Name of Novel?

by cliff hall
(Dartmouth, NS, Canada)

Question: Is it permissible to write a novel (story) which will have the same name of another novel or book? Example: "Dark Night" by John Doe......" Dark Night" by Bill Smith??


Answer: Yes, it is permissible. You cannot copyright titles.

However, it is usually a bad idea from a marketing stance to give your book the same title as another book in the same genre that is still in print. If you do, your efforts to publicize your book may end up generating sales for the other book instead. The more successful your book is, the more this is true.

If someone wants to buy your book and ends up buying a different book because it has the same title, they may be disappointed and annoyed. And if they are not disappointed and annoyed (because the book they bought was better) that is also bad. Either way, you've just lost a potential fan who might have bought your next book.

At the same time, giving your book the same name as another a very successful book in an effort to piggyback on the other publisher's marketing efforts and, in effect, steal sales is deplorable. No one would do this unless they knew, in their heart of hearts, that their book was inferior and could never succeed on its own merits. And if that's what someone thinks of their own book, they shouldn't be publishing.

If you believe in your book, you should want it to stand out, and that means having its own unique title.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Proud to be one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero