Are Book Titles Copyrighted?



Although book titles are not copyrighted (and thus give you the right to use any one you wish, including those that may have already been used multiple times), you may not want to use a familiar title in order to avoid confusion by readers. However, more and more, authors are using portions of well-known titles in order to attract consumers. 

Consider the following:

Gone Girl.

Girl from the Train.

Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Are You There, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea.

Catcher in the Rye.

Catcher in the Box.

Notice Anything?

These authors have taken part of the title of well-known books and reworded them for use in their own titles.


Because books that have sold well, have been typed in searches many times and have been marketed well, almost become household words.

In other words, they are FAMILIAR—both to readers and the infamous “web-crawlers.”

Whether you choose a title for your book with the words Girl or Zombies in in it, or you copy the complete title of a well-known book and simply change a word or two, chances are your book will come up in more Google searches, etc.

This is smart—if your book is in the same genre and basically on the same subject.

You are free to use these techniques to get a little more exposure for your books. A word of wisdom, though: don’t go trying to rewrite the original book—plagiarism, or even the hint of it—will get you in a lot of trouble. Here, we are simply talking about book TITLES.

More intriguing information about book titles next week…


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