Okay, so it has been fascinating reading your comments about our title woes. What's really interesting is that most of us make the assumption that our title will be changed once we sell the book to a publisher.
And that's definitely true.
But (and this is a big BUT...kind of like the size of my butt right now with 20 extra post-baby pounds) your title STILL needs to rock and here's why.
The first time Laura and I spoke to the amazing Dan Ehrenhaft after he'd acquired THE LIAR SOCIETY (aka THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN) the very first thing he told us was that the title needed to be changed. He said that the title made him think of some historical, gothic, Jane Austen inspired novel.
Yeah, not exactly what we were going for.
Even worse, he almost didn't bother reading the manuscript based on the title alone.
The thing about a good title is that it prepares the reader for your book. Our old title probably turned off a lot of editors because they opened the book expecting one thing and got something completely different. The right title is essentially a mini-marketing plan for your book, allowing agents to start thinking of editors and publishing houses that would be interested in your work or helping editors see how your book will fit into their list and how they'd eventually market the book.
Bad titles usually change once you have a publisher (if people even bother reading), but a good title should force people to pick it up and put them in a position where they can't NOT buy your book, right? Right.
And if nothing else, a title helps us avoid emailing back and forth a book called Document1. And our beta ninja usually appreciates it too.