1. PaulGresham
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    PaulGresham Member

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    Publishing extracts from a novel on a blog

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by PaulGresham, Sep 21, 2013.

    Is it a good idea to publish extracts from a novel on a blog, with a view to hopefully attracting the attention of literary agents and publishers?
    A couple of thoughts, both negative I'm afraid.
    Literary agents and publishers are reportedly inundated with unpublished novels, so it's unlikely that they will search the Web for extracts from unpublished novels.
    The blog would have to be highly ranked in the search engine rankings for them to find it.
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are planning to sell a book to a publisher, as soon as you publish it on the blog, you've blown first-publishing rights. Basically, everything you put on a blog, you need to be happy for it to never be traditionally published. If it gains a big enough following to actually attract a publisher, and you end up with an offer, that'll be a bonus. But it's very rare and I wouldn't rely on it.

    I had just such luck. I wrote my novella on the blog for practice, and after it became very popular I got a publishing offer (in a non-English speaking country). I didn't take it, though, because the writing wasn't really something I wanted to be my debut (it wasn't good enough but the theme and plot were interesting) and it was impractical since the publisher was so far away. But it was a huge ego-boost that gave me extra motivation to one day became a published author.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    posting a brief excerpt of a novel will not harm its chances of interesting a paying publisher... but posting significant amounts or the entire story/book/poem/whatever certainly can...

    you're right about the negatives, paul...
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It would be good for promotional purposes if you're self-pubbing, to create anticipation and as a foretaste of your book.

    But if you're hoping to publish it via the trad route, then I'm not sure what advantage you could have by doing this now.

    However, I believe many authors do this instead - they write a short story or a prequel to their novel and publish THAT for free (self-pub, that is) to garner interest etc. This way, you'd get some sales and interest without ever blowing your chances with your novel. Of course, though, if your self-pubbed prequel doesn't garner any interest or was written poorly, subsequent agents who might be considering your actual novel might find this older prequel and decide not to take you based on that.
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are right that lit agents and publishers aren't scouring the web to find the next big novel. They are inundated as it is, plus they're trying to read what's already out there, especially what's new, so they can keep on top of the marketplace. And if they have any free time after that, they might try to get in a book or two they want to read for their own pleasure.
     
  6. PaulGresham
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    PaulGresham Member

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    Thanks for responding everyone, I like the idea of self pubbing a free short story or prequel to possibly attract some interest.
    I suppose you can do this on Amazon and on other self publishing websites, I'm pretty sure that I've seen free Kindle downloads that don't consist of many pages.
    Now that I think about it, it's probably more effective than publishing extracts on a blog.
    So why isn't everyone doing it, I wonder.
    Anyway, it's given me an idea, thanks.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's always the danger of:
    "Oh, you published a short story with these characters on kindle? How did it do?"
    "Ten people downloaded it."
    "Oh."
     
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  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol. Yeah, Liz speaks truth - like I said before, if you end up with a poor piece of work out on Amazon, it could hinder rather than help. And that probably explains why fewer people do it - writing that novel and then researching for agents, polishing up that query letter, that's all probably enough work for most people. To have to write a second piece edited to a publishable standard for promotional purposes is a lot of extra work. And I'm also not sure if all novelists write short stories, enjoy shorts, or are even good at shorts, which means it might end up being harder than the novel to write for that individual.

    Bottom line, I think it's just the fact that it's extra work, and it's not like you can just threw anything out there either, as Liz nicely illustrated, cus otherwise you get 10 downloads and they're all your relatives lol :D You'd have to promote it like you would for your actual novel too.
     

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