If a published author takes my concept and publishes it before I do, do I have any rights to it. ***
About a year ago I enter a contest on (author's) facebook fan page and shared my pitch and first paragraph.
The zombie concept I shared has never been done before and after the agent said the idea was intriguing, I was excited but now very anxious.
If (author) writes the idea and then publishes it before I do, I then look like a rip-off.
Is it just a race to the finish line? I understand everyone can take the same topic and make it their own but the first original idea does have an impact.
Ex. any sparkly vampires are just rip-offs of Twilight no matter how much superior.
Any advice is appreciated.
If this is something you're going to spend any time worrying about, knock off entering contests and save yourself the anxiety.
But, rest assured, even if someone lifts your idea completely, the execution is what matters, and no one can write a novel like you.
Also, making vampires sparkle isn't a concept, it's a description of character. It's also very very specific. The concept you included in your email to me (which I purposely did not post) isn't specific at all.
But here's the bottom line: concepts are a dime a dozen. Actually more like a penny. If I had a dime for every time I've heard "I have this great idea" and it IS a great idea, but the execution sucks I'd have enough money to buy sparkle treatments for the both of us.
The first original idea isn't what makes the impact. It's the first book that captures the zeitgeist and that often is NOT the first. Or even the best.
This is something you can control ONLY by writing well, and completing your novel. Gnawing yourself into distraction won't get you anywhere. Knock it off. Get back to work.
Also, most authors aren't reading the entries in Facebook contests for ideas cause they're home twitching about the next novel and trying to figure out how to get the rabbit suit off the stripper without waking up Mom. No, really.
***No. Most likely you signed a waiver to be able to enter any kind of contest that asks for this kind of stuff.