Subtitles Mean Everything in Selling Your Book

  • It's common for authors to mull their book's title from the day they begin writing it. There's no doubt it is a monumental decision, but for nonfiction books, the subtitles often are what sells the book. As most book promotion services experts can tell you, the subtitle provides a more precise description of the content than the title. While titles are about being catchy and attention-grabbing, subtitles do the heavier lifting of explaining the book. The information they provide can spark people to buy or download copies and spark the media's interest in discovering more. Therefore, take your subtitle writing very seriously.


    The most significant piece of book marketing advice on this topic is to have a subtitle. Some first-time authors have been known to overlook that, affecting their book's chances of success. Some creativity is appropriate in your subtitle but stay focused. The most important thing is to be clear, descriptive, and compelling. When you are, you'll help target readers become interested, and the same will hold with the media. In all of the promotional materials connected to your book, you need to get across why it's worth buying and reading – more valuable than other competing books in your genre.


    If you were to boil the job of your subtitle down into a single thought, it is to explain your book in a few words. When possible, make sure to include specific information that is compelling. The sharper and more on-target your wording is, the better the chances of people responding to your message. The bookselling marketplace today is legendarily competitive. Hundreds of authors and their books are competing for the same reader. When you come across with an understandable and exciting message, you'll win people over to your side. If you do anything less, you risk losing your work in the shuffle.


    Editors often assist authors with the book's subtitle, and PR people recommend it read similarly to the headline of a press release. Also, keep search engine optimization in mind. You want people to find your book in online searches, and using keywords in your subtitle will help. Given the many factors and opportunities presented here, it's clear why this is an area you must take seriously. So while you may give your book's titles great thought, be thinking equally about the subtitle. It may be wise to write them together to see that they work as a pair. When you do, you'll give your book a head start.