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,
WRITING FROM DAVE
Dave's classic book that explains where ideas come from and shows you how to have more of them.
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