Authors, agents and publishers tend to agonize over book titles. You want something evocative, witty, literary, whimsical, muscular, funny, quirky, different, but not too different, alliterative, lyrical, short…. You basically want the equivalent of the advertising jingle you can’t get out of your head. But, as Dan Wilbur points out, readers are sometimes flummoxed by titles that give them no hint of what the story they’re going to spend hours, days, sometimes months trying to get through is about or that don’t quite prepare them for the experience they’re about to embark upon (good or painful).
Some titles, of course, are exquisitely straightforward (The Old Man and the Sea, for instance, pretty much sums up what you’re up against with the longest short novel ever), but there are plenty that are headscratchers. What are some of the titles you’d like changed for clarity’s sake and what would their replacements be?