Writing

Four Tips to Help You Create the Perfect Title for Your Book (With Imagine Anthology Updates)

It’s time to Imagine…

Hey, TWNers!!! So at the beginning of each post from now until when Imagine’s released, I’m going to try to give updates on how the anthology is coming along and some fun sneak peeks! That way you guys can stay in the know about what’s happening and I can have some accountability. 🤣 If you missed the announcement about release date and cover reveal date, they are: Release date for TWN’s Imagine Anthology is September 21, 2021. (Guys THAT IS A MONTH AND ONE DAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited and kinda nervous, but mostly excited!) Cover reveal is THIS TUESDAY; August 24, 2021! We hope to see you all then to help celebrate this new release. (And I hear there’s gonna be a pretty awesome giveaway… *cough* just sayin’. XD). So today I’m going to share a little bit about three of the stories featured in this anthology. (If you wanna skip all of this, just scroll until you find the pink breaker. 😉 )

I’m not gonna say too much about the stories (I do enjoy keeping y’all in suspense XD) but I will share an awesome graphic with a quote for three of our stories: “A Dragon’s Choice” by Chloe B. Christensen, “Cursed” by Grace A. Johnson, and “Shape-Shifter’s Code” by Allie Jo Andersen. (I’m hoping to be able to spotlight all of our stories and poems.)

And that’s all I have for Imagine now. Be on the lookout at the beginning of our posts for more information about our other fantabulous stories!!!!

*To start off today’s post, I wanna give a HUGE shout-out to the amazing, sweet, fun, amazing, very-talented-author, fellow TFP fan, did I mention amazing, fantastic blogger, amazing, CHLOEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She recommended this post a while back (cuz you know how long it takes me to get to recommended posts…)!!! SO THANK YOU SO MUCH CHLOE!!!!!! And you guys can check out her AMAZING blog, Confessions of a Reading Geek (which is a pretty awesome title if you ask me…) where she posts just about everything and anything right here!!! Chloe is really one of the sweetest girls I know, never failing to make me smile so hard, and I KNOW you guys will love her and her site as much as I do!!!!!!! 🙂 And if anyone else has any posts they’d like to recommend, please drop me a note in the comments below. I’m not always able to do every one, but I do try my hardest to!!!*

So I’m sure we’ve all at one point or another come to the part where we have to name a novel, a short story,  poem, (hey, even website too!), and sometimes that’s just really hard. You may even right now be sitting over there with an amazing novel whose current title is: The Story That Needs A Name Really, Really, REALLY Badly, but I’ve Got Nothing, So for Now It Will Remain Untitled. Let me just say, I feel ya. And you’re not the only author to come to this point. But hopefully, these next few tips will help you change your title from “The Story That Needs a Name” to something REALLY awesome!!!!! 

Tip #1. Study Book Titles in the Same Genre As Your Book

Have you ever noticed how often the title of a romance novel for instance wouldn’t normally fit, say a high fantasy novel? The genre, themes, and mood of your story can and should have an impact on what you call your book. Because the title of the book in a way, promises the reader what the story’s going to be about. So knowing titles of books similar to yours can help give you ideas AND it can show you what’s already been done because you want to make sure that while it still fits your genre, it is unique and different!

Tip #2. You Can Use a Book Title Generator to Help You Get Ideas

I actually just recently discovered this and it’s really fun just to see what you come up with. While a lot of the titles you’ll get won’t be the most amazing ones ever, these are good for if you need a “working title” for the time being or are just in search of some serious inspiration. Here’s a couple of title generators I’ve used: Book Title Creator, and StoryToolz’s Half Title Generator. They’re really fun just to see what you get!

Tip #3. Make a List of Possible Title Ideas and Send Them to a Friend

Most of the time that awesome title idea doesn’t come on the first try… or the hundred and eighty-seventh. XD So don’t just stick with the first thing that comes to mind. Keep brainstorming ideas, and it’s always best to have a second pair of eyes to look over something ESPECIALLY when you’re having a hard time. You can see which possible title ideas intrigue your friend or just make him/her more excited over the story!!!

Tip #4. There Are Many Things In the Story Itself that You Can Use for Your Title or Help As Inspiration for Your Title

My main source for inspiration for my title ideas often comes from the story itself. Maybe you have a really awesome name you want to spotlight in the title (think Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale–based on the school’s name and an important item to the storyline; The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen–based off the name of a disease in the story; Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter–Winterborne Home is the name of an important house in the book… or at least that’s what I know from the back cover as I haven’t actually read the book yet XD; Fawkes by Nadine Brandes–based off… obviously Guy and Thomas Fawkes XD… and you guys get the idea). Or maybe there’s a certain phrase you say a lot in your book (or even once!) that you can use for the title. That’s where I got my idea for Into the Lamp‘s title. I would often say that phrase and I thought that would be a great idea for the story’s title! Or finally, maybe there is just a certain item/element/theme that you can use for inspiration for the title. Like Heir to His Crown‘s title came because the story was centered around Keenum (the heir) reclaiming his father’s throne that was stolen years ago (or the “his crown” part in my title). 

