1. Scribblin
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    Scribblin New Member

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    Published on the web equals published?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Scribblin, Dec 4, 2011.

    I remember seeing a post a while back regarding publishing stories, essays poems on a blog. These items are now regarded as 'published' as I understood the thread to mean, so one cannot approach an agent, second party with this work saying that it has never been published before. Can anyone refer me back to that thread or verify this perhaps?

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  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't have the link, but I know many magazines and contests state in their guidelines that if it's appeared online anywhere other than a closed crit forum (ie, password protected), they consider it already published and aren't interested.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    I don't recall the prior thread either, but yes, if you make it available on the web then it is "published." You can't sell first publication rights at that point, which is what many publishers want. You could try to sell the first right to "print" the work, but the truth is if you have a publisher who wants first rights, publishing online is going to preclude that. My advice is not to publish anything online that you wish to try to sell later (including in the critique forums here).
     
  4. icenine
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    icenine New Member

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    I'm not sure how it works with writing, but in the song writing world if you've posted on-line, publishers are generally not going to be interested in taking on your song, as it has already been publicly presented.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It's exactly the same.

    And to the OP, this thread isn't specifically about posting work on a blog, but I think it covers the same concepts.
     
  6. OutlawedAngel
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    OutlawedAngel New Member

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    See altough i disagree on this to some extent, for example surely it would be okay to post early drafts..... for instance if i write a short story of 1,400 words which as i edit and improve becomes an 8,000 word short story, then would the 8,000 word one still be consdiered already published due to the earlier draft of 1,400 words? As i post stuff on facebook, which can only be viewed by my contacts, no friends of friends etc... just my actual contacts does this mean due to this action i have damaged myself from ever getting these works published? Altough i would just like to add that there is a safety mechanism to FB that is it dates and timestamps your notes, which is hard evidence if you ever find someone has plagerised your stuff.

    OutlawedAngel.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    I would not post drafts on publicly available blogs or other sites. a limited, private sharing among friends should be fine.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe drafts 'count' because they are just drafts - they could go through innumerable changes before submission. And if the site published on is 'closed' to the public - ie, password protected, only available to members (especially of a crit group) - then most publishers I've looked at do not count that as published either.

    The general idea seems to be that if you've put it out there for the world to see, it's published. They don't want it. If you've used the 'net as a means of working with private betas/critique groups on your WIP, they don't care.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    Well, let me narrow my comment. "I" do not want to see works where drafts have been posted on publicly-accessible sites unless they are marked as reprints, or if the draft was substantially different the author at least mentions it with the submission (which makes me more likely to reject then, frankly). I think there are others with the same view. Obviously, a 100 word draft of a 20,000 word novella wouldn't be much of a problem, but by and large if I'm going to give space to something I'd rather it had not been available "publicly" in any form. If the author identifies that it has been posted publicly, I'll still look at it, but many will not.

    There are probably others who don't have a problem with it, but my question is this: what is the benefit of posting a draft on your free, publicly-available blog? If there isn't one, why risk the work? To me, it is more like the kid coming home with the picture from school and wanting it on the refrigerator. It is just the author's desire for instant gratification and positive commentary, and on some level the operation of the writer's ego. Apart from those things, there doesn't seem to be much reason to post a draft publicly.
     
  10. erik martin
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    erik martin New Member

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    Another exception is that short excerpts are generally okay.
     
  11. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Point taken. I guess I was thinking more of short pieces of a work; more than likely I had the private crit groups in the back of my mind as well.
     
  12. naturemage
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    naturemage Member

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    Personally, if I may, as far as first-publication goes. I have no experience with publishing whatsoever, but I would like to bring up a view that publishers could possibly see. It involves copyrights. If you post your story online somewhere, I see no wrong in the publisher thinking that you have taken it off of the internet (even if it really is your story). Few sites offer actual copyright protection for stories (aka, anyone can grab it, type it up, send it to an agent, and boom, it belongs to them. Sure, you can get into court, do all the timestamps and stuff like that, but at that point, you've already lost...) I know that a site I go on, fictionpress.com, offers this copyright protection. If you post a story on their site, it is yours, and no one else can use it. However, again, still court and whatnot to go through in order to protect your work.
    In that matter of your question, I would just say to be safe and not put stuff online. I put stories on fictionpress, but nothing I really would want to publish.
    As far as the critiquing, I agree with SteerPike. Posting little bits of your story for assistance can't hurt too much. It's not as though you are giving away the plot (and if you are, you posted too much).
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the problem is that once you post a work online it can be read for free, so why would any paying publisher want to spend good money for something they want to make readers pay to read, when it's available for free?
     
  14. Cade Johnson
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    Cade Johnson New Member

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    Yes most publishers consider even a post on facebook to be published. I "publish" peoples' work on my website (in my sig), and often suggest people choose alternate titles in case they want to pursue publishers with the work at a later date. I take things down upon request, but I suppose it is possible to catch this (though not likely). It may be looked down on, but many people do this- as far as I've researched anyway.
     
  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, changing the title really isn't going to change the fact it was published. Nor does just taking it down after the fact. I doubt publishers/agents go searching for them every time they decide to sign someone (although nowadays, who knows?), but if they do, it could be bad for the author who hasn't owned up to it from the gitgo.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    Depends on whether you want to be an honest person or not. Being dishonesty has a tendency to catch up with people.
     
  18. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. I've found out the hard way that it's much better to be honest from the start (and take those knocks) than waiting to be found out (and take the knockout).
     
  19. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Senior Member Contributor

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    If you post up an early draft, say 5,000 words, and the final version is 8,000 words or greater you will probably be okay. If you post a 5,000 word draft and the final version is 5,500 words long the editor may not be too happy. Your best bet is to do two things:
    1) Only post excerpts, never the full work. You only needed help with that one scene anyway right? Just add a footnote to bring your editor/critics up to speed.
    2) Full discloser with all editors/publications. If you posted a 2,000 word excerpt on your blog tell them. If you put an early draft up, but have made some massive changes since, still tell them. The publisher will appreciate your honesty and it keeps both of you from wasting your time. You don't want to get a reputation for dishonesty; the publishing world grows smaller every day.
     
  20. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read slush/edit for a small ezine. Occasionally I will google search a title or phrase from a story. Not often, but I do surf sometimes and if it seems like something I might have come across or vaguely remember...Only once did I come across a writer who'd posted a story on a blog. While we do take reprints, he did not list it as such, and our guidelines clearly state what we consider as being 'published.'
     
  21. Cade Johnson
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    Cade Johnson New Member

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    I should have said: I agree that if something is published online and then submitted later, I recommend it always be disclosed. However, I will change titles if people request it. That is their business, I just like bringing literature to people's attention.
     

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