The Indispensable Community: The Incredible Search For The Perfect Subtitle


(Richard Millington) #1


The book is now in full edit mode and I expect the entire project to be complete soon. One major outstanding step is the subtitle. I’m curious if any of these appear (or don’t appeal) to you:


  1. How Top Brands Learned To Stop Chasing Engagement And Build Communities Their Members Can’t Live Without

2) The Counterintuitive Strategies Behind The World’s Top Brand Communities

3) How To Stop Chasing Engagement And Turn Your Customers And Colleagues Into Powerful Allies

4) How To Turn Your Customers And Colleagues Into Powerful Allies And Reap The Rewards

Feel free to suggest your own too. Could use some help here.

(outofthebox) #2

Well, “How To Make Millions From Home With An Indispensable Community!” has a nice ring to it.

I like #2 the best. Counterintuitive is accurate and intriguing. And there’s the credibility marker of “the world’s top brand communities.”

(Adrian Speyer) #3

What about a combo

Learn Why The World’s Top Brand Communities Have Learnt To Stop Chasing Engagement

or some iteration of that… having major Monday brain :frowning:

(Piper_Wilson) #4

I like #2 also, but I suggest a tweak. How about, “The Counterintuitive Strategies Behind The World’s Top Online Communities”?

I think that may have a broader appeal.

(Richard Millington) #5

Thanks everyone, keep them coming.

I might tweak ‘behind’ to ‘Driving’ or something along those lines. But I want to see what kind of response the rest get yet. Going to move this to the public forum.

(Luis Villa) #6

These days, hearing someone brag that their take is “counterintuitive” makes my teeth grind. So I’d vote for #3. That said, I expect people use “counterintuitive” so much because it sells…

(Joel Zaslofsky) #7

Would you prefer “surprising” to “counterintuitive?” The word “surprising” has more sizzle, fewer syllables, and goes nicely with the word “strategies.”

Rich – I’ve been there on creating a sub-title for a book and it’s rough every time. What I want from your sub-title is at least one concrete selling point. In my limited book-writing copywriting book (say that five times fast), the title is for intrigue to get me to pick it up or do a double take. And then the sub-title actually sells me on getting it.

I imagine you’re using “top brands” for social proof even though you don’t name names. But as a member of your target audience, I could care less what the top brands are doing unless I work for one of them.

Also, do you believe that converting people in your target audience to care more about strategy and less about engagement is one of your best selling points? It’s totally worth it, of course, but maybe not as part of the sub-title.

I’m struggling to riff on what you’ve already proposed and what others have tweaked. I guess that means the draft sub-titles are as uncompelling to me as the title is compelling. I’d be tempted to try completely different angles and figure how to frame your premise as saving me time, money, or another valuable resource. That, or increasing my social standing among my communities and persuasiveness among my internal stakeholders.

(Richard Millington) #8

Very open to ideas on that one, please go ahead if you have something!

Not exactly. This is more research from search (and what is actually included in the book). I had thought about making it personal to the individual rather than the brand. i.e.

How the world’s top community professionals builds communities their members can’t live without. etc…but that ‘can’t live without’ is a bit weak.

I actually avoided the word surprising because I felt it was a little overused.

(Richard Millington) #9


By random coincidence this just popped up on the 99 designs site :slight_smile:

(Richard Millington) #10


I’my working on a big list of subtitle ideas here.

Please drop in and let me know which you like best in comments:

(Andy Green) #11

Who is your competition in the space that you own of being the most expert and thought leader in community management?
Also should it further your own personal brand? e.g ‘Millington on Communities’?
Should the title be ‘Your Indispensable Community’?

Keep up your great work

(Richard Millington) #12

I’m not really focused on competitors. There aren’t many books on the topic and this isn’t really about beating others.

That might be a useful side-effect of the book doing well, but it’s not the primary goal.


(Adrian Speyer) #13

From your new list, I vote for number 12

Beyond Engagement - Building A Brand Community That Transforms Your Business

(Andy Green) #14

Agree, you may not be in competition with existing competitors but more from future competitors.

If someone comes along and publishes a book covering your space what book title would really piss you off that they have used and potentially both stolen your thunder but has a title and sub title that defines the space?

Hope make amends as had hoped to provide feedback as a beta reader many months ago but some urgent stuff cropped up. Good luck with the book.

(Joel Zaslofsky) #15

How about that! Don’t ask how many iterations on my book cover or sub-title I had to go through to get to the final version. :wink:

(Richard Millington) #16

Thanks everyone, I’m about to start chopping these subtitles down to around 5 I like.

(outofthebox) #17

I still like 2 the best. It is one clear, simple, positive idea.

(Osioke Itseuwa) #19

I like 1 best, it helps people who aren’t aware of community as a strategy to also want the book, and also brings on people who know.

@Adrian’s tweak on it is also nice The Indispensable Community: The Incredible Search For The Perfect Subtitle

(Neofytos Kolokotronis) #20

I’d go for a subtitle that builds and expands on the title and leaves just enough of a hint on what the book is about, in order to lure you in.

From the current options, I think this one captures that best. Everyone is talking about engagement at the moment and suggesting to move beyond it and pointing the way to do that was what this book was about for me. Switching “Building” with “How to build” would make it more explanatory, but with an absence of a call to action. Switching it to just “Build” makes it sound stronger to me.

This one is provocative and it would probably get me to pick up the book to check it out if I came across it, but I don’t like the negativity and that there is no mention of any possible way to fix the issue. You are doing so much more than criticizing current communities in the book.

Would you prefer to focus on the problem or the solution? Or perhaps consider coming up with a subtitle that would combine the two.

(Kate Lindemans) #21

Bit late to the party, but I just wanted to say that I got the book! It arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to start reading! :face_with_monocle::books: