Help me Rename My Book!

Picture 5b

Hey guys, I’m asking for some some expert marketing input and non-expert opinions  🙂

Here’s the deal… We are entering into the final stages of preparing my book for print. It was called UNLIMITED INVESTING: Break Free From Wall Street To Buil Real Wealth With Alternative Assets. Then as we were wrapping it up I realized something:

  1. Much of the book’s message is about first protecting/securing your wealth or nest egg, regardless of whether or not you grow or multiply it.
  2. For each person to understand the harm that will come to them if they stay in the two most currently popular investments (securities and cash) is very very very important.
  3. Many people aren’t interested in investing or multiplying their wealth. For them, I aim to alarm them to their need to protect themselves against inflation and the actions of the Fed, banks, huge corporations, government, and Wall Street. Maybe in the process, they’ll change their minds and decide to become interested in investing, but that isn’t entirely necessary.
  4. So I don’t want to scare people off by labeling the book “an investment book”. It does tell the story of investing, but it also tells a more universally applicable story of understanding money, inflation, the Fed, banks, the government, Wall Street and how to protect themselves.

So I decided to split the book into two books:

  • BOOK ONE is about the “conventional wisdom” which is doomed. It goes on to also tell all the case studies of many clients and friends who have built massive wealth by thinking outside the box. This is the book I’m naming right now.
  • BOOK TWO is about how to use self-directed IRAs & Solo 401(k) plans to follow in the footsteps of the success stories contained in BOOK ONE. This one will likely be titled “UNLIMITED INVESTING: The Complete Self-Directed IRA & Solo 401(k) Handbook.

This first book is powerful. It could help a LOT of people. I’ve poured my blood, sweat, and tears into the book, and now I want it to reach the most people. No matter what’s inside, I need the outside (the title) to do the best job of getting as many people as possible to read the inside.

So we’ve got the title for the first book narrowed down to the following:

  • 5 STEPS TO FREEDOM: What you’re not supposed to know about escaping financial slavery; and
  • FOOL ME THRICE: Why a rising stock market steals from the middle class & your 5 steps to freedom

So far, we’ve used on online advertising to test which one people clicked on more. 5 STEPS TO FREEDOM gets more clicks. We also tested about 5 other titles that have been discarded. These two were the best performing on the ad test, and FOOL ME THRICE was a close 2nd.

Calling All Expert Marketers

So my question is this: Do you think there is a difference between the quality of traffic the two titles would attract?

I ask this because  “5 STEPS TO FREEDOM” draws slightly more people in. If it drew the exact same type of people as “FOOL ME THRICE” then the decision would be easy… 5 STEPS TO FREEDOM is the best title. Buuuuut, if FOOL ME THRICE somehow brought in a higher quality of traffic (meaning people who buy the book more), then it might make sense.

In other words, imagine that a certain amount of promotions brought in 100 people for FOOL ME THRICE and 125 people for 5 STEPS TO FREEDOM. If the quality of traffic were equal for both titles, then 5 STEPS would sell the most books. But it’s possible FOOL ME THRICE could sell more books if its traffic was more likely to buy the book. What I want is the one that sells the most books. The contents of the book are powerful, and I need the title that is going to sell the book so that the most amount of people can get into the contents, read them, and be empowered by them.

I know, I know… the best thing is to just do my own testing. Unfortunately, I have speaking events lined up and some exhibitor booths reserved at various events… and I’m in a time crunch. I simply don’t have the time to test the conversions for each title, so I’m asking for your expert marketing opinion… based on what you know from your own testing of other things, would you predict a different quality of traffic between the two titles? If so, why?

Calling Everyone Else

Even if you are no marketing expert, I ask:

  1. Which title are you more likely to be interested in? Which one would make you pick the book up and read the table of contents or browse?
  2. Which one are you more likely to buy?

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. I’ve heard so many “thank yous” over the years for putting out information that can’t be found elsewhere and for helping many of you double or triple your wealth in a few short years… now you can to return the favor in just a couple of minutes by sharing your thoughts and opinions   😀

Please comment today!

