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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #91349
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Mesg #91349 "Posting work on public boards"
Author Laevus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since May 27th 2010
41 posts
Date Mon Aug-13-12 04:29 PM
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I asked this question in the New member section as I greeted people on returning here and was recommended to post here for better replies.

While looking through the site and reminding myself of the TOS etc. I have a quick question. I saw this in the 'Tips for Newcomers' post:
"A word of warning. Don't post your work on the public boards. Forward Motion is dedicated to helping writers reach publication, and your public posts count as *published* meaning that you can't later sell those words to a publisher except as a reprint."

I have recently set up my own website for posting my work for public critique, to share some of my ideas, extracts of chapters or full short stories. Is there a really bad downside to it counting as published on a public site and then only being able to sell it in future as a reprint? Is there a limit of words/percent of content that make something count as published? And finally, how does this affect self-publishing?

A little information about my writing direction:
At the moment, my long term future plan is to write novels and have them published. I have many ideas that could lend themselves to novels of different genres, but the main one that I am most excited about at the moment is a five book fantasy series that I'm in the process of plotting out.

I know that writing a novel is going to take experience and practice, so rather than use the good novel ideas I have for practice, I have decided to focus my short term goals on writing short stories instead. These will allow me to practice writing plots, pacing, improve my English and writing style. Writing several shorter stories will also have the extra bonus of allowing me to try different writing styles, genres, time periods and techniques as I learn. I also doubt that I'll make my first attempt at writing a novel the first in a series, as I've heard that publishers are wary of them.

These short stories are mainly practice pieces for when I start writing novels, but at the moment I still think it would be nice to collate them all into a short story collection when I've done several (providing they get a good response and I feel it's worth doing of course).

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Mesg #91350 "RE: Posting work on public boards"
Author Erin_M_H     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Nov 01st 2003
31746 posts
Date Mon Aug-13-12 04:58 PM
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In response to Reply # 0

Previous publication only impacts on self-publishing if you have licensed the rights to a market (i.e., a magazine has purchased exclusive rights for a number of months). Then you can't self-publish until that time is up. If it's up on your blog or Website, you should include a note that the story (or parts of it) were previously published there, but that's all.

-- Erin

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Mesg #91351 "RE: Posting work on public boards"
Author CatrinP     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Dec 05th 2005
2772 posts
Date Mon Aug-13-12 05:59 PM
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In response to Reply # 0

There is conflicting information about, mostly I believe, because the publishing world is changing too fast for people to keep up.

Initially, words included in public boards and public blogs were considered 'published' by traditional publishers (as in those publishers who mostly print on paper). You can understand thier point. They want to sell a story and yet that story is available for free to anyone.

Forward Motion's forums are private and are thus only members can read anything posted. Yet we have a Private Roving Crit forum created because our membership got so large that some publishers expressed concerns that posting in Roving Crits could be considered 'published'.

But things change. Self publishing has become the norm, and it seems that publishers are scanning the self published stories to pick up thier authors as well as using more traditional means - author queries and via agents. so whether psting stories on blogs and public boards is now acceptable is debatable.

The other factor to consider is the 'requirement' from some publishers for an existing author presence. Does having a blog and a following matter theses days, and how does an author get a following, without having some stories available for reading.

But what if the stories you post are not good? will that effect your following and you potential to alppeal to a publisher?

Personally I have used Forward Motion's Roving Crits to display my practices and to get assistance in improving. I get the same support (and more), get help and and chance to experiment, all in the safety of a private friendly supportive group, without the risk of displaying my mistakes and failures.

  

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Mesg #91352 "RE: Posting work on public boards"
Author Dreamerscove     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Sep 25th 2007
1581 posts
Date Mon Aug-13-12 06:32 PM
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In response to Reply # 2

What Cat said. The entire industry really is changing at light speed.

For the self-publishing side (or "Indie"), so long as you have full rights to your work, you can do pretty much anything you want. Publish it yourself as a single, a collection, or in an anthology.

I've seen many use a regularly posted short story or a serialized novella or novel to garner traffic. Readers can read for free, or they can buy the ebook or print version if they want the full story now. Or buy the ebook or print version later to make it easier to read rather than go searching through a site or a blog. People will pay for the convenience of an already formatted file that goes into their ereader seamlessly. Or, buy simply to support the writer.

There are so many opportunities and ways to reach readers now that it can be overwhelming.

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Mesg #91356 "RE: Posting work on public boards"
Author KatsInCommand     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to send message via AOL IM
Author Info Member since Jul 23rd 2003
8317 posts
Date Tue Aug-14-12 10:38 AM
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In response to Reply # 0

Tue Aug-14-12 10:46 AMby KatsInCommand

have recently set up my own website for posting my work for public critique, to share some of my ideas, extracts of chapters or full short stories. Is there a really bad downside to it counting as published on a public site and then only being able to sell it in future as a reprint? Is there a limit of words/percent of content that make something count as published? And finally, how does this affect self-publishing?

A few things to consider...

* Critique: if you're looking for feedback, there are better places to find it then a public website. (Unless of course you have your own group already lined up, in which case you can lock access to those people and then it won't be published).

