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Generating Nonfiction Book Titles Without a Hassle

The process of developing a working title for your nonfiction book can be a hassle sometimes. You first have to brainstorm a few titles, and if the results aren't to your liking, you are practically forced to brainstorm more possible titles --- or do you?

One way to shorten this process is to have a book title bank at your fingertips that will include trigger titles, such as the ones listed below:

Techniques for ----

One Way to ----

How to ----

Handbook for -----

Protecting ----

Investing for ----

Saving Your -----

Finding Security in -----

Fixing -----

Getting -----

Each of the sample triggers above has one or more missing words for you to fill in. For example, if you choose the trigger, "Getting ----," you can write, "Getting Richer Your Way," and "Getting Best Results at Work." Of course, a lot will depend on your subject matter and your book's purpose.

But that's not all. You can expand the first title, "Getting Richer Your Way" by adding "Ten Little-Known Techniques That Could Save you a Bundle!" or something like that. Suddenly, brainstorming becomes more productive -- and fun.

In the meantime, keep depositing more trigger titles to your "bank." Browse at the library and bookstore, for example, and take note of the nouns and verbs used in book titles. Remember to browse in the dictionary as well, finding and writing down possible nouns and verbs. Then consider combining one or two of them. For example, one writer turned the word "entreprenuer" into "mompreneur." Playing with words and word combinations may not only give you an interesting title, but may suggest a new angle!

Dorothy Zjawin is the author of "Teaching Ideas for the Come-Alive Classroom" (Parker Pub. Co./Prentice-Hall) and webmaster of, a source of writing ideas that features a free forum.

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