How Do You Name A Book?

As an author, coming up with the title of you book can be extremely easy or extremely hard. Its like naming a child, you don’t want to pick just any name. You want it to be the right name. When I asked Kristen Illarmo, author of Without A World, how she came up with the title, this is what she had to say:

QUESTION: How did you come up with the name of your book Without A World?

Without A World always had a name, just not that one

From the very beginning, Without A World had a name; it was called A Place Between. All of my drafts are labeled APB. That title made sense because Miranda, the main character, is caught between two worlds, and for a portion of the book, is suspended between them both. About a year ago, when I thought I had a final draft ready (I’ve done so much revision since then!), I finally decided to google the title to see if it was available.

Google it before you fall in love

A word on this. As far as I know, authors can use any title you’d like, even if it has already been used. This is not a wise approach, however, because if another work is using your name and it is well known (or they put money behind their SEO), then your book will not rank on the first page of google, and as my sister says, bodies are buried on Google’s second page.

In my case, a documentary from 2007 lands most of the first page spots, and there appeared to be no room. I could have fought for space, but it’s a crowded field. Instead, I decided to find a new title.

Just pick a new title… right

Well, that turned out to be quite a challenge. My sister and my editor dove in to help, and we created a shared document with no less than 100 possible titles. There were more titles if I count the ones that only made it to texts. I would pick a title, sit on it for a week, and then hate it. This happened over and over for weeks. I finally decided my top 5 and put together a poll to ask for opinions. I did not get many responses (maybe 15?), but the responses did point to a clear favorite. Readers liked Without A World. It works for me, and it still speaks to Miranda being between two worlds without a home. You can read more about the title search and see the runners up here []

My book Without A World doesn’t rank on the first page of google without my name included, but maybe it will one day. Perhaps I could have stuck with my original title for the same reasons, but these are the things we learn.

Until next time-

Kristen Illarmo (

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

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