Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

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Guardian
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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Guardian » December 20th, 2010, 1:18 pm

steve wrote:And no one is stealing your idea. If you think you can write, it's a good idea to let people see your writing. Get used to it.
That's also a valid point.

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Watcher55
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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Watcher55 » December 20th, 2010, 1:31 pm

The only things that keep me from posting longer excerpts is that I only have the one work and I'm still a little cautious about revealing too much and there are still a whole bunch of knots I have to whittle down.

If you write something and call it yours you have a de facto copyright. You can't sue for the same damages but you can stop it and expose a cheater at the same time.

I don't think you can steal "ideas" - the same idea in a different head isn't the same idea anymore.

In my many month (I said month) of posting excerpts I've learned who knows how much more than I would have in a vacuum.

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Margo » December 20th, 2010, 2:07 pm

steve wrote:That post was full of paranoid nonsense.

And no one is stealing your idea.
Did you read the same post I did? She talked about the fact that agents/editors don't generally read people's writing online, and she talked about the possible issues with the writing being considered 'published' possibly causing problems if the writer wanted to sell the piece later. That's mostly a short story consideration.

Where in the post is the idea-stealing paranoia?

Or are you referring to the previous discussion here regarding the specific issue within a particular genre? Do you know what genre/s we're talking about? I thought you hated genre books, so I'm surprised you've looked into the issue.
Watcher55 wrote:I don't think you can steal "ideas" - the same idea in a different head isn't the same idea anymore.

Replace the word 'idea' with 'hook', and consider the genres that rely heavily on hook. That's pretty much where the earlier discussion was coming from.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Down the well
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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Down the well » December 20th, 2010, 2:56 pm

steve wrote:Take the tinfoil hat off and publish a chapter or two.
Ha! I rather like my tinfoil hat. It brings out the steel in my eyes.

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Margo » December 20th, 2010, 3:04 pm

Down the well wrote:Ha! I rather like my tinfoil hat. It brings out the steel in my eyes.
:) And a lovely shade it is. I would have said "the steel gray of my 10mm SMG", but I fully admit I've been playing too much Fallout 3.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Watcher55
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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Watcher55 » December 20th, 2010, 3:20 pm

I don't think the article changed my mind. All good things in moderation as various proverbs suggest.

Hooks, I think, are only as good as the ideas that are hung on them. Who doesn't want to be the first one to market with a new one? I know I do. If I do lose the race because someone took my hook, all I've lost is braggin' rights.

I think you have to be able to judge for yourself whether it's worth the gamble to swap perspectives in order to make your work a cut above. do that and copycat status is a nonstarter.

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Down the well » December 20th, 2010, 3:33 pm

Margo wrote:Did you read the same post I did? She talked about the fact that agents/editors don't generally read people's writing online, and she talked about the possible issues with the writing being considered 'published' possibly causing problems if the writer wanted to sell the piece later. That's mostly a short story consideration.
Um, yeah. I don't know why the discussion turned to stealing ideas. The important take-away from the article, in my opinion, is the fact that publishers might have a problem with how much exposure your story has had on-line already.

Here's what the agent said in the article:


"If you are posting a short portion of a novel online, and then the novel gets interest from an agent or editor, I’d say you could be okay, since the sample is short. Even though most editors and agents don’t like to work with previously published material, whether posted online or self-published, a short sample on your blog may not be enough to put them off your project. (Careful, though, as individual policies here do vary greatly.)

So when you think about posting online, consider how much of your work you’ll be exposing. Are you posting all of it? That will count as “published” and that website will be your venue for the piece, so you better make your peace with it. A sample that’s less than 5% of the total work? You could post, if you really want to, but know that you may run into some obstacles down the road."

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Margo » December 20th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Watcher55 wrote:...to make your work a cut above. do that and copycat status is a nonstarter.
Honestly, how many writers aren't trying to make their work "a cut above"? And I'd put cash on the table that says even a very good debut author writing an urban fantasy featuring a main character who raises zombies for a living won't make the first cut.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Watcher55
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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Watcher55 » December 20th, 2010, 4:20 pm

That’s what I’m sayin’. It’s a crap shoot under the best of conditions. It comes down to how much of our own material we unpublished writers are willing to risk posting without giving away too much too soon.

I’m not even opposed to the idea of riding coattails as long as it was my own work that bought the ticket. The reasoning here being, if an established author gets to market first and I’ve hedged my bets well enough I might be in a better position to duck in behind.

Yes, we have to think about risking possible representation, but isn’t that just a matter of resisting the temptation to bleed the manuscript all over the ether?

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by GingerWrite » September 9th, 2011, 11:48 pm

I'm not sure about unpublished first chapters (but I do too get the chills at the thought of posting it all online), but I do know I enjoy reading the first chapter of published books online. In fact the first book I purchased on my kindle was bought because I read the first chapter on a blog and absolutely loved it. Bada bing, they had me sold. It's much nicer than a back cover synopsis.
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)

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Re: Opinions On Posting First Chapters Online

Post by Margo » September 10th, 2011, 1:16 am

GingerWrite wrote:I'm not sure about unpublished first chapters (but I do too get the chills at the thought of posting it all online), but I do know I enjoy reading the first chapter of published books online. In fact the first book I purchased on my kindle was bought because I read the first chapter on a blog and absolutely loved it. Bada bing, they had me sold. It's much nicer than a back cover synopsis.
Interesting. Hektor was just talking about this on his blog (link on the blog update thread), and I was saying I started reading two authors this way.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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