#LetsDiscuss2020 – Blog Post Titles for Book Reviews – TCL’s #DiscussionSunday #5.


Blog Post Titles for Book Reviews.

I don’t know about other book bloggers, but I’m not into putting hashtags and at-tags in the titles of my book review blog posts. Yes, of course I do it with post like this – as well as for memes, and other book tags – but when it comes to a book review, I find all those #s and @s to look annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking anyone to change how they entitle their blog posts – you do you.

Discussion Sunday #letsdiscuss2020

The thing is, it seems to me that maybe not everyone appreciates the time and effort I put into the titles for my book reviews. For example, I recently posted a review of the Tom Hanks short stories “Uncommon Type,” which I entitled “Tales from the Font Lines.” Well, considering every story in the book has a typewriter, I thought someone would get the pun and comment on it, but… <crickets>! (Maybe it was too subtle; who knows?)

On the other hand, I have had people comment on some of my review titles, and one friend of mine actually thought the title to my review would have been a better title for the book than the one they used! Strangely enough, I didn’t think I was being all that clever with that particular book review, but nonetheless, I appreciated the complement, and that somebody noticed.

ce4f4-not2bquite2blost-1Then there’s one book review on my old blog that, for some reason has nearly 3,400 views, which gets anywhere from a few dozen to a couple hundred of hits every week, without fail. Plus, it is starting to drive hits to that same review here on WordPress. I cannot get my head around this at all, because I didn’t care for that book all that much. Of course, this could be because some search engine grabbed the title “Slavery Through Women’s Eyes” and listed it in the sadomasochistic porn section. Go figure, right? The next best performing post on my old blog is called “The Guestbook Spy.” I loved that book and I appreciate the hits, but I can’t figure out why that post gets such good traffic (but I’d be very happy if the hits there would drive more traffic here for this review).

My question is, do you use creative titles for your book review posts? Or do you just name it “book review” with the title of the book and the author’s name? Do you think it matters for SEO, one way or another? I mean, I really don’t care about SEO to be honest. I care much more for the pleasure I get in being creative by trying to think up a title that will hint at the essence of the book, and/or my assessment of the work.

Now, ever since I started using WordPress, I always make sure that the automatic tweets that go out for all my posts (not just the book reviews) have all the required @s and #s that I can think of – authors, titles, publishers, and anything else I can think of before I post a review. That’s why I’m not going to change how I do things, and I don’t expect others to jump on my tiny bandwagon. I’m just wondering:

How do you decide what your book review blog post titles will be?

Do you like to use @s and #s in your post titles?

Or, do you use as many @s and #s in your tweets as you can?

Why do you (or don’t you) use @s and #s in your post titles?

This post is my fifth entry in the 2020 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


34 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2020 – Blog Post Titles for Book Reviews – TCL’s #DiscussionSunday #5.

  1. Ooh, I was browsing around your blog and thought this post looked interesting… and to my great surprise, I saw your review of my book pop up! I am most grateful for your titling powers!
    For my own blog, I don’t carry reviews but I do enjoy a headline with a bit of flair. I also include a more factual sub-head in case readers find it through a search – they’ll want to know at a glance what it’s about. Hashtags and Twitter handles? I’m trying them out at the moment. My posts get shared automatically to social media and if they have the hashes and whatnot, those carry into Twitter, and are spread when someone shares the post. When I see them on other posts, I’m not irritated or offended by them, but obviously they have to be used responsibly and only when really relevant.
    Thanks for a provocative and worthwhile topic.
    PS, in case anyone’s wondering, I’m not the high-hitting slavery writer, I’m the lower-key guestbook spy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can maybe answer (a bit) why your post “Slavery Through Women’s Eyes” gets a lot of hits — in the WordPress email I got saying you’d liked one of my posts, that was one of the posts it lists for you at the bottom. So, anyone who gets the notification is probably seeing that link, and clicking through it, and then it becomes self-sustaining at some point — it’s a top-viewed post, so it’s included in the notifications, and then it continues to get clicks. (I have an older review that still gets a ton of views, and that’s the only explanation I’ve been able to come up with!)

    I go old-school with my post titles. For book reviews, just “Book Review” and the title and author. But hey, we should all do what works for us! I’m just not at all a fan of the way # and @ look in blog post titles, and I’ve never really seen the point!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? Interesting. I don’t get emails when someone likes one of my posts, I just see it in the little notifications part of my dashboard. Thing is, it was a top viewed post when it was on the Blogspot version of this blog first, so self-sustaining from both sides, I guess.


  3. I really don’t like putting #s and @s in my book review titles. I just list the book title and the author name. I prefer to include the #s and @s as much as I can in my automatic tweets. To me, it makes my blog post titles for book reviews less crowded and more simple and short. Please continue with the creativity Davida.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wasn’t using them, then I did use them, not I’m not again. The fact is that I was beginning to feel a bit used and abused. My “job” is to read the book and write a review in exchange for an ARC, usually an e-ARC. The amount of time that I spend copying and pasting my reviews to all of the social media sites that WP doesn’t connect with and NG and EW and retailers, etc., is mounting. Then to also think about additional publicity on top of all that is just really too much in exchange for an ARC. If I were to get paid $15 an hour – at a minimum – and a book costs approximately that then I shouldn’t spend more than an hour on all that I do. In reality, we spend a lot more time than that on photographing the books (assuming that we stage the photo) and reading and writing the review and sharing and commenting on other reviews, answering the comments on our own blogs and on GRs…. it is time consuming. Perhaps if I actually believed in the whole “influencer” hype – which I do not – then it would be different. I do include tags in my posts at the end, where they belong, so I know that authors are seeing the reviews but it really isn’t my job to promote the book – that is the job of the publisher. I’m a reviewer, a reader, I don’t get paid the big bucks. I don’t get paid at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David,
    Enjoyed the post.
    Writerpreneuship is lots of smart, hard and creative writing.
    Based on the book reviews featured on our website, the answer to your question comes down to:
    Who are you writing the review for?
    What is the value of your book review?
    What is the end game of that review?
    As you answer the questions, this is what you may see.
    There are times to write for page rank. There are times to write because the author of the book wants it that way. And there are times to listen to your audience and go all out.
    Book review or not, catchy blog titles that incorporate copy are a winner. If you get eyeballs to your website and convert leads too for the publisher or author of the book, is that it?
    If we copy what everyone else is doing, where then is creativity?
    This feedback is out of a personal experience.
    Queued the post to share.
    H E | https://thextraordinarionly.com


