Based on Metaphors Examples
Book titles that find more readers and sell more books are often based on metaphors. Adding metaphors to your book titles helps the title communicate the essence of your book instantly.
Because of the power of metaphor-based titles, they often form the basis for the publication of empires. In these cases, the original title becomes the basis for a whole series of books, as we will see below. These can become global brands and catapult the authors to dozens – even hundreds – of different titles based on the same metaphor.
Benefits of metaphors
Immediate detection. A metaphor communicates at a glance. A well-chosen metaphor needs no explanation. The message comes home immediately.
Narrative power. Metaphors use the power of stories to motivate readers emotionally and not objectively. They occupy both the hearts of your readers and their brains. They beat chords in your readers.
Several levels. A single metaphor can convey numerous attributes and emotions. If your title contains an appropriate metaphor, your title will access many of the nuances and details associated with the metaphor.
Comfort and familiarity. Titles with metaphors instantly bring comfort and familiarity. They are also easier to remember and can therefore be more easily recommended to employees and friends.
Types of meta-titles
There are so many different types of metaphors like emotions and different ways to describe several aspects of a topic. Here are some of the different types of metaphors that have become the basis for successful book titles:
Comfort. At some points in our lives, we all need to be comforted. We may have lost our work, spouses, friends or pets. We need to connect with others who may have suffered the same loss or are currently suffering the same loss. Sometimes our need for comfort can be defined very narrowly, such as “Wives with husbands abroad in the military”.
Philosophy, attitude and resources. Metaphors-based titles can also instantly paint a picture of the challenges and resources of our intended readers. At a glance, an appropriate metaphor can address selected reader types in a way that appeals to them directly.
Complexity. A metaphor-based title can identify the intended market of a book and describe both the approach and the informational content of the book. Without “obvious” words like “beginner” or “newbie”, a metaphor can tell you that the book is for beginners.
Style. After all, the chosen metaphor can not appeal to the intended reader, but can communicate that the author speaks the language of the reader and really understands where the reader is coming from.
A series based on a comfort metaphor
One of the most successful book series in the world is the chicken soup series by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The first title in the series, Chicken Soul for the Soul, was released on June 28, 1993.
The authors already had the materials in hand – 101 posts, but they lacked a title. They each agreed to meditate for an hour on the topic. During one of his meditation sessions, Jack Canfield remembered his grandmother, who told him, “Chicken soup can cure everything!” Since the original title was to inspire the soul, not the body, the obvious title was chicken soup for the soul.
By December, the book was a strong seller. By September 1994, chicken soup was for the soul on every bestseller list in the United States and Canada.
Today, there are over 200 titles in the series, and more than 112 million copies have been sold. The title has been translated into more than 40 languages.
More importantly, according to Harris Polls, 88.7 percent of the public not only acknowledge the Soul brand chicken soup, but also know what it is.
It is impossible to imagine success in this order if the original soul soup had been replaced by a “conventional” title like the following:
How to cheer up
101 inspirational stories
How other obstacles have been overcome
The Power of the Chicken Soup brand is based on the almost universal recognition and emotional response that makes you feel sick and needs to be cared for by someone who loves you.
Attitude, resources and philosophy
The Guerrilla Marketing Series by Jay Conrad Levinson is the world’s best-selling marketing book series. There are over 40 million guerrilla marketing books in print around the world. The series has created a market for speaking and advising Jay on every continent. While this is being written, Jay Conrad Levinson speaks in Poland, Latvia and Croatia.
The strength of the Guerrilla Marketing brand is based on the instant recognition of the title. Guerrilla marketing resonates with business owners who lack the unlimited budgets and resources of large companies. Guerrilla marketers make the most of their resources.
“Guerrilla” conveys the philosophy, “Marketing” conveys the theme. Together, the two words tell the whole story.
One of the most successful book series in writing and publishing is the Author 101 series by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman. There are several titles in the series:
Author 101: Bestselling Secrets of Top Agents
Author 101: Bestselling Book Proposal
Author 101: bestselling nonfiction book
Author 101: Bestselling Book Advertising
The “Author 101” unites the titles under an immediately understandable roof. Traditionally, college freshman classes are associated with “101” identification numbers, with the advanced courses beginning in the 2-series. In this way, anyone who has attended college can immediately see that these books are for new writers who want to write a book.
Author’s style and target audience
A book title based on a metaphor can communicate the style of the author and address the intended market. For example, Peter Bowerman has released a series of books entitled The Well-Fed Writer. The Well-Fed Self-Publisher and The Well-Fed Writer followed quickly: Back for Seconds. Think about what you already know about these titles before looking at the back or the table of contents:
Are they serious or academic books? Of course not. The title states that the books are colloquial and informal.
Are successful authors the target market? No again! The market are writers who want to succeed.
It’s amazing how much you can tell about a book from its title, especially if it’s a metaphor-based title. If a book title is based on a recognized metaphor, the title itself may sell the book. Through the immediate communication of comfort, philosophy, complexity, or style, metaphor-based titles can sell more books and find more readers by resonating with them on a deep emotional level.