One Writer’s Journey

December 1, 2015

Help! I’ve found a book that’s the same as mine…

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:46 am
Tags: ,

competitionIf you write for very long, this is going to happen to you at some point in time.  You’ll have a manuscript in the works or on the back burner and you’ll be going merrily about your day.  As you read through a book you’ve picked up at the library or read about a book online, you have that stinking sinking feeling.  This book is just like mine.  It just happened to me yet again as I read Jan Brett’s On Noah’s Ark.

Different people react to this in different ways.  Absolutely brand new writers sometimes assume that someone has stolen their idea.  Me?  Not so much.  For one thing, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this expereince.  If you like an author’s work a lot, you can probably assume that the two of you have some things in common.  You may read the same things, see the same movies or have similar experiences.  It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that similar input will yield similar ideas at least once in a while.

So what do you do?  Do you shelve your idea or discard is completely?  Maybe you keep working.

In part, it depends how alike the two ideas are.  Brett has a vast variety of animals, much as I pictured in my own story.  But hers are in the illustrations and not the text itself which is natural since she is an author/illustrator and I only write.  She also groups her creatures in a different way than I had planned for my story.  Although there are strong similarities, there are also big differences.

But this isn’t always the case. If you still want to market your book, sometimes it means that you have to change something to make sure that your book and the one in print don’t compete.

You can also read the reviews on the book in print.  Is there something that reviewers don’t like?  Perhaps important information was left out. You can address this so that your work goes above and beyond what the first book covered.

Me?  There are big differences so I have no qualms about moving forward.




1 Comment »

  1. Very interesting!

    Comment by calensariel — December 7, 2015 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

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