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« The Writer’s View: The Thrilling World of AgentFest (Bring Your PitchSheet) | Main | Part 3: From Good Title to GREAT with Natalie C. Markey (Plus drawing on Writing Moms class!) »

10 Things We Learned About Creating Great Titles (plus winner!)

Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind

Natalie Markey was a great sport in our Title Brainstorming series, where we took the existing title for her class, Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind, and explored several methods of brainstorming titles the ZING.

Here’s what we learned…

10.  A lot of your ideas will suck, and you shouldn’t let that stop you.  Some of our best ideas came after epic suckiness.

9. It helps to brainstorm and riff with a friend.

8. Good titles work just fine.  Great titles are fun to say, capture your imagination, and spark ideas about “what’s inside” your product (book, class, what have you).  

7.  Great titles have personality.  They have attitude.  And they certainly don’t feel bland.

6.  Sometimes you recognize a good title when you see it.  But not always. So write them all down.

5.  Your brainstorming will tend to veer off track.  Just keep coming back to the purpose of the product, its intended audience, what your audience will “get out of it,” and your unique selling proposition.

4.  If you have “rules” about what a title should or shouldn’t be, you don’t have to obey them.  Breaking rules (like length) can lead to some nifty titles.

3.  Don’t become too attached, too fast. It’s probably just infatuation and not true love.

2. Don’t give up too fast.  Some times those little tweaks pay off.

1. Once you have some titles you think are great, talk to people and test them out.  What you’re looking for is the title that makes people lean forward and say, “Oh, I’d read that!”  or “Oh, that sounds like a great class!”

Then you know… your title isn’t just okay.  It freaking rocks!

Natalie’s Favorite Titles

Original Title for Natalie’s Class: Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind.

  • How to Survive the Collision of Writer Meets New Mommy (Without It Becoming the Next Zombie Apocalypse)
  • Get a “Devil Wears Prada” Life Only with Burp Rags- Getting the Big City Writing Career you Want While Working from Your Baby's Nursery
  • Writing Mommy Makeovers: Transform your life, desk and nursery into a successful writing mommy enterprise

Diane’s Favorite Titles

  •  Desperate Writers: How to Juggle Your Writing Dream, Children, and the Mythical White Picket Fence.
  • Writing Mommy Makeovers: Time Management Solutions For Real Writers (aka “How potty training influenced the way I write, and other ways the two most demanding jobs on the planet can actually work together.)
  • Shakespeare Had it Easy:  Writing with Kids, a Day Job, and a Never-ending To Do List. 
  • How to Plot Your Own Da Vinci Code While Chasing a Toddler: Time Management Secrets for Future Bestselling Authors.

And the Winner Is…

Debbie “alabamagirl1”

Debbie, you’ve won enrollment into Natalie’s Writing Moms class!  Just email us for details: PitchUniversity @ The class starts NOW.


To read the entire series on brainstorming great titles, go here:

From Good Title to GREAT with Natalie C. Markey (Plus drawing on Writing Moms class!)

Part 2: From Good Title to GREAT with Natalie C. Markey (Plus drawing on Writing Moms class!)

Part 3: From Good Title to GREAT with Natalie C. Markey (Plus drawing on Writing Moms class!)


Natalie C. Markey

Follow me on Twitter @NatalieCMarkey and @TMIexaminer

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