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Did they pinch my idea for a novel?

(10 Posts)
IcePopTits Sun 14-Aug-16 17:00:45

I'm sure they didn't it just seems so co-incidental. Couple of years ago I sent synopsis and first 3 chapters to a very well known publisher. Got a nice 'thank you but no thank you' letter back about 4 weeks later. About 12/18 months later I'm walking through the Trafford Centre and there's this best seller in the window - not my title - but my story. Went in and bought the book and, apart from being set in the States it's the same story. I'm sure this happens, but I just found it weird because the writer had THE SAME AGENT I sent my stuff to. They made it into a bloody film too. Oh well, moving along to my next blockbuster idea, I'll choose my agent carefully hmm

Floggingmolly Sun 14-Aug-16 17:04:07

Can you prove you sent the manuscript to them; and when?

Shakey15000 Sun 14-Aug-16 17:04:09


I'm sure they'll be someone more knowledgeable than I along but I seem to recall a tip (?!) about putting a draft and the emails sent to agencies with a solicitor who dates it in case something like this happens?

IcePopTits Sun 14-Aug-16 17:07:58

Wouldn't have crossed my mind - far too trusting! I still have the original on my old laptop so the date will be recorded that way. It just seemed...too much of a coincidence...

GetAHaircutCarl Mon 15-Aug-16 10:11:10

I really doubt anyone stole an idea.

Ideas are two a penny really and there is huge cross pollination.

It's the execution that matters most.

ImperialBlether Mon 15-Aug-16 14:40:36

I really, really doubt it. For one thing, why would they take your idea and get someone to write another novel just the same when they could just have your novel?

The thing is that (as you know) a story takes a long time to write, to edit and then to publish. Most authors will take a year to write and edit a novel - that doesn't leave a lot of time in your eighteen months (stated) to market it, print it, etc.

When I submitted an idea for my second book, my editor said she'd got a very similar one on her books, so I had to think of a different idea. It must be really common for similar novels to be submitted.

ImperialBlether Mon 15-Aug-16 14:41:29

Also, if they were going to steal your story, they'd ask to see the rest of it first, surely?

Zaphodsotherhead Mon 31-Oct-16 14:38:10

They may have turned down your novel simply because they'd already had this other one submitted and knew they couldn't sell two that were basically the same? Especially if the other author was already well known, and therefore guaranteed to sell.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 31-Oct-16 14:40:15

Did you send it to a publisher, or to an agent?

SpaceUnicorn Wed 02-Nov-16 21:38:04

I really, really doubt it. For one thing, why would they take your idea and get someone to write another novel just the same when they could just have your novel?

I agree with this - what would they gain by taking your idea then paying someone else to write it?

There are only so many premises for a story, and by the law of averages two or more people will come up with the same idea at the same time (Jung, collective unconscious, etc). In 'Big Magic' Elizabeth Gilbert talks at length about how she and Ann Patchett had a near-identical premise for a novel. It happens. In fact it would be more odd if it didn't.

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