I debated what content this blog would cover. Some people say not to write about writing, or the process, and some say not to get personal. So what do I write about? What is this blog for? The easy answer, I guess, is anything I want. I mulled it over and decided to make it a mix of different things, but mostly focused on writing. Why? Because there are writers who are just starting out, or just deciding to take that next step and look for an agent or publisher, who may not know the process. I didnt. I’ve relied on different website and blogs for guidance. Now, I’m not claiming to know all of the answers. Far from it. I’m pretty new to this as well, but you learn from others mistakes as well as their successes., and sometimes it feels good to know you’re not the only one who flubbed up. So I’m going to write what comes to me; what I feel needs to be said. Whether that’s on something like the topic below (first publishing rights), or on how the cat kept me up all night wanting to play, or on the latest big political news, rest assured you’ll get a variety of (hopefully) fun and informative posts.
A big consideration for this blog was whether or not to put up snippets of my writing. There’s the whole issue of first publication rights, and then the question of “is it really good enough to be seen in case an agent, etc stumbles upon it and reads it?” Amongst other questions of course. Well, I’ve done a good deal of research into first publication rights, and thought I would share in case someone else is debating whether or not to post their work.
From my research, it seems that as long as you don’t post the whole story, or most of the story, it doesn’t use the first pub rights. According to the copyright laws (the attorney in me came out and went to the law), posting on a personal website or blog equals “displaying”, not “publishing.” It’s only publishing when you sell your work, or copy and distribute it to others. So as long as it is a piece and you ask your readers not to print or distribute the work, you should be fine. As for what publishers will think, I can’t really say because I think it varies according to the publisher. From what I can gather, however, an excerpt on a blog or website shouldn’t matter. Readers with more experience feel free to weigh in on the issue and tell me your thoughts.
As for whether my writing is good enough to post? Well, I think I’ll leave that issue to my readers. My snippets may turn off some or may spark some interest, but I don’t know how to get people behind my writing unless they can read it, and this seems the most efficient way for that to happen.