1. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    2 Books, unpublished....what do i do?

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Rod Patrick, Jul 19, 2009.

    I'm new here and looking, as is everyone else, for help. I've written for the last few years, giving short stories as gifts and turned to longer, more involved work. One is a sci-fi, very mild on that as it's mostly cloak and dagger/action. The second is a vampire novel, still in progress but nearing its end. Both are about five hundred pages and I've a following of readers that proof my work, giving me, for the most part, good reviews.
    Where do I go from here?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Rod, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    You might find some of your answers in the Writing Issues -> Publishers forum.

    Posting your own work should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    Welcome to the forums. ;) Congrats on getting 2 pieces written, you're further than I down that route. My first advice is to subscribe to a writers' magazine, my favourite is 'Writers' Forum', they usually contain helpful advice, usually things on publishing. I believe you can either self-publish, get an agent or find your own publisher. Getting published is perhaps one of the difficult parts, but I believe one of the traits writers needs is persistence - not every publisher will like your work. And you'll no doubt have to keep making changes.

    Redrafting and editing can be a lengthy process - I am doing that with my 150 page novel now and there's a lot to think about as you go through and I'm a long way off from being happy with it.

    If you've got a load of short stories and enjoy short story writing, try finding a magazine that'll publish them as some magazines have short stories. It's worth a shot as you'll have your work in a publication if you're successful and a bit of money on there side. Though you'll need to conform to the magazine's style, so it may take a few issues of the magazine to do your research.
     
  4. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    What would the rules be on posting bits of my novels? They are written in my crusty mode of verbage. Lots of profanity, not much sexual content. The violence is from my history of seeing violence and although the work is pure fiction the people are based on people from my life.
     
  5. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Welcome to the forums, Rod. Cogito's post will direct you to the necessary forums to find out the requirements for posting your materiial. You'll find there's profanity censorship, but other than that there are no other major restrictions, apart from respecting other members. If your material is of an adult nature, simply state that in your thread heading. Enjoy your creative journey.
     
  6. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    I hope you understand my concerns here. I've followed advice and mailed a copy of my manuscript to myself, postage dated and unopened to protect my copyrights. This covers me in the USA but I'm not sure about worldwide. If it's sent in the form of a pm, it won't appear for everyone else to see will it? As in previously published? I don't want to spoil any remote chance of going somewhere with it. Can I forward by the chapter? It's in wordperfect so you may have to convert the text.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Poor Man's Copyright is worthless, even in the USA.

    Also, do not start messaging people with excerpts, asking for private critiques. If someone OFFERS, without you initiating the request, that is between you and the other person. This site operates with open critiques, although as I mentioned before, you should not post anything you intend to publish. That's not for copyright protection - you are protected under copyright law as soon as you have completed a draft. But publishers will not buy previously published writing from unknown writers, and posting is considered publication for those purposes.
     
  8. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    At the lower portion of your tag it reads "If you would like me to review something you have written....etc. Is that posting or sent via email?
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as far as i know, you can't attach material to a pm... but you can copy and paste it into the pm itself...

    and cog is right about the 'poor man's copyright'... it has no legal standing at all in the us, though i understand it has some in the uk...

    you should study the laws... go to the source: www.copyright.gov

    also, 500 pages is way too long... plus, no one in the publishing world uses number of pages for size... we use total word count, only... so, if your work is properly formatted in courier 12pt, double-spaced, with 1" margins all around, it will average 250 words per page, which would be 125k words and too long... the most preferred range is 80-100k for a first novel by a new and unknown writer...
     
  10. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    Well, my work isn't properly formatted and it's only about one hundred and fifty words per page so that makes it a short story at roughly 70k words. I'm verrry new at this, having only given short storys as gifts and such. 55 years old and a 10th grade education at that. Still, thanks for the advice and I'm certainly not offended. I'm here because I need help.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It means that if you have something properly posted in the Review Room, after meeting the requirements for posting there, and you don't feel your writing has been getting helpful critiques, you can send me a PM (private message), and I'll do my best to give you a critique.

    It does not mean that I give offline critiques.

    Critiques are not a service provided by the site. The Review Room is a critiquing workshop. You join it to improve your critiquing skills, and as a benefit of participating, you get to put up your own work for dissection and evisceration.

    Invariably, your writing improves more as a result of giving insightful critiques than from getting them.

    Keeping the critiquing process in the open means everyone involved learns from the process, and can benefit from the synergy of the group dynamic.
     
  12. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    So if I get dissected and eviscerated will I be emasculated as well? Tongue firmly in cheek on that one by the way. I'll move on to the review room and see how I fare there. [That's a poetry submission]
     
  13. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    from page 77 of the 2008 Writer's Market "For all practical and legal purposes, your work is protected by copyright once you put it on paper [or save it electronically] . While registering your copyright will add an extra level of protection for writing against possible manuscript thieves, it is not necessary and can often label you as an amateur. Most cases of plagiarism occur after a work has been published and is under the protection of copyright".
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Poor Man's Copyright is mailing a copy to yourself by Registered Mail (or other forms of tracked shipping). It has no legal standing, and this is even mentioned on the US Government copyright website (www.copyright.gov).
     
  15. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    I suppose I understand what you are saying there but what about the caution that it makes one appear "amateur" ? Does that seem like a valid point?
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all they're referring to there is registering your copyright with the loc and putting the copyright notice on your work... and they're right... pros don't do that...

    all that registration does is allow you to recover court costs and possibly be awarded damages if you have to sue... but you don't have to register your work before it's published to get that extra benefit under the copyright law...

    all who want to be writers should first study up on the law here: www.copyright.gov
     
  17. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    Ahh, things are clearer now. I can get back to being the stumbling buffoon I was meant to be, typing with two fingers and whatnot.
    Seriously, thank you all for clearing that up. I sure its way to early for me to worry about copyrights on my trash but I can see where we should all learn about the process for that one happy day way down the road.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then you're one smart cookie, no buffoon!

    hugs, m
     
  19. Rod Patrick
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    Rod Patrick Member

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    then you're one smart cookie, no buffoon!

    My browser says my cookies are disabled! [LOL]
     
  20. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Hi and welcome.
     

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