A writer asked online the other day how to tell if a book title is "available." Here's how I replied.
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Short answer: All book titles are "available". See how much time and trouble I just saved you?
Titles are not copyrightable. Even if you come up with a unique, fascinating, grabby, illuminating, witty, luscious, juicy title all your own, someone else can come along and copy it for his work tomorrow. Most conventional publishers frown on publishing books with the same title as books already on the market for obvious reasons. But doing so is neither unethical or illegal.
Oh, and as a general rule, create a title that will appeal to your intended audience, but don't spend too much time and energy on it. Unless you're self-publishing your book, your publisher will change your title anyway nine times out of ten. Publishers do marketing research to find a title they believe will sell the most copies of a book. They're not always right, of course, but they pay their marketing people a salary to do something with their time. Coming up with titles, then, becomes more of a science than the creative art most writers assume it is. Read More