So you’ve finished your manuscript and have by now, if not long ago, decided on what you consider to be a great title for your work. You shop it around, send out queries and eventually get an agent or publisher who wants to see your book in print. Now comes the hard part, the concessions. This compromises are part of traditional publishing and to be expect, how many and in what form they appear is different for every book, but trust me, they’re going to be there. For instance, the title, you birthed this masterpiece, sweated over it, cried over it, labored long hours over it, and someone else gets to name your little darling . It’s part of the publishing game.
Now let’s say you find out someone else has a book in the same genre as you and their book has the same title as the one you so lovingly picked out for your book? Does this matter? Let’s suppose that the publisher likes your title and agrees to use it, will it help or hinder the sale of your book if there is another with the same title? Maybe it’s self-published and you’ve gone the traditional route, there are no copy rights to titles.
How do you feel about the ‘other’ book? Are you tempted to read it? What if you read it and it’s better than yours, or maybe it’s poorly written and there are holes in the plot line. Will this adversely affect the sale of your book? A lot of book sales are based on word of mouth. So Joe Smith reads the book ‘the best book in the world’ and doesn’t much care for it. Then a couple weeks later John Jones asks Joe if he’s read the book ‘ the best book in the world’ by (insert your name here), but Joe doesn’t remember the author only the bad book. Now you’ve lost a sale. Could happen the other way, Joe loves it and tells John to buy it only John buys the one from the other author and hates it and now you’ve lost a potential reader based on a bad book you didn’t even write.
For those who do not know, I have a twitter account. Follow me if you feel so inclined. While on twitter I made a few new writer friends, adding to my network. After looking at one writers twitter profile, I went to their blog and found they’ve written and self-published a book. Of course I was curious and even more so when I found that the title of the book was coincidentally the same as the title of a book someone in my writers group has written. And its in the same genre. At first I jumped and thought, ‘OMG, someone has stolen her idea and self-published her book.’ I read a lot of blogs and there has been some of that going on, it happens. So being the person that I am, I investigated. Thanks, it’s not her story, but it is in the same genre. It got me to thinking about how I would feel about this. It’s not like we can do anything about it and for me at least, I wouldn’t change my title, unless the publisher made me.
How would you feel?