Blogs and First Publication Rights

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joshuef
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Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by joshuef » June 6th, 2011, 1:32 pm

Hey, sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it on the forums.

Basically, I've been posting bits of writing on a blog for a bit. It's not huge by any means (at most 3,500 readers/month), and my question is this:

Would I ever be able to include these in a published work, pitching to an agent/real world publisher. Or does my having put it online mean that first publication rights are gone and no-one will want it?

I like putting it online, getting a modicum of feedback, and also it's just nice to have it out there... kind of makes me write more. But if down the line I want to do something with it, or anything else I write (get it in a book or enter it in to a competition...) Am I shooting myself in the foot by putting it online?

It's only a small blog, but it's still there...

All thoughts/experiences appreciated!

j

Collectonian
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by Collectonian » June 6th, 2011, 1:56 pm

Are you posting entire works, or small excerpts? Is a log in required to see the posts, or is it open to anyone and Google?

joshuef
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by joshuef » June 6th, 2011, 5:28 pm

Entire things, no login required. It;s a tumblr, totally available for google and the world at large...

Collectonian
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by Collectonian » June 6th, 2011, 6:17 pm

Unfortunately, then yes, most publishers would steer clear of those works. They are considered to be "self-published" for all intensive purposes. You could try taking them down, but alas what happens on the Internet tends to stay there ad nauseum, so I'd recommend focusing on new works, and do not put the new works in any sort of public forum, especially not in their entirety. Posting some in password protected forums, like the one here or in some other writing sites, for gaining critique is okay, but the key thing is it must be a non-public forum.

joshuef
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by joshuef » June 6th, 2011, 6:28 pm

Bums, yeh that's kind of exactly what I was worried about. Hmmm. It's already google cached so it's definitely up there... crap.

Assuming it's a short story and I put my first draft and I edit it, reworked it a bit (probably not loads), would that make any difference do you think?

It's such a shame, having a blog that people read was helping me: good feedback was always nice and trying to do something every day was a good push to write too.

I can and do still write things, but the idea of getting it published is such a daydream compared to the near immediate publication of chucking it on the internet; it is sad they seem to be mutually exclusive.

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maybegenius
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by maybegenius » June 7th, 2011, 1:44 am

joshuef wrote:Assuming it's a short story and I put my first draft and I edit it, reworked it a bit (probably not loads), would that make any difference do you think?
Unfortunately, probably not. Unless it's been rewritten so much that it resembles an entirely new piece, most publishers will probably steer clear. A lot of times when submitting to literary magazines or publishers, you'll see something in their guidelines to the effect of "no previously published work." That includes Internet publishing (blogs). Also, if you're ever in the market for an agent, many agents won't want to represent work that's been posted or heavily excerpted online. They want the work to be "fresh."

But, as Collectonian mentioned, there are many writing sites (including this one) where you can post for critique advice. I'd recommend doing that, or even trying to find a local critique group. Personally, I publish flash fiction on my blog sometimes, but they're always pieces that I don't plan on having professionally published. Basically, my "fun and experimental" stuff.
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Margo
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by Margo » June 7th, 2011, 3:00 pm

maybegenius wrote:
joshuef wrote:Assuming it's a short story and I put my first draft and I edit it, reworked it a bit (probably not loads), would that make any difference do you think?
Unfortunately, probably not. Unless it's been rewritten so much that it resembles an entirely new piece, most publishers will probably steer clear. A lot of times when submitting to literary magazines or publishers, you'll see something in their guidelines to the effect of "no previously published work."

If I recall correctly, this is the reason Nathan added a section in the feedback forum that is password protected. That seems to be the line in the sand for whether or not a work posted online is considered published, so many online critique sites require a password to actually get to the stories.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

joshuef
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by joshuef » June 7th, 2011, 3:36 pm

Well thanks everyone for the replies. Seems pretty clear cut then I guess!

On to this password protected forum then :)

thanks!

josh

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Mira
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Re: Blogs and First Publication Rights

Post by Mira » June 7th, 2011, 8:12 pm

Of course, just to throw this in, if you e-publish, then you really don't have to worry about rights, because you own it. :D

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