According to a study on consumer behaviour, a potential buyer holds a book in his hands for approximately 3 to 5 seconds. So your title has about 5 seconds to make an impression.
So what makes a great title? The basic rule says that it should be simple, catchy and memorable. A title such as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is not really simple, but it is certainly catchy... with regards to it being memorable... *shrugs* but this book is regarded as “an American classic that defined a generation” and the 2003 edition of the book says "over 2 million copies sold"
Here is an opinion, which I tend to agree with, on what makes a memorable title: “It’s something that combines the familiar and the unfamiliar in a way that is both visceral and verbally stimulating. Take, for example, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — a great title, as it combines these various elements flawlessly. It offers a striking image and has great rhythm.”
Then you get book titles that are an entertainment in themselves. Never mind the content. Consider this title: The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. Phew! This conjures all sorts of images. Actually, this is a playful and practical grammar handbook that addresses classic questions of English usage with wit and the blackest of humour.
Some of the world’s most famous books with great titles include: To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby and Lord Of The Flies
As a writer, do you find it difficult to give a title to your book? How do you go about doing this? What is your favourite book title of all time?