Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. On social media platforms, where italics are not an option, what do we do with book titles or other titles that would normally be italicized?

A. You have three choices: (1) Let the capital letters speak for themselves: Main Title: Subtitle. (2) Use quotation marks: “Main Title: Subtitle.” (3) Use all caps: MAIN TITLE: SUBTITLE. The first option is the cleanest but doesn’t do a good job especially with one-word titles; the second and third options will delimit the title more definitively. The third option, favored by some publishers (like @RandomHouse), is a convention that dates to the era of typewritten editorial memos (try underscoring titles on a manual typewriter all day long). Quotation marks are maybe the most sensible option, but there’s no settled convention. Choose your favorite and stick with it.