Sometimes a university press will ask for a title or subtitle different from the one you envisioned for your book. The press might make specific title suggestions or ask that you propose some alternatives. The request might come directly from your editor at an early stage of the book’s development, from peer reviewers, or from the editor’s discussions with colleagues in sales, publicity, and marketing.
Requests for new titles often reflect the press’s interest in ensuring that the book achieves its full potential by connecting with its target audience, especially if that audience is interdisciplinary or includes nonspecialist readers. Titles and subtitles are crucial tools to help readers discover your work, whether in an online search, in an advertisement or review, or on a bookstore shelf. The press might want to highlight certain features of the book’s content by including them more prominently in the title, or to include certain words or phrases to ensure pick-up by search algorithms. Another reason for a title change is to either avoid or purposefully engage with competing and/or complementary titles in the marketplace, which might also influence the jacket or cover design.