Dearest Miss Snark,
A friend of mine is working on his third book for HarperCollins. In the course of conversation the other day, we started talking about titles for the new book. He ran a couple by me, then said, "Well, it doesn't really matter what I call it. The publishing house can call it whatever it wants once the contract's signed."
I said: "So the only reason for creating an interesting title is to get the attention of an agent or publisher?"
Do you agree or disagree? Knowing whether the original title is irrelevant will save me a lot of wheel-spinnin' time.
Thanks so much for deigning to read the email. If indeed you read this email.
deign: to do something considered beneath one's dignity.
Um...I don't deign to read email from you..until you act like a nitwit.
I appreciate the time you spend reading this blog and asking questions.
I appreciate the fact you WANT to learn about this industry and be successful.
I appreciate the wit and humor and almost unfailing generosity of the people who read this blog.
Don't you DARE say I think writing this blog and talking to you is beneath my dignity. It is without a doubt one of the things that ADDS value to my life and I'm grateful to every person, even nitwits, who read it.
Now, about your question.
Yes, titles don't matter. Titles change all the time, and mostly you have no control over it.
Don't obsess. I never reject anything based on the title. I've retitled several projects between the query and offering representation stage and the sending to editors stage.
Just call it A Heartbreaking Work of Swaggering.... err..never mind.
Call it Snark's Guide to Fine Deigning...not