How to Write Book Titles That Sell: 5 SEO Tips for Creating a Nonfiction Book Title So You Can Sell More Copies

by Nina Harrington

We’ve all heard it: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

But why is that such a popular warning?

Probably because we do judge things (and people) based on appearances—if a book has an eyecatching cover, you’ll probably pick it up to learn more.

But if the book’s cover looks like a drunk chipmunk painted it, you’ll probably pass it by…even though reading it might change your life forever!

Titles act the same way. If a title doesn’t hook you immediately, you’re not going to click to learn more or pick it up, much less buy it.

But with the right title, you can make a great first impression that leads to more sales! Here’s how to write book titles that sell using the insights of SEO.

How to Write Book Titles Using SEO

Titles are a reader’s first point of contact with your book. So it’s pretty much impossible to overstate how important picking the right title is.

According to research conducted by author, blogger, and former publisher Michael Hyatt, consumers tend to look at the features of a book in the following order:

  1. Title
  2. Cover
  3. Back cover blurb
  4. The text on the flaps (if your book is a hardcover)
  5. Table of contents
  6. First few paragraphs of the book’s content
  7. Price

Notice that the name of the author is not on the list, although it could be a factor if the writer is a well-known celebrity or authority in that niche.

Why does this matter?

Imagine that you have a problem, or a compelling interest, and go online to Amazon or another site to find ideas and solutions to your problem.

What do you type into the search bar?

It’s usually the final result that you want to achieve. For example, “how to write a romance novel,” or “how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days.”

Amazon will then display a list of books based on the relevance of their titles and subtitles to the search criteria that you have given.

Not the author. Not the price. The title and subtitle.

How do readers select books from the list?

As our eyes scan down the screen, we’re subconsiously reading the title and subtitle of each book, aligning the words to the cover art and the other books on the list displayed before making the decision to click on a particular book to find out more.

The whole process happens in less than a second, but in that time, we’ve assessed how relevant each book is to our needs, and whether it’s worth our time and money.

Less than a second. That’s how long any author has to help a browser discover their book!

And it all starts with crafting a title and subtitle for your book that you know will appeal to your ideal readers—the people who need the information or solution that your book provides.

Essential Elements of an Attention-Grabbing Book Title

The hard fact is—and some authors may wince at this one—you have to look at your book title as a sales pitch.

Your book may provide the perfect solution to a challenge that your ideal readers are facing, but they don’t know that it exists.

It’s your job to help readers to discover your book so that they can benefit from all of the hard work you’ve put into it.

A good title tells what the book is about. A great title tells what the end destination is. A truly superb title is one that tells the end destination and also appeals to core human desires.”

— Buck Flogging at Archangel Ink

Let’s take a look at these key elements.

Does the subject matter appeal to core human needs?

These can be very crudely defined as:

  • happiness
  • wealth
  • health and beauty

If your book helps your ideal reader to make more money, look better, or be happier, then it has a better chance of success than a textbook on an obscure topic, no matter how fascinating that topic might be.

Who is your ideal reader?

Why would someone want to buy this book? If you have carried out effective market research, then you have a very clear understanding of who the ideal audience for your book is, and the challenges that they are struggling with.

How will this book help them?

You should have already validated that there is a market for this book, and that your ideal reader needs this information and is willing to pay for it. What does the book do for them? What problem does it solve? What need does it fill?

What makes your book unique?

What is your book about and why should a prospective reader care?

You have to be able to convice a reader that your book is going to deliver on a particular promise, which could be anything from providing technical information about medicine or computer coding, right through to a compilation of rude party jokes or a selection of inspirational paintings in a meditation journal.

No matter what your topic, your title has to jump out and compel a reader to click on the cover to find out more. It has to give them enough information to know that it’s relevant to their interests, but do so in a way that’s intriguing—that makes them want to know more.

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Book Writing Software (2022): Top 10 Pieces of Software for Writers

by Joe Bunting

Writing a book is hard. I’ve written fifteen books and at some point during each one I had the thought, “There has to be a tool, a piece of book writing software, that would make it easier to reach my writing goals.”

Bad news/good news: writing a book will always be hard, and the best piece of writing software in the world won’t write your book for you. Some may even require a steep learning curve. Others are easier.

The good news is there is book writing software that can make the writing process and meeting your daily goals easier!

In this article, we will cover the ten best pieces of software for writing a book and look at the pros and cons of each.

Click the links below to get our review on the best writing software.

