Like the title and subtitle of your book, each chapter title can help you sell more books while building and promoting your personal brand.

Each chapter title provides you with a valuable opportunity to convince prospects that your book offers excellent value, while reinforcing your subject area expert position as a valuable resource to help prospects solve problems or achieve desired goals.

Experienced authors pay as much attention to choosing the right chapter titles as they do to choosing book titles and subtitles.

Chapter titles can play a make-of-break role in a prospect’s decision to either start a relationship with you by purchasing your book or putting your book down, or clicking away, to see what else is available.

Learning from the successes of others

One of the best ways to learn how to write a successful book and build a strong personal brand is to learn from the successes of others. In this case, I recommend taking a look at the current edition of Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson’s Writing that Works: How to Communicate Effectively in Business.

This is the 3rd edition of a classic that has sold over 110,000 copies during the past 20 years. After all these years, Writing that Works is still within the top 20 book in its field and has never been out of print since it first appeared.

What makes Writing that Works so successful?

Like many books, it has wonderful content, concisely communicated in a friendly and engaging manner. But, often, that’s not enough! Many good books don’t sell a small fraction of the number of copies of Writing that Works that are sold each year.

One of the most obvious differences that sets Writing That Works apart is the caliber of the chapter titles.

Each chapter title is an benefit-oriented advertisement that provides another reason to buy the book!

Examining Writing that Works’ chapter titles

Let’s take a look at some of Writing that Works’ chapter titles:

  • Memos and Letters that Get Things Done
  • Plans and Reports that Make Things Happen
  • Fund-raising and Sales Letters that Produce Results
  • Recommendations and Proposals that Sell Ideas
  • Writing a Resume–and Getting an Interview
  • Writing for an Audience: Presentations and Speeches
  • Making it Easy to Read

Notice, in each case, that a description of each chapter’s topic is paired with the benefit that readers will gain from the chapter.

One of the first things that prospective book buyers do in person, or when viewing a book online, is to click the Look Inside or Search Inside links which permits them to view the book’s table of contents and back cover.

Hint: When exploring books displayed at or Barnes &, get in the habit of clicking the Look Inside or Search Inside links attached to the image of many book covers. You’ll be able to view the front and back covers at higher magnification, as well as read the table of contents and sample content.


Don’t take chapter titles for granted! Don’t just tell what’s in each chapter, use the chapter title to tell why the chapter is important and how the chapter will benefit the readers. Think of each chapter title as an additional advertisement, or sales pitch, for your book. If you do this, your book’s table of contents will become a strong sales tool by itself, attracting search engines and readers interested in using your book to solve a problem or achieve a goal.