Reader Interactions


  1. 5 Steps to freedom is much more appealing. I think that the financial slavery bit is very strong and gets your point across. Look at it from this point. . . Sell it to the press first. Business and media that you will be marketing this book to for the public relations bit. . . which will appeal more to them? What will get them talking about your book. I hope that is helpful!

  2. I do NOT like the Thrice one and would not pick it up. I like the 5 Steps of Freedom: and add “This is not how your parents did it” Everyone needs to know it is about investing and it is nothing like the way it was done in the past.

  3. 5 Steps will attract more people who will use the information to improve their financial lives. Fool Me Thrice will attract more analysts, journalists and others looking for information they can use for other purposes.

  4. Although I would likely pick up and browse your book with either title, all other things being equal, sight unseen I would be more likely to buy the book “5 Steps to Freedom”. It speaks more truly to my current interests in protecting my assets from further erosion and decay.

  5. UNLIMITED INVESTING: Break Free From Wall Street To Buil Real Wealth With Alternative Assets

    For me, the following strikes me:
    Nothing is unlimited
    typo on build
    I consider hudge funds, equity fund, funds of funds, etc Alternative asset classes. Notes, Trust deed, real estate pre-date stocks..

    why is “conventional wisdom” which is doomed

    titled “UNLIMITED INVESTING: The Complete Self-Directed IRA & Solo 401(k) Handbook, again I don’t like unlimited.

  6. Definitely 5 Steps to Freedom.

    The same people that would pick up ‘Fool Me Thrice’ would pick up 5 Steps. However the opposite is not true. ‘Fool Me Thrice’ is catchy, but it will miss a lot of people because they will falsely assume it is a childrens’ book.

    Get the most people in front of the book as possible so you have a chance to sell to them.

  7. Hey Jeff. After reading the first chapter of the book, I think Fool Me Thrice does a better job of representing the content and seems more provocative. I’m not surprised 5 Steps to Freedom “test” better, but my history of focus groups has taught me not to take those types of results on the surface. I think Fool Me Thrice carves out a niche. There are plenty of books/seminars/systems/programs promising financial freedom. I haven’t seen anyone do an “expose” on the current retirement system. Challenging the convention is how ALL good marketing succeeds, so be unconventional. You may not attract as many looks, but I bet you’ll attract more attention, PR and ultimately buyers. Can’t wait to read it!

  8. I like the 5 steps to freedom and I think this is best because so many people are searching for freedom.

  9. 5 Steps to Freedom is much more appealing. It implies you can help someone help themselves through simple, concrete steps. Fool Me Thrice implies that you got fooled at least three times and therefore might be a slow learner. 🙂

  10. Fool Me Thrice sounds like it sould have the tagline:
    “Been taken advantage of? Lost all of your retirement to Bernie Madoff? Well buy my book and get ready for another ride!”

    No, No, very bad.

  11. Likely readers of your book, like me, are probably thinking a little bit along the lines you discuss. Why insult them by saying they’ve been fooled twice already?

    Plus, 5 steps sounds easy. Getting fooled 3 times sounds like work.

    5 steps, hands down.

  12. Fool Me Thrice. There are so many X Steps to Whatever out there that I don’t even bother to consider them – it’s like a Suze Orman thing, or an AA approach to admitting you have a problem. Describing the approach as simply 5 Steps to Freedom sounds like it is targeted for “dummies” who need to be corraled and directed and reassured they are following the “safe” and common path like everyone else. 5 Steps does not sound like an approach for sophisticated and independent-thinking investors.

  13. I coach real estate investors to get private money. They need to understand Custodians and how they work.

    Self Directed IRAs are not that demanding in basic theory. But there is alot of info.

    Wall Street Greed and government intervention of commerce (The Bankruptcy of GM) will force many employess from vehicle sales and vehicle oriented businesses to be out of work.

    Retirement at 65 is a joke. Unless you have passive income from non-traditional investments, you are dead.

    Or in a crap trailer park.

    Work at WalMart til you are 80 and scared for basic food, shelter and perscrption medicines OR read this book.

