Thursday, April 15, 2010

Catchy: how I noticed a trend in book titles by browsing Amazon

While surfing the top 100 books on Amazon's list the other day, I stumbled upon an interesting book called The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. A mouthful, I know, but it looked like an interesting concept. After reading a few pages from Amazon Inside the Book, I scrolled through recommended titles and noticed a blatant trend in non-fiction titles.

Want to play detective? Here are a selection of titles from the list:

Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
The Power of Half: One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving
Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less

Starting to notice a trend? I checked out the business section, too, an area I am very familiar with because of the publisher I used to work for:

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
Outliers: The Story of Success

I could go on, but I think you get the point. I know at one point this was considered a revolutionary formula: short, catchy title with a more descriptive and to the point subtitle (in fact, a book with this same formula was written to address the stickiness of certain concepts/products). When I worked at the publisher that was the approach we took to all of our business books. However, it occurs to me that perhaps this approach has now oversaturated the market? And maybe now seems trite and overdone? And perhaps a revolution will be to break with this habit?

Just a thought.

No comments: