Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wrongs and Rights of Getting Published

I was leafing through the October issue of Writers Digest (that appeared in my mailbox the end of August) when a headline caught my eye: "The gamble of posting your fiction online..."

What? I read the articles and discovered that "Many agents and editors are also leery of attaching themselves to writing that's already been published online--because once you post it online, it is considered published, albeit digitally."

I can't say I wasn't warned. I just didn't believe it. But now that I have been convinced, I am pulling "A Question of Boundaries" from my website. Alas, with but 3 chapters to go. Die-hard fans (are there any?) can request the final chapters and I will honor them with the title of Beta Reader.

Whew. Next time I will listen to my betters. Like the writers who get contracts after entering a contest. I have been leery of contests: they take a lot of preparation and there is postage, lots of paper and ink for printing out copies, and a fee.

The upside is that agents and publishers read the winning entries, which is better odds than getting them to read something in the slushpile.

So -- maybe I will reconsider. It's like winning the lottery -- first, you gotta buy a ticket, right?

So I'm going to enter. Not "Boundaries." because it does need a lot of polishing and editing, but one of my other finished manuscripts that has been looking for a home for far too long.

Yep, gonna buy a ticket.


  1. Glad you're covering this. I've heard the same caution. I'm passing on your post.

  2. Scary! Pulling my excerpts as well. Most contests are digital entries now. I only enter ones whose judges (should I final) would be ones I would want my work seen by. Currently, my 2 MS are being looked at by an agent and publisher I probably wouldn't have gotten through to, if they hadn't been finalists in this particular contest. Catch 22, but lately, what in life isn't?

  3. I've heard this, too, but thanks for the reminder, Sandy. I'm sure a lot of writers are not aware of this.

  4. Wow! A good thing to know. I'm glad you caught this when you did. Good luck with the contests. I've not entered very many, but in the long run found them helpful. Just gotta sift through the objectivity. And don't be surprised by the opposite ends of the scale type scores you might get.

  5. I'd heard this and must have subconsciously heeded it because whenever I think about posting even parts of unpublished books on my blog I freeze, or just forget to. Now I'm glad. Thanks Sandy! I will still post a free read short-unintended for deliberate publication for profit- however...some day.