The All-Important Book Title

I had a major disappointment yesterday. While searching for comp titles (those are books that are similar to mine) for my unpublished book RELENTLESS, I discovered the perfect match: a book about a guy with superhero powers, written by a Christian (so it didn’t have the ubiquitous sex scene), that had decent sales. The problem? The name of the book is RELENTLESS (by Robin Parrish, if you want to read it based on that description).

(These awesome words are courtesy of
It’s nearly impossible to come up with a one-word title that hasn’t already been taken (I concede that there probably isn’t a book out there entitled TOEJAM–I’m talking about a good title). Since titles can’t be copywrited, it’s possible to find two books with the same title, but they’re usually in different genres, or from different decades, or one’s mainstream (ABA) while the other’s Christian (CBA). If the title you absolutely love for your book has already been taken, there’s a chance you could still make it work.
But not in my case. The other book is within my genre, it’s CBA, and it’s within this decade (2006). Obviously, I can’t keep the truly awesome name I came up with for my book. The name that inspired the entire book. The name that kept me slogging along to finish the thing because the title was so blessedly awesome. Okay, maybe I’ve gone a bit overboard. The fact still remains, I have to come up with a different name, and it’s going to feel all wrong. 
There’s no getting out of it, though. I’ll have to start brainstorming soon. Has this ever happened to you? Or worse, you couldn’t find a great name for your book at all and had to settle for a mediocre one? Please share.

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