1. Evelyn

    Evelyn New Member

    Apr 1, 2007
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    First Publishing Rights?

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by Evelyn, Apr 10, 2007.

    (Not sure if this is the right place for this, but...)

    I'm fairly new to this site, and I'd like to post some of my work for workshop and critique. However, I'd also like to preserve the option of submitting the same stories to publications and contests that accept only previously unpublished work.

    Does posting something on this site constitute publishing it on the internet?

    And if it does, is there any way around that?


    - Evelyn
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA

    Your question touches upon a somewhat gray area. In my opinion, posting a story on an open forum (not a restricted forum with very limited access...ie an online crit group with specific members who are the only ones who can access/see posts), one uses up first electronic rights.

    Posting small sections/a chapter or two of a novel in an open forum would not use up rights, I believe. A small section of a short story (say 250 words of a 5000 word short story) in the eyes of most publishers that I've had contact with, will not.

    If the posted story is revised extensively, such that it is, in essence, not the same story, then the rights have not been used.

    How tightly publishers monitor this or hold to this varies.

    If a writer posts in an open forum (or blog), and then reads the ezine's or magazine's guidelines and the periodical desires first (serial) electronic rights/stories that have not appeared anywhere before (as opposed to reprints), the writer has to decide if they want to lie, or try to stretch the truth as they see it (or at least as I see and interpret it).

    Here are a few articles:

    This one discusses print and electronic serial rights and what they are: http://www.beaconlit.com/Eandprintrights.pdf

    This one discusses more what rights are and in reference to posting on the web: http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/rights.html

    This article distinguishes between different rights and also electronic rights and internet or online rights: http://www.writing-world.com/rights/rights.shtml

    These should give you an idea of what the rights are.

    Some writers believe that posting in a forum is not using up rights...the posts can be deleted, it's not a searchable forum, etc., or they believe that posting for crits doesn't count.

    Each writer has to make up their own mind on the issue and live with the consequences.

  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    yes... if it's in a place where anyone can read it...

    some claim that posting it in a 'members only' section will not affect rights... but i haven't heard that said by any major publishers...

    to be on the safe side, my opinion is that you should never post a complete piece of work... all you need post is an excerpt, if you want feedback on the quality of your writing... and if you want the whole piece read for critique, i'd suggest picking one or two clearly professional/knowledgeable people and sending it to them privately...

    others may have differing opinions on this, but i've been mentoring/helping new writers all over the world for many years, and that's my best advice on the subject... if i were a new writer, i'd rather be sure, than sorry...
    love and hugs, maia

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