You’ve written your life story.
You’ve laid your heart bare before the world
So, what’s the best title for your one-of-a-kind masterpiece?
“____________: An Autobiography”?
Seriously, unless you’re a household name, using “autobiography” as part of your title might not work in your favor, but not to worry. You don’t have to be famous to write an autobiography, but you do need a title that will grab a buyer's attention, so they know your book is worth a second look.
The purpose of this article is to break down what makes a standout autobiography title and the process for creating your own.
Need autobiography titles? Let's dive in!
The secret sauce for writing an amazing book title
The process of creating an autobiography book title that gets noticed starts with a marketer's mindset.
Yes, it all boils down to strategic book positioning in the marketplace. Creativity is a big part of it, but that’s a small part of the bigger picture. After all, if your book doesn't get in front of the people who would be most likely to read it, you can't change lives with the content inside!
Unlike fiction books or other types of nonfiction books (e.g. business books or textbooks) where there’s a specific category or genre expectation, autobiographies play by their own set of rules—the more creative the better.
How to think like a marketer when creating your title
If you are self-publishing your book, then you’re probably already aware that marketing is a key component of your book’s success, but what is marketing exactly?
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
When marketing your book, knowing how to write a good book title matters, because, along with your cover, it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees (reads) before making a buying decision. A casual search for “autobiography” on Amazon pulled up over 700,000 results. This doesn’t mean that every book belongs in the category, but it’s still a lot of books.
You might be asking how you get your book to rise to the top of search results.
Start with a great title.
Here are some best practices:
- Make your title relevant – You can never go wrong with a title that reflects the theme of your book. This will clue buyers into what to expect. You can also go with a significant statement or quote drawn directly from your story. Clever titles also work, but try to stay away from the cheesy ones that confuse buyers.
- Appeal to your ideal audience’s needs – Every book is not for everyone. Target a specific reader type when creating your title. For example, meteorologist and television personality Ginger Zee titled her book Natural Disasters. This title works well for her because her book’s content is about the unpredictable “storms” of life she has faced and she also covers storms in her reporting.
- Stay away from clickbait – or anything that leads readers to believe your book is about one thing but it’s something else. This only frustrates readers and could potentially lead to bad reviews.
- Use a primary keyword in your title if it fits – First Gen by Alejandra Campoverdi and Cooked by Jeff Henderson include keyword(s) that are relevant to buyer searches.
- Invite the reader into your story – This can be done by asking a question like the autobiography title What are You Doing Here? by Baroness Floella Benjamin. Or, create an image in their mind like The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson or The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish.
Hint: Keep it short. According to Amazon, “Customers are more likely to skim past long titles (over 60 characters). There are exceptions to the rules. You’ll see some in the list that follows.
Don’t forget about writing a subtitle for your book. They are optional but a great way to add a splash of flavor.
50 eye-catching autobiography titles that inspire
After an exhaustive search in the autobiography categories of the top online book retailers, I selected 50 incredible autobiography titles as a starting point for creating an amazing title for your autobiography.
Note: Memoir titles listed under the autobiography category are included in the list.
Autobiography titles about celebrities
- What are You Doing Here? – Baronness Floella Benjamin
- Tis Herself – Maureen O’Hara
- Finding Me by Viola Davis
- Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots By Reba McEntire
- Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories by Kelly Ripa
- Thicker than Water by Kerry Washington
- We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu
- Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli
- Just as I am by Cicely Tyson
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
- Making It So by Patrick Stewart
- Inside Out by Demi Moore
- In Pieces by Sally Field
- The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
- Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder by William Shatner
- Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
- Look Out for the Little Guy! By Scott Lang
- I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss
- No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox
- Scenes from My Life by Michael K. Williams
- The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe
- I Came as a Shadow – John Thompson
Autobiography titles about authors
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Lit by Mary Karr
Autobiography titles about family
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
- Mott Street by Ava Chin
- The Girl in the Middle by Anais Granofsky
- All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
- The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson
Autobiography titles about immigration, culture, and race
- The Girl in the Middle by Anais Granofsky
- Good Morning, Hope: A True Story of Refugee Twin Sisters and Their Triumph over War, Poverty, and Heartbreak by Argita Zalli, and Detina Zalli
- Negroland by Margo Jefferson
- First Gen by Alejandra Campoverdi
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
- Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story – Mazie K. Hirono
- The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya, Elizabeth Weil
Autobiography titles about beating the odds
- Cooked by Jeff Henderson
- The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow
- Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Mann, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory
- When the Tears Dry by Meredith Hawkins
- Reaching for the Moon by Katherine Johnson
- 80 Percent Luck, 20 Percent Skill: My Life as a WWII Navy Ferry Pilot by Ralph T. Alshouse
Autobiography titles about faith
- Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward After Loss and Heartache by Granger Smith
- The Barn by David Hill
- All My Knotted-Up Life by Beth Moore
Autobiography titles about journalists, reporters, and media
- Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One by Ginger Zee
- Going There by Katie Couric
- Rough Draft by Kati Tur
- The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
Use a free tool to generate your own autobiography title
You obviously can't use these published autobiography titles for your own book – but you can use our free book title generator to come up with suggestions that you could use.
It's really easy to use, and instantly gives you an unlimited amount of working titles – or even final titles – to use for your book!
1. Select nonfiction for the book’s genre in the drop-down menu
2. Fill in the details
For the next question, if you have a book description, type “yes” and add your description in the text box.
If you don’t have a description yet, answer “no” and fill out the questions. Eventually, you will need to write a book description, but this is often something our authors do after they complete their manuscript.
3. Click “generate”
That's it! Get ready for some unique autobiography book title suggestions. Remember, if you don't like the one that you see, you can continue to generate as many as you'd like.
Your autobiography title can be the difference between someone scrolling past your book on Amazon or stopping to read a sample. Whatever title you choose, remember that it’s just as much about you as your reader. Make them want to read your story by giving them something unique that piques their interest.
Are you ready to take the next steps with your autobiography? We have a professional publishing team ready to guide you through the book development process.
Interested in self-publishing? Click below to find out more.