88

I'm sorry, but the chances of JK Rowling letting an amateur, unpublished writer use her ideas is zero. She and her partners have billions of dollars riding on the HP franchise. If she is tired of writing it, she might be interested in some collaboration with a best-selling novel author or screenplay writer she personally enjoys and admires and has worked ...


80

You don't have to do anything special at all. First you will seek an agent, with a query letter. Look up on the Internet or in writing books on Amazon how to write a query letter. Do not mention your age. If you get a response of somebody willing to read a sample, send it. Before you sign any contract or agreement, you will need to tell the other party you ...


77

YES, the first page is vitally important. But probably not in the way you think. Don't bring the "thriller" up first. The first page (and first sentence, and paragraph) is important in the same way your first meeting with somebody new is important. An agent or publisher (or indeed a customer thinking of buying your book) is going to read the ...


72

I can type at about 5K words per hour, but I can't write nearly that fast. I need to think of what's going on. I need to keep some sort of consistency, and I can't remember all the details. I need to do some planning. My creativity seems to burn out somewhere around 5K words each day. Putting words on the computer screen is one thing; knowing which ...


47

Unfortunately, the word count of your work means that traditional publishers will not be interested. Even well-established authors like Stephen King publish their novella-length work only as part of larger collections, not as stand-alone works. Also unfortunately, a self-published novella by an unknown author will vanish without a trace on Amazon, unless ...


47

In an interview, Stephen Fry (who has recorded the audio-book versions of the Harry Potter series from the start) recalled how, at a book-signing that J.K. Rowling was doing, there were representatives of her publishers who would make sure that if anyone tried to hand her a letter or manuscript, they would snatch it out of the fan's hands before she could ...


46

I see two separate issues here --your work, and who you are getting feedback from: There's nothing intrinsically wrong in being inspired by current events. People do that all the time, and some great work has been created that way. People's reactions to that work may be tied to their own personal experience and/or opinions about the current event, but that'...


40

I like the technique that TvTropes calls the "narrative profanity filter". The basic idea is that instead of including adult language in the dialog, you describe the language in the narration: He speculated at length on the thief's parentage. As a side benefit, by leaving things vague, you let the reader's imagination fill in the blanks, and you don't ...


40

I would say go for it! If you have the possibility of contacting a "proper author," there's no reason not to. If they get back to you or someone from their office does, that would be a huge help to you. And no offense, but if they don't get back to you, they probably won't remember you either so there's nothing to be embarrassed about. There's ...


39

Your first publication will get harsh criticism whether you're 12, 21, or 120. The fact is, the only way to get good at something is to practice, and the only way to practice is to fail, repeatedly, until you start to do good. Starting early is not only helpful but encouraged - you will get significantly more experience this way than if, say, you were to ...


36

There are no age restrictions on publishing - you may need to get someone else to sign contracts for you, but that's a minor detail. That said, it's pretty hard to get a book published, even for adults who've been working at writing for a long time. It's probably best if you focus on writing because it's fun, and give yourself a chance to explore without ...


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 ...


34

In the US, an author holds the copyright to his work for all his life, and his heirs hold it for 70 years after his death, at which point the work becomes public domain. (source) In other countries the number of years after the author's death may vary, but I do not know of a single country nowadays where copyright expired before author's death. (This used to ...


32

You cannot publish the work without permission. It was copyrighted the moment it was written. The fact that you 'purchased' the manuscript is no defence. By that token I could 'publish' all the books I have purchased. You need to purchase the copyright from the family.


29

Here is the entry for thalidomide in Merriam-Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983): thalidomide n {phthalic acid + -id- (fr. imide) + -o- + imide} (1962) : a sedative and hypnotic drug C13H10N2O4 that has been the cause of malformation of infants born to mothers using it during pregnancy What this entry means is that thalidomide is a generic ...


29

The first page of your novel is vitally important, but not necessarily because the action starts there. The first page, and first several pages, should: set your tone and reader expectations. In a thriller, that means establishing a rhythm that will push forward rather than linger, and maybe having some sort of stakes already in play, even if they're ...


28

In theory this could be possible, but such an author would burn themselves out after a couple of days with such an intense schedule. A novel is more than just 100,000 words thrown together. There needs to be a story and characters. You need to engage the audience, ensure there are no accidental contradictions. This requires planning and revisions and this is ...


28

I will disagree with the advice you received. The vast majority of self-published fiction earns nothing, or at best some friend and family sympathy purchases. The case is even worse for un-marketed self-published fiction. To self-publish, you are responsible for developing the marketing materials and artwork, for figuring out where to post ads, for paying ...


27

Well, having asked the question I then went to Bing.com to investigate further. I was surprised to find the answer quickly. I found it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/04/10/2065727.aspx and I reproduce it in this way: In the row of numbers, the smallest number shown tells you which printing of the book you have. For example, if ...


27

The main obstacle to fanfics flooding the market is copyright. As long as the original author holds the copyright for their work, fanfics can only live as free stuff on the internet. (Or, as Kirk points out, they can be "reskinned", "retooled", so they're not obviously recognisable as fanfic. In which case, it all depends on how good your lawyers are ...


27

As Mark says, not without a track record of one bestseller after another. But if you got that, you should be pretty rich, so why bother? Rowling and Stephen King probably don't worry about stuff like that, they'd rather NOT be on deadline, just in case a film deal comes along or they get a different idea. They'll just finish the book at their leisure and ...


26

The most likely explanation is that your queries are poorly written, or the agents you are querying are poorly suited to your work (or feel they are after reading your query). If you are getting rubber-stamp rejections, look online for lessons in writing queries; one example is at Query Letter, but there are many such sites. I would also look for agents ...


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