Title a Book 101

Today I read this in the comments for a recent post about book sales:

Dayle James Arceneaux has left a new comment on your post “A+B doesn’t = C“:

Mary, Allow me to interject my humble opinion on this matter. Keep in mind that I haven’t read the book. But I will assume and, I’m sure I’m correct, that the content is excellent.
Especially given the reviews.

I believe its the Title. Specifically the word “Postmodern.” No one in my daily circle uses this word. When I use it I get blank stares. The only place I see this word is on intellectual blogs and in elitist dissertations. I also don’t think “Authentic” is direct enough. For me, the title just doesn’t say to anyone “this book is for you. You’ve got a problem and this book has the answer.”

I can almost hear a “regular” person saying “Oh, this book wasn’t meant for me. It was meant for the yuppy, BMW, arts and croissant crowd.” I’m not saying that makes any sense, but perception is often reality by default. Unlike your excellent title: “Ordinary Mom Extraordinary God” which I believe identifies with a large target audience. It speaks to the buyer: “That’s right. I’m just an ordinary Mom, but I serve an extraordinary God. I’m not in this alone.” -dayle

I’m curious what you all think about Dayle’s thoughtful comments. I’ve had people not like my other titles. One even wrote a blog post about how terrible Watching the Tree Limbs was as a title. So this isn’t new.

Still, I think there may be something here. If you’ve read Authentic Parenting, how do you feel the title fits the book? How doesn’t it? What makes the title inviting? What makes it off-putting?

And last but not least: If you were given the job TITLE GURU, how would you title this book? I anxiously await your input!

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