Monday, January 11, 2010

Posting a Serial Story Online

As I look toward the horizon, to a future so bright that I must squint even while wearing sunglasses, I've made a major decision about posting my work on this little 'ol blog.

As I writer, if I post my work online anywhere, it usually takes that piece out of contention for any print or electronic publication from other sources. Print publishing houses and e-zine sites view this as a "reprint," and many of them are against it. I learned this after I submitted a piece to a forum I belong to and then submitted the same piece for an anthology contest. I had to have the anthology people pull my story. After all, you can't give a publisher the "First North American" rights to a story if they're not "first" to publish it, and publishing on forums and posting on blogs are considered the same as publishing in their eyes.

It makes sense, really.

So, in light of that, the decision I had to make was whether or not to go ahead and post certain pieces of my work online.

I made the decision last week, that in order to get a following of readers (or even, dare I dream it?--fans) I'd post some of my work, beginning with a children's fantasy tale, "The Reluctant Prince." I posted Chapter 1 on Friday.

Doing this serves several purpose for me.

First, it gets my work the exposure it needs. This might not be the greatest frog story ever written, but it allows me to grow as a writer. Especially if my friends and wise readers comment on it and let me know their feelings about it. They can hit the email post button (the little envelope at the bottom of each post) if they wish their comments to be private. But by all means, I want your opinions. Even if you hate it and you think I ought to be burned at the stake for writing such stupid crap.

Secondly, this is an incomplete story at present. Meaning, I'm not finished with it, yet. I know...I know...I'm taking a hell of a risk posting a story that I've not even finished writing, but I believe that by posting it now and serializing it, it gives me the motivation to get my ass moving and complete it. It also gives me time to do so, since I'll only upload a chapter when it is ready to be read.

So, I will continue to post some of my work on here. Once I get a story or two published out there in the real world, though, I should be able to post snippets of those and maybe even whole stories or poems.

I really need to learn a whole lot more about the legal side of writing.

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