Book titles change at various stages of the publishing process. I love coming up with titles. I like to think that I’m good at it. After all, I titled (or was the final say on) most article as the editor-in-chief of Asian Jewish Life. It is part of the process. Titles are what will make someone want to (to not want to) read on.
I just had a title change made on a picture book that is coming out in September 2023. In this case, the change was just made to the subtitle. The change, of course, wasn’t just made, but was rather proposed to me. The reason given was that the proposed change would make the book more accessible to a wider audience. I technically had a choice, but I also made a choice to have my book placed with a particular publisher/editor. In order for the process to work, there needs to be a high degree of trust from the writer and from the publisher/editor. I will push back if I need to, but I first need to be ready to listen.
A title isn’t the heart of the story. It doesn’t necessarily frame the story. There are some elements that I am set and that I know that I need to include, but titles aren’t that. They change again and again. The title you query with may not be the title you go on submission with and that title may not be the title your deal is announced with and that title may not be the title you ultimately publish with.
So Counting on Naamah: A Mathematical Tale on Noah’s Ark has gone through the editing process once again and I’m happy for it.