  6. I appreciate those who are clever with their titles. I go back and forth with my own. Sometimes I’m straightforward declaring it’s a book review, but other times I like to be more creative. It often depends on the book and its popularity already. I don’t use @s and #s in my post titles because it feels distracting, but I do use them in my tweets so all the parties can get their due attention. Interesting post and comments–I enjoyed this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my post titles are all painfully unoriginal (book review + title etc), I quite enjoy how yours aren’t. To me they stick out more when I’m scrolling through the reader and make me more eager to read your posts.
    I also really don’t do hashtags or @ etc. I probably should but I hate how it looks too. Probably should learn about seo too but I’m quite happy with the way things are currently

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a question I have not solved for myself. I like coming up with fun headlines that play off the title or topic of the book, but sometimes I wonder if readers are confused by them. I’ve started doing more labeling according to type of book or a challenge I’m taking part in (Nonfiction Review, Back to the Classics) but then I worry that is too boring. So basically, I don’t know what I’m doing here.

    I confess that it does not occur to me to put hashtags and such IN the post title. I find it a bit distracting … but that’s just my personal taste.

    I do wonder why certain posts get a ton of hits. Let me know if you find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I DO use hashtags when I first post my review to my blog. That way, if anyone shares my review on Twitter my review will be searchable. For instance if someone went on twitter looking for a review of “All in her head” by Nikki Smith they would find my review because I added the hashtags #BookReview and #AllInHerHead
    If I had named my post, however clever and catchy the name, anyone looking for a specific review would never find it. So I guess what I’m saying is that naming posts is all well and good if you are just doing it for your blog audience. If you are doing it for a wider audience on social media then you should stick to just the title and the words “Book Review”. Later, even years after your post is written, if someone goes on Google looking for a review of a book they plan to read, you want them to be able to find YOUR review.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m not very imaginative with my post titles and just use the book title, author and ‘book review’ with a hashtag or two so its gets picked up on Twitter in the searches. I’ve never got my head around the SEO thing so I’m probably missing a trick or two!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I use @s and #s in my titles as it helps publishers and authors see what’s happening. Also, I usually don’t remember to tweet with the @s and #s so it helps xD I try to add a little sentence before the book title in my review titles. A phrase that sums up my experience with the book, or something that is linked to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I usually go very simply for my review, just “Review: name of book – name of author”. I generally don’t like using #s and @s on the titles, but I will use then when I promote my posts on social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think it also depends on if you are active on other social media sites. For instance I enjoy using Twitter to drive traffic to my posts and twitter works well with hashtags so I use them in my blog titles. I also work with lots of indie authors who don’t get the exposure that popular books do, so if I can @authorname in my title, so that they and others can find their names and books easily across social media sites, then I’m all for it in a blog title.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I do often notice your creative titles 😊 I go for a very simple approach – book title, author, #bookreview and then the author and publisher’s Twitter names and any other hashtags I’ve seen the publisher use in their publicity. I do this so when it’s shared on Twitter, it is clear what I am reviewing. By adding the Twitter handles, obviously the author and publisher get a notification and it means I don’t have to prepare separate Tweets. My most viewed review is from a few years back and while it doesn’t get as many reviews as your popular ones, over the four years it has consistently been the highest viewed post. No idea why, it’s a mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great discussion! Well usually I notice and appreciate your creative titles! But honestly the font lines read front lines to me….even when you said you had done something clever, I had to look at it carefully in order for my eyes to see font instead of front!! Our brains see what they want to see! Maybe if you put FONT in all caps it would force the brain to focus?

    Because I am trying to improve my SEO I use the title + review ….. I tried adding a clever subtitle but then it gets too long (short is better I think). I’ve heard that @ and # are not necessary because your tags will suffice…I but I like to use # sometimes because it helps draw attention to the meme (which might generate more views). I’ve heard you are not supposed to use any special symbol except comma or colon…not sure if that’s correct. I’m overwhelmed when titles are too long and filled with a variety of # and @. Usually most of that gets cut off any way when viewing post titles on a mobile device.

    For best SEO I think your book title has to appear in the blog post title….and then carry those key words through your post. If you have no interest in SEO, then creativity reigns! I love your creativity Davida!

    I have a post like you mentioned that has gotten hundreds of views! I went back to look at the review and it’s nothing special…I’ve written way better! I’m almost afraid to update it and mess with the mojo!

    I vote for you to continue your thoughtful creative titles!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Usually I just go with ‘Book Review’ or ‘New Release Book Review’ there are two I hashtag as they are part of someone’s creation #20backlistin2020 and a nonfiction one, but I’m not creative like you with my blog headings.

    Liked by 1 person

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