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I found myself hovering over the "Post Your Question" button after writing a question about what my book should be titled. Now, at first, I thought this surely wasn't allowed, due to it being off-topic or mainly opinion based. But when I typed "titles" in the tag bar, I saw it's description pop up. Here it is:

For questions about what a specific work of literature is named or should be called to identify it on the shelf.

Now, the latter part of that sentence, to me, seems to say that you can indeed ask questions about what your work should be called. Or maybe not? Am I missing something? Is it allowed to ask a question regarding what one's work should be called?

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seems to say that you can indeed ask questions about what your work should be called. Or maybe not? Am I missing something?

You're missing What topics can I ask about here? and What types of questions should I avoid asking?, both of which are found in the help center's section on asking questions.

You really should read both of those if you haven't already, but very basically, what we want is questions that:

  • are likely to be helpful not just to you, but also to others, and
  • allow for the possibility of objectively judging how well a specific answer answers the question

Now, please don't get me wrong, but asking what should be the title for your specific book seems to fail both those tests.

There are exceptions, some of which are discussed in an oft-cited blog post on the Stack Overflow official blog, Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. That post basically boils down to that good subjective questions will typically have answers that boil down to the why and how, rather than just the what.

If we apply all this to your proposed question, then it seems clear that you should rethink your proposal a bit. Don't ask what title to use for your book. Rather, consider briefly describing your book, and asking for how to come up with a good title. Focus on the process, rather than the end result. Such a question at least has the potential to provide lasting value for later visitors.

Consider how a question about how to come up with a good book title might apply to the above two bullet points.

  • If well-written, it can absolutely be helpful both to you and to others, possibly years into the future. Check.
  • If well-written, and especially if sufficiently but not overly constrained, we can tell how well any particular answer actually answers the question. Check.

Much better!

Now, I'm not saying that such a question would be guaranteed to be on topic! It can potentially depend a lot on the specific question. There are many nuances in asking Good Subjective questions, and it might take a few rounds of editing in response to comments on the specific question before it's a good fit for the site, and it might be put on hold in the interim. But by focusing on the process, you have a far better chance of ending up with a question that is in line with the community's standards, than if you simply ask about the end result.

Look at the existing questions tagged . From a quick glance, those that are still open are those that ask about process, not outcomes. For example, we have "Is Having Two Titles Bad Style?" and "Book Series - Is using 'Volume #' OK (with no book name)" that are still open, and "“ The doctor spirit 'Dr. Tom' ” - possible book title?" which is closed.

While you're looking at those, also see if there's something there that covers what you want to ask about, especially in light of my suggestions above. For example, might the answers to System for Coming up With a Good Title be useful to you?

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It looks like the wiki could use some editing. "What should I call my book?" would be closed as a "what to write" question. Fortunately, we don't have a tag full of questions like that. Here are the top few:

Which words should not be capitalized in Title Case?

Title already taken

How much influence do authors have on the titles of their books?

Should I care if my short story has the same title as someone else's book?

How to come up with a good title? (you might find this one helpful for your specific question)

ISBN - is it possible to have one and a title before publishing?

Verb tense for technical document titles

Please feel free to align the tag excerpt (that pop-up text you saw) with the actual use of the tag.

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    I edited the tag wiki for titles a bit for better alignment. Of course everyone else is free to improve it further, but I hope that it is now at least a bit helpful and will not give the impression of allowing off-topic questions. – Secespitus May 25 '18 at 18:15
  • @Secespitus That looks much better to me than what it was. – a CVn May 25 '18 at 18:18

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