Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

Which Title is Best?

July 14th, 2006 by Bob Bly

What’s better for a book — a title that is catchy and clever, or one that is straightfoward and direct?

A publisher is thinking of putting out a book of solar energy science projects for young readers.

They are considering two titles:

A. Solar Science Projects.
B. Fun with the Sun.

Which do you prefer — and why?


This entry was posted on Friday, July 14th, 2006 at 2:22 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

52 responses about “Which Title is Best?”

  1. Robert Rosenthal said:

    Check out “The New York Times” non-fiction bestseller list and you see titles like “Freakonomics,” “Blink,” and “The One Percent Doctrine.” You know where I stand.

  2. Lisa Taylor Huff said:

    Actually I don’t care for either of them. “A” is too boring and “B” doesn’t really excite me either: too cutesy. However, if it’s not a classroom textbook then “B” because “A” makes it sound like a textbook and what kid would want to read THAT unless he/she is forced to do so by a science teacher?

  3. Bob Bly said:

    LTH: It is NOT a textbook. It is a book of experiments for children ages 10-14.

  4. SpongeBob Fan said:

    Easy! “Fun with the Sun.” Kids love rhymes. And they’re curious – how can I have fun with the sun, they might wonder.

    The other one sounds r-e-a-l-l-y snoozy!

  5. Joel Heffner said:

    This one is a no brainer. Solar Science Projects will be understood by kids looking to do science projects. It will come up quickly on Amazon and Barnes and Noble by kids who type in Science Projects as their keywords. They will not go to the other title to find projects nor will it probably come up on top if a kid does a search.


  6. Chris Yeh said:

    I’m with Joel–“Fun with the Sun” is positively unsearchable. A quick Google search turns up 184,000,000 pages, with most focused on vacations and playtime.

    In contrast, “Solar Science Projects” brings up exactly the content readers would be looking for.

  7. Brian Thornton said:

    The 10 to 13 year old that would even be comparing the book would go for fun in the sun.

    Solar Science Projects is the way to go for the following:
    – They accomplish something after reading. Fun in the Sun is just cheezy.
    – Distribution through scientific sources and libraries is more likely so the more purchased, the more read.

  8. Brian Thornton said:

    The 10 to 13 year old that would even be comparing the book would NOT go for fun in the sun.

    Solar Science Projects is the way to go for the following:
    – They accomplish something after reading. Fun in the Sun is just cheezy.
    – Distribution through scientific sources and libraries is more likely so the more purchased, the more read.

  9. SpongeBob Fan said:

    IMHO, “Fun With The Sun” would be a title that would easier to build a publicity campaign on. Parents are always looking for ways to have educational f-u-n with their kids.

    BUT — everything depends on who the book is being pitched at – the contents and even the look of the book itself matter alot. And there are lots of science-oriented kids out there.

    Either one could work.

  10. Joel Heffner said:

    With all due respect, I think that some of you guys are getting carried away. This book is NOT going to be “pitched” to anyone. Like most other books it will be put out there with little or no fanfare. The title is the only thing that will attract the attention of the group to which it is aimed…kids.

    >>”The 10 to 13 year old that would even be comparing the book would go for fun in the sun.”>

    If you think that kids are folks who read Bob Bly’s, Tom Peters’ or Seth Godin’s blogs to find out about titles like Freakonomics…I doubt it very much.

    Let’s get real…this book has a very targeted audience who is in a hurry to find something that they need to finish (frequently) within a few days.


  11. Rich Westerfield said:

    I’d go with “Fun With the Sun”, but I’d feel a lot better about it if the cover had a burst with the copy, “Fry crickets with a Coke bottle. See page 22!”

    THAT would get the kids really interested.

  12. Chris Gregory said:

    Isn’t the answer that each title is going to appeal to a different audience — and you won’t know which is likely to outpull the other without testing… or a lot of previous experience in that market?

    Why not combine the two as follows:

    “Fun with the Sun: Solar Science Projects for 7-10 year olds.” (Sorry, I’m a former academic and we love these sorts of titles…)

    Put FWTS on the front cover and spine in large type, and the rest in smaller type. That’ll give the book the best chance of picking up both ends of the market — and feature high on the search engines that Joel’s concerned about.

