I was looking at the sales rankings on Amazon today with my publisher and he pointed out that all of the self-published best sellers have a short title then a semi-colon followed by a pitch line (see pic attached). I'm certainly not a fan, but the proof is evident that it gets visibility.

Does anyone have data-driven proof that this increases sales?screenshot of Kindle top results for"thriller books"

  • 3
    Speaking only as a reader: It's fine for non-fiction, very annoying for novels. Name the thing properly; you shouldn't have to explain it. Apr 27, 2017 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


The data you are seeking is tightly held. Publishers and sellers don't really want you to know this. They even hide a lot of stats about sales figures on books.

Some Helpful Info

However, I recently read the following book by an indie publisher which explains exactly what you're talking about: Six Figure Author : Using Data To Sell Books (Chris Fox)

My Experience

I had recently published a book which I titled : Launch Your Android App

The interesting thing is that the author of that hyperbolically named, aforementioned title explains that Amazon's search engine is completely based on titles.

I Tested the Theory

After 2 months or so of Launch Your Android App being for sale I had only sold 2 or 3 copies. I decided to change the title and re-publish the book so that it was named similarly to other books in the category. You can see the book with teh new title at: Beginning Android Programming With Android Studio

Title Change Instantly Changed Sales

This was amazing to me, because the next day after I changed the title, the book sold 3 or 4 copies. After that, it sold a copy or two every day. It's quite interesting and I believe the information you have is correct about how titles are used on Amazon.

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