longer than that. Amazon allows up to 199 characters. Clearly, there’s not a hard-and-fast rule about length.
Use your book subtitle to do its job: identify your reader and his problem, offer your book’s benefit, and make a claim about how the reader’s life can change.
Use this refillable, reusable Book Summary Worksheet to write the summary for the back of your book.
Write an engaging book subtitle with a brainstorming session. Create 3 lists:
Sift through your lists and choose the best of each of them. Write several subtitles. Then choose one that works well with your book.
You’ve done the hard part by writing your book. Now have fun with writing your subtitle. And when you follow this simple template, you offer readers a benefit that reels them in with a promise for their future.
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