Sunday, April 24, 2011

How Much Unpublished Writing Should You Post on Your Blog?

I ask myself this every time I post on my blog and feel every writer should too. I have posted links to already published work and a little teaser of a story or some poetry I do not intend to sell, but I'm keeping my story sharing to a minimum for a few reasons.
1)  I want to sell stories. If I post everything, I'm writing for free, no one will have a reason to buy my work.

2) I already post my works in progress on a critique forum and feel that forum is the professional choice for feedback from peers. I want to put forward my best image on my blog. You never know when someone important in the industry will stop by and I don't want my unfinished work to be my first impression. I only get one chance to make a first impression and it's going to the best one I can!

3) I am concerned with copyright issues. If I post something here, technically, it's the first publication. I want my work published for the first time in a publication other than my own blog.

4) Even though this blog is copyrighted, I know there is the smallest chance someone reading my work would try to steal my ideas. Unless you're Kim Harrison or another big name, you might never find out someone stole your work, unless you or a friend stumbles across it by chance. I am very careful about what I share and with whom.

My advice to writers is to share only short teasers of your work or links to already published writing. If you just want to share your writing with the world, then publish wherever you want, and please, leave a link so I can enjoy your stories too. But if you're trying to get a agent, get published, and are in the business professionally, consider what I've blogged today.

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!


Richard said...

Hey Nora,
I was just thinking about item one on the list. I do think in some cases, say in the event that you are posting your short stories online, you could always take those stories and combine them into a collection to sell. Even if you have given the stories away for free on your blog you can still sell them and I do think if you have the fan base and the following, people will purchase the book.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Nora B. Peevy said...

Yes, you could sell a collection of previously published stories. Reprints are accepted by a lot of places, but if I'm working on a collection, I don't plan on posting those stories anywhere except my critque forum. This is just my opinion, but I do want to make some money on my writing. I'd rather not give away everything for free. I have published for free a bunch. In fact, on my site there are plenty of free publications you can read my work in. I would still publish in one, if I really liked the market and wanted to support it. I think free is good in some cases. I think as a beginning author it's good to get out there in print any way you can. I wasn't concerned with money when I first started seriously published. Now I am starting to be concerned with making a career for myself and am trying to submit to places where I can get paid. I'm in transition mode right now, from amateur to semi-pro and pro markets.

li said...

Excellent post. You know, a lot of new writers simply don't realize that when you post something on your blog, it is considered published. A few literary journals will accept previously published submissions, but most will not. As a beginning writer, I post stories for many reasons. First, because I'm not convinced that I am dedicated enough to become a serious professional. I love writing, and I love sharing stories with people. Second, it's a way to "put myself out there", begin to gather an audience, and get my name into Google search results. And last, because in addition to nice comments I have gotten some very helpful advice, critiques, and pointers from other writers as well as names of literary journals and publishers.
I do agree that once you decide to pursue writing seriously, you should strictly limit any creative work to snippets and general discussion.

Nora B. Peevy said...


I totally agree that a new writer needs to establish a reputation. There are lots of magazines that accept new writers. You can find listings on Duotrope. It's a free service, You can track submissions as well.

Also, Critters is a good writing critique forum. I am on there. If you are looking to join one, I recommend it. You will get a lot of good feedback.

Both of the places I mentioned are listed under my Writing & Reading Resources Links.

Happy Writing!