Do you believe in keeping your work-in-progress a secret? I do. Now. I used to think it'd be OK to talk about it a little, maybe build some buzz around it. After all, isn't hype the key to selling books nowadays?
So, a couple of months back, I mentioned creating a book aesthetic for a WIP. I'd seen so many gorgeous ones created by enthusiastic authors and readers, and as I love pretty, inspiring things, I made one. Nothing that would give away too much, just enough to maybe build some interest in the book. And most of all, it would be a sort of vision board to fuel my passion in telling this story.
Long story short, I now understand the risks of doing this. As an author, do keep your ideas closely guarded, except from the few you really trust. What's to stop someone from stealing from the yet-to-be-copyrighted ideas you've revealed and making it theirs or part of their own works-in-progress? Nothing, really (except maybe integrity, which a lot of people lack).
(GIF of copycat should go here, I just couldn't resist this cute one)
Original ideas are rarities these days. And when there are so many people trying to write and sell books, you need to be sure that your ideas will stand out and clinch readers' interest. You can be certain that if your book becomes a hit, there will be numerous other authors who'll latch onto the hype/idea/concept, and produce something similar. Hence phrases like "Book X fans will devour this (Book Y)!" or "If you liked Book X, you'll love Book Y!" People will keep trying to be the first, the best, the most original. And if you can't keep things under wraps for as long as possible, you'll probably end up frustrated or seething with rage.
So in the meantime, mum's the word, eh?