    And get a picture like this:

    I’d love to see your book!

    Brian Gibbons, REI Coach since 1986

  14. I don’t like 5 Steps to Freedom. It sounds like a hundred other books out there. I know you have this down to two, but I think you should be more provacative than either of your final options. I like something like “The Wealth Builders Survival Guide: How to Get it and Keep it.”

  15. Jeff, I like the 5 Steps to Freedom title better – and would like it even more if “financial” were inserted into the main title. It’s a title that promises a benefit to the reader. I think the type of people who will buy the book are looking for benefits, not for being reminded that they have been (are being) duped. That’s the impression that the second title makes. Hope this helps.

  16. I do not like ‘Fool Me Thrice’. Almost made me take a double glance at it to make sure I was reading it correctly. ‘5 Steps’ is direct and grabbed my attention immediately. I agree with Amber in regards to the strong nature of ‘financial slavery’. This is truely how many of us feel and that subtitle alone would bring people to buy this book.

  17. When I attempted to log-in to your site to which I previously had access-I learned I had been removed from your list because I am not a paid subscriber. So, no I will not give my opinion as to the title most likely to create a frenzy at Barnes and Noble.

  18. Kris,

    Your access to our public materials hasn’t been removed. We simply made it easier to access. You can still visit without logging in. The login is for clients only because that gives them access to their accounts. I hope that clears things up for you. Have a great day 🙂

    – Jeff

  19. I like Michael’s idea: FOOL ME NO MORE: Breaking lose from financial slavery game! Or how about ‘HOODWINKED: how we became financially enslaved and 5 steps to regain our freedom’.. ?

  20. Jeff you should name this book, Deadly Pocketbook Mistakes Intelligent People will Make This Year

  21. Jeff, You’re missing the point of Impact. Today, with so much marketing noise, you need to Penetrate with a scalpel-point-sharp title.

    But first you need to ask yourself who your audience really is. People who’ll never save enough to retire without old-fashioned pensions and have to work the rest of their lives? People who won’t save at all and will also die working and poor? Or those who actually could (have) had a real retirement before the Dow and real estate bubbles burst?

    Maybe the title should reflect the real point: Do You WANT to Die Working and Poor?….or….Raise Your Hand if You Want to Work Til You Die! … or some such. Do these titles Penetrate like a hunting arrow from 25 feet and a 90 pound compound bow? Perhaps.

    Best, Dave Schram

  22. Jeff,
    I do not like Fool Me Thrice. I was instantly drawn to the 5 Steps….. I view myself as aperson who needs some organization and a plan, hence, I am drawn to the 5 Steps….. title. However, I like the combination of the two as given here: I would suggest adding Financial to the title
    5 STEPS TO Financial FREEDOM: Why a rising stock market steals from the middle class.

    Best wishes, Larry

  23. Jeff, both the proposed titles for the first book does not “rise my temp gauge”… I agree with Larry C, (to many numbered “lists” in the market right now)… title “fatigue” is setting in.

    How about this title and subtitle:

    Change is for Chumps !
    Don’t be a “Financial Fool” and follow convention – Take BOLD $teps now towards securing and building your “Finanical Freedom”…

    Here is a breakdown of the implied messages in the title:

    Change – a subtle reference to all the political hot air we have endured over the last 3 years about all the “Change” we were going to get. Yeah we got change all right, what was left in our pants pocket. This separates you immediately from the crowd and conventional wisdom and thinking that has got us into this mess.

    Chump – No one likes to be a Chump, and so this is the classic, “group identification” alignment. “I’m definitely not in THAT group…”

    Don’t be a “Fiancial Fool”… – Self explanatory

    The words “BOLD $teps” – should be in the color Green with the S in Steps a Dollar Sign – “$”

    This should create the “shock and awe” you are looking for.

  24. I’ll be honest, “5 Steps” immediately makes me think of 12 Steps Lite, and the generic use of “Freedom” is rather vague, could suggest any context. “Fool Me Thrice” seems to suffer from the same platitudinal non-specificity. You have too much to share to risk it getting lost in the ozone of the vast self-help genre. So how about “Creative Retirement: How to Comfortably Steer Clear of the Wall Street Minefield.”

