The self-published author has the freedom to hold on tight to their title, but sometimes their critique partners know better and tell them that a change is probably better.
How to Date an Alien was originally that title, but had a brief stint as "Interstellar Starplex" Yes. I know. I wouldn't have read it either.
My Paper Heart was originally My Own Summer and that was what I queried it on and got the most responses with, but after googling the title I found it was the same as a Deftones song that wasn't a pleasant one and I changed it. That ended with me changing some elements of the story as well.
I also decided to ask some other Indies about their original titles and here are there responses:
Rashelle Workman: "Exiled" started out as "Connected." But I knew I would be writing more than one book and I wanted words that all ended the same. The series was also called The Connected Series, but I had a marketing friend tell me that the name of my series was too vague, and didn't give enough information about the story. So I changed it to Immortal Essence - which is exactly what the story is about. =)
Sleeping Roses was changed to Distorted by the publishing company it was with, but when I took my rights back, I changed it back to Sleeping Roses because of Exiled, Beguiled, Dovetailed (I didn't want another "ed" title that didn't go with the Immortal Essence series. I actually like Distorted better, but... Sleeping Roses works and makes sense in the story).
Blood and Snow was always Blood and Snow. When I came up with the story idea, I thought of different ideas, but knew Blood and Snow was what I needed to call it, even though there is another book with the same title.
Leigh T. Moore: All my books start out as something different b/c I'm awful at titles... LOL!
TTAF was originally "Shadow Falls" after the neighborhood where it takes place (which is neither shadowy nor has waterfalls)
TTALG was Shadow Creek after the new development/McMansion neighborhood adjacent to SF
I was advised by agent to change the name of TTAF from Shadow Falls b/c it "sounded too paranormal." I agreed.
Rouge was originally Cheveux Roux, which means "red hair" in French. Teeny, the little girl Hale's trying to protect has red hair, and she's sort of the motivation for all of Hale's choices.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, advised me against using a foreign language title.
And yes, I am aware Rouge is a French word--LOL! That was also agent's idea.
In hindsight, I'm thinking I probably should've changed it to something completely new to distance it from that situation. (In south Louisiana, when you hear "Rouge," you do not automatically think "Moulin Rouge." I think Baton Rouge.)
The science fiction novel that's with Agent Eric was originally called Jackson, but then Jackson turned out to not be such a great character, and everyone (including me) knew it had to change.
At the moment, I'm calling it 21 DAYS because that's how long their captivity lasts.
But that kind of sounds like zombies to me. So who knows what it'll end up being... LOL!
Cindy Hogan: I wanted Created to be called Ravaged, but people associate ravaged with sexual things, so I brainstormed for about a month and then looking at synonyms of synonyms, I came up with Created, which I love!
Have your books had different titles? What made you change them?