Part 1: What Authors Need to Know About the Law — I Have a Title for My Book, Now What?

Copyright: www.123rf.com
Copyright: www.123rf.com

You have stressed for weeks over the title for your book. You finally have one that you really, really want to use but are uncertain of the next step. Here is what you need to consider before you submit to a publisher.

1) Conduct a clearance search. I would use Google and Amazon to start to see what other books or blogs come up with the same title. If that doesn’t yield clear results, have attorney run a broader search. It’s important from both a legal and sales perspective that you aren’t publishing something with the same title as another book.

2) Check to see if the domain name is available. If you want to start a podcast or business around your book it would be a good idea to see if the domain name is available. If it is, consider purchasing.

3) Get feedback on your title. I would avoid sharing the title with everyone on your social media accounts. Instead, choose a small number of people that are objective and that are readers. Explain who the audience is and ask them their opinion. Sometimes as the author, you are too close to the subject matter to come up with the best title. You want to ask others their opinion but no so broadly that they steal your idea. And, you have to be open to the feedback. A friend may have a better title than you do.

4)  Do you plan to make the book a series? If so, you will want to consider obtaining trademark protection once the second book is published. The Trademark Office will not register the title of a stand-alone work but will register a trademark for a series of works.

Look for Part II in our series on getting published – next week. We will talk about self publishing.

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