Now you might be thinking: Does it really matter what I call my book? I mean, isn’t what’s in the story more important? While, yes, that is true. The story in and of itself is VERY important but what’s going to be one of the first things a reader hears about your story? The title! And that can often make or break a reader deciding whether or not to read your book. If you don’t believe me, believe these classic novels whose first titles were very much different from their published ones:

Pride and Prejudice was first called First Impressions

War and Peace was first called All’s Well That Ends Well

The Great Gatsby was first called The High-Bouncing Lover

Gone with the Wind was first called Tomorrow Is Another Day

The Fellowship of the Ring was first called The Return of the Shadow

To Kill a Mockingbird was first called Atticus

The Secret Garden was first called Mistress Mary

Annnndddd

What Lay Beyond the Woods (by yours truly) was first called The Chronicles of Mawdelyn Rolfe and Luther Foreman (back when the plot was VERY different…)

I’m sure a lot of us are glad some of these titles got changed to what they are today!!! I mean can anyone imagine The Secret Garden being called Mistress Mary???? Definitely not me. 🤣

Well, that’s all for today’s post. Let me know in the comments Do you have a title for your WIP or are you having a hard time finding one? Do you find it easy or hard to name titles? Who’s really glad The Fellowship of the Ring’s name was changed from its first title? Any tips you’ve found that help you name titles (please do share!)?

I hope you enjoyed this post, Chloe!! THANK YOU AGAIN SO MUCH for suggesting it!!!!!! 🙂

Keep on being awesome and never stop writing!

~Issabelle Perry

Issabelle Perry is a devout follower of Jesus Christ and an extroverted, slightly crazy, teenage published author of YA fantasy. On the rare occasion when she's not plotting and pursuing her next story idea, you can find her reading, blogging, graphic designing, searching the web for odd facts about the middle ages, hunting for Narnia in wardrobes, or envisioning herself wielding a magnificent sword (but due to her clumsiness, let’s hope that never happens). This self-proclaimed exclamation mark enthusiast and obsessed fan of LOTR and The False Prince (by Jennifer A. Nielsen), is a co-founder of Teen Writers' Nook where she and her sisters are dedicated to motivating and supporting young authors. What she's probably doing right now is fangirling about her favorite books to random people, trying to figure out how to fit the five new books she bought on her overflowing bookshelf, or scanning the pantries for chocolate.

29 Comments

  • Corrie.S.P.

    Awesome!
    I am not writing any books but I want to look at the generators.
    Ahh Misstress Mary???
    I can understand the First Gone with the Wind title.
    I loved the Yoda GIFs.

    • Issabelle Perry

      THANK YOU!!!!!
      Aaaah, yes, those title generators are really fun to play around with, just to see what you get. Have fun!!! 🙂
      Hehehe, ikr???
      Ooooo, really, that’s AWESOME!!!!
      D’awwww, THANK YOU SO MUCH, Corrie!!!! I thought they were pretty funny. XD

  • Allie Jo Andersen

    These are some amazing tips for coming up with a title for your book/short story (or blog, podcast, YouTube channel, etc. XD)!! I’ll definitely be referring back to this when I need a good title for something!!!! 😀

    *gasp* I love those graphics for the short stories in “Imagine”!!!!! They’re awesome!!!! 😀 I love the quote you chose for Shape-Shifter’s Code and the graphic you put with it!!!!! And Cursed and A Dragon’s Choice both look like amazing stories!!!! *squeals* I can’t wait for this book to come out!!!! 😀

    • Issabelle Perry

      YESSSS!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, ALLIE!!!!!! I’m so glad to hear that!!!! <333 (Hahaha, yes, there are so many things out there to name. XD) WOOOHOOO!!!! That is awesome, and actually makes me feel like I'm not as terrible with writing tip posts as I think. XDD So THANK YOU!!!!!! <3333

      EEEEEE, girl, THANK YOU A HUNDRED TIMES OVER!!!!!!!! <3333333 EEEE, girl, it was SO hard to choose a quote for Shape-Shifter's Code! Kat told me I couldn't do the one that you used for your graphic for it and I was like but it was soooo good, how am I gonna find another one that awesome!!! But, good news, you've got a good number of quotes in your story. 😂 But, seriously, THANK YOU!! I was hoping you'd like it!!! *also squeals* THEY DO!!!!!!! Aaaahhh, do you know how hard this wait is just for me alone???!!!! I just can't wait to share these awesome stories with everyone!!!! YESSSSSS!!!!!!! ME TOO!!!!! <333 And thank you!!! All the excitement really just means a lot to all of us!!!!!

