Title matter. They really do. Not only does a title have to attract the reader, it should reflect the content and tone (and genre) of the novel. It should also be easy to pronounce, reasonably simple to spell, and be easy to remember. That's asking a lot of a word or two or three!
A couple of years ago I read a wonderful historical mystery, set partly in World War II and partly in present-day England. I'd love to recommend it to people who like historicals and like mysteries. It was well-written, tense, with wonderfully drawn characters. It had, however, a terrible title. It was one word, I think, some dull, generic word, and though I want to refer other people to the novel, I can't recall the title for the life of me. The one thing we know about book sales is that the most effective way to promote a book is through word of mouth, so this book is let down by its title.
I learned the hard way that a title should be pronounceable. I wrote a science fiction novel, a dystopian near-future work about a musician who becomes a resistance fighter. The reviews were great, and readers willing to follow me found the book and--to all accounts--enjoyed it. But the title--The Maquisarde--is one few of them could pronounce. It's the right title, in the sense that the word means "resistance fighter" in French, and the protagonist is French. But for readers uncomfortable with foreign words, it's hard to repeat. Big mistake.
I'm always happiest in my writing process if I have a title before I have anything else. Some of the easiest novels to write, for me, were those which had titles before they had stories: The Terrorists of Irustan, The Child Goddess, The Glass Harmonica, Mozart's Blood. Others have been harder: The Brahms Deception (coming next year), the aforementioned Maquisarde, and now, as I work on the third novel in my contract, a book as yet--perilously--unnamed.
My buddy, the excellent fantasist Sharon Shinn seems to have an endless supply of charming titles. Wrapt in Crystal was one I particularly loved. Another colleage, science fiction writer Kay Kenyon , has an impressive title-creation process that involves lists of words she puts together in various combinations until she hits on the one she likes, and which she feels represents the novel best. Who could argue with a great title like Prince of Storms?
When I'm in search of a title, I'll try anything. Brainstorming. Lists, a la Kay Kenyon. Asking my mom! Stay tuned. A title for the work in progress will come. I hope it's the right one.