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What’s in a name? The real power of book titles

You want the title to roll off the tongue of the morning show anchor, be easy to include in a “Tweet,” or heard in the conversations of total strangers.

What’s in a name? The real power of book titles

Nov 26, 2014

Ahmad Meradji
Publisher

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A book’s title is, arguably, the most important thing about the book. It should be engaging, creative, and most importantly, memorable. You want the title to roll off the tongue of the morning show anchor, be easy to include in a “Tweet,” or heard in the conversations of total strangers.

Many authors spend a long time coming up with their title, and use all sorts of methods to choose it. So what I’m about to say may surprise you: One of the biggest mistakes authors make is not doing enough research when selecting a title.

We’ve heard of times where an author published the book and then later realized there were many books for sale on Amazon® with very similar titles. Be sure you’re not using the title of a book that’s already published, or violating someone else’s trademark.

Here are some must-do’s for your selection process:

  • Type your proposed title into the search bar on Amazon® and Barnes & Noble®. Are there any titles that match it or are very similar? If so, how would a buyer find your book in the sea of all those books?
  • Next, try Google®. What comes up? Movies, song titles, other products? Too many items with the same name would mean your book gets lost in the crowd.
  • Now check to see if it matches anything that’s trademarked. Go tohttp://www.uspto.gov and use the search feature. If there are any matches, be sure to see what categories the filings are under. This site is only for US trademark filings—it doesn’t include international filings, so you may need the assistance of a lawyer for additional research.

Your book title is not protected by copyright (a common misconception). If the title of your book is critical to your business, or you want to take an extra step to protect it, consider filing for trademark protection for the title.

Your publishing support provider can work with you on researching and finalizing your book’s title. Taking those extra research steps will be well worth it when your book is published.



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