Another one of my titles - gone

You can't copyright a title, so it's not uncommon for one to be used again and again.

And I have lost book titles before. First it was Heart-Shaped Box , which was my book title, but then Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) put out his own Heart-Shaped Box and probably blew mine of out the water.

(You can read more about it and some other dueling titles here: http://aprilhenry.livejournal.com/114844.html)

Last weekend I was reading Publisher’s Deal Lunch and came across this: Dennis Rodriguez's HAND OF FATE, in which a writer capitalizes on the gruesome and unsolved murder of his agent to achieve the success he's always craved - but it comes at a price, and grabbing the brass ring isn't as simple as it seems, to Lisa Loucks Christenson at Snowy Creek Books, in a nice deal, for publication in December 2012, by Diane Nine at Nine Speakers Agency (World).

My second book with Lis Wiehl was called Hand of Fate - and it was even a mystery. Oh well, lots of good titles (especially the one-word ones) get used again and again. (I have seen at least six recent books with the title Gone.) Only a few would probably never be re-used, AKA Gone with the Wind. And it's not uncommon for books to switch titles before they are published.




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I used to be more worried about title uniqueness a few years ago. Now there are so many books, with self-published books swelling the ranks, that I see titles used over and over. There's not even a break between them anymore: often they come out simultaneously.
I think a lot of time even traditional publishers don't know about someone else having the same title until it's too late.

A while back, we announced a sale in Publishers Lunch and another publisher contacted my editor and said they had a book coming out with the same title.