Writing a book to build your personal brand is much easier when you select a book title that helps you to plan and write.
The sooner you select a title that provides a easy-to-write approach, or structure, for your book, the sooner you’ll finish your book, so your book can start branding you as an expert in your field, enhancing your online visibility while attracting profitable new business and speaking opportunities.
Complexity is the enemy of achievement! Books written around simple title ideas that provide a structure for organizing your ideas and finishing each chapter are easier to write and get finished faster than complicated, “tell everything you know,” books.
In the time it takes to write one “big book,” you could write and publish three shorter books which could provide 3 times the online visibility of just one book!
Title ideas that provide a structure for writing
Here are some examples of book titles that provide structure and help you organize your book’s table of contents:
- Rules. One of the easiest types of books to write is to distill your expertise and experience into a relatively small number of rules. One of the best examples of this is Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules for Driving Business with Books. Indeed, there’s a whole series of 42 Rules books! The power of this title is in its practicality: one you identify the most important 42 rules of success in your field, solving problems or achieving goals, it becomes easy to write each topic.
- Recipes for success. Recipes work outside the kitchen, too! If you have more than 42 success tactics, consider writing a series of recipe books for solving different problems your market may be experiencing, or achieving different types of goals. Think in terms of 99 Recipes for Building Traffic to Your Website followed by 99 Recipes for Attracting Corporate Clients to Your Graphic Design Studio. Each of the recipes would follow the same “problem/solution” structure and include easy-to-follow numbered instructions.
- Tips. Tips are shorter and more action-oriented than rules and recipes. A helpful tip can be communicated in a paragraph containing just 2 or 3 sentences. In the space of a 99 Ways book, you could publish a 201 Tips book!
- If-Then books. One of my all-time favorite books, one that I still refer to structure and lasting value, is the PageMaker 5 Companion, written by Robin Williams, Barbara Sikora, and Vicki Calkins. It’s out of print, but if you get a chance to take a look at one, or invest a couple of dollars in a used copy, you’ll understand why I remain enthusiastic about it. You can quickly find how to do something because the book is organized in a “If you want to … (description of task)” then “turn to page (number)” which is far easier to use to the typical linear, and often arbitrary, chapter organization often found in “how to” books.
- Case histories. If you’re looking for ways to write an easy-to-write book with even fewer chapters than a 42 Rules type book, consider profiling clients and experts in your field who have solved problems or achieved important goals. Each chapter would both describe their journey from then to now, and you could emphasize the lessons and turning points in their story, helping readers apply the lessons to their own situation.
Habits. No list of easy-to-write book title ideas would be complete without mentioning the continuing success of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Individuals by Stephen R. Covey. As in all of these examples, there’s an inverse relationship between the length of each chapter and the number in the title: the smaller the number in the title, the longer each chapter. But, if you can distill your knowledge of your field to habits, skills, tools, or the like, you may be on your way to an easy-to-write book!
- Keys. A final organizing scheme that may help you quickly organize your ideas into a compelling title and simple chapter content plan is to think in terms of keys to success. Based on your knowledge and experience, what are the keys–or requirements–needed to solve your reader’s problems or help them achieve their goals? Group your ideas into a relatively small number, i.e., 4 to 7, of chapters, and you’re on your way to writing a brand-building book!
Resist the urge to write a textbook
The goal of writing a book is to get into print as quickly as possible, so your book can build your visibility, enhance your credibility, and sell you a speaker and expert in your field.
You’re not writing for academics or the publishing community; you’re writing for your prospects, clients, customers, and event planners who are looking for speakers and presenters.
Complexity is the enemy of completion!
Choose the simplest book title and content plan that provides a solid starting point for organizing your ideas and deciding what to include, and what to leave out, of your book. Once you start, using a simple title idea, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your project takes place because of the focus and structure the title provides. Want more evidence? Take a look at the books in your bookshelf, or–even better–analyze the titles on the covers of magazines on display at your local Barnes & Noble or Amazon! Note how often engaging, eye-catching, article titles are based on the simple ideas described above. Share your favorite examples of “simple” book titles and organizing ideas as comments, below.
Roger C. Parker shares ideas for planning, writing, promoting, & profiting from branding building books in his daily writing tips blog. His latest book is #BOOK TITLE Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, & Event Titles.