When you first open a book, you more often than naught find a Chapter List shoved in between the pages before the first official page. The list of chapter names gives you an idea of what is going to happen within the book. Some people prefer this; some people believe it isn’t necessary since the summary on the rear cover should sell it. It honestly depends on what the author wants to do. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide for yourself.
- Your reader has an idea of what to expect for the book.
- Your book looks organized and professional on first glance.
- Some readers memorize the last place they’ve read by chapter number or chapter name. By listing it in the front of the book, the user can skim through the list to find the exact page number with ease.
- It’s normally expected. For book clubs, it makes it easier to keep track of where everyone’s progress should be after a certain amount of time. They will not thumb through a book to guesstimate this information for themselves.
- You thought naming the book itself was difficult. Now you have to name each and every chapter without giving away the entire story!
- Your reader knows too much about what happens in the book.
- You have yet another extra page between the cover and the first official page for the reader to begin the book. Being an extra page, it gets overlooked by some of the average readers who just want to begin reading.
- Extra pages also add extra costs to your book overall.
If these aren’t enough to convince you to sway either way, here is another brief article on the topic. Let me know your opinions in the comments!
2 thoughts on “Do I Need Chapter Titles?”
Here’s what I do: If it’s a children’s novel, I always have chapter titles. If it’s not, I don’t. Exception: I did for one of my fantasy novels, but only because Tolkien did chapter titles in The Lord of the Rings.
Loved this article and the pros and cons. For me, I’m sold on “You thought coming up with a title was difficult!” 🙂