    By the way, who won your free Solo 401K contest? I’m still on pins and needles.

  25. Jeff,

    Since you’ve split the book in two, how about “Missteps to Future Financial Freedom” for the first and “Sure Steps To Financial Freedom” for the second?

  26. Jeff, as a consumer I hear “5001 easy ways” to lose weight, gain fininancial freedom etc. so I’m “saturated” with all the 12 step programs , 10 days to higher self esteem, and dynamite resumes. As a 58 year old unemployed individual with little opportunity to get back all I have lost, I would certianly STOP (key word) and take a look at “fool me thrice”. It’s funny that I opened this email after my wife and I had a discussion about our remaining funds—I made the statement that if we loose 70% of what we have left I will know where to look. Bottom line, (to me) even though it may not be quite as flashy–“Fool Me Thrice”, I’ll pick it up and read the forward and as I alread know the quality service you and your staff provide, I’m already a customer waiting to purchase his “Autographed Copy” of the First Printing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. “5 steps” is better but very common. “Thrice” sounds archaic and awkward in today’s vocabulary.
    How about:
    No Fooling: You have the power to create a financial secure retirement. (or 5 steps to an independent retirement.)
    I want to see the reader feel empowered because that’s what “self directed” is all about. I also like the readers suggestion, as an alternative, this is not how your parents did it , or some reference to a financial “out of the box” experience.
    Good luck.

  28. jeff, of the 2 ‘short listed’ titles, I am in-line with Larry R’s reply. To nail your auidence you need to insert Financial…
    5 STEPS TO Financial FREEDOM: Why a rising stock market steals from the middle class.

    My only change would be to replace ‘why’ with HOW


  29. Hi Jeff, I wouldn’t pick up either title. How about “Freedom Investing: Steps to Secure Your Financial Future”. Frank

  30. Depending of the economic feasibility of the number of books you’re going to print; I would use BOTH Titles to sell the same book. That is, if your main objective is to get the information into the hands of as many readers as possible. This method has been used by many authors and by an amazing number of fluid type shelf products in pharmacies. They currently sell millions of bottles of fluid medicines this way.

    Check out this website: This website covers the subject of Self-Publishing mainly; but this guy is an expert on publishing and I read information of him explaining the use of more than one title for the same book content. I’m a writer also and have been reading several self publishing authors success methods. Robert Ringer is a self publisher who has sold over a million copies of his books. He is an expert also and definitely worth the time of reading his mini educational material. I don’t have his info handy at this moment of writing, but if you are interested you can email me and I will locate it on my computer. I don’t want to look for it now unless you really want the info.

    Secondly, I would go with “5 Steps To Freedom” and place “Fool Me Thrice…” as a lead on statement, at the bottom of the face cover or on the back and leave this part of the wording out –> “& your 5 steps to freedom”. This method gives to use of both titles on the same book, with “5 Steps to Freedom” being the main title.

    Writers should be aware that readers interested in your book are going to read the back of the book before they purchase. I always do and I’m sure everyone on this page will read the back of the book cover before purchasing. The front of the book gets the attention and the back helps with the final sale.


  31. If I HAVE to choose between the two, I would choose 5 Steps to Freedom. I agree the XXX Steps approach has been overused, but feel the Fool Me Thrice sounds like a conspiracy theory. Remember people are FEARFUL of stepping outside the box to begin with, so you need to keep the tempo positive and creative. I like the Creative Investing concept. It pushes the envelope a little for people to step out of the boat and try something different, but doesn’t scare them to death. Certainly mention the whys of the Wall Street fiasco but leave them with hope that they can do something else to avoid it! I’d buy it if you just name it … Jeff Nabers’ Book: Good Stuff You Need to Know…..

  32. Jeff,

    Marc Victor Hansen is your man. He is the best author at naming books. Ask him and i am pretty sure you will be glad to having done so.

    Best wishes.
    BTW, thank you for the invaluable information on your site.


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