How to choose the best title for your book - Claire Scobie
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How to choose the best title for your book

How to choose the best title for your book

Hello everyone, I’ve been quiet for a while. After working on my novel for two years, I’m excited to announce that it’s nearly ready for publication. The Pagoda Tree will be published on 26th June 2013 by Penguin.

As I needed to create space for the new, I’ve been having a good sort and chuck out of old paperwork.

When I was rifling through my notes for Last Seen in Lhasa I came across my shortlist of book titles. As you can see ‘Last Seen in Lhasa’ was by no means number one on my list.


When I first pitched my Tibet book idea to publishers it was called ‘Ani and I’. The title was only revised once I had completed the manuscript. So here’s some tips on how I found …

A Winning Title for My Book

  1. I brainstormed lots of ideas.
  2. Then I canvassed friends, writers and people involved in the Tibet cause.
  3. I still wasn’t happy so I resorted to bribery: a bottle of champagne to any member of my family who came up with the best title.
  4. Over a family dinner, my sister Jane came up with Last Seen in Lhasa
  5. It went into the mix. The title stuck because it was catchy and memorable.
  6. And the publishers loved it….


But every book requires a different approach. The title for my novel, The Pagoda Tree, grew out of the story itself. More on that later.

It’s been a steep learning curve to switch from non-fiction to fiction. But I’m enjoying the ride.

How about you?

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