1. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Trying to publish the stories already posted in web

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Want2Write, May 31, 2011.

    Hi,

    I have been writing short/serial stories in a website. I have decent number of viewers (for a beginner). I am thinking of publishing those (after lots of editing and review). As they have already been out in internet, I was thinking whether I would be allowed to publish? If I request the website moderator to delete those from the website, can I go ahead and look for publishing options? Please provide your suggestions.

    Thanks,
    W2W
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Your book is already publshed from the moment you post it on the internet (I think), rather you are doing this for free or not. I don't think a publisher would want to sell your book if the book is already posted online. Therefore, posting your work online before having a publisher to sell will deminish your chances of earning profits from it, regardless of the quality of the work. Having a moderator to delete it may not still work, because it can be recovered at any time, stolen, or even published by the moderator, if your book is not copyrighted already.

    I'm not really an expert of this, but that's what I think.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you meant 'submit them for publication' and not really 'publish' them, which would mean you'd be the publisher, then i doubt any magazine or literary journal would be interested...

    since they're out there to be read for free, why would they pay you for them, expecting folks to pay to read them?...

    and merely deleting them from the website won't delete them from google's archives, where they'll remain in existence as long as there's an internet...

    venues that take reprints are few and far between...

    better write some new stories and keep them off freebie sites, if you want to sell them...
    writings, photos, songs, etc. are copyrighted from the moment they're completed and exist in any tangible form... and being copyrighted does not protect anything from being stolen, or used without your permission, it only allows you to sue the perp, if that happens...

    better familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of copyrights:
    www.copyright.gov
     
  4. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Hi Reggie & Mammamia,

    That answers my query with logical explanation. Thank you very much. I will better forget about publishing those and sit writing new ones... :)

    W2W
     
  5. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Yeah, you can sue, but you can't collect the damages or receive money from it if it isn't registered (I think).
     
  6. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    All that's used is first publication rights. Often, these days, there's a separate designation of first online rights, and first print rights may still be sound. Even still, depending on the publisher, your stories aren't out of their sights until a certain number of people have read them. If you can prove your stories online have only been accessed in the site stats by a limited number of people, a publisher may still want it.

    The reasoning isn't strictly true that a publisher won't want to publish a story because it can be found for 'free' online. It's often different markets. If you published every story in a collection in various journals, there may still be a market for a book-length collection, for instance, as it's a different market and the fact the stories have already been put out there for anyone to read, doesn't mean there still isn't a readership and market.

    Also keep in mind there are self-published works that aren't 'ruined' in the eyes of traditional, print publishers because they found moderate success, but instead that's actually a selling point that leads to many of the self-published to traditional-published success stories.

    Now, I'm not saying it's a good idea to plaster the internet with your work, just that it's not nearly as cut and dry as the idea that once it's available online that story is forever a dead or lame duck. It's not that simple. Some print journals will still publish under first print rights, even if first e-rights have essentially been used (assuming their subscribers aren't searching google to read stories in the journal instead of just reading the journal they're subscribed to). Some publishers will consider the stories published, but consider reprints.

    Much of this is for short, journal-oriented fiction. The ballgame changes with novels. If you still own your rights (some websites rope writers into giving up rights to their own work when they published, sadly), a publisher can indeed publish the work, and often will if they think it will make money, whether first rights have been blown or not.

    So, your options for submitting those stories to journals is limited, but publishing the stories as a collection or making them into a novel isn't at all out of the question. And novels are what sell, so if you can, even if it's a 'novel in stories' I'd probably just revise the work into more of a novel form, and then pitch it like that to agents. Not only does the revising make it 'new' material, most likely, but there shouldn't be a problem publishing it anyhow as long as you retained the rights to the work.


    Regarding suing: a work doesn't have to be registered beforehand to sue, though, as far as I understand. Meaning, you're just some nobody writer, someone steals your work, makes it famous, you sue, and part of the process of suing you register the work. It's a technicality, at best, though one that costs a bit of money, of course.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    anyone wanting to be a writer should bone up on the basics of copyright protection...

    it's easy enough to do here: www.copyright.gov

    excerpts below are from the site's FAQ section:

    mods:
    is this worthy of being made a sticky?
     
  8. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Thats a very detailed information by everyone. I have no idea that there are so much things I had to know before publishing. Thanks again everyone!
     
  9. Vance
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    Vance Member

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    This isn't exactly true. If it's hosted somewhere you posted yourself, you can remove it without much trouble via webmastering tools. And even if it isn't, so long as you delete it, it should be gone within 6-12 months depending on the website's traffic. Google cache doesn't stay forever.

    If you take the correct steps, it isn't impossible to remove it. But I'd imagine you would still be "cheating" so to speak if trying to offer first publishing rights after deleting it from google cache, and most likely illegal.
     
  10. Sage Dufraine
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    Sage Dufraine Member

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    I understand why a publisher would not want to pay you for a story you have already posted on the internet for free, but what about if you've only posted part of it? Say you write a novel and you post the first chapter, or the first page, or even bits and pieces throughout, to get feedback from peers (Like we do on here). Think that would matter if the majority of your book is still private?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sage, that's exactly why you're told on sites like this to only post brief excerpts!
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You have no control over rogue archive bots and the like. Anyone could decide to grab a copy and hold onto it indefinitely.

    You cannot count on being able to remove every trace of your work. Posting is, in a practical sense, not reversible. You can't unring the bell, though the echoes grow ever fainter with time.
     
  13. Vance
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    I don't believe I said otherwise. I just stated that it is indeed possible to remove your work from google cache.

    That does remind me though, what would happen to someone who submits a work to a magazine as "never published before" and is found out to have done so?
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    They'd be in for a word of ****. Probably they'd end up blacklisted, and would have intense difficulty getting the time of day from any editor or publisher. The writing world is incredibly well networked.
     

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