Why I changed the title of my book

I’m in the final stretch of getting my book ready for release! It’s been edited, re-edited, read by beta readers, and I am in the process of formatting the pages so it’ll look nice and pretty when it’s printed.

But, one of the last changes I’ve made is to the title. You may recall, I originally titled my book The Historian. I actually love this title and I think it fits perfectly with the story. However, many of you may know there is already a best selling novel with the same name.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and my debut novel have absolutely nothing in common and I’ve done a lot of research about the legality of having two books with the same name: because the term The Historian is very general, there isn’t anything stopping me from keeping the title.

At first, I thought about keeping it but the closer I got to where I am now, I realized there were a few problems with keeping it:

Kostova’s success will hurt my search rankings

If you do a Google search for The Historian, the entire first page (and probably more) is dedicated to Kostova’s book. If I, as a new author, released a book by the same title, it would take a long time and effort to try and creep onto the first page.

It would be confusing for readers

Imagine you sat down at your T.V. to watch a movie and purchased The Avengers, expecting the 2012 blockbuster starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johanssen, only to discover you’d purchased the lesser known 1998 movie by the same name starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, and Sean Connery? You’d be pretty upset, right?

Kostova or Koster?

To add to the confusion, our names are strikingly similar — what are the odds?

So what’s a guy to do?

As I mentioned earlier, I really loved The Historian as the title of my book but I knew I needed to let it go — one of the first lessons a writer needs to learn is to not get too attached anything you write.

So, I’ve settled on a new title: The Probability of Time.

According to my research, I can’t find another novel with this title (yay!) and when you read the story, you’ll see this title is very fitting as well.

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Published by Tim Koster

Tim Koster is an American author who was born and raised in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Deering High School, Tim attended Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where he studied English with an emphasis on creative writing. In his junior year, Tim enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a public affairs specialist and deployed on two combat missions – his first was to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn (2011) and his second was to Syria in Support of Operation Inherent Resolve (2018). Tim currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

3 thoughts on “Why I changed the title of my book

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen a couple episodes. It’s not bad. My point wasn’t to downplay the quality of the T.V. show but to show how people might react when they get something other than what they were expecting.


  1. I like the new title a lot better. The title “The Historian” just doesn’t grab me.
    But then “The Probability of Time” really does pull me in. I’ll check out anything with the word “Time” in the title, because I love time travel stuff, and almost all time travel books put the word “time” in their title. So, I have no idea if that’s what your book is about, but I’d be way more likely to pick it up and read the back cover copy with the word “time” in there.


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