Two years ago, when I finished my FATE manuscript (FATE was the working title), the title I’d picked for the story was (I thought) unique and memorable. I considered myself somewhat clever in coming up with the idea for not only the first volume in the (planned) trilogy, but all three titles, which would work well together and carry a similar theme.
However, in the past two years, things have changed. I do realize you cannot patent an idea or a title, but when I did a last-minute double check of similar titles out on the internet, I was quite disappointed to discover that my idea was no longer unique. In fact, in the last two years, it had already been used on several books (in various genres, both fiction and non-fiction), a couple of video games, a play, and even a heavy metal rock album. I couldn’t believe it! I realized I would have to start over and search for THREE new titles which would work for not only FATE, but the two other planned manuscripts.
So I started over. I searched for terms which I COULD use in my title, to see what would pop up. I checked all the usual search engines, of course. And the book seller sites. And the music sites. And game sites (this was actually a great help), which gave me some good (new) ideas. I also made a list of the best-selling titles in my (urban fantasy and fantasy) genre. This was the clincher. I could now see that my original title idea would not have been right in that genre. I needed something better.
By the time I was done with my searches and competitive analysis, I actually came up with two or three good alternatives that I think will be better than what I’d originally planned. Simple, ironic, memorable, and more in line with titles in my genre. I hope.