Nope. It was THE TITLE. (Which may or may not have been a direct result of me recently focusing so much on title.)
SKYFALL is not just a great title-- it's INCREDIBLE. Memorable. Intriguing. Pulls you in.
What is interesting about the title, is WHAT was called Skyfall. It wasn't the name of the secret plan. It wasn't the name of the bad guy. It wasn't the name of the object they needed. It was the name of his childhood home. It could've been named a million things that would've fit the look of the home better, but Skyfall fit the mood of the movie better. It even fit the theme.
I imagine that as they were brainstorming names for this movie that didn't have a plan / object they could go to for a great name, they started looking at word combinations that fit the movie, and then found a place to put it. In this case, a location. And it worked. I can't say I totally bought that his childhood home was named Skyfall, but the name definitely made me want to see the movie. And that's what really matters, right?
I guess my point is, when you're brainstorming titles, don't limit yourself. Look into things outside of the obvious in your book. Heck, even look outside of what's in your book! If it truly fits the feel of your book, it will work in your book.
Now, a little update on my own title.
My book has been named THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH for as long as it's had a title. At one point, the cover team thought that something wasn't quite right. All the pieces weren't quite falling into place. So they asked for alternate titles. It was hard enough to title it the first time! How in the world was I supposed to come up with even more?! I sent.... maybe eight. After a couple of weeks, they decided to keep my title. I was so relieved!
I knew it might come up again. I was with a bunch of writers having a write night, and mentioned how hard titling my book was. They said they bet that we could brainstorm 100 titles. I think I actually snorted. We set to work, and stopped at... you guessed it! 100. The difference? We looked outside of the box.
Then my book got to marketing, and they decided something wasn't all the way right with the title. They worried that it wouldn't be seen in the right context, and people would think it was a darker book than it was.When they asked for us to look at titles, I narrowed that list of 100 down to 40 and sent it to my editor. She gave me a list of probably 20-30 more. I came up with about 20 more. Then we narrowed it down to a dozen.
I'm not gonna lie. I've told my title to hundreds of people in the past year and a half, and I've seen their reactions. I know it's a good title because of the look on people's faces when I tell them. So I was a little (okay, a lot) afraid to change to an untested title. And since we only had about 48 hours to come up with a new one, there wasn't much time. I emailed everyone I could think of who had MG aged kids and begged them to have their kids vote for their favorite of the twelve. I took ballots to my local elementary school's 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes. A sweet author / teacher in Ohio took it to 5 classes at her elementary school. In the end, I had votes from 460 kids, and titles that showed very clear winners.
I gave that info to my editor, who then shared it with marketing, and I FELT GOOD. It no longer mattered to me which of them was chosen. I now had tested titles.
Marketing, sales, my cover team, my editor-- everyone fell in love with the same title. Oh my gosh. I'm getting goose bumps writing this. The one they fell in love with, when used as SERIES TITLE, fixed everything. It was the missing piece. The book title WAS exactly right-- it was just missing the series title. Without further ado, I present to you my brand-spakin' new title.
SKY JUMPERS book 1: THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH
It makes me giddy to see my title! Every time I look at it, everything feels exactly, completely, finally right.