Title protection: What you need to know and where you can get it

Title protection is a typical German phenomenon. It basically means that you cannot use a title that could be easily mistaken for the title of an existing book. The problem is in the word “easily” – no lawyer can ever tell you what that means. Is adding another subtitle enough? You cannot be sure before you had to go to a court. Which is expensive. So my advice is: Don’t use titles that are similar to other titles. This is true even if a book is not available anymore – it’s title is protected for upto 5 years after the book left the market.

What does that mean? You have to research your prospective title first. Use:

After your research, you might be happy. But what happens if the title is free now – but is taken in three months when your book is finally published? You can avoid such a situation with a “title protection advertisement”. It’s not expensive and can easily be ordered online from one of these services:

You’ll have to add 19 percent VAT to these prices. A title protection ad is valid for five months. After that, you’ll need to make a new one.

About Matthias Matting

Born 1966. University degree in physics, journalist for major news magazines for more than 20 years. Started self publishing in 2011 when KDP came to Germany, subsequently became the author of the Amazon bestselling eBook 2011. Started blog selfpublisherbibel.de in early 2013, now a leading information resource for authors in Germany. Currently working part time with a German publisher and as an author / expert / speaker / freelance journalist. Published around 50 titles so far with total sales of approx. 180.000, mostly non-fiction.

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