Should Your Book Title Be Good Marketing?

Perhaps apocryphal: the three words that sell are free, sex, and win. Theoretically, if the headline of your ad was Win Free Sex, you’d strike it rich.

photo by bharath pasupuleti not.

While no rational person would go to that extreme to sell something they believed in, do you sometimes allow business considerations to affect your art? While this may sound like I’m talking about fiction, I consider all writing art. So this applies to nonfiction as well.

Should you be considering search engine optimization when you choose your book’s title? Should your cover design and layout be the result of business decisions?

I think not.

It is critical to compartmentalize business and art. The research is endless to show that art created with money in mind is diminished. You are bright enough to know that I am not suggesting money has no place in the world of art. If you sell your books, you are in business. You may as well do it right.

But until you start selling, you are an artist.

Do that right too.

2 thoughts on “Should Your Book Title Be Good Marketing?

  1. Not certain that I’m taking your point correctly but I have to disagree on this a little. I do design most of my own covers or have a graphic artist design them with no real business consideration. However, the book title is something else. I do create a draft title for my books but then I do keyword optimization to see what words related to my book topic are best suited to a search. Sometimes my title seems like a good fit but sometimes I find ways to get my message across with a better fit to related searches. I believe this step is critical for the how-to books that I write.

    That may diminish my artistry but as much as I love to write, I love to sell my books. While it may be beneficial, I don’t think that I can compartmentalize my writing and my selling. I realize that I’m not a great literary writer or, for that matter, even a good one. But I am a writer because I write and that’s enough for me.


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