aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

It’s every author’s nightmare - someone comes out with a very, very similar book

Starting with an anecdote about two authors who wrote alphabet books featuring animals who are too impatient to wait their proper turn (a musk ox and a moose), Publishers Weekly looked at what happens when authors come out with books that have quite a bit in common.

Read more here.

In February 2006 I had a book come out called Shock Point. I put "Shock Point" in as a Google Search term, and began to get emails when it was mentioned on the Web. A few months after my book came out, I got this little snippet from Kirkus for a book called The Silent Room. "With a plot that mirrors April Henry's rather shallow Shock Point..." I didn't get any more, just that.

I had three thoughts.

One: "rather shallow"? Kirkus seems to pride itself on snide comments. (Full disclosure: Although I always discount their snideness, if they ever gave me a starred review, I would decide they were the most insightful folks ever.) (Full disclosure two: likelihood of this ever happening? Close to zero.)

Two: WTF? With a plot that "mirrors" mine? From an imprint of the same house?

Three: Thank God mine came out first.

I was desperate to read the rest of the review, but no one I knew subscribed to Kirkus. Finally, I managed to finagle a copy of the advanced readers edition of the other book. It did have some similarities, but there were also many differences. The similarities came about because Walter Sorrells and I had obviously read the same newspaper accounts of this chain of boot-camp schools for troubled teens run by a former used car salesman.

So neither of us copied from each other. It was just a coincidence. That's the danger when you write about something in real life. Some other author may already be writing that story. May already have written it.



site stats
Tags: dueling premises, dueling titles
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 6 comments