Beyond cover art, the title is the most important first impression a novel has to offer. To think, one word or phrase is supposed to entice someone to pick a book off the shelf and turn it over to learn more. It has to make it stand out amongst the other dozen or so books around it. And it’s even more so for online books. That’s why I’ve been bouncing back and forth between two titles for my speculative fiction. Since its inception, the title for my book has been HARMONIA, which is the name of the world located within the dome. The name came out of one man’s vision of what a harmonic society looks like. But, of course, it’s anything but…or I’d have no story.
However, my writing partner recently came up with another title quite by accident while helping with my query letter. She suggested a line about the MC’s struggle against the glass ceiling (both physically and socially – it’s a male dominated world). She loved the dual meaning of this being that she’s trapped in a glass dome and insisted I rename the book THE GLASS CEILING. I’ve toyed with the idea, but wasn’t sold on it. Mostly, because this is a YA book about a girl finding her self-worth, not so much about a feminist movement, although there’s certainly that aspect in the book, as well. But, today, in researching other speculative fiction books out there, I came across a Japanese book called “Harmony,” which stinkily (my made up word of the day) is about a Utopia gone wrong. That’s a little too close to my storyline and my title. Close enough that I’m changing the title to THE GLASS CEILING. So my writing partner can do her happy dance now. She wins.
Have you had title changes with your MS? How did you decide what worked best?