1. android415
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    android415 New Member

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    The dangers of posting your story online?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by android415, Jun 18, 2010.

    I'm not sure if a post has been made here or not about online writing devices, such as Authonomy and Inkpop, so sorry if I'm re-posting something here.

    If you aren't aware of it, they are virtual online slush piles by HarperCollins. They encourage you to upload full novels to their database, implying that if they see your stuff, they might just want to publish you.

    What do you guys think about this sort of stuff? Good idea? Bad idea?

    I was always a bit weary of posting online, because I was/am afraid that someone will just come along and "take" my idea. I ended up posting a couple of chapters on the site, about 3,500 words.

    I took it down 3 days later after reading a blog article about how posting online greatly diminishes a story's value.

    What do you guys think?:eek:
     
  2. writingchick8
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    writingchick8 Member

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    It diminishes the value of the story because if you post the whole thing it's considered already published in a way, and then no publisher will want to actually publish it for you because who would buy the book when they can just read it online, you know?

    lol that was one sentence! GO RUN ONS! :D
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This smells as fishy as a week old carp on the river bank.
     
  4. android415
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    android415 New Member

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    Well, if that isn't a trap, HarperCollins, I don't know what is.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't worry about your idea being stolen. Ideas don't make the story. The writing makes the story.

    But see the caution in the welcome post I put in every new member's New Member Introductions thread. (Oh, I see you haven't posted there yet).
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only post things online I don't plan to try and publish. Once I post it online I forget about any actual ownership of the piece of writing. It doesn't bother me much that someone will claim the story as their own. It doesn't bother me that someone might try and change a few things and claim it as their own. While the story is 'gone' I can always use the ideas and concepts in a better way.

    The short stories I do not post online are ones I guard jealously. I almost never even talk about the idea and concept with anyone. Yes I am aware that ideas are a dime a dozen and that its the writing itself that either makes or breaks it.
     
  7. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    I've just had a quick look on the HarperCollins website, although I can't find there submission guidelines, I did see that they do have some well known authors. I doubt you could be published through them unless you had an agent.

    They do have an e-mail address so you should pop them a quick e-mail for full details of the submission guidelines.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unit7: Whether or not you post it online, if you wrote it, you own it.

    There really aren't many people who are out to steal your online writing, but you should still protect your writing. If you find someone has stolen your writing and claimed it as their own, go after them. Demand it be taken down, and if it's on a third party's site, let them know as well.

    Plagiarists are losers, and they are parasites.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd like to see a link to the place where h/c is supposedly encouraging folks to upload their mss...
     
  10. android415
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    android415 New Member

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    Mammamia-

    It's on the website. When you sign up, you can create a "project". If you indicate that your "project" will be a novel, you cannot make your work public unless you have 10,000 words.

    I chose short story, at the time, because I didn't want to have that much of my work out there.
     
  11. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    The US website of HarperCollins has a FAQ page which you should read. It gives details on how to submit your work and as I thought they do not accept manuscripts unless you have an agent.

    I think what you're referring to is the Authonomy bit of the site. It seems legitimate. It also has a FAQ page which says that it costs nothing to upload, but it also means that people can read your book for free. I would recommend the traditional approach first, submitting it to a publisher before trying to upload it online.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This article by Kate Eltham, Is Authonomy Authentic, on a website called Electric Alphabet talks about one author's experiences with Authonomy.

    It is one article, and certainly should not be taken as authoritative, but it seems like a well-balanced examination of the issues.

    Author Alexander McNabb's manuscrip made it into the top 5, and though he did get a reading, he felt it was superficial. He was offered free PrintPublish On Demand (POD) publishing, with the first ten copies free. That is merely vanity publishing.

    Kate correctly points out that all the Authonomy website is promising is that the top five manuscripts will be read. That really is no better than a traditional slush pile.

    However, if the full manuscript is visible online as part of the proicess, it ruins your chances to submit to other publishers. To me, that is a deal breaker.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    doesn't sound like anything a serious writer should want to risk... hc's uk division has caused a severe drop in my respect for the company by taking this path...
     

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