Chapter Titles Are a Great Marketing Tool in the Age of E-Books Chapter Titles Are a Great Marketing Tool in the Age of E-Books – by Anne R. Allen…

“Chapter titles!?” sez you. What is this, the 18th century? What am I supposed to write? Something like this?

Chapter the first, in which our hero is born, discovers that fire is hot, learns to pull up his own breeches, and slays a smallish dragon.

Hey, those 18th century writers knew their marketing. A reader flipping through a book in the shop could get an idea what kind of things were going to happen in the novel if it had descriptive chapter headers.

But yes, I know chapter titles went out of style in the age of modern minimalism.

Hemingway didn’t need no stinkin’ chapter titles. Neither did Fitzgerald or Faulkner.

However, some of the postmoderns later ventured into chapter title waters. David Foster Wallace used them in Infinite Jest, and John Barth titled his chapters in The End of the Road.

And in the 1990s, Annie Proulx used chapter titles to great effect in her Pulitzer Prize winner The Shipping News. Most of the chapter titles are the names of sailors’ knots, or other naval terms. Each chapter embodies a certain kind of knot, like “Love Knot”, “Strangle Knot” and “A Rolling Hitch.”

These literary authors used the chapter titles to enhance and comment on the content of the chapter.  Even though they wrote before the era of e-books, they used the chapter titles in a reader-enticing way.

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9 thoughts on “Chapter Titles Are a Great Marketing Tool in the Age of E-Books Chapter Titles Are a Great Marketing Tool in the Age of E-Books – by Anne R. Allen…

  1. I agree with Marcia–chapter titles make it easier to look back at stuff I’ve already read to check a name or incident. It’s much easier to flip through a printed book for that purpose than to troll through an ebook. I never thought of them as a marketing tool, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry – can’t stand them – won’t read a book with them. I don’t want to know what is going to happen before it happens as I read other than the little taster in the blurb.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So good to see this, Chris. (Will stop by to visit the original post in a bit.) I’m a HUGE lover of chapter titles, finding them usually amusing and entertaining. But I also find them extremely useful in helping me go back and find a passage I want to re-read. After all, Chapter 24 just doesn’t give you any clues whatsoever as to content.

    In my own work, I usually find a short line from the chapter that I think fits well, but in my Emissary books, I used appropriate song titles (which is legal) that were fun references to what the main characters were doing. Things like “On the Road Again” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” really worked for the story, and I had a lot of compliments on them from readers.

    I see no reason NOT to use them. After all, readers who don’t care for them don’t have to even glance at them, if they prefer not to, while those who like them have one more thing in your book to enjoy.. So. Why not?

    Thanks for sharing this! Made my morning! 🤗💖

    Liked by 3 people


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