Hot answers tagged

79

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 own vision to it. Your story doesn't sound --to me --at all like Harry Potter. But like most fantasy stories, including Harry Potter, it has some familiar ...


68

'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 you have $39 to spare and live in the US. (I'm not affiliated with BookBaby and have never had them print a book. I can't say anything about the quality of their ...


58

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 those books as a kid. However, if you are calling agents and have gotten negative responses, here are things to consider. Are you calling them out of the blue? ...


51

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 hype is a huge mental itch in people's brains and almost always a letdown for your reader, and this is especially the case with books, where the whole story is ...


36

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 to assemble the book from sheets, archivists, who prepare digital copies and need page numbers for these, ...and so on. Table of contents should always refer ...


31

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 comparable quality to what you would see from a traditional publisher. The price per book is also comparable to what you would pay retail for a standard book. They do ...


30

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 feedback (A parent isn't likely to be neutral). Get friends to beta read it, but not so good a friends that they won't criticize. The first sentence, paragraph, ...


30

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 start out with an old enemy resurfacing; a protagonist who didn't know about the magical world suddenly becoming aware of it; said protagonist ending up being &...


23

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 were not around. Whether you want to go through the effort to print and bind it yourself is really a matter of how you feel about the physical object you end up ...


22

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 that was already published. They want first rights.


18

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 process. To a publisher, your work is already copyrighted, and if they want the copyright and not just publication rights, they'll have to ask for that in the ...


16

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 it was different enough to produce four seasons of episodes without being shut down for plagiarism. And the friends of the creators of the Upside-Down Magic ...


15

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. The story takes place in a fictional country I created. Harry Potter takes place in England. So that's a big difference right off the bat. There are 6 main ...


14

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 pointing out with the pen in her hand she said; “Here, this one looks like something interesting for you." It cost £1500! It would be possible to include ...


13

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.


13

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 still hate you for making me do math in my head (there are about 6 excerpts per page, so to find excerpt 1397 I should turn to approximately page...uh...hrm.) If ...


12

"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 consider yourself a successful writer? For some people, finishing a novel, publishing it on Amazon and having at least one person read it to the end can be ...


11

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 separate lists of items which have commas, aka the serial semi-colon. The sentence here has parallel grammar, not independent clauses. Parallel Grammar ...


11

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 look into services like betareader.io and betabooks.co. They have some technical mojo to make it harder for anyone to access your books (you need to invite ...


10

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, these are generally in the 16 to 44 page range (my estimate, not official). Many poets, especially new and emerging, publish chapbooks first. Longer ("full ...


10

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. However, a generally accepted formatting for manuscripts is double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman, with one-inch page margins. Based on that, it's assumed that ...


10

BIG QUESTION! DO IT: First, what is stopping you from writing? Is it a desperately busy life? If so, 'fish or cut bait.' If you don't have time to do even a little writing, you aren't going anywhere. DO SOMETHING: I think you're feeling overwhelmed by the scale of writing. It's easier not to write than contemplate writing a whole book. The key is to start ...


9

In your example, the font size is the same, the capitalized part is done in 'small capitals'. In my experience, the practice is rare. I wouldn't bother, as it does nothing to improve legibility.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible