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Titles are a funny thing. The good ones intrigue book browsers, grab attention, and are memorable. The best ones describe a whole book in a few words. (Some, on the other hand, are not as clever.) And so it’s normal that writers spend a lot of time stressing over giving their manuscript the very most intriguing, grabby, memorable title.

However, from this side of the table, I gotta say, titles are about the least important part of the work I’m considering. Yeah, it’s nice to be catchy in a query. But I’d estimate about eight times out of ten (four out of five, then), a title changes, sometimes multiple times, before it hits shelves. In at least one case, I’ve seen a title change after it was published.

Even if a title doesn’t change, it’s almost always part of a discussion at some point in the editorial process. So when writers and clients ask me what I think of their title, the truth is that I generally think of all titles as “working titles” until they are printed on jackets. It’s not something I focus on in critiques or edits, unless I think it’s wildly inaccurate or misleading. But as part of the query process, it’s not a make-or-break aspect. Make it as good as you can, but also know it may change a dozen times, and then a couple more.

YA Fantasy Titles

To make a YA fantasy title that fits into today’s market, all you have to do is pick two of the following words, separating them with either and or of:

Ashes    Blood     Bone     Crown

Crow    Forest     Fortune     Glass

Shadow    Smoke     Storm     Stars

Sword     Thorn     Throne

To be fancy, choose three, separating the first two words with of and the second two with and. If you want to be sure your YA fantasy appeals to girls, you may add daughter or queen somewhere in the title. Et voila!

OR if you want your YA fantasy to stand out in a crowded market, you could give it a truly unique and interesting title that is easy to remember and evokes a rich and exiting world, or makes a reader pick it up and wonder how this book is different from all the others on the shelf. (Please. I’m begging you.)