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80 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

Harry Potter wasn't a particularly original story. For people who read a lot of fantasy, many of its themes, settings and characters were deeply familiar. But Rowling did a very good job bringing her ...
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69 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

'Publish' is a word with specific meaning and from the context of your question I can tell you're not looking to publish. You're looking to have your work printed. That can be done quite easily, if ...
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59 votes

As a young author, how do you make people listen?

It's certainly possible to be published as a very young author. Nancy Yi Fan published her Swordbird series at eleven years old, and Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon in his teens. I loved both of ...
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  • 8,672
52 votes
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Should I end my book on a major cliffhanger?

I would personally not do this. First of all, not giving a satisfying ending to a story is almost always very, very irritating to readers. Leaving things unfinished after a large period of buildup and ...
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  • 8,672
36 votes
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Should all books have page numbers?

Even if you don't intend to index your entries by page number, you'll annoy quite a few people if you omit page numbers. Librarians, who need to file number of pages, printers, who need page numbers ...
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  • 15.3k
32 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

Yes, this is relatively easy to do these days through Print On Demand services. One that I've personally used in the past is Lulu.com. Their user interface is easy, and their POD books are of ...
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31 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

Your friend is wrong. That's not nearly enough like Harry Potter to be a problem. My guess is that your friend has read Harry Potter but not any other urban fantasy; many, many urban fantasy stories ...
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  • 411
30 votes

As a young author, how do you make people listen?

Figure out your Resources: Even this site says you need to be 13 or have a parent assisting you to use it. Start with a school English teacher, and see if they will beta read the book and give you ...
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  • 13k
23 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

Just to offer an old-school solution, you could always print and bind it yourself! Yeah, there's lots of services which can print on demand these days, but when I printed a book for a friend, they ...
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  • 1,452
22 votes
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Should you publish your book online for feedback?

The wise thing to do is get beta readers. They will agree to read it and give you feedback. Publishing online is publishing. Unless you managed to become a phenomena, no publisher will take a work ...
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  • 6,604
18 votes
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Do publishers care if submitted work has already been copyrighted?

If you live in a country that is a signatory to the Berne Convention (most countries are), then your work is copyrighted as soon as you create it, regardless of whether you go through any registration ...
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16 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

I'm sure that Todd J. Greenwald's friends might have told him that his idea for what later became the Disney Channel TV series Wizards of Waverly Place was too similar to Harry Potter, but apparently ...
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15 votes

Is my book too similar to Harry Potter?

TL;DR: Your story will inevitably be compared to Harry Potter purely because of how iconic and influential it is within the "magical school" genre, but I definitely wouldn't say it's too similar. ...
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  • 9,691
15 votes

170k debut fantasy story. Is it possible?

Don't kill the one story. Expand until it is two: Slightly contradictory, but consider if your story is too long. Does it keep focus throughout the work? Are all areas of those pages equally relevant ...
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  • 13k
14 votes
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How should I present a resort brochure in my general fiction?

Typically, in a prose novel, you would describe the brochure, not reproduce it. After patiently listening to my story, she pulled out a resort brochure titled Transformation Intensive Programme, and ...
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13 votes

What is the difference between ISSN and ISBN?

ISBN are used for books. ISSN are used for newspapers, magazines and such. The ISSN identifies the serial as a whole, this months issue has the same ISSN as last months, and all other months.
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13 votes

Should all books have page numbers?

Pages are the unit by which users manipulate physical books. Personally I hate books that are indexed in anything other than page numbers. Even if your excerpt sizes are extremely consistent I'll ...
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12 votes

How can you tell that you have what it takes to be an author?

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." Richard Bach I think that quote just about sums it up. Having said that, I think an important element of this question is: When do you ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How many poems are in an average book of poems?

Books under 50 pages, particularly if they are saddle stapled or bound in some similar style, are generally referred to as chapbooks. Based on what I've seen of publishers requirements for submissions,...
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  • 1,780
11 votes
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What is the correct way to use semicolons vs. commas vs. em dashes?

First of all, that semi-colon is incorrect. It should be a comma. Here's why. A semi-colon is used 1) to join two independent clauses (stand-alone sentences) which are related in content, or 2) to ...
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11 votes

Should you publish your book online for feedback?

A published book online or in paper form is going to be considered published and will likely make it harder to get the interest of an agent or publisher, at least for that project. My suggestion is to ...
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  • 5,051
11 votes
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How can I recover from negative comments after releasing my book?

You just have to change your mindset; that can take some time and diligence. First, the world is full of rude jerks, is there any reason to believe them or their criticism? Especially if they provide ...
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  • 93.2k
10 votes

How many book pages would 891 words be?

There is no single answer that can be given for this, since books can be typeset in a variety of different ways, and different font faces and sizes will produce a varying number of words per page. ...
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10 votes

Should I end my book on a major cliffhanger?

As much as readers claim to hate this, it can definitely drive future sales. Roger Zelazny ended every single book in his long running, popular Amber series on a cliffhanger, including the last one. ...
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