THIS QUESTION HAS BEEN EDITED: KEEPS ORIGINAL TITLE TO MAKE SENSE OF EXISTING ANSWERS, BUT I'M ADDING THE FOLLOWING: I do somewhat regret choosing "farmers" as my fake title, since most people probably aren't curious about farmers. It may be too late to change now, but "The Citizens", "The Habitants" are closer to my own. These are titles/groups of people, that you would not connect to certain traits, which would make it 'odd' that a book used them for their title - Thus making it more obvious that there's more to it. I may have shot myself in the foot using "farmers"
I will work around using my actual title, since that makes it less of a personal "fix my writing"-issue and more of a general issue.
Here's the situation; After reading this question and the top-voted answer to another title-related question, I started thinking. Here's the (potential) issue: (Copied from top-voted answer, let me know if inappropriate)
[...] The first thing to keep in mind is that most readers will decide to buy or pass on your book based on the title alone. Rightly or wrongly, that's what happens. That means that you need to put your marketing hat on when you write your title. You can put it on backwards like the cool kids do, but always remember that the entire reason your title exists is to sell your book. Think to yourself: Out of all of the books in a real or virtual bookstore what is the one title I can choose that will at least make someone stop and take a closer look? (Yes, yes, you're an artist not a businessperson. I know. Let's just say there's a reason the phrase starving artist exists, shall we?)
With that in mind, the first rule is that titles should be interesting, original, memorable and appropriate above everything else. If your book is funny, then the title should be funny. If your book is dark, then the title should be dark. If it's for kids, don't give it an adult title. If you're writing a romance novel, don't make it sound like it's science fiction. [...]
This made a lot of sense to me, so I started thinking. I've been pretty sure about the title of my novel for almost as long as I can remember working on the story, but it may be lacking in some of the areas mentioned above.
This is where I use a random title - almost identical in style, content, theme and so on. This could very well be my title, but it's not:
The Farmers (Alternatively "In Agricolas" internationally, Latin - quick Google Translate)
The novel is a science-fiction story set in today's world. The title of the book refers to a certain (to the new reader yet unknown) group of people within society, that have access to/use "fantastical/futuristic" technologies and science-based knowledge, that is unaccessible to the average population. "The farmers" would be the name that people use when they refer to this group of people, but it is not necessarily how they refer to them self (probably not, since they want to remain unknown). Originally, the title is supposed to be subtle and not give away anything important about the content of story. If we meet farmers in the story, the reader would not suspect or figure out that another group of people go under the same name, and only discover the "fantastical/futuristic" content as it occurs in the natural flow of the story. The story is heavily based on actual science, and should therefore remain believable to the highest extend possible.
Now, should the author simply trust that potential readers spot the title at think "huh, that's an odd title for a book in the science-fiction section", or would they need a recommendation from someone who actually read, to pick it up?
The author of course expects the completed novel to be amazing, but word of mouth can only do so much... [No data here]
Should the author attempt to make the title more interesting/revealing in itself, even though the subtleness/camouflage is a part of the story, or should he trust the original feeling that it was a suitable title?
Bonus: Adding to the secrecy of the group of people in the story - any web searches or everyday discussions about "farmers" would give a multitude of standard results/answers helping to maintain the unawareness of the story's content. Let me know if this makes no sense when trying to sell a novel.
I've considered adding a character's part to the title like this:
The Farmers: Adrian's Discovery
... or something along those lines. However, the simplicity of "The Farmers" personally is appreciated.