THE HUNT FOR A KICK-ASS TITLE
Help me name my next book
Dave Birss, writer, speaker, advisor
18 April 2018
I’ve just finished the first draft of my next book. I sent it off to my publisher last night. That’s a 3-parts-thrilling to 5-parts-terrifying experience. With a dash of crippling self-doubt. And a garnish of oh-crap-how-many-spelling-mistakes-are-there-in-here?
I should have got used to this experience by now. I did it about 8 months ago for Iconic Advantage and I’ve done it for a few other books before that.
I allowed myself to have a little champagne moment last night before immediately moving on to the next steps this morning.
And I’m asking for your help with the first of those.
What will I name my baby?
That’s right, I’ve written all the words except the most important ones: the ones in the book’s title.
I’d come up with some ideas early on. My editor felt I could do better. I put the task to the side and here I am with an untitled book.
So I’m going to use a methodology that I outline in the book to solve the naming issue.
It’s a thinking framework called RIGHT Thinking. The word ‘RIGHT’ stands for the five steps:
- Generate ideas
So the first step is research. If I skimp on this step, everything else will suffer. And I don’t want that to happen.
Gathering the information
I don’t believe a Google search for ‘great book covers’ is going to totally solve my problem. So my research entails:
- Visiting bookshops and taking pictures of their shelves as well as books that I like the designs of.
- Finding the non-fiction best-sellers on Amazon, New York Times and other sources.
- Reading interviews with great book designers talking about their craft.
- Finding great work in awards annuals.
- Revisiting brilliant books on design.
- And asking you for some input.
This input isn’t about finding things to plagiarise. It’s about finding some principles that I can use to come up with effective ideas. You’ll hopefully see how that works as I go through the process.
Give me a piece of your mind
I want to get an understanding of how you choose to buy non-fiction books. And how you judge what’s worth buying. That information might just nudge me a little bit further down the path towards a brilliant title and cover.
So I’d really appreciate it if you spent a minute or two answering a few quick questions:
I’m going to be documenting the 5 stages of RIGHT Thinking – and maybe asking for your help again soon. I believe that the intelligence of a crowd can be really valuable if it’s used properly. And there are lots of ways you can do that (which I cover in the book).
Please pass this on to anyone you know who likes their non-fiction books. Or new thinking on creativity. Or bald Scottish authors.
Many, many thanks,
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