Book titles play a huge role in a book’s success. I need your help in naming my next book which will be a follow up to “First, Best, or Different: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Niche Marketing”. The new book will continue the exploration about how to successfully market products and services in a niche market environment.

Here are a few rules about naming a book according to Seth Godin’s blog (he is the most successful marketing blogger on the planet and a very successful book author). He says that you have three options.

1. “You can pick a completely descriptive, generic, boring name that precisely describes what’s inside. Like “Shredded Wheat” or “12 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog” or “Installing Linux on the 8088 Platform in 24 Hours”. The advantage of this approach is that Google likes it, and so do people who are quite goal directed. If you’ve got a Linux installation problem and you find that book at your local B&N, not only are you going to buy it immediately, you’re going to do it with a smile on your face.
2. You can pick a clever name that’s designed to entice the reader to read the subtitle, or the first few lines of your post or the back of the cereal box. An example of that would be “The World is Flat”, which is a famous business book.
3. The third approach is to pick a name that gets talked about. To create a phrase that you hope will enter the vocabulary. His goal is to have people call something a Purple Cow or eviscerate the boss for suggesting yet another Meatball Sundae. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, you sell ten books, not one.”

I chose to go with rule number 2 and use a clever name for my first book. One more thing—a second book or follow up book often extends the first title to leverage the first book’s image or equity. For example, the book series “Chicken Soup for the XXX” leverages chicken and soup. Maybe they overdid that one.

A couple more things for you to think about when naming a book—it would be best if the book title fits nicely into a URL. You will soon discover, if you don’t know already, that virtually all two and three word URLs are taken with a suffix. You can see how naming a book can be challenging. The good news is that most business books use a subtitle to explain the meaningless or absurd main title. You can see how I did this with “What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Niche Marketing” since it tells the reader what I meant by “First, Best, or Different”.

Here are some of my current ideas:

1. “Different is Best” (extends the first title and the URL is available)
2. “Different and Best” (extends the first title and the URL is available)
3. “Marketing Safari” (this title was a first runner up to the title of the original title and I have the URL, but it does not extend the first book title)
4. “Blogs, Poetry, and Spam” (OK, I just made that up and, yes, it really sucks).

The truth is that I have a list of over 200 titles that are discards from the first book title effort. What do you think the title of my next book should be? I need your help badly.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

About the author
  1. I would go with “Different is Best” over “Different and Best.” I like the third even more, but since it does not extend on your first book, I would choose option 1.

  2. Thanks,

    Let’s see what others think…I am reminded that the opinions of others (i.e. book buyers) is most important—meaning that I am generally wrong.


  3. I just had a vote for “Differently the Same” from my friend Ian. This title is from a song by popular surf musician Donovon Frankenreiter.

    What do you folks think?


  4. Travis Lindsay

    The best option from your list is “Different is Best.” My own suggestions would be “Stick Out” and “Targeted Differentiation.”

  5. Travis,

    Good thoughts. And both URLs are available.



  6. Steve Jaksch

    I really like the “Differently the Same” theme cause in most markets we are selling identical products and services when compared to our markets. What you are marketing is what makes you different than your competition. Taking differentiation to a more personal(not product or service) level.

    Here is an idea also:

    “Successful Distinction” -What makes you different in a similiar market?

  7. Steve,

    I also like “Differently the Same” since it seems to mean many things.

    A subtitle like “Why Marketing Has a New Set of Rules”….



  8. Linsey

    I like “Differently the Same” or “Different is Best” 🙂 I guess it depends on what the book contains, exactly?

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