How to Write a Killer Book Subtitle (5 Tips to Follow)

book subtitle

One of the first things the average person notices at first glance at a book is its title. So, if you want to draw people’s attention to your book, you will need a catchy book title. Well, there is more. The book title could get people’s attention. However, it might be unable to keep their attention.

To enjoy sustained attention, you will need a subtitle.

With a book subtitle, you can indirectly tell people why they need to go through your book.
A subtitle gives readers reasons why they need your book. However, there are times it is not needed. This is because some titles can do the job of a book subtitle very easily. Well, this is rare. So, it’s important that you know how to write an amazing book subtitle as its importance cannot be overstated.

What is a Book Subtitle?

A book subtitle comes just after a book title. It is a phrase that explains what exactly a book is all about. It sheds more light on the book title.
When a reader comes across a book title, they could develop a general interest in a book. However, this does not mean they will go on to purchase it.

On the other hand, a book subtitle can come in handy to make readers actually pick up a book and read it.
The average person might not remember what exactly the subtitle of a book is. Nonetheless, they will remember what it talks about.

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Since the subtitle tells readers what they stand to gain from reading a book, it will be impossible to forget about it. No one really forgets what motivates them to read a book.
Since people might not exactly remember the subtitle of a book, one might feel it is not very important. Well, contrary to what you might have imagined, a book subtitle is as important as a book title. It plays a major role in ensuring a book is recognized for what it really offers.

5 Characteristics of Good Book Subtitles

There are certain attributes a book subtitle should possess before it can be considered a good one. If you have no experience writing book subtitles, read on to find out what the characteristics are;

1. The Right Book Subtitle Should be able to Hold Reader’s Attention

The major aim of a book subtitle is not to attract a reader’s attention. Rather, it is to keep a reader’s attention. With this, if a book subtitle is unable to keep a reader’s attention, then, you can be certain that it has not done its job.
Why is this important?
The ability of a book subtitle to hold attention is important as book titles can only attract attention. When a book title attracts a reader’s attention and there is nothing to keep such attention. Things might not work out according to plan.
Generally, the right subtitle should give readers an expectation. Additionally, it should give some direction to the title.

2. It Should Provide Context

One of the many jobs of a subtitle is to give context to the title. The title in itself can attract anyone. However, these people might not necessarily be the people that the book was written for.
A subtitle comes in to provide vital information. With this information, it becomes obvious who the book was written for.

Furthermore, people interested in the book can find out what they stand to gain from going through it.
The right subtitle is expected to reveal a book’s target audience. This does not in any way mean you should spell out the audience.
Imagine this subtitle ‘’A book for sportsmen, high-performing athletes that are interested in”. This subtitle clearly states who this book is for.

However, it might not be as effective as the second subtitle “Becoming the complete sportsman through discipline and handwork”.
This second subtitle is obviously targeted at sportsmen that want to make it to the top.  But, it does not explicitly state that it is a book for sportsmen. Regardless of this, if you are a sportsman, you know it is a book you might want to get.

3. It should be Searchable

A good subtitle does not necessarily need to be remembered easily. However, one should not have a problem searching for it.
Since your target audience might search for solutions to challenges either on Amazon or Google, you will need a subtitle that comes with keywords. You do not need just any keyword. You need keywords that your target audience is most likely to search for.
To help readers find your book very easily. Think about the problems your book will be solving and put keywords related to such problems in your book subtitle.

4. Specific and Concise

The best book subtitles are specific and brief. If you want to reach a broad audience, then, your target must be narrow. This is important as lots of people might not buy a book if they are not sure who the book was written for.

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If you make the mistake of broadening your target, you might end up targeting no one at all.
Although your subtitle should be straight to the point, it should be rich in information. This might not be very easy. However, you can perfect it with time.

5. Reading it should be Easy

A book subtitle is not really meant to be remembered word for word. But, you might want to avoid any complications when writing it.
There are quite a number of reasons to avoid complications when writing a subtitle. One of the reasons is that it could be meaningless or hard to understand.

Also, they might be unable to fit into a book front cover.

That’s not all. Complicated subtitles might end up being out of the scope of your book. With this, you will be unable to achieve your aim of writing a book subtitle.

5. Tips on how to Write a Good Book Subtitle

There are several tips that can help you write a good book subtitle. Let’s walk through some of these tips.

1. Consider Your Book’s Tone

Every book has a tone. While this goes a long way in helping readers appreciate the book, there is more to the tone of a book. The tone of a book should be considered when writing a book subtitle. The subtitle of a book is supposed to be a reflection of the tone of such a book.

2. Adequate Knowledge of What Your Book can Do for Readers

A subtitle can simply be likened to a message that lets readers know what they stand to gain from reading a book.
 However, when writing one, there are two things you have to focus on. They are your target audience and the solution your book provides to them.
If you are able to get these two things right with a subtitle, then you are certainly going to end up with a very well-written subtitle.
If you are not yet at the point where you are sure of what your book will do for your readers and who your target audience is, then, you are not ready to write a good book subtitle.

3. Spend Some time Brainstorming

Before going ahead to write a book subtitle, you will need to spend some time brainstorming on ideas. The fact that you know your target audience and know exactly what your book will do for them does not mean generating subtitle will be easy.
Subtitles are not very easy to write. This means you will need a lot of patience to end up writing a good one.
To get started, you might simply need to come up with a description of the book. With this achieved, you are closer to writing a unique subtitle.

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Sometimes, writing a subtitle can seem very easy. However, more often than not, it can be said to be quite difficult. If you find yourself struggling, then, you will need to do a lot of imagining.
You will need to spend some time thinking about the perfect audience for your book. While at this, you should think about the things they need and how your book can be of benefit to them.

4. Lookout for Copyrights and Trademarks

The truth is with titles, copyrights will never be an issue. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about subtitles. If you are not careful, you could run into trademark issues with your subtitle. This is because a phrase in your subtitle might have been trademarked.

I had such an issue in the past and nearly lost my book revenue because of it.  Issues with trademark while writing a subtitle can be quite tricky. So, to get things done properly, you might want to deal with a lawyer.
When you overcome the challenge of copyright and trademark, there are also other issues you might face, like similarity issues. So, It is important that your subtitle is not too similar to other existing ones.
To avoid having a close similarity between your subtitle and other book subtitles, you might have to search through Amazon kindle for similar subtitles.

5. Test the Strength of Your Subtitle

Once you have a subtitle ready, you should test its strength. To do this, the average person might be interested in sharing it with friends and family. This route might seem easy.

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But, it is not the way to go. To get things done right, you should not deal with friends and family. Also, social media is not the way forward. You should take advantage of existing market data.

The Takeaway

An amazing book subtitle is never written by fluke. If you must get things right each time you try to write one, then, you must pay attention to the tips already stated in this article.

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