1. GuitarSolo
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    GuitarSolo Member

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    Publishing Online stories.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by GuitarSolo, Sep 11, 2008.

    Now, I've seen this around and have always been curious about it.

    There will be a story that has been posted on the internet. Then the author will say something like "Someday I will try to get this published". Now, mostly those stories don't gt finished. I'm not saying that there's not one that has, I've just never seen one.

    So here's my question. If someone posts a story on the internet, and then sends in the story to get published, what kind of legal liabilities is that person under if the publishing company actually wanted to publish it?

    Lets sa Bob has finished a story on a site like...DeviantArt. He's posted the story, people have read and reviewed it. Just for kicks he sends it in to see if it can get published.

    Bob is very surprised when he recieves a letter saying that his story is amazing and will be published immediatly.

    Bob would have to do something along the lines of taking the story of DeviantArt right? But then who knows how many people have downloades it or save it to thier computer. Would the company take that into considerate note and do something?

    That's always something that's bugged me. Any answeres?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I believe it's ok to get it published if you post it on your blog or private website. I'm not sure about the second part though. My guess is you would have to take it down after it gets published. In order to avoid this, I would simply send it in to a publisher first, and then if it gets rejected, I would post it on a blog or private site.
     
  3. GuitarSolo
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    GuitarSolo Member

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    Yeah. Makes sense.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's been posted on a blog or in an open forum or on a website, then the story is considered to have been published.

    Some ezines and magazines will take stories like this, but they would be considered reprints, as publishing to a blog, for example, would use up first electronic rights. A writer should note it would be a reprint when they submit it.

    This topic has been covered in detail in previous threads, but I think that covers the main concern of the question posed here.

    Terry
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I stand corrected.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    terry's right... once posted, it's not likely to have anychance to be bought... why would anyone pay to print something to sell to book/mag-buyers, when it can be read for free, on the net?
     
  7. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    People like Scott Lynch and Cory Doctorow (he's being published now by the new Harper imprint Angry Robot, but he's been publsihed before too) have been published because of the large followings/fan groups they built up by posting on the web. Scott Lynch continues to post bits and pieces of his up and coming novels (The seven book 'gentlemen bastard sequence') and so far his publisher hasn't had a problem. Same with that thriller writer (whose name escapes me) who released his novel to people as podcasts, built up a fanbase self publsihed then asked his fans to buy the book. They bought it, made a spike in Neilson Bookscan and got the guy a publishing contract.

    Basically, Publishers will by material that's been released on the net because they don't have to do so much work to publicise it, as the author is already busting a gut and has built up a fan base.

    Plus publishers are old school, they're only just embracing ebooks and that's a little touch and go as it is. The net is an unknown to them, scares em a little I reckon. ;) :p
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    edi...
    i would never recommend to new writers that they emulate the rare exceptions, if they want to maximize their chances to be published for pay... and what you've mentioned are rare exceptions...
     
  9. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    I'm with mama on this one - that is the very rare exception. You give up first publishing rights when you post your work online.
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if it's a 200 page book and you've only posted about five or six pages?
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not a problem, especially if posted for review. It's going to be revised anyway.

    Posting a very small section of a large work (such as a novel) won't cause any grief with respect to first rights availability.

    There are examples of where an author has posted a novel on a blog and it got picked up... (such as John Scalzi's Old Man's War picked up by Tor), but that is quite rare...more rare than even the old fashioned find and agent or submit yourself route.

    In the end, each writer has to decide what path will work best for them, as there is not a 'magic formula' or 'single only-this-way-works path' to writing novel and getting it accepted for publication. Even so, some methods tend to offer more promise than others.

    Terry
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's good to hear. I was pretty concerned. The book I
    'm talking about is being looked at by a publisher this minute.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    some questions my motherly virgo nature can't help asking:

    have you carefully vetted that publisher to make sure it's a legit one? [what's the name?... i may know of them]...

    did you contact them, or did they contact you?... fyi, if the latter, it's almost a given that they're some sort of scam...

    did you check to see if they were listed on p&e?

    check out their website?

    google for feedback on them from previous clients or submitters?

    if all is kosher, congrats on the contact and good luck with it all...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  14. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    I never said you should either. I was just responding to the claim that publishers wouldn't pick up a manuscript because it's on the internet, they will. If you choose to put it online it doesn't mean that automatically a publisher will never look at your work. Equally doesn't mean they'll instantly snap it up. I'd never do it. I don't like releasing work because I have no control over it and so I choose not to. And I'd suggest that new writers avoid putting whole pieces of work online. :)

    But that doesn't mean a publsiher wouldn't pick up a manuscript if you published a bit online, and the few rare cases examples are nice for people that want to try something different and push the internet to see what will happen (have a look at the Twiller on Twitter for an example) and I don't think they should neccessarily be discouraged. :)
     

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