* Are you going down the Indi path or looking to go Tradition publications? Because if you want to go traditional and want to be eligible for awards (Hugo, Nebula, etc) then marketing the novel as a reprint will screw up your chances for that.

Just my two cents.

If you're just looking for feedback, we can recommend some critique groups here on the forum or Roving Crits. There are other groups outside of the forum, but if you're just starting out, they may not be the right environment for you yet.

And for part 2...

I know that writing a novel is going to take experience and practice, so rather than use the good novel ideas I have for practice, I have decided to focus my short term goals on writing short stories instead. These will allow me to practice writing plots, pacing, improve my English and writing style. Writing several shorter stories will also have the extra bonus of allowing me to try different writing styles, genres, time periods and techniques as I learn. I also doubt that I'll make my first attempt at writing a novel the first in a series, as I've heard that publishers are wary of them.

That's a good approach but I'd like to caution you that novel ideas and short story ideas are two very different things. The short stories are a wonderful way to learn craft and revision methods and will enhance your novel writing experience. However, an idea that starts as a short story can morph into a novel - but the idea changes and grows.

And why not write the first novel in a series? You don't have to tell them it's one unless they're interested in buying it, at which point they might be pleased there is more.

You WILL need pratice writing a novel, and short stories will not teach you the mistakes you'll learn from in a novel draft. (General stuff yes, but not novel specific issues).

Write the stories you want. In revision, you can tweak things to make them marketable if need be. If your skills skyrocket, you can rework the writing to make the novel better. Or you'll get a better idea and write and sell that novel.

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Mesg #91363 "RE: Posting work on public boards"
Author Laevus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since May 27th 2010
41 posts
Date Wed Aug-15-12 04:58 PM
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In response to Reply # 4

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply Katsincommand, much appreciated!

"*"Are you going down the Indi path or
>looking to go Tradition publications?
>Because if you want to go traditional and
>want to be eligible for awards (Hugo,
>Nebula, etc) then marketing the novel as a
>reprint will screw up your chances for
>that."


I've not considered going for awards at all, heck I'm still finding the idea of trying to get published daunting and nigh on laughably impossible! At this stage, I'm barely looking past being able to complete my first real project. I guess the safest choice is the one that leaves the most options open. No point burning future bridges by publishing everything onto my website, just in case I do come up with something worthy of recognition.


">If you're just looking for feedback, we
>can recommend some critique groups here on
>the forum or Roving Crits. There are other
>groups outside of the forum, but if you're
>just starting out, they may not be the
>right environment for you yet."


The idea with my website was to get feedback from anyone I could direct there. I know the feedback I could get might be harsh and unfair, but my thinking was that it would a good plan to get used to it early. I'm aware that bad criticism early may kill motivation though. When I came up with the idea for my site I had forgotten about this forum and the Roving Crits. I might post extracts on both anyway, as it won't hurt. My site has only been up a week or so and few people have been to visit it, let alone comment there, so no harm done yet. Already planning to take anything I've written off the site temporarily until I can work out the details of what I'm going to do.

">And why not write the first novel in a
>series? You don't have to tell them it's
>one unless they're interested in buying
>it, at which point they might be pleased
>there is more."

The trouble with my current series idea is that the ending I've got planned makes it clear that there will be a continuation, and it's clear that the real story is only just beginning. I've tried to make the story for the first book as self contained as possible, but then my brain twisted that into the main storyline going through the series and made it so awesome that it has to end on quite a cliffhanger. Early days yet since I've still got plot to work out for the last two books in the series (and I know it could reflect back to Book I) so I'm still picking at it and aware that until I've written over 80k words for that first book, nothing is even close to being final with where the plot is going or will finish.


">You WILL need pratice writing a novel, and
>short stories will not teach you the
>mistakes you'll learn from in a novel
>draft. (General stuff yes, but not novel
>specific issues).
>
>Write the stories you want. In revision,
>you can tweak things to make them
>marketable if need be. If your skills
>skyrocket, you can rework the writing to
>make the novel better. Or you'll get a
>better idea and write and sell that
>novel."


I was afraid that writing novels would be drastically different to short stories, but still hopeful that I can pick up general writing tips from doing the short stories, like improving my English, writing style, thrashing out silly mistakes and learning to use crits and criticisms as an advantage instead of a stumbling block.

I don't want to spend too much time writing one single story of length as I feel I'm at such an early stage with the learning process that I would have far too many revisions to make, and the longer the work, the longer the revisions would take.

I know it may sound like I'm avoiding it, and in a way I am. I honestly cannot wait until I can start writing the first novel in my series as I'm extremely excited about it, but I'm so excited by the ideas that I don't want to ruin it by jumping in too early on in my learning curve. I've been really tempted to get stuck into it for this November's NaNoWriMo, but I'm instead considering taking something completely fresh and working on that instead. That way I get the practice of cram-writing a ton and everything else that can be learned during NaNo, without being worried about ruining or burning out an idea I'm currently very passionate about.

I know I keep mentioning the series, and being very enthusiastic likes its going to be the best thing ever (I'm sure some of you have felt the same at times!) but I promise that I'll soon share some ideas I need to discuss in the relevant sections of the site when I've got time

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