When a prospective reader comes across a title that pops, they want to open up that book, flip through and investigate. Your title is like the first hello, the introduction. You want to make it good. I started writing my first book under the working title, Foundation for Girls — an inspirational handbook on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life and shine bright in the world. I wanted to write a book that reminded girls of their wisdom, beauty and strength. I wrote 40 empowering ideas, tools and principles that would support girls in stepping into their greatness. The working title was spot on for writing purposes because it gave me a strong theme to follow. However, I always knew it was not the IT. I needed a title that resonated with the target audience emotionally, was as clear and concise as a hashtag yet captured the true essence of what my book is about.
First let me say that coming up with a great title was not easy. It took a minute. I finished the content and it was time to start brainstorming. I began honing in on my book’s message, and intention. The book was packed with the important foundational principles that we often forget when we are feeling stressed, scattered, or out of balance. I kept jotting things down. Every brainstorming session brought me closer. This book is chock full of ideas on what you can do to empower yourself in any given moment. One day while watching one of the entertainment news shows, I finally got it! The reporter said, “The new IT girl is blah, blah blah,” I forget who they were talking about but it was a new Hollywood starlet that made a splash onto the scene. We all know she has about 15 minutes, before she’s off her throne, right?
Anyway, just hearing that phrase sparked a whole train of thought. I started thinking about the ‘it girl’ idea prevalent in Hollywood and how it stems from the notion that certain people are stars. She has IT – that ‘special something’ – that smile, that style, those boobs, those legs, that hair, that particular talent, etc. This idea has become a part of the psyche of our society. The ‘it girl’, on tv, in films, at school, on the cheerleading team, at work and on the block, shines brighter than the rest. She’s favored and often celebrated for all of her superficial qualities. The celebration doesn’t last long. After her popularity dies down, a new girl is given the ‘it girl’ title and on and on ‘it’ goes. When taken out of context it can be damaging and the unfortunate pervasive message to many girls is that only a few are special, and that specialness is fleeting and based on other people’s judgement.
Ding, Ding Ding! After my ponderings, I had the perfect title for my book and it expressed exactly what was in my heart. I decided to make up a whole new word and flip the script, so to speak. ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more, came to me fast and furious, along with a definition. “An ITGIRL4LIFE is a girl who loves herself, is authentic, takes charge and makes a difference. She has IT. IT is the GREATNESS she was born with.” That was IT! The message of the book is that it’s up to you, you have IT already and here is a blueprint to help guide you to bringing out the specialness in YOU so you can create an amazing life for yourself. The title was catchy, timely and to the point. I was pretty pleased.
Knowing your book’s core message is the key to finding your perfect title. It’s never one thing that gets you there. It’s the combination of all your efforts, being open to the magical whispers around you and your own clarity about the who, what, and why of your masterpiece.