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Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

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Offline George Hamilton
14 Aug 2012, 12:15 PM | Post: #1

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Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

Would you change the title of a forthcoming novel if there was one published a couple of months ago with the same title (maybe I should have kept quiet about the title when blogging, but it’s probably just a coincidence)? I planned to call the novel “The Disease”, and whilst checking on Amazon for cover ideas, came across a novel with the same title. I would like to use the word “Disease” because of something a character says in the novel, which gives the title a double meaning. Thanks in advance for your help.
Offline Andy Barrett Reading Void
14 Aug 2012, 12:40 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

I think it would be wise to change it, George.
It's a shame you had this title in mind and now it's gone, but it would save confusion for those searching Amazon without the aid of a direct link.
Could you adapt the title by combining it with another word you character uses in the same sentence? Diseased Mind, or Diseased Heart?
Having said all that, one of my novels, A Long Time Dead, shares its title with lots of other books, and I don't yet know of anyone who has had problems.
Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
14 Aug 2012, 02:30 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

This post was last modified: 14 Aug 2012 02:30 PM by Rosen Trevithick.
I had the same dilemma when I named The Other Daughter. I almost changed the name because of The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner but at the end of the day, there was no better title for my story so I went with the duplication. Nobody has ever complained that they got the wrong book.
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Offline joo Reading Off The KUF Vol I
14 Aug 2012, 04:29 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

There are a few books out there called Shades of Grey even without a particular amount of them.

If you do lots of web searches and Amazon searches and are happy enough that yours will stand out, then keep it.
Or what about if you put something in brackets after it?
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Offline George Hamilton
14 Aug 2012, 04:35 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

Thanks Andy & Rosen.
Andy, I was thinking along similar lines, but "The Disease" still sounds better than what I have so far.

I note that Lisa Gardner's first version of The Other Daughter appears to have been published in 2000, and yours, Rosen, in 2011. I wonder if the gap between them gives yours a better chance not to be confused with it (although her Kindle edition was published in 2012).
Offline alexroddie Reading The Terror by Dan Simmons
14 Aug 2012, 05:05 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

I don't think it's a big deal unless a) the title is very distinctive or b) the previous book is very well known.

Eg. in the first category, "The French Bard of Crete" (made up!) or the second category "The Lord of the Rings" ...

Reckon you'll be ok!
Offline Cathy Reading travels in Elysium by William Azuski
14 Aug 2012, 05:45 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

We published Julia's Room a couple of days ago. We checked in April that there was no other book of the same title. Someone else published using that title in May; we only realised when we were ready to upload the file. Too late and it would spoil the book to change it. A bit of searching however found several examples of duplicate use of titles; there are 5 different novels entitled "All You Need Is Love" for example. I think stick with your title.

Cathy
Offline George Hamilton
14 Aug 2012, 06:17 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

Ok, we seem to have a majority saying stick with the original title. I'm a little more reassured. Thanks, Joo, Alex and Cathy.
Offline Grace Elliot Reading Demelza.
14 Aug 2012, 07:40 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

Your name will also help differentiate it - I have the opposite problem with another author of the same name - but I'm intending to 'out write' her - get a bigger catalogue out there and make my books distinctive enough to overcome this.
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Offline Dorte Hummelshoj Reading Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton
14 Aug 2012, 07:57 PM | Post: #10

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RE: Do I change my novel's title because one by same name already exists?

I agree with Grace that the same name is more of a problem. Unless titles are very imaginative, there will always be other writers who had the same idea, especially when you publish books in a global world.

And titles are not protected in any way.
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