Any Help With a Book Title?

The title of my book isn’t working, but I’m stumped a little on what will work. I know it’s important. I want it to grab the potential reader, give them some idea of what they’re getting, but not give away too much. So, it needs to be short and catchy.

photo-20I’ve heard it called the “business card” of the book, and that’s probably true. I know I’ve picked up thousands of books in libraries and bookstores over the years, and now, click on books on Amazon just because I like the title.

One writer’s blog suggests write some keywords from the book and action verbs on small pieces of paper, and draw them out of a hat to come up with great combinations. Another suggests making a list of twenty titles from books you like in the genre you’re writing, brainstorm using important words from your book and come up with similar titles to try to find a combination you like, and then see if it would fit in the list of the twenty book titles you found without being to similar. I’m working on that.

I know, ultimately, a publisher will have a lot to do with the title, but I need to capture the interest of that publisher with a title that will make the best impression. If I don’t intrigue a publisher with the title, readers aren’t likely to be impressed either.

The book is tentatively titled “Arkansas 309,” which is the name of a state prison program involved in this mystery. It’s too restrictive and may not attract readers outside this area. It’s a mystery that involves a female protagonist who is a newspaper reporter with family and career problems, who’s investigating a story of police corruption and simultaneously writing about a serial killer. And, of course you’ll understand if you know me, she grew up in a cemetery.

My husband thinks I need to worry less, call it simply “309” and go on. I’m not sure. Any suggestions out there? Please?