Chris A. Baird | September 15, 2022
How I Would Learn To Find a Title (If I Could Start Over)

Do you want to know if the title of your book is good enough? If I could start over, here’s how I would learn to find a title for the books that I’ve written.

Seeing No Sales Coming Through

Phil's engine repair books were doing terribly on the market. He had them on Amazon but he wasn't managing to get any sales. He had changed an awful lot of things to see if he could improve something.

But it had no impact at all on getting these books to sell. Maybe he was overlooking something. That's one of the reasons why in today's article, we are going to discuss How I Would Learn To Find a Title (If I Could Start Over).

Phil lives in Phoenix Arizona and he's a mechanic by trade. But he's been trying his hand at self-publishing. He's been putting out books that are covering engine repairs.

They are sort of like engine repair manuals but in a sense covering it at a different angle than maybe a lot of other books. So not like the bland type of normal engine repair type of things you would find.

Sometimes, if you buy them from the manufacturers themselves, thinking that this could be a market. A market where there are a lot of people who would like to repair engines themselves, they just don't know how to do it. So, he's trying to build this audience by using his books as his primary means.

Because his ultimate goal is to see if he could replace his day job as a mechanic. The problem though is that he just simply was not seeing any sales coming through. He knew something was not quite right.

So, he wanted to figure out what exactly was going to be necessary to get these sales to go up. And if he didn't manage to do this, that would not be so good with his plans of maybe building this into something much bigger.

And this being on the value ladder. Like a first-level entry point for many of the people who would start to buy this. To show that there's even an interest out there.

But he couldn't figure out what he had to do to unleash that. So, a couple of things he did was he thought that maybe his books were still using too much jargon. That would be within the normal mechanical repair stuff when you're dealing with engines and stuff.

Check out this related article: Dangers Of Publishing Low Content Books!

He could simplify it, so we tried that. But that did not impact at all on sales. The other thing he thought was maybe my books don't have enough pictures in them.

So, he started adding more images to his books. But that also resulted in no sales increase whatsoever. That was also something that wasn't going to move the needle

What happened finally was he was watching my YouTube videos and he realized he could just book a free Discovery Session. Where I would just be able to take with no commitment, go through his specific book. And figure out what was going wrong. 

Because there's always something going wrong. I've seen thousands of books and gone through all of these things. Tons and tons of sessions where we're looking at books and finding out what is the thing that's causing them not to sell.

We’re looking at what changes can be made to bring about sales. So, I took a deep dive looking right during this discovery session at his exact books. I noticed something very important here and this is the thing I would do if I started all over and he would too.

It is the title that he was choosing. The titles didn't tell us anything about the books. They were clever titles regarding engines and motors and things like that but nothing about specifically what exactly the value offering would be.

Like if there are particular types of problems that people are facing. Or specific issues that people have with their motors. Or things they want to do to the motors to improve their performance.

This was simply missing from the titles. He had decided to go instead for clever titles. Making up his own words in some ways to put that in there and this was creating all sorts of problems for him. 

Telling People To Click

So, the second thing is what he needed to do and what he should do if he's starting all over on the title front. It is using the correct keywords in the titles. Now there are a couple of tricks here, your primary title it's not so significant.

Unless we're not in the non-fiction area, then it should be the primary keyword. Like, fix this type of engine where you would have it making the promise of what it is. Learn how to do this. Easily fixing this exact engine as opposed to some other title which would be the easy way.

But it could apply to anything and so we want to make sure it's very very clear if it were within the fiction area. Then your main title is not so important.

But at least in terms of non-fiction, we want to make sure there's no misunderstanding about what exactly this book is about. So, it just comes straight out.

The second thing and the very important part is the subtitles. When we get to the subtitles, it needs to say who this book is for. It is for women between this age and this age, it is not necessarily like that.

It would be like in this phase of life or people who are interested in reading science fiction or whatever. But for Phil's case, he needed to specify this is for people who want to fix engines themselves.

One of the things would be the audience. The second thing especially in non-fiction would be what exactly is the value offering. In other words, what problem do we have?

The person who's going to be reading this book has a problem, so you can have that problem in the subtitle. The other thing would be the solution, like simple steps to go about fixing things. So, it's the idea of what the solution we're offering is.

Then the final thing is the benefit of it all which would be an engine that is smooth or ultra-powerful or more reliable. It requires less maintenance; all of these sorts of things would be exactly the sort of things that Phil would want to do with that subtitle.

So that we're getting close and we're focusing on the marketing side. The role of the title and the subtitle is not a place to be clever. The role of this title and subtitle is to tell people you should click on this title.

Check out this related article: Is Amazon KDP Worth It?

You see the cover, click on that title and it will pull you to the sales page. Which then has another purpose. But if they don't even get into the sales page on Amazon, you have no chance of making a sale.

