book's subtitles

A Subtitle for your Book: Is it Necessary?

How many times has it happened to you that you picked up a book, read the title, felt hesitant on buying it, and decided to go for it after reading the book’s subtitle? Quite often, I’m sure. A book’s subtitles are those that attract readers more to your book. Subtitles are those that provide more information to readers the moment they pick to check it out. On the other hand, you may also feel your book doesn’t require a subtitle, which is absolutely fine because it’s your call. The fact is there is always confusion among authors when it comes to deciding if they actually need a subtitle for their book. Let’s analyze more and see if we actually need one.

Do you need a Subtitle for your Book?

The answer is a yes in most cases. If you’re writing a non-fiction, you need to have a subtitle for your book because having one will allow readers to relate their requirements to the content of your book. For instance, if a reader is looking for a book on remedies for back-pain and he or she comes across several books on back pain, the reader is bound to pick up a book that has a title and a clear subtitle that says something like “Effective home remedies’ or “101 Ways to cure it’ than some vaguely titled book. In the case of non-fiction, a subtitle connects your book with your readers.  If the title of your book is broad in scope, subtitles take care of narrowing down its content to your target audience. Subtitles, in a way, are part of a marketing tool as well. If titles make readers pick up your book, subtitles make them buy. So, a subtitle is needed for a non-fiction.

On the contrary, a lot of books on fiction do not have a subtitle. Most of the books that have a subtitle are those that have an intense, incomprehensible word or a sentence as their title. In such a case, it becomes essential to add clarity to the book’s title by giving it a solid subtitle. Also, some authors use a strategy where they come up with a normal title for their book and create a captivating subtitle to stir interest among readers. A provocative subtitle is sure to get your book purchased and read.

Some Tips to Create a Book’s Subtitles

  • Create short subtitles for your book. Limit them to a couple of words.
  • Never use the same word that is in the title of your book in your subtitle.
  • Try conveying more in one or two words.
  • Rhyme your subtitle or give a rhythm to it.

However, if you feel your book does not require a subtitle; feel free to publish it without one. In the end, it all boils down to increasing the reach and sales of your book and your approach to taking it to your target audience.

(Visited 2,988 times, 1 visits today)

Aravind S

Aravind, works as a publishing mentor at Notion Press. His articles help aspiring writers realize their dream of becoming a published author. He has several years of experience in the publishing industry and has researched on digital media and the future of print-publishing. He is an active mentor for a community of writers to educate and guide them toward writing a book that sells.

You May Also Like

How to Write a Story? A Definitive Guide

What is Plot? A Storytelling Guide for Writers

What is Symbolism? Explanation with Examples

What are Literary Devices? Explanation with Examples