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theWanderer
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26 Nov 2010, 5:41 pm

I've read some posts on here that concern me, because I'm not sure those of you interested in writing understand a few very important points. I don't care what you choose to do - but I do care that you at least understand the consequences of your decisions.

If there is even a slight chance you might, ever, consider trying to publish any version of a story, novel, or poem you're working on - don't post it. Why? Because by so doing, you have "published" it, and thus lost "first publication rights", which are the only rights that are (usually) worth anything. If you become a best-selling author, then you'll be able to sell other rights. Until then, first publication is the only thing anyone will care about. (Yes, there are exceptions: if you publish a short story, a Hollywood film-maker might decide it would make a good starting point for a script and license your story to avoid legal problems. But don't count on that - and you won't get it published in any market where that film-maker is likely to notice it if you've already lost first publication rights, anyway.)

You can share work with a few individuals - people you trust, obviously :wink: - without it being considered published. You could post it on a secure, private site, where only a handful of people have a password to visit. That's fine, too. Once you post it on the "open web", or anywhere Google can find it, etc. then it is "published" and you've lost your chance.

The second thing you should know - if you use CreateSpace, or LuLu, or any other site like that, even to get one copy printed for yourself, you will lose first publication rights unless you are very, very careful. Those "free" ISBNs? The sites are the "publishers", and once your work has an ISBN, it is considered published, anyway. They do this so that they appear to be large publishers, with a huge list of titles in their catalogue. But you gain nothing - you'd often be better off getting your own ISBN instead, even thought it costs more. And, unless you really are trying to publish it, you don't want an ISBN at all. It just makes you lose all chance of ever selling that work.

Those of you who don't care about this, do whatever you please. :) That won't bother me at all. What does bother me is when writers are exploited. Those "free" sites that give you a place to "publish" your work? They get free content to draw in visitors - you get nothing much. And you lose the chance to sell that work later. "Free" ISBNs? They boost their own reputation, you get nothing, again. If you don't care about those things, fine. But if you do, please be warned.


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chaotik_lord
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26 Nov 2010, 6:42 pm

Thank you. That is very valuable information.



DemonAbyss10
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26 Nov 2010, 7:57 pm

theWanderer wrote:
I've read some posts on here that concern me, because I'm not sure those of you interested in writing understand a few very important points. I don't care what you choose to do - but I do care that you at least understand the consequences of your decisions.

If there is even a slight chance you might, ever, consider trying to publish any version of a story, novel, or poem you're working on - don't post it. Why? Because by so doing, you have "published" it, and thus lost "first publication rights", which are the only rights that are (usually) worth anything. If you become a best-selling author, then you'll be able to sell other rights. Until then, first publication is the only thing anyone will care about. (Yes, there are exceptions: if you publish a short story, a Hollywood film-maker might decide it would make a good starting point for a script and license your story to avoid legal problems. But don't count on that - and you won't get it published in any market where that film-maker is likely to notice it if you've already lost first publication rights, anyway.)

You can share work with a few individuals - people you trust, obviously :wink: - without it being considered published. You could post it on a secure, private site, where only a handful of people have a password to visit. That's fine, too. Once you post it on the "open web", or anywhere Google can find it, etc. then it is "published" and you've lost your chance.

The second thing you should know - if you use CreateSpace, or LuLu, or any other site like that, even to get one copy printed for yourself, you will lose first publication rights unless you are very, very careful. Those "free" ISBNs? The sites are the "publishers", and once your work has an ISBN, it is considered published, anyway. They do this so that they appear to be large publishers, with a huge list of titles in their catalogue. But you gain nothing - you'd often be better off getting your own ISBN instead, even thought it costs more. And, unless you really are trying to publish it, you don't want an ISBN at all. It just makes you lose all chance of ever selling that work.

Those of you who don't care about this, do whatever you please. :) That won't bother me at all. What does bother me is when writers are exploited. Those "free" sites that give you a place to "publish" your work? They get free content to draw in visitors - you get nothing much. And you lose the chance to sell that work later. "Free" ISBNs? They boost their own reputation, you get nothing, again. If you don't care about those things, fine. But if you do, please be warned.


Well maybe some of us don't really care? I honestly would rather release something for free so more people can actually enjoy it. I write because I like to, not to make money. Maybe YOU are the one who needs to consider that not everyone wants to get rich off of it all. All I ask is just that I get credit for my work and that is it, no money, just the acknowledgement that I have made it and that I myself am happy with how it all turns out.


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theWanderer
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26 Nov 2010, 10:23 pm

DemonAbyss10 wrote:
Well maybe some of us don't really care? I honestly would rather release something for free so more people can actually enjoy it. I write because I like to, not to make money. Maybe YOU are the one who needs to consider that not everyone wants to get rich off of it all. All I ask is just that I get credit for my work and that is it, no money, just the acknowledgement that I have made it and that I myself am happy with how it all turns out.


I said right in my original post that some people might not care, and that was fine with me. Whatever you want to do with your work, that's your right. And, believe me, if anyone wants to "get rich off of it all", they're dreaming. You don't get rich writing.

What I hate to see is people who do care but who simply don't know these rules getting screwed over. As for why some of us care, there are many reasons. Some people can make a little more by selling the rights, not that they're going to get rich. A solid mid-list author I know of was making "high four figures" per year in 2008... in other words, $9,999 or less per year. I don't think that's anyone's definition of getting rich - but if you love writing so much you're scraping by on so little, I'd hate to see you lose money you were counting on. And in some cases, it isn't about money at all. Sometimes, you can make more money by self-publishing - even though you'll sell more copies if you sell your work to a publisher. But if what you want is a bigger audience, then you still want to be able to sell to that publisher.

The only thing I care about is that everyone understand the effects of what they're doing. If you would rather just put your work out there, why should I want to stop you? I tend to think of information as useful, no matter what I decide to do with it, and I offered the information in my post in that spirit.


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AQ Test = 44 Aspie Quiz = 169 Aspie 33 NT EQ / SQ-R = Extreme Systematising
===================
Not all those who wander are lost.
===================
In the country of the blind, the one eyed man - would be diagnosed with a psychological disorder


ouinon
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30 Nov 2010, 6:06 am

Thank you for the info. :) I was dithering about the Create Space offer on NaNoWriMo, and your post has been very useful in making my mind up for me. I do hope to maybe get published by a "real" publisher and maybe make a little money from it, so this was relevant to me.