Tips & Ideas For Naming a Bookstore

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Last Updated on October 4, 2020

Today, book sales are a nine billion-dollar business with more than 19,000 bookstores across the United States. 

Each store has a unique identity, brand, and business name. However, choosing a name for your new bookstore isn’t easy, even if you have everything else figured out. Are all the good names taken? Is the one you like available to use? Where do you start? 

How do you make the final decision?

If you’re struggling to name your bookstore, don’t worry. You’re in the right place. In this article, I cover seven helpful tips for naming your new bookstore business as well as how to make sure it’s the right choice before settling on a name. 

Let’s get started!


7 Helpful Tips and Tricks for Naming Your Store

Coming up with good bookstore names can be hard, especially if you don’t have any ideas or a place to start. So, before you dive in, grab a piece of paper and a pen or open up a blank spreadsheet. 

Then, use it as a place to brainstorm ideas and write down words or phrases that come to mind as you go through the tips below. 

From there, we’ll talk about how to narrow things down and land on the perfect name. 

1. Keep It as Short as Possible

Short business names are usually snappier, catchier, and easier to remember. Ideally, you want to stick to two to five syllables with no more than 25 characters total. 

However, the shorter the name, the better. 

With that said, there are exceptions to this and it’s not a hard rule. But, when you think about huge, notable brands, which ones come to mind?

Nike. Apple. Ikea. Febreeze. Target. Honeywell. 

They’re easy to remember because they’re short, simple, and brandable. 

2. Avoid Words That Are Hard to Hear and Pronounce

Voice to text and voice search is more popular now than ever before. So, it’s important to consider making your name easy to pronounce and hear. 

To do this, avoid using:

  • Commonly misspelled words
  • Complex terms that are hard to spell
  • Words that have several pronunciations
  • Homophones like to, too, and two

Try to keep things as concise and simple as possible. 

3. Consider Book-Related Terms

Since you’re opening a book store, it makes sense to use literary and book-related terms in the name, especially if you’re feeling stuck. It may help to just start brainstorming terms, phrases, and words to get all your ideas down on paper. 

From there, you can cross off bad ideas or any terms you don’t like. 

4. What’s Your Specialty?

Do you specialize in a particular genre or niche? Maybe you sell used books, discount books or you want to be a children’s bookstore. Perhaps you want to sell rare, unique literary works of art.  Some bookstores will also have a coffee shop or gift shop, which could be incorporated into your bookstore name.

Regardless of your specialty, consider alluding to it in the name of your business. 

5. Neighborhoods, Cities, and Nicknames

Including the name of your city, street, or neighborhood is an excellent way to encourage local shopping and create a strong sense of community in your area. 

You can also think about nicknames for your city or neighborhood, as well. Here are some examples to use as inspiration:

  • Riverside Books
  • College Hill Books
  • Westside Book-a-Holic
  • Midtown Used Books
  • South Congress Books

With that said, make sure the name you choose isn’t limiting if you decide to move or expand your bookstore down the road. 

6. Tap Into Your Audience

Your target audience probably has a lot to say about books and reading in general. And you may be able to use what they’re already saying as inspiration for the name of your business. 

Directly asking them is a great option, especially if you know someone you can sit down and talk with for 15 – 20 minutes. But, you can also consider looking at:

  • Social media posts
  • Online community forums
  • Amazon book reviews
  • Book-related blogs
  • Comments on those blogs

It might take a bit of time and mining the internet, but even just a few unique phrases can be enough to spark an excellent idea. 

7. Incorporate Your Name

If you’re still struggling to find the perfect name, consider using your name, a nickname, or something personal and unique to you. 

This is a fantastic way to build a personal brand if that’s something you want to do. Some great examples of this in action, include:

  • Al’s Old and New Bookstore
  • Charlie’s Books
  • The Book Lady

If you go this route, keep in mind it may make it harder to sell your bookstore later on. 

8. Look at Existing Bookshop Names

The following list are some catchy bookstore names of exiting businesses that may help give you some creative ideas.  While many of these names may be available for you to use, be sure to check first to be sure it can be used.

Tips on how to check business name availability are after the list of names!

