Cloyce Joseph Tippett Wendelins Basketball Team

Maybe somewhere in the photos lurks inspiration for the title. Like… why isn’t my grandfather dressed out? “The Aviator Who Didn’t Dress Out…” hmmmm

As a self publisher, I have the delightful burden of choosing a title for my book.

If I had a book deal with a traditional publisher, this would probably be out of my hands, and also out of my control. Usually, the idea that such an important issue for my book would be out of my control makes me glad to be a self publisher. But not this time. Choosing a title for a book can be a hard slog.

The title for my first book, Just a Couple of Chickens, came easily. It was a family catch phrase during the whole time we were struggling with over 101 infant poultry that arrived from my online catalog order.

“I thought you said you’d ordered just a couple of chickens,” my husband kept saying.

The sequel to that book, which is currently underway, has also come easily.

“Just a couple more?” asked Andrew. “Just a couple more what? Not chickens, right?”

But for my grandfather’s aviation history biography, I’m stumped. It’s got a working title of “CJT, A Biography” because my grandfather is Cloyce Joseph Tippett and it’s a biography. Riveting start. He was such a pioneer in the history of aviation, I must be able to do better than that.

I’ve compiled a list of book title building tips from my research here-there-and-everywhere, and I’ll post again once I’ve successfully found out how to choose a title for my book.

 Here is what the experts suggest to help me choose a title for my book, and I’m going to try each approach:

  •  Write down everything I can think of and everything everyone suggests
  •  Search the genre in amazon and see what other titles there are for other similar books
  •  Sum up my book in one sentence. Write several of these sentences.
  •  Choose a detail of the book and name the book after that detail.
  •  Check out Google keywords on the topic and zero in on the best keywords
  •  Make a list of nouns and verbs that reflect the book topic, then cut them up and line them up in different combinations
  •  Have a 92 character limit, so that it’ll fit in the  Books In Print catalog
  •  List my chapter titles, maybe the title is lurking there
  • Read the book and write down any sentences or paragraphs that capture your title imagination
  •  Sleep on it. Literally, have the title list under my pillow and sleep on it.

(That last tip suits me best. If there’s something I’m good at, it’s sleeping!)  I’ll keep you posted!


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