Worst Pieces of Software for Writing a Book

Before we discuss writing software that will help you write a beautiful book, it’s important to understand (and eliminate) what will hurt your writing progress.

At least while you’re writing a book:

  1. Video Games. Especially World of Warcraft (always, always, always!) but also Solitaire, Sudoku, Angry Birds, and, for me right now, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes.
  1. Facebook, TikTok, and Other Social Media Software. Do I really need to say more? Fortunately there’s a piece of book writing software for avoiding this very distracting software (see Freedom below). You can’t write a book if you spend you writing time publishing social media posts.
  2. Other Productive Software Not Directly Associated With Your Writing. Yes, it’s good to reconcile your bank account on Quickbooks or make sure you’re up to date on your calendar app, but responsible, well-meaning work can easily be an excuse for a quick distraction that turns into a major distraction from writing your book.

Set aside time for your writing every day and then stay focused.

If you need a game, make writing your daily word count your game.

If you want more “likes” on social media, imagine how great getting five-star reviews on your book will be.

If you need to check your bank balance several times a day, think about what your bank balance will be when you stop checking it constantly, finish your book, and become a successful author.

Now let’s talk about some book software for authors that can help you with your book writing process.

The 10 Best Pieces of Book Writing Software

First, there is no such thing as the perfect book writing software. No amount of key features or book writing templates or editing features will write a book for you. Still, these ten book writing software options can help.

Take a look at the pros and cons of each:

1. Scrivener (Word Processor)

Scrivener is the premier book writing app made by writers for writers.

Scrivener’s “binder” view allows you to break up your book into chapters and sections and easily reorganize it with drag and drop interface.

You can also get a high-level view of your book using the corkboard and outliner modes, allowing you to view book chapters, sections, or individual scenes as index cards.

Project targets let you create word count goals and then track your progress daily. Its composition mode can help you stay focused by removing all the clutter.

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19 Ways To Promote A Book (By A 4x NY Times Bestseller)

By Tucker Max

All nonfiction book promotion comes down to two questions:

  • What will I get from reading your book?
  • Why should I listen to you, specifically?

If you can’t answer those two questions, no amount of promotion will sell your book.

If that sounds harsh, I’m not trying to be. I’m trying to save you from throwing away hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on book promotions that won’t work.

In fact, I wrote this post because of all the bad posts out there that list untested book promotion ideas—posts that don’t tell you the first thing about what really sells a book because they were written by people who haven’t actually sold any books.

I’ve sold over 4.5 million copies of my own books, and my company, Scribe, has put out books that have sold millions more. We know what we’re talking about, and when it comes to book marketing, this is it:

Line up these two answers first, and your marketing strategy will practically write itself.

The first question positions your book in the market.

Your book has to solve a need for a specific set of readers, or no one will care about it. I can’t stress that enough.

The only thing readers want to know about your book is what it will do for them.

The second question defines your Author brand, showing the reader why you are the right person to solve that need.

Ideally, you’ll answer both questions before you write even one word of your book.

Once you have those answers ready, I strongly recommend following Scribe’s proven step-by-step marketing plan.

It lays out:

  1. How to think about book marketing
  2. How to set the foundation for your book marketing
  3. How to leverage that foundation to reach your book goals

With that deep understanding of nonfiction book marketing in place, following these tried-and-tested book promotion tips will have a much better chance of getting the results you want from your book.

1. Create an Eye-catching Cover

One of the hardest things for Authors to do is to wear their “reader hat” when thinking about their own book.

A book is a tremendous investment in both time and money. It’s only natural to feel like that investment should be worth something in and of itself.

But the tough reality is that readers don’t care.

Think about the last book you bought. Did you buy it because you wanted to reward the author for writing it?

Of course not. You bought it because of what you expected to get out of it.

The right cover design sets that expectation for the reader.

For more specific help, read my post on creating a great book cover.


It’s never too late to create a great cover. If your book cover isn’t setting the right expectation, change it.

2. Write a Great Description

Your book’s description is the perfect opportunity to tell potential readers why they need to read your book.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but the point of the book’s description is not actually to describe the book.

It’s to show the reader what reading your book will do for them.

This is such an important point that I’ve written an entire post on how to write a book description that will sell books.

3. Take a Great Author Photo

Your book cover and description are about book positioning. Your Author photo is about Author branding.

The photo needs to position you as the right person to answer the reader’s question or solve their problem.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, read my post on taking a great Author photo.

It includes examples to show you exactly what I mean.

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