      • Allie Jo Andersen

        You are very welcome!!! (Right??) Aw, you’re not terrible at all!!! You should write more posts like these—they’re really good!!! 😀 You’re so welcome, friend!!! 😀

        You are so welcome!!!! Aw, well I would have totally been okay with you doing the same quote!! Aw, thank you!! You’re welcome!!! 😀 Yes, I love it!!!!! Right?! I know!! Hehe, of course!!! Who WOULDN’T get excited about this?? XD 😉

        • Issabelle Perry

          D’awwwww, girl, you’re too sweet. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaahhh, I should!!! I have so many ideas, it just takes me hours to write a post like this. But I always enjoy them!!!! AND I’M SO HAPPY Y’ALL LIKE THEM TOO!!!!!! <33333 *beams* <33333

          Oooooo then maybe I should make a second graphic??? 😍 You're SO welcome!!!!! YESSSS!!!!!!!! AAAAHHH YESSS!!!!! That's what I thought. XD

  • Grace A. Johnson

    EEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYY I AM LIKE SO INSANELY EXCITED FOR IMAGINE RIGHT NOW THAT I COULD JUST SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND IZZY!!!!!!! THAT QUOTE GRAPHIC IS AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway… *gulps in a breath* This was an amazing post with some wonderful tips! I am absolutely TERRIBLE at coming up with titles, so I will DEFINITELY be coming back to this post!!!!!

    • Issabelle Perry

      EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I FEEL YOU SO MUCH GIRL AND I MEAN, IF YOU THINK THAT’S EXCITED YOU SHOULD REALLY SEE HOW BADLY I WANNA EITHER SCREAM, SQUEAL, JUMP UP AND DOWN, DANCE, AND EVERY OTHER BIT OF EXCITED EMOTION YOU CAN POSSIBLY FEEL LIKE EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT IMAGINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like, I wish the release date was sooner (though, I also am not sure I’m ready for it to get here at the same time, lol. There’s so much to do! XD) AAAAHH GRACIE!!!! THAT JUST MEANS SO MUCH AND THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!! Like I just don’t even know what to say right now which is crazy considering the length of this reply. *hugs*

      *takes a deep breath* *and then takes several more cuz all that screaming in all-caps really takes the breath right out of ya* AWWW, THANK YOU SO MUCH, Grace!!!! It means a lot, since I was thinking this had to be one of my worst posts yet. XD Wut?? Girl, I don’t believe that for a second. First, I ADORE Six O’Clock’s title, always have, and always will. Second, Held Captive and Prisoner at Heart just FIT the story so perfectly!!!!!! And don’t even get me started on Daylight!!! But I am SO GLAD to hear that!!!!! Dunno how much good it will do ya, but it’s the thought that counts. 😜

      • Grace A. Johnson

        AAAAAHHHH I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES I HAVE NO WORDS EITHER! YOU ARE SO WELCOME!!!!!!!! *hugs you back*

        You’re so welcome! NO! It was definitely not one of your worst! You did FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!! Awwwww, thank you!!! I’m so glad you think so! 😀 Girl, it’ll do me a ton of good, trust me! <33333

        • Issabelle Perry

          AAAHHH YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!! D’AWWWWWW, girl, I mean, to be honest, I have no memory of what we were talking about here (I’d have to go look back at the previous comments XD), but I’m sure it was sweet. So… *tackles hugs Grace*

          D’awwww, girl, you’re too sweet, you know that right? Oops, sorry, not supposed to mention your sweet weakness. Right. XDD THANK YOU SO, SO, SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <333333333 WOOHOOOO!!!! Well, that just means so much, and I hope it's helpful!!!! 😀

            • Issabelle Perry

              Hahahaha XDD *chokes out ca…can’t…br-breathe…too tight* XDDD You could probably kill someone with your hugs. XD

              Yup, I always forget I’m not supposed to bring it up. XD *also whispers* Oooo, right, I didn’t think about that. Yeah, that probably wouldn’t be good. Then they think they could go around doing whatever they wanted XD <1234567890 (People are probably thinking we're weird right about now XD)

  • ✨Chloe✨

    Eek! Everyone’s short stories look absolutely fantabulous!!! I’m so excited to read them!!

