That’s a question I’ve been trying to answer for years. Titles are difficult for me.
My first novel In the Shadows: An Outsiders Mystery was originally called The Outsiders. It wasn’t until a month or so before publication–when I began working on the book’s cover–that the title changed. Why? Because I saw the lamppost and the dark shadowy area in the painting I was using, and it suddenly hit me that the shadows perfectly reflected the story and the characters’ plights. That title could have work well for the second book, too.
In the second book of the series, it seems everyone in the small village of Reynier has a secret. Because of that, I wanted secrets in the title. But it still took me awhile to figure out the full title. I finally chose Where Secrets Reside: An Outsiders Mystery, which I like because it can be interpreted in many ways. At first glance, the ‘where’ seems to imply the village itself, but it could also mean the caves, the facades on the troglodyte dwellings, the minds of the characters, the past, etc.
I’m now trying to figure out the title for my third novel, which is not part of this series. It’s working title is Chameleon. In researching book titles on Amazon, I’ve found many books with that title, so I’ve tentatively changed it to Liars’ Games, but I’m not sure it’s the best title for the book. Perhaps the title will reveal itself during the editing phase or during the cover design.
How do other authors choose a title? I would love to hear from you.