I've learned titles are as important as the writing. If a title doesn't grab a consumer immediately, they may never pick up your book and read the jacketflap let alone purchase your book.
Brainstorming many different title options is very important. You may not even come up with a title until your manuscript is complete. Whether you use key phrases or research from a particular time period you are writing about, ideas should start to flow as to what would be the "best" title for your manuscript.
How I went about determining the title for my first story book:
Since The Golden Pathway is a historical fiction novel based on The Underground Railroad, I researched the meaning and code words used for The Underground Railroad and learned the following:
"The Underground Railroad used many different code words to get slaves to freedom. The people that helped the slaves along the railroad were called “conductors.” The slaves were considered passengers or cargo and were called “freight” or “packages.” White folks that did not believe in slavery were called Quakers. The Underground Railroad was considered the golden path to freedom.
Hence: The Golden Pathway was born.
How do you determine your manuscript title? Do you approach it differently if a short story, non-fiction article, or novel?
I look forward to hearing about your appproach.