1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Books of the Same Name

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Flying Geese, Oct 21, 2013.

    I have a book that I have been wanting to write. Well it's almost entirely written. The thing is, when I came up with a title, I later found out that another author has a popular book with the exact same title. My topic is completely different, but it's the same title.

    Can I keep my title or do I have to change it?

    (Funny thing: I came up with another title for my book and it turns out that the same author has a book with that title too!)

    I wouldn't ask this normally. I would normally just go with it despite having the same name, but the book that already exists is popular and I don't want people to think that I titled the book the same way to get hits.

    By the way, my book has a subtitle too. And that part is completely different.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Typically, that's no problem. A title isn't generally protected by copyright, and trademark issues aren't normally a problem either (though trademarks can come into play in some instances. If the title is "Harry Potter and the <insert anything here>" you'll probably want to reconsider.
     
  3. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    Yes I think a title can easily be unique. If not only so people who are curious may find it by searching without being bombarded by some other book in the results. I saw this phenomenon with a book by a friend, and thought it was kind of lazy of her. I mean, how hard is it to come up with an alternate, creative title that's relevant to your material?

    Of course ultimately the only opinion that matters is whether you care one way or another.

    I'm curious what the title in question is....
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There are numerous books with the same title. But why not choose something unique? It's not like most books only work with one title. I've chosen a title after checking no one else was using it.
     
  5. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Well, I just released a book called Water Dance, and a check on Amazon shows four other books with that name (though one of them has more words after "dance." If I'm lucky, some of the people searching for the others will find mine, too. :D

    But has been already mentioned, titles are not copyrighted. Feel free to call your book War and Peace if you care to.
     
  6. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I want my book to have a unique title. But I also want the title to make perfect sense. I can't believe that the one-word title "Blink" was not only taken, but actually a popular book already. I don't want to say, "I wrote Blink" and have people think I am talking about a book I haven't written
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    In a business course I took in grad school, the professor drilled into us, "don't fall in love with your assets." I think it applies here. It may be the perfect title for your book, but I would wager it is not the only perfect title. Decide if you care, and choose another one if you do. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a title in common with other books.

    I would think a whole slew of one word titles are going to overlap different works.
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Clearly you've never tried to come up with a name for a band, in which case you'd know there's a band name for almost every single word and quite a few word combinations too :D
    That's why I'm not surprised it applies to book titles, too.
    This.

    If it's a famous book (hum, I think I have that in my shelf! I've just never read it), you might want to reconsider though. You'll come up with a better title ;)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with any of the above who advise finding a title that isn't already in use for a book that is currently being sold...

    if the only clone you can find is for one that's no longer in print, go ahead and use it, if you really can't come up with an unused one...
     
  10. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I had that happen as well. My original quartet title was supposed to be Blood Ties: <insert sub-title for each book here> until I found out that not only had Tanya Huff written a series by the same name, it had also become a TV show. Now I'm back to square one lol.
     
  11. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Yeah, i am going to change the title for sure. Just wanted to know in case that happened again later down the liine.
     
  12. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    I have the perfect name for my current project, it was used one time in 2003 by an author I had never heard of through a small press. I'm not going to let that change my name.
     
  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If you are fortunate to find a traditional publisher interested in your work, the title might be different from the one you choose no matter what it is.
     
  14. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    very good point, and it makes this whole argument moot in such a circumstance.
     
  15. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Ever heard of "Seventh Son" or of "7th Son"? One of them is a scifi by Orson Scott Card. The other is a scifi trilogy by J. C. Hutchins. Now, if you're worried about trademarks etc, there a kazillion examples regarding movies as well. I forgot most of the ones I knew, but I certainly remember "The Substitute". Forget for a second Substituted 2 through 4, with Treat Williams. I'm just focusing on the first one. Apparently there is a TV movie about a psycho female substitute teacher, and also a movie with Tom Barrenger about some secret agent who goes undercover as a substitute teacher. There are like three movies called Elasiyum, etc. Go into IMDB, many of the movies and shows you'll look for, you'll find three options, not all of them remakes, sequels, prequels and reboots, but genuinely different products with the same name.
     

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