Q: A title I’m considering for my novel is [title removed]. Amazon.com says that title is already in use. Are titles copyrighted?
A: As I understand the law, titles are not eligible for copyrights the way longer works are; however, titles can be trademarked if used to cover more than one item in a series, such as a cluster of seminars based on a book of the same name.
Although you could probably legally use a title that has been used by someone else, consider it an opportunity to change the title and make it different, so people who search your title will find only your book, and not others. It’s your chance to come up with a memorable, unique title with a play on words, alliteration, or rhyme.
Bobbie Christmas, book doctor, author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), and owner of Zebra Communications, will answer your questions, too. Send them to Bobbie@zebraeditor.com. Read more “Ask the Book Doctor” questions and answers at www.zebraeditor.com.