Does that “Fictitious” Website in Your Novel Already Belong to Somebody Else?

Does that “Fictitious” Website in Your Novel Already Belong to Somebody Else?

Last year at this time, we published: Does that “Fictitious” Business Name in Your Novel Already Belong to Somebody Else?.

Recently, I noticed a URL for a fictitious website in a book I was formatting. I pasted the URL into my browser and, sure enough, it was a real website. The fictitious usage was for a humorous book but the actual website was a suicide prevention one. Had the author used that URL, it would not have only been in very poor taste, but it could have also resulted in a lawsuit.

If you type a “fictitious” URL into your browser and nothing comes up, that doesn’t necessarily mean somebody doesn’t already own that website. Somebody may have already purchased it, yet not created the site yet. You can see who owns a specific URL here:

Referring to a real website in your non-fiction is usually fine, like when you recommend a site for your readers, or when you’re referencing a site for another reason.

Depending on the content of your novel, some sites may not mind having their URL appear in your book. If they do grant permission, you should have an agreement drawn up by your attorney to prevent any possible lawsuit in the event they change their mind in the future…or claim they didn’t understand the possible consequences of such an arrangement.

Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors. - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE