Sometimes two books with the same title are launched in the same year. In 1978, Harper & Row and Knopf both published books titled Continental Drift. And in 1984, St. Martins and Knopf both published books titled Pearl.


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Book Publishing Tips of the Day

Daily words of wisdom from Dan Poynter and other publishing industry experts. (Search on "tip" in archives for complete list.) - Today's Tip from Poynter: "Research Your Title."

"Research Your Title."

Copyright protects the text, not the title.

One reason book titles may not be copyrighted is there are too many books and too few words in the language. There are just not enough words to go around.

Research Books in Print and Forthcoming Books in Print for competing titles. Search an online bookstore database such as the one provided by

Make sure your title does not even sound like the title of an existing book. Your promotional efforts may result in sales of the other book.

Do not waste your efforts competing for attention for a book with a same title. You want to spend your time selling your book, not competing with another book.

You may protect your title by trade marking it but that is expensive and rarely done.

"One particular problem we have at the Baltimore Public Library is with similar titles. Almost every season there are two or three popular titles that are similar to one another. This leads to scrambled-title requests. We have to be aware of these titles and their differences so we can interpret these requests and direct inquirers to the right title." -Nora Wallenson, librarian.

(c) 2000 by Dan Poynter. For more tips and information on book writing, publishing and promoting, see the Para Publishing Web site.


Your cover letter is not intended to be an informational piece. It should just include the necessary elements, in the right tone, to get the reader to look inside your media kit at the rest of your materials.

(c) 2000 by Tami DePalma. For more tips and information about "Marketing with a Twist," visit the MarketAbility Web site. Don't your books deserve MAXIMUM EXPOSURE?