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Monday, 3 October 2016

Writing - Book titles

We know that a book title can't be copyright. So it can be used often. Naturally, it's advisable not to use it if a book has recently been published with that title.

Like many an author, I've come a cropper with book titles. When I sent my manuscript off for Blind Justice it was pointed out to me that this was quite a commonplace title. So I changed it to Blind Justice at Wedlock, which seemed to have a certain ring to it.

My vigilante book Sudden Vengeance first started out as A Sudden Vengeance Waits, but that latter title had also been published! But even the former title had been used, in 2009. Sometimes, you bite the bullet and let it go, so long as there's no confusion for any potential reader.  As I had planned several books in the 'Avenging Cat' series, it was inevitable that the first book's title, Catalyst, would not be unique. As its successors were Catacomb and Cataclysm, I had to live with that too; the publisher Crooked Cat's excellent themed covers helped identify them as being in a single series.

When Anthony Horowitz wrote the latest James Bond book, Trigger Mortis, I thought the title was both amusing and original. My review of that book is here

But I was wrong. The title was used by Frank Kane in 1958!

So, yes, try to be original when selecting book titles, but don't beat yourself up over it either. 

I discuss book titles and chapter titles in my book Write a Western in 30 Days - with plenty of bullet points! (pp68-71).

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