The Name Is the Game: Westerns, Sales and Titles: Are You Using the Right Title for Your Book?

Writers ask me all the time about titles for their books. The title for your book is one of the most important parts of the promotion process. The wrong title can set your book back saleswise. There are those who believe that short titles are the best. In actuality, longer titles and series names work best on the market.


You need to feed the algorithm to give readers what it knows they want. Gunfight, Showdown, Justice, Riders, Bloodland, Mountains, Plains, Prairie, Gundown—buzzwords that will always increase your sales and bring reader attention. Try to include these in your titles for great effect with the algorithm. If you look at all the major successes, they all have algorithm-pleasing titles in common. The titles are “buzz-happy,” as I call them. A buzz-keyword should be working with the algorithm, not against it. Why do many of the books have samey-sounding names? Because that’s what our research has shown readers want to buy.

Market Research

If you find yourself struggling to find the right title, take a look at the Westerns that are currently selling and look for the trend. One thing that Western readers like is things they are familiar with. Be sure to give them what they like—a title that sounds like something they would read. Go on, go check out the bestseller list and pick something that sounds and smells like a hit. No, don’t use exact titles from other books, but come up with your own when you understand the parameters.

Character Names

Names of characters in titles increase sales because the algorithm picks up certain words and pushes them over other words. When the algorithm is pleased with a title, it is highly likely to jolt your book forward, increase the effectiveness of paid advertising, and encourage readers to buy your book. Readers, on the other hand, like to pick up stories that follow a central character. So, for best results, you must find a title that pleases the algorithm, which in turn seeks to please the readership, which in turn tells the algorithm what they want. Names in book titles have been proven time and time again to work.  Jake Timber, Shorty Thompson, Tennyson St John, Jake Jackson, Caleb Johnson—whatever you write, try to make it fit the algorithm by having a character name in the title.

Heck, I hope this article helps you. Drop a note to me through the contact form below if you would like to pick my brains about your book title. I would love to hear about your book, and most importantly meet the people who read my blog articles. Go on, the form is easy to fill in.

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