Question of the day: I'm about to submit my manuscript to agents but am struggling to come with a catchy title. Everything I think of seems so cliched. I'm not expecting you to come up with a title for me, but I guess I'm curious how you have come up with yours.
Here's a secret: many, many, many titles are changed once a publisher gets hold of them. In fact, every single one of my book titles has changed, if you can believe it. ALmost always by my choice, but with the urging of the publisher as well. So do know that just because you've included something on your query letter doesn't mean that it's etched in stone once it sells.
That said, for me, I obviously refer to songs and song titles, since the last three of my books used song names. I always think that idioms or well-know phrases work well to. What I think you're looking for is something evocative but also resonant - something that's not too hard for readers to recall and that also gives them a feel for what's in store. In the past (before I've settled on my song titles), I will often read famous quotes or go to an idiom dictionary to see what sort of references or plays on words that I can find that also encompass the themes of the book. These usually serve as initial inspiration, and then I'm off from there. So that's my advice. What about you guys? I'm sure that some of you have come up with brilliant titles. Where do they come from?