We all know the struggle of naming a novel: trying to think of something catchy, something that aligns with current trends in our genre, but is also highly unique. A title that pops. Of course, our title should also convey the “feel” of our book, the theme that weaves through it, and give potential readers an idea of what the book is about…you know, in only a few words, or even just one, whichever the case may be.
Sounds…er, simple? Yeah, right. Naming a book is a lot like writing that query pitch: not at all easy, and a ton of pressure to hit a home run.
So, you can just imagine the jittery stress that cropped up when Becca, Lee and I knew we couldn’t keep calling our brainstorming software “the product.” We needed a name, and a good one. Something that stood out, was professional, and hinted at what the software will do. A name that conveys our desire to help writers in areas where they need it most so they feel empowered to write their amazing novels.
And so the agony began. Here’s a few of the original ideas:
- Writer’s Genie
- Creative Genie
- Descriptive Genie
- Word Wizard
- Descriptive Wizard
- Creative Wizard
- Imagination Box
- One Stop
- Writing Muse
- Muse for Writers
After much debate and research, we thought maybe it might be better to go with a single word, something punchy that represented inspiration. Because at the heart of One Stop, that’s what we’re doing–offering writers that spark, that brainstorming nudge, that sends their fingers tapping like mad across the keyboard. Our goal is to get writers actually writing, rather than spinning their wheels as they think about what to write. Of those, we came up with:
We all really connected with Spark. In fact we loved Spark. Spark for Writers. Cue singing, the glorious shaft of white light, all that. We imagined logos and letterheads. This was it, our name which would infuse us with purpose!
But of course, we needed to remember we weren’t in the land of book titles any more. This was software, a product/service. In any business, there’s the legal end of things, like copyright and trademark. Loving a name isn’t enough–you have to actually make sure you CAN use it, or risk a lawsuit. If someone has secured a trademark for the same name, or even if there is an existing company or product with a name that is very close in the same industry, a person is rolling the dice to also try and use it. We started researching writing software and related services and took the name to our IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer.
And…it turned out that Spark for Writers was too close to something else out there. So, we had to let this name go.
(You guys know when you love, love, love a book title and then boom, an agent or publisher tells you to change it? Yeah, that feeling.)
We flirted with a few others, like Boost, and ran into more trademark issues. Finally we circled back and asked ourselves, how could we instill a sense of place with our product name? Because that’s what we wanted–a destination, a home. Somewhere for writers to come and get help when they got stuck or needed a spark of inspiration.
We looked at One Stop For Writers again (Becca’s brainchild) and realized this gave us both a sense of place, and told people exactly what they would find: a wonderful array of resources to help them write compelling stories. We decided to go with it. While there were a few similar names out there, we found nothing for writing software or trademarked within that realm, so our IP lawyer deemed we could file for it ourselves. Whoo-hoo!
Of course, this brought us to needing a logo designed, and in doing so, the question of what people might assume our name means came up. Our designer asked, “What is One Stop For Writers? In addition to it being creative brainstorming software, does it help writers publish books? Understand platform building? Give them a place to type their story out? Something else?”
These were good questions, and made us realize we needed to be careful about how we market One Stop For Writers. Because while we see ourselves as a one-stop destination for creative tools and descriptive brainstorming that will allow writers be more efficient while improving their writing craft, we aren’t a one-stop for publishing or self-publishing help, we aren’t teaching platform or social media or marketing or any other aspects of being an author. We are only about the creative end of the writing process and getting the right words, ones that paint vivid imagery and create powerful fiction, on the page.
After discussion, we decided to add a tagline to our One Stop For Writers™ name: elevate your storytelling. This helps to clarify exactly who we are and what we do (empowering & helping writers to craft strong fiction) while also saying what we don’t do: anything not about creating powerful stories. We’re glad our designer asked us these questions because now we can infuse this sense of specific identity in all our marketing moving forward.
The takeaway? Little things are sometimes big things, so don’t be afraid to take the time to get it right. Our name is a big thing–it is who we are and what we do. While it took so much longer to find one than we expected, we are all so happy with how it all worked out.
We hope you like it too. 🙂
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.