Before I was published, I suffered over the titles, wanting them to sound cool and intriguing, wanting titles that gave a flavor of the story. I wanted titles that were short, to the point and would look good on a book cover.
I am over that now. I'm apparently just not good with titles (as the subject line of this blog post would suggest). Every title I've ever proposed has been rejected by my editor. WHAT THE HEART SEES (admittedly a stupid title) became FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. DANGEROUS PURSUIT became FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION. DEADLY ILLUSION became...well, you get the picture.
Intrigue editors aren't necessarily thinking about how cool a title is, or how good it will look above or below your name. They're looking for titles that sell. I wrote a cowboy book and titled it TARGET: JANE DOE, a title I thought was very cool. Even the editor liked it. Except, well, the book was part of a big "Ultimate Intrigue Heroes" month and the title really needed to focus on the hero instead. So it became COWBOY ALIBI.
At that point, I think I gave up. Now, when I work up a proposal, I just name it anything that remotely sounds A) like a title and B) like it could fit my story. Why go to the extra effort when the editor's just going to change it anyway?
I know a lot of readers are drawn to or repelled from books by the covers. What about the titles?