That is the reason why your cover, first of all, needs to tell very clearly what kind of book this is. They need to know immediately that even if I couldn't read the words, I should be able to guess what kind of book it is just from the cover.

But then when we see the cover, we're like wow that's a pretty impressive cover. I see it has an engine on the cover, for example, the exact engine. You're going to tell me how to fix it right and then we go to the next level down, we look at that title and the title is just telling us the same thing.

On the cover also if you see the title, the title sticks out. It shows us exactly what we're promising to be able to do if you get this book here. It is what you get so it's very very clear.

Then the subtitle goes into the pain points, and the solution a little bit. Then the benefits we're going to get if we get this book. The one thing we never do is tell them exactly all those steps, we do not do that, that's what they get the book for.

They want to know how exactly to do this, that's what they get the book for. But everything else, they're able to learn it through these other aspects here. Where you're going to have the subtitle telling them exactly what they need to know to move things forward.

So, we were moving through this issue of the title and the subtitle. These are the very things that I discovered as I was going to go back and re-change the titles on some of my books. Specifically, to make sure I was not breaking these rules.

This is what I'd done if I had right from the very beginning. I would have not underestimated the importance of having a correct title. Not trying to be clever with the titles I make up my own words and things like that.

It's a terrible idea, you want to make sure your value proposition is right in that title. And that the person is going to purchase the book or evaluate it. In reality, they're not going to buy the book based on the title. 

Getting People Onto The Sales Page

They're going to click because of the title and that will then pull them to the sales page. It will pull them to the bio and the pricing and look inside all of these. These will impact whether they buy the book but that's a very important point.

Phil started to see things turn. He started to make a little bit of sense to him and it was just a one-free discovery session. I haven't had any sessions beyond that point with Phil on this particular point here.

I did follow up just to see how things had gone. That's one of the reasons why you can check out and just sign up for a free discovery session with no commitments. We're going to take a look; we're going to deep dive.

If you haven't even written the book, we can push and take you through exactly how we can see if it's going to be a profitable market. And if you've already written it, we can show you how to reposition it for completely free. So, it's a no-brainer, just sign up and I'll see you there.

But let's get back to Phil, so the final one is he started to realize he was going to need to change the titles of his books. The problem being there was that if you do that and that creates problems in Amazon.

You can't just throw out, oh here's edition 2 of a book you just came out with a month ago or something. Because then, you have to say something, you start wasting space in the description telling them okay look, this is an updated version of this book.

Such a percentage has to be updated. It's just not what you want to do in a lot of cases. Unless our first book was a crazy success, it's a correct idea. Just take the first book down and put this new one up. 

It'll get a new ISBN, it's going to get a lot of new stuff that's going on with this particular book. We're just going to get it onto the market instead. Then the other book just disappears but the new book that's the one the downside is you sometimes can lose reviews.

But recently, one of my clients who had gone through this process, the reviews followed which was unbelievable. I've never seen that before. But anyway, that's one of the key aspects.

Since he didn't have any of that many reviews and his book was also not selling at all. He had nothing to lose by actually just pulling the first book down to unlist it all. Unpublish it and then put the new book up with a new title and the new cover.

So, it exactly is pulling all of these key strategies together. That's exactly what he did, he unpublished it and then re-putted a new book. So, he gets a new ISBN with a new cover, a new title, and a new subtitle that involves this value proposition around his engine.

Check out this related article: My Best Book Marketing Tip

Specifically, tell them what it is going to feel like to have these engines repaired. The title of the book became directly related to the engine repaired. What happened was miraculous, he put the book onto the market and he started seeing his sales double.

It is a result of actually choosing a better title and subtitle. It makes that much of a difference. It's hard to believe you sometimes think, look why would somebody do that? I don't understand.

But in reality, they're never even going to get to your sales page. Where you're going to then convince them to buy your book if they don't already have some little curiosity. What exactly is this book offer? Who is this book for? What benefits am I going to get if I click on it?

There's a risk of time being wasted if they click on it. Then it doesn't deliver. So that's one of the reasons you want to make the promises. You have these direct promises of what you're saying your book is going to deliver right there in the title.

So, they say, yes, this book is exactly for me. I need to know more. They will click and then they will go right into the sales page. Then we're going to persuade them why exactly this book is the right book for them.

The first thing is why this click is the right click for them to click through. So, we can exactly get them onto that sales page. We can exactly see where they're at and this is dealing with the non-fiction but some aspects completely apply to the fiction.

Sometimes, when you're dealing with certain tools and stuff, you're trying to figure out what exactly is necessary, the best tools to go about this process. That's one of the reasons I created Self-Publishing A Novel: 3 Tools With Underrated Benefits and you're going to want to check it out.

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