The importance of a subtitle

talk to the handAs you probably know, my favorite genre is memoir. I’ve noticed that many titles these days come with subtitles:

  • I Thought I Wouldn’t Tell It: A Memoir of Hard Life and Hope
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
  • Leave me alone: Memoirs of an Exmormon
  • Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction

Some of these subtitles are used to simply identify the book as a memoir in the hopes that if you like genre, the added word will eliminate any confusion on the matter and draw you in to the story.

Other subtitles try to give you an idea of the author’s voice like:

  • My Foot is Too Big For the Glass Slipper – A Guide to the Less than Perfect Life.

When it’s used like this, it’s an opportunity for the author to inject a personal comment  in an effort to let you know up front what tone is being used.

And still other subtitles are added as a last chance to get keywords into the title in the event that someone wants to search, oh I don’t know, for LOVE stories:

  • What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

If done well, a subtitle can be incredibly effective. It can give you an extra opportunity to lure your potential reader into your book and it sets the tone.

Got nothing against that, in fact, I’ve even written several subtitles titles for my works.

But still, there’s a tiny part of me that used to think of the perfect title to a project *before* I even thought of the story – you know what I’m talking about, it’s when you hear a phrase and you think *that* would be a great book title and then you start creating a story in order to justify the title.

I understand the marking importance of subtitles, trust me, I do.

But I also hope that the art of crafting the perfect title for your work doesn’t get lost in the marketing process.


Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (

20 thoughts on “The importance of a subtitle

  1. I agree with what you’re saying to a certain extent. I’m thinking that wouldn’t the absolute perfect title not only exemplify your work creatively, but also be a great marketing tool? Kind of the best of both aspects. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  2. Energy saving LED lamps are loaded with brightness and convey low
    heat because of the cold light. The light
    bars also provide controls for intensity, and you will operate the lighting heads
    in low power or cruise modes aside from high intensity flashing
    modes. Led light bar queensland The LED light can conserve 80% more energy as in comparison to incandescent light and is 50% more energy
    efficient than fluorescent light.

    They take less power to operate than a traditional LED and the form
    factor could allow them to get flexible and transparent.

    Adjustability will be the first criterion if you are considering a lighting set for police light bars.

  3. Hello there! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site
    mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix
    this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.

  4. We stumbled over here different website and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

  5. As the use of Astro Turf continues to thrive and grow, enhancements to the
    original design will continue to make it a better product and solve some of its problems.
    The farm technicians always make sure that the turf is delivered without damage and that it doesn’t suffer
    from shock during travel. If you don’t see it,
    then you’ll put the turf back in place which we’ll see a couple pages forward.

  6. Warmth and light-weight from the sun together with hydropower, geothermal power and wind power account
    for a lot of the circulation of renewable energy.
    Photo voltaic Energy refers back to the technique of
    conversion of daylight into electrical energy. The electricity can then be used to energy up our properties,
    companies and industries to proceed the cycle of life.

  7. I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading incredibly slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  8. I though subtitles doesn’t matter. Seen them in most of the sites of the articles. I didn’t know they are sub titles, but just custom fields. Now, I just realised that my theme has subtitle field, and is amazing. The post looks so good, and hope it helps in ranking as well. Glad to find your article, thomas.

  9. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your
    site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s