Book title already used

Mon, Mar 6 2017 06:34am GMT 1
Barb
Barb
1274 Posts
Hello Cloudies,

I have a question about book titles. After a few sleepless nights I had an epiphany while travelling home on the number 200 bus (as you do), and I came up with the name for the book I'm editing.

When I got home I had a quick look around to see if anyone had already used it.

You can imagine my haughty distain when I saw that someone had. I cursed, I threw myself back on my fainiting couch, I ate a jaffa cake. This was surely the end of the world.

But then I wondered if it was okay to also use it.

  • What I'm writing is nothing similar to what it has been used for. It's currently the name of a fairy tale for children and I want to use it for a psychological horror story.
  • The book is not well known so I'm not using it to try and ride on the wave of someone else.
  • There is no way you could confuse me and the other author.

All in all, three perfecly good reasons why I should get my own way.

I'll eat another jaffa cake while I wait for you to tell me it's okay.

Thank you for any assistance.

P.S. Who ate all the jaffa cakes?
Mon, Mar 6 2017 07:48am GMT 2
Janeshuff
Janeshuff
335 Posts
I think it is OK. Sometimes when I have been searching on Amazon for a specific title, there have been two or even three books with that title. Can you make it slightly different, though? Plural rather than single? Or vice versa? Anything really.
Mon, Mar 6 2017 07:48am GMT 3
Janeshuff
Janeshuff
335 Posts
PS I did have a few of the Jaffa cakes
Mon, Mar 6 2017 07:53am GMT 4
Caducean Whisks
Caducean Whisks
2312 Posts
As far as I'm aware, it's not only fine, it's already been done loads of times.
The only issue is for you - that of clarity. i.e. if someone searches for the name of your book, will they find it or will the search be cluttered up with someone else's book?
I was most narked when I found people had pre-emptively stolen my book title, years before I thought of it. Not just one person, either. I changed it ever so slightly, only because I wanted it to be as unique as it could be.

I don't believe there's any copyright on titles. But I'm not a lawyer, *disclaimer, disclaimer*

P.S. Me.
Mon, Mar 6 2017 10:13am GMT 5
bazbaron
bazbaron
1376 Posts
Hi Barb, I'm with, Jane, I've come across loads of duplicate titles when I've searched for a book so I can't see that you're infringing copyright otherwise Amazon wouldn't allow it (I presume). Another thing to consider, especially for Amazon searches, the search words you use in the description make a difference to what comes up in the result as per, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CPQ6YYI/?tag=lesgedi-21 by David Gaughran. Any Jaffa cakes left. x
Mon, Mar 6 2017 10:41am GMT 6
Debi
Debi
6920 Posts
No copyright on titles. Check out Talking to the Dead. Our very own Harry Bingham wasn't bothered that he hadn't got there first.
Mon, Mar 6 2017 10:46am GMT 7
Barb
Barb
1274 Posts
Thank you all very much!

*restocks biscuit tin*
Mon, Mar 6 2017 12:33pm GMT 8
Squidge
Squidge
2049 Posts
You could go one better...don't bother about other books. Match your title to a huge Indian company that makes pet products instead.

(Something I discovered when I was googling StarMark (self-indulgent author that I am!) and didn't add my name to the search...

Seriously. Starmark make dog biscuits and bone chews. That could really confuse a few readers Wink)
Mon, Mar 6 2017 05:27pm GMT 9
Debi
Debi
6920 Posts
Ha! I wonder how many people come to my Nirvana novels looking for stories about Kurt Cobain. Cool
Mon, Mar 6 2017 07:47pm GMT 10
Philippa
Philippa
1435 Posts
I know someone who made a lot of money by having a book about grammar on Amazon titled "For Who The Bell Tolls"

A lot of people accidentally downloaded it instead of Mr Hemingway.

Well, I suppose it is the target market, there. Those who muddle whom and who.

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