1. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    Do I lose First Publishing Rights if I Post Stuff Here?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by sashas, May 24, 2007.

    Do I lose my first publishing rights if I post my stories here?
    I mean, if I put up one of my stories on this website, will it be considered 'published'?
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually some publishers do class any work posted on forums like this published sadly enough.
    But it is not the case with all publishers.

    (well as far as I know that is the case anyways)

    ~Torana
     
  3. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    Hell if I know, just post short stuff here, nothing that you would want to publish. Just work on your skillz, if you will.
     
  4. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I only post my practice stories anywhere on the net. If I even think of publishing it, it stays with me. At the most I would e-mail it to select people to proof read, and critique.
    But if your writing a novel, posting small pieces of it, shouldn't be a serious problem. Just remember to keep them short.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    short answer is 'YES!'...

    however, it's considered 'published' only insofar as the 'first rights' to it are concerned [not as in making you a 'published author']... and, since that's all most publishers will buy, you do lose the ability to sell the posted piece to any but reprint venues...

    some think that posting it in a locked 'members-only' section will get around that, but anyone can be a member, so not all publishers agree... thus, i would caution you to be on the safe side and never post an entire piece you hope to sell some day...
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd like to clarify a bit on this. Some forums have members only, but generally if the forum is one where one only has to be a member of the forum in good standing and request access, yep to what Mammamaia indicated above.

    However, there are other forums that have crit groups, that are 3-7 members only, and use a forum sectioned off and accessible/viewable only to them (and the admin if one of the member isn't the admin). Those would not be included since they are truely restricted access.

    Terry
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    but, to be on the safest side, it's still not a good idea to post the entire piece you want to submit, since anyone can copy it off and pass it around... or post it on an accessible site...
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess that depends on the group you belong to. If your crit group is made up of people who you feel cannot be trusted, then yes, by all means, never post an entire story. Probably should not belong to the group in the first place.

    Finding a stable and effective crit group, whether local or online, is not an easy thing. Even further, one could argue, how well do you really know someone if you only know them via online?

    The crit group I belong to formed about 4 years ago. We "knew" each other from online venues. Over the years a few have left and a few more have joined, but we're pretty careful in screening and trial periods. Often new members are through personal invitation...sometimes known in person.

    It is true that any one of the members could copy and paste posted works somewere inappropriate, pass it around, or even submit a copied work under their own name. With that, one has to weigh the risks I guess. Our group has writers at various stages, from not yet published, to some decent credits and has a major NY agent representing his latest novel. We're a pretty tight-knit and focused group.

    It is difficult to get a good critique from a crit partner or crit group if one only posts 1/2 of a short story.

    Again, being cautious is a wise course of action.

    If a crit group seems in order for folks reading this string, this article I wrote a short time back may be useful as a place to start: Five Considerations Before Joining a Crit Group

    Terry
     
  9. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    We claim no rights to your stories. Some publishers would consider this the loss of rights, however. IF this is the case, simply contact us and we will remove your writing, simple as that.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then what you're indicating, Lpspider, is that if a publisher would consider having posted on this forum or somewhere else online, that simply deleting the piece would return it to "first electronic rights available" again?

    Terry
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that would depend on the publisher... some may consider a piece once shown on any web venue for any length of time to have lost the 'first rights' that they wanted... some may not...
     
  12. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Technically, perhaps not. I really don't know. But what a publisher doesn't know doesn't hurt them. :p
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    .
    and if they ask you if your work was posted on the net?
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Lie? Who needs morallity :p
     
  15. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    But couldn't it hurt the writer?

    With the publishers I've worked with/sold fiction to for publication in their magazine/ezine, I've signed a contract where the editor states specifically that the magazine is purchasing first print and/or electronic rights.

    Now, it may be very true that the odds of an editor searching the internet to see if a piece is online somewhere, or checking cached files to see if it was, or generally reading post is writing forums are very much weighted against such happening (most editors are way too busy).

    But, consider this scenerio: some jealous, disgruntled, honestly questioning writer (so many could apply, We'll call him WriterA) visits forums and reads and comments.

    Then WriterA come across a published piece published by WriterB (or WriterB announces at a forum of his success at whatever the market may be), who posted the story originally on a forum. Maybe WriterA, who just recently had their piece rejected by the same market (the content of the rejection indicating that competition for space in the magazine is very tight...etc). WriterA contacts the editor, for whatever reason, siting that, "I thought the magazine only purchased first rights"...etc.

    Where it goes from there, who knows? But the consequences for the WriterB certainly would have a more difficult hurdle getting published at the magazine again...may end up returing the payment for breach of contract, or pretty much have his name travel a bit between editors (editors in some genres are on first name basis and talk often enough, even if only at conferences).

    It is too bad that there currently isn't a clear cut "Yes" or "No" by all markets, that being posted on forums/blogs/personal websites constitutes first electronic rights being used.

    But a writer should at least be aware of the potential consequences if they do put their work "out there" for whatever reason--weighing both the benefits and consequences.

    Terry
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    absolutely!... publishers and agents do talk to each other... and if you get caught in a lie with one, don't think for a moment you can't end up on an unofficial blacklist that can haunt you for the rest of your writing career [if you ever have one]...
     
  17. Targaddon
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    Targaddon Banned

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    Now here I find myself inclined to agree with mamamaia.
     

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