Which One Won? Choosing your self-help book title

Most of us are constantly looking for ways to improve our lives. That’s why self-help books can be so successful. But in order to attract attention, they have to feature a catchy and meaningful self-help book title.

One author of a self-help book tested titles on PickFu, asking, “Which is a more enticing title for a self-help book?”

Option A is Stressless Success. Option B is Stress Free Millionaire.

Can you guess which one won?

And the winner is…Option A! Even with the promise of becoming a millionaire, Option B’s 23 votes couldn’t live up to Option A’s 27. But the race was close.

Let’s find out why Option A won.

Never promise millions

Here’s the thing: most of us won’t become millionaires in our lifetimes, no matter how many self-help books we read about making scads of money and living a lush lifestyle. So readers don’t care for titles that tell you this will happen. They think of it as a lie!

One respondent said, “When I see a book that tells you how to be a ‘millionaire’ my brain sets off an alert and I don’t trust it.”

Another respondent pretty much summed it up for all of us when she said, “I’m happy with just being successful and stress-free. Millionaire makes me think what’s in the book is unachievable or far-fetched.”

Since most people rush around feeling stressful and unsuccessful or only mildly happy, a book that promises “stressless success” is more appealing than the unrealistic promise of becoming rich.

Money doesn’t equal success

In the same vein, several respondents argued that the self-help book title with millionaire in it hinted that becoming rich was the only way to be successful in life. This notion rankled several people.

One female admitted that she liked the title Stress Free Millionaire a bit better, but that “you’re basically insinuating someone will become a millionaire if they follow the practices in the book. Stressless Success tells it like it is and the book can be utilized to create your own personal form of success, whether it be a millionaire or not.”

Her response argues that the title may have sounded less catchy, but its promises were more achievable and even desirable.

Option A’s title flows better

There are already hundreds of self-help books that promise to teach the reader how to become rich. The title Stress Free Millionaire, just by virtue of including the word millionaire, melts into the crowd.

But Stressless Success? This alliterative title, according to respondents, flows well. Plus, it’s catchy and memorable.

Stressless is fun to say,” said one female. “I’d love to be stressless.”

Self-help book title: Key takeaways

When you’re crafting a self-help book title, keep the goals challenging but realistic. Don’t promise millionaire-ship to anyone, because that’s not something you can guarantee!

And remember to stand out. Create a title that has a ring to it and flows smoothly, as respondents thought Stressless Success did. Play with several different versions and then bring them to PickFu to ensure you’re hitting the right tone.

Laura Ojeda Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents.com, Mom.com, Gardener’s Path, and of course, PickFu. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle-grade novel, Missing Okalee, was published in the fall of 2021 by Shadow Mountain Publishing.