Titles, for instance. Most published authors will tell you that the working title they use for their manuscript is often not the title that ends up on the published book. By the time agents, editors, and marketing experts have given their input, the title may be changed to something "more commercial."
Not so when self-publishing.
I can call my book anything I want. But is that a good thing?
My first self-published book is doing quite well, three weeks into the project. Its title, "The Honeymoon Cottage," I think might be helping it a bit. That wasn't the book's original title. The Pajaro Bay romantic suspense series books all had, at one time, titles that kind-of "fit" together: Off the Deep End, In Deep Water, Under the Boardwalk, Out of the Blue, Overboard, etc. But when I was reworking Off the Deep End, I realized that the title The Honeymoon Cottage fit the story much better, and conveyed the atmosphere of the book.
Now I'm working on the next book in the series, In Deep Water. Hmm. This book was originally called Shady's Lady, because there's a dog in the book called Shady, and it seemed like a catchy title. But along the way the name In Deep Water came along and it has been called that ever since. So, do I stick with In Deep Water, do I change it back to Shady's Lady, or come up with something completely different? If I had a marketing team, I could ask them. But I don't, so I'm trying to imagine what cover image and title would best convey the mood of the book.
How do you decide on titles? If you are self-publishing, or working with a small press, have you given thought to changing your title to be more "commercial"? If you have worked with a larger publisher, have they changed your titles?
What titles have caught your eye recently? And how important is a title, anyway?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this perplexing topic.