  13. Dianna Huff said:

    Am I the only person who takes her son to Borders and drops a $40-60 bucks each time? 🙂 I have yet to order a book for him via Amazon. He picks out his own books, hence a book sitting on the shelf titled “Fun with the Sun” would get his attention more than “Solar Science Projects” — which sounds dreadfully dull.

    But I agree, if most of the books are sold online, I would chose “Solar Science Projects.”

  14. Mike Stelzner said:

    How about a combination: Solar Science Projects: How to Have Fun with the Sun

    I did a big test on my book and it turned out the boring title is the one my audience preferred, so I went with and added a more creative subtitle.


  15. jake challenor said:

    Fun in the sun!!!!!

    Great article. I edit a web based small business television channel and magazine in Australia – ‘I’m Boss TV’.

    There are some great articles and TV segments on marketing. Feel free to take a look and send through any feedback.

    And feel free to submit any articles for consideration across any of the categories. We’re always looking for content and contributors from around the globe.

    – Jake Challenor

  16. Kelly Robbins said:

    I have 3 kids and can tell you from experience the fun with the sun title would get picked over solar science projects with my younger girls. Younger than 10-13. However, if they were dreading doing a solar science project — which happens to my 12 year old — I would search online and find solar science projects and buy it for her.

    If I was the publisher I would choose solar science projects. My 12 year olds would rather go swimming to have fun in the sun that do science. 🙂

  17. arun chakkravarthy said:

    I would rather go for ‘Fun with the Sun’, ‘coz i don’t want to bore young readers
    by seeing the title ‘solar science projects’ which sounds like a typical academic textbook and also by going their way it is easy to catch them.

  18. Sean Woodruff said:

    Why choose?

    With Print on Demand publishing you can test any title you’d like. Unless you’re purchasing it, anything we say here doesn’t mean anything. If a publisher is demanding a title it shows how behind the times they really are.

    Take a look at this post on my site titled “Judging a Book by Its Cover”

  19. alex bly said:

    solar science projects is the correct answer because it shows what the science projects are specificly about. fun with the sun could mean to many things and is not nearly specific enough.

  20. Mark E. Bender said:

    Neither title is good – Solar Science Projects is boring – sounds like a text book or scientific literature – does not come close to grabbing the interest of a normal child; Fun in the Sun is vague – does this mean summer vacation stories?.

    How about combining them into something like Solar Sun Fun Science Projects – a child knows its about science projects but also about fun.

  21. Bob Bly said:

    Sean: your answer is not realistic. POD is too expensive per copy for trade books. Any mainstream publisher MUST select a title before printing 10,000 books.

  22. Rob Swanson said:

    Both are poor.

    Sunburn! Solar Projects for Kid Scientists

    Eh, that’s not much better, but a little jazz is necessary.

  23. Stellar Price Prediction said:

    If there are many sad stories, share it with the people you trust. Sharing helps people get closer together and you also relieve some of that sadness.

  24. mi ka said:

    Your writing impresses me deeply, and I hope you will have more good articles in the future to give readers a new perspective on life.
    run 3

  25. hilapan said:

    Thanks for great article. LiteBlue is great community who are working hard to bring the best postal services in United States. liteBlue change address is now very easy with online portal login.

  26. Venkateshh said:

    Thanks for great article. ECo Relief is great Company who are working hard to bring the best Solar panels in Australia. ECo Relief is now very easy with online portal login.

    for more details

  27. xinput1_3.dll said:

    THAT would get the kids really interested.
    easy fun under the sun this namer is to much match

  28. Corwin said:

    puppies for sale,pug puppies for sale in oregon,pug puppies for sale in az, in the breeding of Pug puppy for sale, which is the most desired bulky puppy. During many years of work we could breed Pug puppies, with the most unique and exceptional colors you will dream of having. At the moment our cattery is one of the biggest in the USA who produced these valuable Pug puppies. All our Pug puppy for sale are transferred according to the law with documentation and all our Pug puppy and puppies are with registration AKC. As a family, we have loved, cared, breed, and lived with different kinds of puppies for over 10 years, quite an experience. We do not consider ourselves concerned with earning money. All our Pug puppies are raised at home in a family/friendly environment making our Pug puppies completely at ease with other pets.pugs for sale,pugs for sale near me,cheap pugs for sale,pug puppies for sale,pug puppies for sale near me.

