Often, readers are surprised to learn that very few authors have control over book covers, which are left in the hands of the publisher's marketing department. Though we're usually asked for input, often in the form of character description or scene descriptions, the details can take a back seat to getting across the story's sales hook.
Authors' working titles, too, are often altered or scrapped in favor of something considered more sales-worthy by the publisher. After the publication of nine books, six of which had their titles changed, I've found it never pays to get overly attached to your creation's moniker. Of my historicals written as Gwyneth Atlee, Futile the Winds (named for a line of an Emily Dickinson poem, "Wild Nights") became Night Winds. This was a good call, as people kept thinking I was saying "Feudal" and expecting a medieval instead of a Texas hurricane story! Two titles I fought for (and ultimately lost) were Thunder on the River and Fire on the Water (about the explosion of the Mississippi River steamboat Sultana during the Civil War). After a decision from marketing that the titles didn't sound romantic, the related books were renamed Against the Odds and Trust to Chance. Those didn't sound romantic to me, either. My first contemporary romantic suspense, Fatal Error (written under my real name, Colleen Thompson), was initially titled Heart Drives (a computer-related clue to the central mystery figures prominently, as does a strong romance). The change was probably a good one, since a lot of mystery/suspense readers (especially males) wouldn't pick up any book with "Heart" in the title, and the story was cross-marketed to both romance and suspense readers.
I must be getting a little better with titles, because my next three romantic suspenses (all from Love Spell Romantic Suspense), Fade the Heat (Dec. 05), The Deadliest Denial (May 06), and Heat Lightning (Nov. 06) are all keeping my original titles. At least as far as I know.
I'm always curious about original titles of books I've read. Does anyone want to share one?