Chapter Titles – Headings

Chapter titles are the names you call a distinct section of your book. Nonfiction books generally have 8 to 20 chapters, although there is no reason you can’t have more. Chapter titles are like changing the subject in a conversation in a way that builds on what has been said before. Generally, your subject matter will start with things easiest to understand and progress to become more difficult, ending with a “you can do it” inspirational ending. If you have a theme for the book or use analogies, then try to word the chapter titles to continue the theme.

You eventually need to write chapter titles, but you don’t have to do it while you are writing initially unless something comes to you. You can just refer to them by number or create working titles while you write the content if that is helpful to you.

Headings are the titles within chapters that define when you are changing subjects within a subject. Writing interesting headings may come naturally to you or you may find you just use one word for a next section. Either way is fine for the initial draft.

Using headings at various points in the chapter is important for several reasons
Breaks up text
Lets readers find what they are looking for
Gives tone and attitude perspective
With more ebooks, these become your TOC since most ebooks do not have an index, the headings are how people find what they want to read again or read right away.

Try to start each heading with a verb, although you don’t have to do this in every case. When you re-read your table of contents later in the process you will want to make sure you aren’t using the same words over and over, such as
Creating a great design
Working on your personal preferences
Creating a model to work from

The 2nd Creating could become the word Building instead.

If you are getting stuck on what headings to use reread the section the heading applies to – sometimes you will find just the right words to use that you’ve already written in the text.

Try to make your headings consistent with the theme of the book and meaningful. If you use a heading like
Make Life Better
it doesn’t really say anything about what that means. Depending on your content, you want to be more specific like
Eat Breakfast and Start the Day Right

The process of writing and rewriting chapter titles and headings is something every author does. The next section is on rewriting and self-editing in general.