I once co-wrote a teen novel called Diary of a Straight-A Sexter. This title might not be for everybody, but it’s memorable, right? I pitched it at conferences and quite a few agents asked to see more based on the title alone.
So how do you create a catchy title for your kids’ story?
Naming a Children’s Book
Most writers don’t come up with a title on the first try. In my work as an editor I often brainstorm with writers, coming up with hundreds of possibilities before hitting on the right one.
Here are some tips to jumpstart the process:
- Work with a book title generator tool. But don’t just go with the first title you see. Some tend to fall flat or put weird words in odd places.
- If you’re going to use a subtitle, do so for clarity that the main one doesn’t give. Keep it short and to the point.
- If you don’t get inspiration immediately, try writing your whole book first. Often a title will emerge from the pages. Is there a catchy line that captures the essence of the story? Maybe there’s a special object at the heart of your book that be used as the title.
- Another option is to ask for feedback from your editors, beta readers and/or fans.
- If your title is humorous, so much the better. Kids respond to humor and learn faster if something makes them laugh. (Think: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth, Does My Head Look Big in This?, My Girlfriend is My Nurse)
- Go for the unexpected by placing two unrelated words or terms side-by-side. Surprises stimulate the brain. (The Paper Bag Princess, Beautiful Oops!)
- Create some intrigue with your title. (17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore, The Whispers, One of Us is Lying)
- Make up your own word, especially if it’s one that defines your main character or if it’s a word your main character says. (Pinkalicious, Potterwookie, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles)
Spend some time coming up with your title. A good one won’t make your book a bestseller. But a bad one can keep it from doing well.