My latest article for Visual Thesaurus, published today, discloses nine proven formulas for crafting a book title that sells--if not to the public, than at least to your publisher. Yes, I'm being facetious, but only a little bit: there really are formulas and trends in book titles.
As always, the full article is restricted to subscribers (just $19.95! do it!). No longer paywalled! Here's a taste:
The X of Y. One of the most popular of all formulas, "The X of Y" is endlessly adaptable. On the one hand, there's Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. On the other, Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope. Or The Pursuit of Happyness, The Power of Now, The Botany of Desire, and that all-time bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. If you really want to score with your publisher and the public, let X = "End." I counted 43 "The End of ..." titles on Amazon (from the personal — The End of Diets, The End of Homework — to the global —The End of Oil, The End of Iraq, The End of American Exceptionalism). Substituting "Age" for "End" has much historical precedent as well: Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, and so on down to Alan Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence.
Exercise: Make two columns of nouns that bear some relevance to your subject matter. Let X equal a noun from one column and Y equal a noun from the other column. Switch nouns, and columns, until you've solved your title problem.