Book-Title Domain Names: The Five-Step Checklist
by Susan Kendrick
By taking five quick steps, you can effectively search for, evaluate, and register a domain name for a book title.
1. Search domain names early—as soon as you start brainstorming a book title. Domain-name searches are free at freekeywords.wordtracker.com. If a book-title idea you have in mind is already taken as a domain name, that’s a sign it may be the name of a business or some other trademarked entity. Or it could just mean that someone else owns it and is not using it for any particular Web site. To find out, key the domain name into your browser as a .com. It will take you to either a site that is using the domain name, or to a site where the domain name is for sale.
2. Get the .com. It’s worth the effort to register the .com for any domain name you plan to use to promote your book, build your brand, and establish yourself as the expert on your topic. Although it’s often easier to find a domain name available as a .net, .biz, and so forth, this seems second-class. It says that someone else has the “real” domain name, that someone else was doing this first, and is doing it bigger and better, that someone else is more reputable, more of an expert. So, get the .com. Once you have that, then get the .net, .biz, and the rest to completely secure your brand.
3. Investigate the competition. If a Web site using the domain name you want is for a product, service, or business in the same field as yours, don’t go any further. Start working on another book title and domain-name choice because you need a book title, and a domain name to go with it, that will help you build a unique presence for your book, one that will not be confused with anything else.
4. Adapt to win. If the .com you want is taken but represents a completely different industry or market, there is a solution. Add words to or otherwise modify the domain name to find one that is available (see “Awesome! The Why and How of One-word Titles,” December 2007).
5. Register all possible versions of your domain name. Get the misspellings as well as other derivatives (e.g., “2” as well as “two”).
If, while you’re at it, you find an available domain name for a book title you are even considering, get it. Domain names are cheap. Less than $10 is a small price to pay for owning a piece of Internet property that may be the beginning of a powerful online presence for you and your book.
Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn of Write To Your Market, Inc., specialize in positioning and branding books to sell. They also develop book titles, subtitles, back-cover sales copy, testimonials, and other buy-me-now book-cover copy to help their clients, who have won 21 major book awards in the last five years alone. To learn more, visit WriteToYourMarket.com and get book-cover coaching at BookCoverCoaching.blogspot.com.