Naming Your Book: Is it Okay to Have the Same Title as Others?
Guest Post by Irene Watson
Why would anyone name their hard work, pride, and joy the same as someone else? Naming books is not like naming people. Naming books is about creating your own brand, your own identity, and your own place in the reading circles.
While doing research I found this:
“Dying to Live” – Library of Congress reports 17 books with that title, Amazon reports 108 entries with “Dying to Live” either as the title or in the sub-title.
Can you imagine the confusion of someone trying to find the book they actually were looking for by this title? Can you imagine having an option of 17 or more books with the same title? Let’s face it, we are human; we do have curiosity so we would naturally start looking at the other books and I can venture to say that it’s a good possibility the potential reader may choose another book, and not the one he or she was originally looking at – yours.
As well, if you happen to be number 18 to name your book “Dying to Live” know that the domain name is long gone and it’s not even owned by an author. For SEO purposes, having a domain name the same as your book is very important. You don’t have to use that specific domain but at least have it point to your website.
So, let’s talk about creating titles. Your book’s title has more than one function. Besides identifying your story, the title of a book has to attract attention and create interest. The title can make a difference whether or not someone will buy it.
First of all, the title should be short; something easy to remember but most of all, something that can be pronounced. Not long ago I was coaching an author and he refused to consider that the title of his book is not easy to pronounce, let alone be remembered. The title of his book was a word that doesn’t exist, one he made up, and the pronunciation wasn’t phonetic. The last I checked he sold less than 125 books over a two year period. Was it because of the title? Maybe, maybe not. But, I’m confident in saying that it may have had something to do with it. In his case the title of the book didn’t do his book justice.
The title of the book should be descriptive, especially if the book is nonfiction. The subtitle of the book should, in five or six words, tell the potential reader exactly what is in the book. For fiction books, you could be a little more creative.
Here are some questions to answer before creating a title:
- What would someone type into a search engine to find a book like yours?
- What SEO keywords would create your title?
- What other words, using the thesaurus, will expand your key words or are commonly used?
- What are the key elements in your book?
Okay, so this covers those authors that are in the process of writing a book, but what about those of you that already published a book and have a title. What do you do? My answer to you is go to your website and revisit your keywords. Are they SEO friendly? Are they searchable by a search engine? Are you using long tail when adding your keywords? Work on those for now and when creating your next book, take the time to generate a title that works.
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.