The legacy of novelist Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett’s famous Discworld series has been around since 1983 and has captivated readers ever since. But September this year saw the final book of the series published.

The Shephard’s Crown, published posthumously, has reached the top of the book chart in the first 3 days, selling more than 52,000 copies. Pratchett’s daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, tweeted saying: “Thank you for getting the Shephard’s Crown to #1. Somewhere dad is raising a glass of brandy to you all.” The book is not, however, the final publication. “The Compleat Discworld Atlas” is to be published on 22nd October by Unseen University.


Many authors see Pratchett as an admirable figure whose success they would love to mirror. However, to write a novel that reaches the top of the book charts upon release is very rare and only comes after many years of hard work and determination.

Pratchett started his career in 1971 at the young age of 23 with his first book The Carpet People. He wrote until his death at age 66, penning an incredible 68 titles in his lifetime.

Pratchett landed on his feet with his first publication, catching a break with a co-director of a small publishing company during an interview. Authors don’t generally get such luck and can be rejected many times before achieving success. J.K Rowling, for example, was rejected a staggering 12 times for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before finally being published by Bloomsbury in 1997.

Getting started


While it’s hard work to get your foot in the door here’s a tip, publishers often like to know you’ve got more than one novel to offer. To write 41 in a series like Pratchett would be asking a lot, but to know you’ve got ideas to further a story into a novel collection is appealing for publishers.

Self-publishing your novel is also a way of attracting the attention of a publisher as you can show there is an audience for your work.  These days there are many options for those wanting to go down the self-publishing line, even for those on a low budget.