Creating the perfect title for your picture book can be a daunting task. After all, the title is
the first thing readers will see, and it needs to capture their attention and make them curious to learn more. Here are some tips on how to create an intriguing and captivating picture book title.
1. Draw inspiration from your story: If you’re having trouble coming up with a title, try to think of any themes or phrases from your story. Remember that your audience does not know what your book is about and focus on what is most important and showcase that. Pair this with a gripping illustration so your cover will pop!
2. Keep it short and sweet: Your title should be concise and to the point. A title with more than three words can be confusing and overwhelming for a reader. In addition, people have short attention spans – why lose their interest with a long title? If your story is non-fiction or would benefit from a subheading, consider this carefully. Subheadings are useful but if the words are redundant, or unnecessary, consider leaving it out.
3. Use one word: You can go even further by using one word for your title. Can your book’s theme be boiled down to one word that conveys a compelling feeling or response? Something so simple can be powerful if done well.
4. Always remember to consider the age group of your readers when crafting a title for your picture book. Large words aren’t great for young readers, but often adults will read them to kids, so don’t limit yourself either. If a larger word fits your theme, go for it.
5. Think of a clever twist: A clever title can help make your book stand out from the rest. Think of a creative way to re-word a phrase or use a pun to make your title stand out. If you have been to writing workshops, you know that the opening sentence needs to grab the reader's attention. In the same way, the title needs to do the same. Is there something that is surprising that your title can convey? Sometimes a title worded as a question helps a reader look inside.
6. Compare your title with other books at the library or your local bookstore. What makes them stand out to you? Noticing the font, color, and placement of title can steer you toward a look and in turn, a word that would be a perfect fit to work with your theme. How can you apply what you find to creating your own title?
7. Get feedback: Ask a critique partner for their opinion on your title. It’s always helpful to get a second opinion before you settle on a title. Once you have spent time immersed in your title, a fresh viewpoint can help you see something you may have missed.
Creating a great picture book title isn’t easy, but if you take the time to brainstorm and focus on what you want to say, you’ll come up with something special that will draw readers in. Be creative and don’t be afraid to explore different ideas. The perfect title for your picture book is out there, and with a little bit of effort, you’ll find it!
What titles have you seen that have drawn you in? Share in the comments below!