    Aaah!! Yes this is a post I needed SO MUCH!!!!! All this advice was super helpful and just thank you so much for answering my question!! You know, I was actually doubting myself on the title for my story “A Dragon’s Choice” being good, but it’s way better than “Out if Dozens of Dragons” which is what it was before. 😂

    • Issabelle Perry

      EEEEE THANK YOU SO MUCH CHLOE!!!!!!!!!!! They do, don’t they!!!! YESS!!!!! 🙂

      WOOHOOOO!!!!!! Well, I am so glad then that I was able to get it up!!!! Girl, I am just SO thrilled to hear that, and thank you SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!! <333 You're SO welcome, and thank YOU for asking it!!!! Hahahaha yeeeeeeaaahh after it always being "A Dragon's Choice" I couldn't imagine it as anything else!!! I LOVE its title!! <333

    • Issabelle Perry

      EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH RAYNAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3333333 WOOHOOO, I am SO glad to hear that!!!!!! AAAHHH YESSS!!!! I know, this suspense is terrible. xD YIPEE!!!! That just makes me so happy to hear that!! THANKS!!! 😀👏👏

  • Joy C. Woodbury

    Enjoyed your tips, Issabelle! I love book titles. They’re so important, because like you said, they’re one of the first things that will get a reader fascinated by a story!
    I’m with you on getting title inspiration on the story itself. The title for The Apostle’s Sister just tells you right away what the story will be about. XD The protagonist IS the apostle’s sister herself! It makes sense.
    Anyways, it’s great as always to hear from ya!

    • Issabelle Perry

      THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH, JOY!!!!!!!! Aaahh YESSS!!! Me too!!!! Yessss, couldn’t have said it better myself!!!
      Ooooo yeah? That’s AWESOME!!! That’s actually my favorite tip and the one I always use for my stories!!! Yes, that is EXACTLY right!!!! See? Your story’s title is PERFECT!!!!!!
      D’awww, THANK YOU, girl!!! It’s always great to hear from ya, too!!! *tips hat*

  • Mahitha

    Aaaahhh!!! I love this post sooo much, Issabelle!!!!! This is super helpful and I’ll DEFINITELY use these tips in the future!!!! After reading this post, it makes me think that I should probably change the title of MUTE…but we’ll see! 😉 For me, most of the time, it’s easy to think of book titles ’cause I usually get book titles (and story plot ideas) from random phrases I think of or hear XD.

    Again, this was a great post! (And thanks to Chloe for recommending it!!!) <3

    • Issabelle Perry

      AAAHHH THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH MAHITHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just means like sososososoSO much to me and I can’t say how relieved I am to hear it was actually a helpful post!!!!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!! *pumps fist in the air* Hmmm… well, I don’t know too much about your story, but the title “Mute” always intrigued me!!! You could use that part and work around it for a new title???? YESSSS!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, I do the SAME thing like ALL THE TIME!!!!!! *high fives* It’s just so much fun to see what you come up with!!!

      Awwwww, THANK YOUUUUU, girl!!!!!!!!!! (WOHOOO!!! Yes, I second this, cuz I wouldn’t have thought of this post on my own. XD)

      • Mahitha

        Of course!!!!!!!!!!! It has? I never thought of it like that, I always thought it was just a lazy title, lol Yeah, that’s great idea, thanks for the tip! Yeahhh, I agreeee!!!

        • Issabelle Perry

          YESSS IT DOES!!!!!!!!! I guess for me, I was always like why mute? Was a character mute? Was he pretending to be mute? It’s one where I REALLY wanna know the meaning behind it cuz it could mean SO. MANY. THINGS! So, girl, it was anything BUT lazy!!! Of course, girl!!!!! YESSSSS!!!!!!!!

  • Lily

    Hi Issabelle! How have you been?

    Oh man, coming up with title names can be hard for me. When I took some writing classes, the teachers suggested drawing on the theme of your story for inspiration. Other times, I like jotting down eye-catching titles in the bookstore to help generate ideas. I really liked your tips!

    Yay! That’s exciting news about Imagine! Can’t wait to see the cover!

    • Issabelle Perry

      Hey, Lily!!!! I’ve been good. I hope things have been awesome with you, too!! <33333

      ugh, girl, the pain is real. 😉 I feel ya. Ooooo YESSSS!!!!!! That IS an awesome tip for coming up with titles. I think I've done that once or twice before. Aaahh and another great tip!!!! Actually, I'm gonna have to try that one out. I think it could really come in handy!!!! D'aww, THANK YOU SO MUCh, girl!!!!

      EEEEEEE!!!!! I know right???!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!!!! I can't wait for all of y'all to see it!! *crossing fingers y'all will like it*

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