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Publishing on your blog for fun

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by mythique890, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

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    Would you do it? Or would you keep back every story that you write and try to get it published professionally? I ask because right now I'm working on a short story (or novella, the way it's going) and I'm considering putting a link to it on my blog rather than trying to publish it professionally or self-publish, as I'm writing it for practice and my own enjoyment. I'd probably put it up as a Google doc and link to it (view only) so anyone who came to my blog could read it. What do you guys think?
     
  2. well, it can always be published later (thought first world publishing rights would already be enacted) but you would get less money for it. Really it depends on you and the kind of audience you are going for (and is it the same audience that reads your blog). So, yeah, that's all I have to say...
     
  3. Linqy

    Linqy Scribe

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    I used to keep a blog with a lot of (really) short stories on it. It's absolutely fun to do, because people generally are very complimentative and well, an ego-boost is never a bad thing especially when trying to get published (I hear rejection is the word of the day, even though I've never tried XD)
     
  4. You can, of course, do both. ;)

    Once you publish to your blog, you're much less likely to be able to sell the work to a publisher. Your odds with short work drop to near zero, in fact - they want first rights. (Odds are a bit better for novels - see John Scalzi for the classic example - but are still not great.)

    However, if you're looking at self publishing the short fiction anyway, then there's really no reason to NOT publish on your blog as well. Dean Wesley Smith is an excellent example - he's been doing a big short story challenge on his blog this year. He posts each new short to his blog and publishes it to all major sites at the same time. As each new story goes up, he takes down the last one. So the stories stay on his site for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and then are replaced by another short story. This gives him a steady new story on his blog for potential readers to find and check out. It also gives him a small but steady income on each of those stories from ebook retailers - an income which will likely continue at a slow trickle for many years. As he pointed out, selling just five copies a month avg across all retailers would be about $2 a month or so, or $24 a year, or $120 over five years - which is not bad money for a short story. It's just spread out over time, instead of given all at once.

    I've recently started doing this myself - I *really* like having some stories on my site for readers to see right away. And since I plan to work some of those shorts as tie-ins for my novels, they also act like samplers - try this one free! - to encourage readers to buy a novel.

    Also worth noting that many of Joe Konrath's books (the ones he's selling tens of thousands of copies per month) are also available on his website. For free. And they're still selling just fine.
     
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I would seek appropriate publishers first and attempt to not only get paid, but a solid venue will get many more eyes/readers to potentially take a look at and enjoy your story.

    It does take time seeking/targeting appropraite magazines/ezines, and you're story may get rejected a few times (or even every time), but for me it's been the route to go.
     
  6. Yeah, I agree with this, in general. It's not like there's a rush... Send a new story to all the paying markets. Send it to a new one each time you get a rejection from one of them. Keep cycling through. If you miss on all the pro and semi-pro markets, self publish the story to ebook and/or your website.

    Not sure I would bother with the non-paying markets, but your mileage may vary... It might be really helpful to hit some of them (in terms of marketing for your other published books and such!).

    Remember that most magazines only ask for exclusive rights for 6-12 months, after which you get the story back and can republish it to an anthology, to ebook, or whatever else you have in mind to do with it.

    You can always write a short story for your website *as well*, if you're shooting for magazine pubs but want a sample on your website right away. It's not like they take a lot of time to finish. ;)
     
  7. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    I know that Brandon Sanderson has, available for download, a full-length novel ebook on his website. Warbreaker, it is formatted exactly like the print version available in stores, only it is free.
     
  8. Seth son of Tom

    Seth son of Tom Minstrel

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    It sounds like a great way to build up a reputation to me.
     
  9. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    That's what I'm going to do. I have a job; I'm not looking to pay my rent with this.

    One of the things that has discouraged me from writing for publication in the past is the idea of losing creative control. I don't want to pimp out my artistic creations for money or fame. It would kill me to walk into a store and see my story with some giant-boobed floozy in a chainmail bikini on the cover (*NONE* of my characters have ever or will ever look like that)!!
     
  10. SLTE

    SLTE Dreamer

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    Agree with most of what is said above. I'd also add - I don't think anyone else has said this, anyway - that posting short stories for free is a good way to boost your writing reputation, as you're essentially giving people a sample of what they can expect in the stuff they'll have to buy. Samples never hurt.
     
  11. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Unless, of course, the samples suck.;)
     
  12. AeliusBlythe

    AeliusBlythe New Member

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    Whether posting fiction online is a good idea or not depends a lot, I think, on your work style.

    For authors with a slower more methodical, one-thing-at-a-time, focused work style, hoarding first publishing rights may be very important. For me, I am well aware that I am throwing away first publishing rights by putting my stories online. However, since I work on several things at once (well, not exactly at once...,) at any one time I have several finished stories waiting to be posted. That means I always have the option of seeking paid publication for some and not for others.

    And yes, reputation building is an important consideration, particularly for web/indie fiction writers who have a hard enough time convincing readers to shell out cash for their books.
     
  13. Joanna

    Joanna Scribe

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    Just the topic I've been struggling with just recently. As a teenager I used to have all my writing out on a blog. But these days with things like the mentioned above first publishing rights etc. I was struggling to decide whether to have a blog for my writing or not. In the end I decided to have a site with the first three chapters and some background story bits, and maybe a few short stories if I have any that are related to the novel I'm writing.

    My reasoning was that I'll be self-publishing any way, so might as well be read and show my work on a blog, rather than it gathering dust in a drawar ;)
     
  14. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Some writers and artists have a primary concern about maintaining control. This has positives and negatives. Experienced editors and professional artists can improve a work and its presentation to readers.

    Posting on a blog with the intent of building a reputation, that would require that large numbers of individuals discover and regularly visit the blog in question. Getting that to happen can be a task in itself. Just because one posts it doesn't mean readers will find it. And as stated above, the work(s) posted have to be those that don't "suck."
     
  15. There's no reason a self-publishing author can't hire an editor and artist themselves. Sure, you're paying out of pocket, but if you can afford to do it, you get to maintain control instead of being subject to the desires of a publishing house.

    This is exactly what I plan to do.
     
  16. W.k. Trail

    W.k. Trail Scribe

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    Unless the writing isn't compelling. ;)
     
  17. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

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    Thanks for all the input everyone! I'm glad this thread turned out to be useful! It's been a long time since I've been on the site, but my morning sickness seems to be going away so hopefully I'll be logging on more.

    Don't worry, my samples never suck, ha ha. ;)
     
  18. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    If we are all serious writers, I think we can take for granted that our samples/writing 'won't suck'. We should never let anything that sucks make it to the eyes of potential readers. If we fail to place that filter between our work and our audience, then we really don't deserve to call ourselves writers.
     
  19. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    I have just barely started my writer's blog. I intend to have snippets of my work available there, as well as linking to where people can actually purchase the full story. I will also be pushing it as a sort of first contact point for readers that know who I am.

    Anything that we put up for the world to see should always be our best.

    Sent from my Blade using Forum Runner
     
  20. boboratory

    boboratory Minstrel

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    an interesting anectdote,

    One of my authors floated a 5 story set of his Short Stories out for free for a number of years (10), and we e-book'ed them for .99 each, and they are his best selling titles. So you just never know.

    On a personal level, I think there's a level of "OMG, it's something to sell, why am I not selling this?" sort of feeling about just giving it away, but I have to counter that fear with the confidence of, "I'm a writer, I write, I'll write plenty of new works to sell".
     
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