I found out, while reading Anne R. Allen’s blog today, something I didn’t know. It stunned me, and I could feel the blood draining from my face as I read it. If you are an author, specifically a fiction novelist, you would probably be interested in finding out why.
I won’t keep you in suspense; the agony of it is impact enough! Here’s what Anne had to say in her blog (and here’s the link to the entire blog, Social Media Secrets, Part 3: What Should An Author Blog About?). Below she is talking about what NOT to blog about:
Your Fiction WIP. Especially if you hope to attract an agent. Not only do agents not have time to hunt for novels in the blogosphere, but they generally won’t take a novel that’s been blogged because it’s already “published.” (Selling novels is a different process from selling nonfiction—which is generally based 99% on platform—so the rules are different.
Some writers ARE able to attract a blog following by posting some short fiction or poetry, but I don’t recommend you do it exclusively, because people skim blogs and usually won’t read denser stuff. Plus you are giving away first rights and can’t enter it in contests or submit to journals after putting it on a blog. It’s better to post work in progress on a place like Wattpad which is password-protected and therefore not “publishing.
“But especially don’t blog your unedited, unfinished novel hoping for praise or critique. You’ll thank me later when you’re at your editing stage. Honest. (If you want critique, I suggest you join one of the many online groups for the purpose, like CritiqueCircle.com.)
If you haven’t been reading the Anne R. Allen blog (with Ruth Harris), I highly recommend it. This woman is absolutely chock full of valuable information about blogging, writing in general, fiction writing, non-fiction writing, publishing, literary agents, contracts, legal obligations and clauses (and when to get a lawyer) and anything else to do with these matters that you can think of. Every blog of hers soothes me (or excites me as the situation calls for).
However, what I really wanted to talk about is why I am discontinuing publishing my WIP novel The Rocky Road to the End of the World here. Obviously, the above quote from Anne will give you a clue. But what it means to me is I won’t be able to try and sell first rights to this book to any publishing house. Or I won’t be able to promote my book as first-time ever on the book stands, if I self-publish.
Right now, I feel drowned in disaster, especially considering that all the short stories I’ve written in the past three years have been published on my blog. I was planning on trying to sell them either as an anthology of my short stories, or a short, read-one-at-a-time e-book on Kindle. And I won’t be able to enter the short stories in any contest. Now it’s a mess which I will have to clean up.
I’m very sorry to disappoint you re Rocky Road. If you are a writer, however, perhaps you can regard this as a serious matter and a lucky heads-up with respect to your own writing. I will be reverting to my how-to’s and anecdotes in this blog. Thank you for sticking with me.
I had read this somewhere before. Anything you put on your blog is considered published by most publishers. That is a large part of why I self published. However, I haven’t posted any part of my novel in works online. You can still self publish your anthology of short stories. Did you self publish Witchcanery?
Yes, I did, but that was long before I had a blog. The only material that is affected is Rocky Road and all my short stories. Actually, I don’t think Rocky Road is affected, as long as I stop publishing it. I am already thinking of massive editing changes 😛
Ooh, I just thought of something…Anne said that non-fiction follows a different set of rules, because a large part of non-fiction is the platform the author has. Therefore publishing it in a blog, apparently, is acceptable. You might want to read her whole article. It’s very helpful.
Ouch. This I didn’t know, and I have put so much of my stuff on the blog. Good info, Sandra.
I know how you feel, Selena. I’m just glad I caught it before I went past the halfway mark.