  29. robert said:

  30. Barnard Fife said:

    Where can I locate a transmission repair shop?

  31. Laura said:

    I prefer Solar Science Projects because it clearly states what the book is all about. waste collection Kew

  32. Tamarra said:

    Fun with the Sun is a cutie. waste removal Little Ilford

  33. Mitch said:

    Fun in the Sun is something that can catch the kid’s attention as it sounds just fun. junk removal Merton

  34. Kaye said:

    Fun in the Sun is my pick. car tow Stepney

  35. Gail said:

    The first one sounds like a school project while the second is for fun so I’ll choose the second. fencing company Foleshill

  36. Seph said:

    For me, the title of the book catches someone’s attention depending on their personality. windshield repair London Fields

  37. Jireh said:

    The second one is preferable. windshield repair Tonbridge and Malling

  38. Jean said:

    The second one is not boring. bathroom fitter Kingsland

  39. Victoria said:

    It depends on the interest of the kids. decorators in East Finchley

  40. Deryan said:

    Kids want fun things to do. kitchen renovation Hoxton

  41. Ndure Shoes said:

    Ndure offers their customers the highest quality children’s Tracksuits of all types, including both boys tracksuits and girls tracksuits. Get the best available Tracksuits for grils in Pakistan. Ndure brings the best Tracksuits for Kids online. So, buy high-quality tracksuits for girls.

  42. Metro Shoes said:

    Metro Shoes provides the formal heels for ladies. Make a fashion statement wearing alluring designs by Metro Shoes Pakistan.

  43. charlly korpa said:

    I’m quite impressed by your writing, and I hope you’ll continue to produce quality articles in the future to help readers see what does diamond cut mean the world in other ways. I don’t want to tyre young readers, so I’d rather choose “Fun with the Sun.”

  44. Flormar Cosmetics said:

    From shop the best concealer for your face and reduce dark circles under your eyes. Choose the perfect concealer-corrector from a huge range of shades available in Pakistan.

  45. dpboss result said:

    Dpboss Live Result

  46. BabyBoxShop said:

    Our baby gift baskets are the epitome of joy and convenience, packed with a delightful mix of essential items and adorable keepsakes. Each basket is carefully arranged to cater to the needs of the little one, providing comfort and happiness. Whether you’re looking for a gender-specific or unisex option, our baby gift baskets make the perfect present for baby showers, birthdays, or any special occasion.

  47. BabyBoxShop said:

    Baby girls’ gifts are tailored to make little princesses feel adored and cherished. Explore a world of delightful gifts that celebrate the magic of baby girls’ first moments.

  48. BSNS Consulting said:

    At BSNS Consulting, we offer you unparalleled Business Advisory Services near me. Our team of expert consultants is dedicated to providing personalised solutions that drive growth and success for your business. Whether you’re a startup or an established company, our strategic insights and industry knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and achieve your goals.

  49. TipTop Enrichtung said:

    A Maniküretisch mit Absaugung is a table designed for manicure treatments, and it includes an integrated dust extraction system to keep the workspace clean and safe.

  50. Pink Salt said:

    A wide range of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are present in Himalayan pink salt. We dissect the mineral makeup that supports its profile of health.

  51. Ramadan packages said:

    When it comes to Ramadan packages, affordability is key. We’ll delve into the market to uncover packages that cater to various budget ranges, ensuring that every family can partake in the festivities without financial strain.

  52. Diamond jewelry said:

    In today’s fast-paced fashion world, staying on top of the Best Diamond jewelry trends is essential to keep your style fresh and exciting. When it comes to Diamond jewelry, there are always exciting developments and timeless classics that always stay in style. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best Diamond jewelry trends for 2024, providing you with expert insights and recommendations for elevating your style. From statement pieces to delicate designs, we’ve got you covered.

Leave a Reply