where the writers are
Looking For The Perfect Book Title

Dullness will not sell your product; neither will irrelevant brilliance." - Bill Bernbach

Every year, Advertising Week selects the top advertising slogans. Of the tens of thousands of commercials we see and hear every year, these are the relevant, brilliant, sticky ones we can repeat word for word.

Notice how the winning slogans below all have a verbal "kick." A cadence or comic twist that elicits a smile and makes them easy to repeat and remember.

Can you identify the company associated with each of these slogans?Hello My Name Is Awesome

"What happens here, stays here" = ______________
"Think outside the bun" = _______________________
"When you care enough to send the very best" = _________________
"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't" = _____________
"Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'" = ______________

Are you wondering what this has to do with creating the perfect book title? You may not have heard or seen these slogans for years, but the sponsoring company was on the tip of your tongue and on the top of your mind.

Wouldn't you like your book title to be top of mind and on the tip of the tongue of millions of people? You can—if you make it intriguing.

Websters Dictionary defines INTRIGUE as 1) to arouse the curiosity or interest of by unusual, new, fascinating or compelling qualities, 2) to appeal strongly to; captivate.

As 16-time Emcee of the Maui Writers Conference, I've seen many authors lose out on a book deal because they couldn't concisely or compellingly pitch their book and it didn't have an intriguing title. We need to understand that we can have a well-written book- that doesn't necessarily means it will get noticed, remembered and bought.

Your book needs a hook. A compelling title that stops busy people in their tracks and makes them want to know more.

Sam Horn is the author of POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything. This is first of several columns she is doing for Red Room on the subject of the ideal title.

More original Red Room content can be seen here.

3 Comment count
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I have read Sam Horn's POP!

I have read Sam Horn's POP! book, and it was invaluable in helping me title a new product line for my business.  It also helped me write new descriptive copy for my website that has brought me many new clients.   I've also used her 3-CD series on POP!, and both the book and the CD series are my best resources in my maketing department! 

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Stories in a Title

Dear Ms. Horn:

Seoul Food was the title of my first published food essay about Korean food, and it led to a two-year stint as a restaurant reviewer in Monterey, California.  There is power in a good title.  I always provide titles with my articles and feel great when an editor does choose to use them.

Fu Dogs and Sacred Fungus, a title on my first published article on Chinese art, eventually led to a couple of articles in Art & Antiques.  The title piques interest and absolutely captured the main points of the article.

My books entitled Eating Soup with Chopsticks  and The Edible Tao: Munching my Way Toward Enlightenment make people laugh as well as convey the stories inside.

Thank you for the interesting article.  I thought screenwriters had it tough when they had about fifteen words to make a sales pitch; writers have two to four words to do that!


Ruth Paget

Red Room Author

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Sam Horn & POP!

I read Sam's book POP!  sometime ago and still find many opportunities to use Sam's expert knowledge to title my projects/products.  I'm thrilled to see Sam's article here and will look forward to seeing more from her.