  • $1 Dollar Plus Book Shop
  • A Book by it’s Cover
  • A Daily Walk Bookstore
  • A Pile Of Books
  • Adventures In Literature
  • Amazing Books 
  • Amber Lane Books
  • Aria’s Book Nook 
  • Bargain Book World
  • Barn Owl Books & Gifts
  • Beautiful News Christian Books
  • Bee Hive Book Shop
  • Belmont Books 
  • Blue Baboon Books
  • Book Pedaler
  • Book Warehouse
  • Book WERX 
  • Booknuk 
  • Books & Gifts 
  • Books 4 Purpose 
  • Books Are Us 
  • Books Brothers
  • Book Cellar 
  • Book Emporium
  • Books Galore
  • Books Of Faith 
  • Bookzilla 
  • Book Rack
  • Calvin’s Used Book Store
  • Canterbury Book Store
  • Capitol Books
  • Catherine’s Book Corner 
  • Celtic Cove Catholic Bookstore
  • Charm City Books
  • Coffee House Book Store 
  • Connie’s Bookshelf
  • Constant Reader
  • Corner Books 
  • Defunct Books
  • Discover Books
  • Dog Ear Books
  • Donna’s Book Stop
  • Easy Books Maui 
  • Eli The Book Guy 
  • Enchanted Book Box 
  • Ernest & Hadley Booksellers
  • Escape Through Books
  • Hartfield Book Co
  • Hemingway Home Bookstore 
  • I Love Books 
  • Jo Jo’s Book Barn
  • Johns Creek Books & Gifts
  • Ken’s Book World
  • Liberty Books
  • Little Bookworm 
  • Little Read Book
  • Little Shop of Books
  • Lookin’ Books
  • Looziana Book Co 
  • Melville Park Books
  • Miss Juliet’s Books 
  • Next Step Bookstore
  • Novel Idea Bookstore
  • Oak Mountain Books 
  • Oasis Bookstore & Kaffe
  • Once Upon A Book 
  • Open Book
  • Paducah Books
  • Pied Piper
  • Plot Twist Bookstore
  • Politics & Prose
  • Poseidon Books 
  • Purple House Books
  • Quantum Storey Co 
  • Read More Books
  • Red Dog Books
  • River Bend Bookshop 
  • Roberts Street Books
  • Scribble & Spark Bookworks
  • Second Story
  • Starving For Books
  • Story On The Square
  • Tales Retold
  • The Bookworm
  • The Book House
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Turn The Page
  • Twenty-Fifth Street Book 
  • Twim Bookstore 
  • Walls Of Books
  • Wild Geese Bookshop
  • Willow Lane Books
  • Word After Word Books
  • Word Of Life Bookstore
  • Wordsmith Bookshoppe
  • Yellow Book Road

Finding the Perfect Name: Putting It All Together

By now, you should have a lengthy list of words, phrases, and terms you can use in your business name. At this point, I highly recommend going through and removing any that are hard to spell or pronounce. 

Now, you can start combining pieces together until something stands out. It may help to create a list of potential names you can use. From there, you can narrow things down to your favorites. 

But before you make your final decision, it’s important that your new name passes a few tests. 

Say It Out Loud

Make sure you say your new name out loud. It may look great as a logo, domain name, and on a business card. But, it also needs to sound good when you say it out loud. 

You can also sit down with someone and talk about your business. Does saying the name in casual conversation sound natural? If not, you may want to consider something simpler or easier to say. 

Logo Design

Lastly, think about how to incorporate your new name into a logo. Logos should be simple, memorable, and indicative of your brand. 

Take Apple, for example. Their business name easily incorporates into a logo. And today, it’s a household symbol that everyone immediately recognizes. 

A logo is an important part of your brand identity, so don’t forget to consider turning your name into a memorable logo as you make your final decision. 


Checking the Availability of Your Top Considerations

At this point, you should have several top considerations to choose from. And the best way to narrow it down further is to check each one for availability. 

This step is vital because using a bookstore business name that someone else is using could be very costly, time-consuming to rebrand your business, and possibly embarrassing. There are several places to look to check whether a name is available to use, so let’s walk through each one. 

Trademark Search

Trademarks are the most critical, so we’ll start here. 

If a name or phrase is trademarked, you’re not allowed to use it in a similar capacity. So, run a trademark search for each business name you’re considering and cross off those that aren’t available. 

Learn more about 

Local Search

Just because there isn’t a federal trademark on a name doesn’t mean the name you want is available.  That’s because there is a trademark known as a common law trademark. A common law trademark isn’t filed anywhere, but provides someone who is using that name in commerce some limited rights in their geographical area to use the name.  It can be hard to define how far geographically these rights extend as each industry is different, but at a basic level, someone can’t open a business and name it the same or similar name as a competing business in town. If you think the name could potentially create confusion with customers, it is usually best to just find another one to use to avoid potential legal issues down the road. 

To do a local search, open up the phone book (if you still have one), and do a Google search to see if there are any local competitors with a similar business name to the one you want to use. 

Cross off any similar names from your list and take the rest and let’s keep checking.  

State Entity Search (If Applicable)

If you plan to register your bookstore as a corporation or LLC, you have to register with a unique business name. Each state requires every corporation or LLC to register a unique name for their entity.  This doesn’t necessarily protect your name from anyone else using it, but nobody can register a corporation or LLC under the same name in your state.

Related: ?

If you find the name is in use, cross it off your list and move on.

Domain Name Availability

Website addresses aren’t as critical as the first three searches, but it’s still worth doing. Typically, you want your domain name to be “yourbusinessname.com” without any numbers, dashes, etc.

It’s easiest for customers to remember, but these are hard to come by.

However, you can explore other configurations and extensions if your preferred domain name isn’t available. Just remember your customers may have a more difficult time finding you online.

You can start with . Type in the domain name you want to use to see if it’s available. The tool also returns other possibilities you may want to consider.

Social Media Profiles

Next, especially if you are stuck between a couple of names, check and see if anyone is already using your potential bookstore names on social media. Consider which platforms you plan to use and start with those. 

Keep in mind you may have to shorten your company name for some platforms. Twitter only allows 15 characters, for example. 

Start with your preferred platforms and do a quick search for your name. If nothing pops up, that likely means no one is using it, and you’re good to go. 

Example: Someone is using startingyourbusiness on Instagram, so I would have to choose a different handle, making it more difficult for customers to find me.

Hopefully, you now have some ideas to name your bookstore. Once you have this list narrowed down to just a few and researched that they are all available, start asking friends, family, and potential customers their thoughts to get feedback and then pick your perfect bookstore name! 

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