How to Title Your Academic Monograph [Mini-Course]

Actionable Lessons Drawn from 188 Monographs

My title could have tanked my book's chances...

The day after I submitted my book proposal to the press who became my book's publisher, I received amazing news: the acquisitions editor wanted to see the full manuscript.

Then, my heart sank.

The editor gently and rightly told me that my "title was terrible."

I was horrified.

Now, having worked with other acquisitions editors, I know that I was incredibly lucky that my terrible title (that did not in any way communicate what the book was actually about!) did not immediately cause my editor to reject the project.

For me, as for many authors of first books, my title had been somewhat of an afterthought. What counted was the content, the argument, right? Presses would evaluate my project based on what it said; the title could always be changed.

Yes and no.

Titles are the first data point editors use to immediately assess what the book is and whether it fits their list

Many editors will give your book the benefit of the doubt, but why take that chance, when so much is riding on your book being published.

This mini-course ensures your title isn't an afterthought

I now know that I'm far from the only who struggled with titling their monograph. In fact, it's very common for editors to tell authors that their title "needs work." But most resources tell you what not to do, and, at best, offer a few extremely vague recommendations.

When a few of my boot camp alums asked me what advice I'd give them regarding titling their books, I realized that I didn't have any concrete, actionable advice.

I'm an action-oriented person, so only being able to give vague advice wasn't acceptable to me. So, I did what any good researcher does: I assembled a corpus of 188 monograph titles and analyzed them, word by word, to see what patterns emerged.

The surprising and reassuring part?

Most academic book titles follow very clear patterns in terms of length, structure, and content.

Demystify academic book titles with data, examples, and step-by-step activities

In this mini-course I teach you exactly what I learned by analyzing the corpus of 188 humanities and social science book titles. You'll learn:

  • Exactly how many words your title should be (on average, your title should fit in an extremely narrow range of only 2 words!)
  • Whether you need to coin a catchphrase for your book's title (and whether your catchphrase actually works as a title)
  • The specific elements your book title needs to include
  • How to order all of the elements in your book's title
  • How to make your book title "search-friendly" (this was something that tripped me up bigtime)

Why would you risk your book's chances of publication on an afterthought title?

Now, you don't have to.

Enroll in the FREE mini-course and never worry about your title making the wrong impression again.

Your Instructor

Katelyn Knox
Katelyn Knox

Course Curriculum

  Lesson 1: How Long Should My Title Be? Should I Have a Subtitle?
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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