One Writer’s Journey

November 6, 2018

What to Do When Someone Else Just Published Your Book

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:48 am
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Have you ever had one of those “oh poop” moments when you open up an e-mail announcing a new book and think “Oh, no.  That’s the story I’m working on?”

There I was happily read blog posts when I popped open Susan Hawk’s blog and then I saw it.  “A Very Happy Publication Day for PENGUINAUT! by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Emma Yarlett.” I would love to say that my first thought was ‘what good news.’ Or ‘yay for Marcie and Emma.”  Or even ‘I love penguins.’

But I think it was something much more like ‘oh poop.’

You see I’ve been working on a penguin astronaut book.  Granted it has been on the back burner for a while.  My critique group was less than enthusiastic.  One person didn’t like that it was “unrealistic.”  Another pointed out that my language wasn’t “picture book” enough.  I knew it was going to take a lot of work so I set it aside for now.

And now this.

As long as it takes to publish a picture book, this one was in the works even as I drafted my idea.  I’m sure of that.  But what now?

First things first, I need to read this new book.  I need to see how like my idea it is.  I’m 90% certain that they are very different but I need to be sure.

Then I have to ask myself a very tough question.  Is there room in the market for two penguin astronaut books.  And now I’m assuming there are only two.  Mine and this one.  But what if another publisher has something in the works?  That is always a possibility.

I seriously doubt that there is room in the market for both books.  So do I just put mine aside?  Or do I try to rework it as something else?  A chapter book or an early reader is always a possibility.  But what about a graphic novel for younger readers?

I just don’t know.  First things first, I need to read the other book.  I’m waiting for it to arrive at my library.  In the meantime, I have a novel to work on as well as a series idea to put together.  But I can go it with the knowledge that penguin astronauts really are marketable even if I wasn’t quite first.



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