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Question
I have been working on a book for awhile and I really like the title but I was wondering that if I send my query to a publisher or agent or whomever, what is to keep that person from stealing my title or even my idea for a book? Can you copyright the title? Is it necessary?
Thanks

Answer
Dear Debbie,
Thank you for your question. Usually a reputible publisher or agent will not steal your idea or your title. However, i did go to one website of a big, big publisher. There was a statement at their website that said something like, "We do not accept un-agented works. We are not responsible for protecting your ideas if you send them to us." I was really shocked, like they were saying that if you send something to them, they can steal it. Anyway, that is not usually the case. Professional publishers and agents will not usually steal anything that is sent to them.
One way to protect your work is to join the Writer's Guild and put your manuscript on file with them. Another way is to mail the book to yourself and keep the envelope sealed. The envelope will be postmarked with a date to show when you started using the title. Or send a copy to your attorney and ask him/her to keep track of the date you started to use the title.
At any rate, it's probably best if you just work hard to get it published, then there will be no question about who owns the title (you).
At my site i have posted an article on how to find a publisher that might have some useful information for you:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
If you have anymore questions, please write back again.
Sincerely,
Nori

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