Research Your Author Name and Titles

I know how exciting one’s literary ideas can be, and how easy it is to assume they’re original. I mean, I am a writer. But, remember, if you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and me.” Face it, great minds think alike. You can’t take your “originality” for granted and can get in some legal trouble if you use an author name or story title that another writer has patented. This is coming from someone who wanted to call my animal-zombie tale “Animaniacs.” (It’s now titled “Animals From the Beyond.”)


This is easily corrected. Just type your author name and story titles into, and you’ll find out if they’re taken. I also recommend using an Internet search engine. My favorite is Bing, as they have amazing pictures from all over the world and reward you for searching with Microsoft points you can use to buy an Amazon gift card, thus getting free movies from the video tab in your Kindle Fire.


I’m also a musician, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with song titles I thought were cool as hell, only to find a like-minded band had already used them. It’s also easy to subconsciously use another band’s riff without knowing it till later–because it might be too late–though that might be less of a problem, the way Vanilla Ice used “Under Pressure” by Queen and David¬† Bowie and M. C. Hammer ripped off “Superfreak” by Rick James. They both got away with it. I still wouldn’t do it, though.


I’m assuming I don’t have to talk to you about copyright laws, also. (Not! I never assume.) Unfortunately, thieves can get around this because one can’t copyright an idea, and infringement doesn’t apply to using a small part of someone’s tale or non-fiction book in your story.


All it takes is some research to stay out of court so you can riff on playing God with your fictional universe. Happy writing!

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