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Moderator
Brandi_R
Posts: 1,598
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Publication Questions


tiffany57 wrote:

If we post a story or poem on the boards, can it still be published? I heard somewhere that if you post your writing online you cannot have it published.


Most publishers, when publishing work, ask for first serial rights. This gives them the right to publish the work for the first time. (Often this is also location based, ie. first North American serial rights.) You only have one first use right.

 

Now, that brings up to your question: is online publishing considered a "first use"? The answer isn't always clear cut. Usually, if you publish the work formally--on a blog, in an online literary magazine--you've published it and used that first right. Subsequent publications are reprints.The idea is that it's already available for public consumption. Why offer it to their readership if it's already available? There is some gray area. If it's published on a personal blog that gets little traffic, certain publishers may not consider that a first use. Some might, though.

 

Forums like this are a bit different. They're designed not for readers to read and enjoy the work (as in a literary journal) but for writers to improve their craft. So, the intent is not necessarily to "publish" the work for a readership, so much as to workshop and improve it. It's a work in progress, not a completed piece. Depending upon the publisher, that may not be conisdered first use. (The fact that forums are open to the public can complicated this, at times.)

 

Novels and collections are a different matter. They often include chapters or stories that have been published elsewhere. Take a look at the copyright page of a poetry or short story collection and you may see a notation of where stories/chapters have been previously published.

 

letterpressfiction.blogspot.com
Moderator
Brandi_R
Posts: 1,598
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Publication Questions


JackieCakesx3 wrote:

Can teens get published? I'm 15 and i'm working on a novel. When I'm done, what do I do? How do I find an agent? This is so new to me, and I'm so close to finishing the book. help?!


Congratulations on nearing the end of the writing process for your novel. There's no age requirement for publishing. It's all about the quality of the work. Check out my response above to the question about publishing resources for writers who don't have regular access to the internet. That gives some great resources for all writers--with internet access or without--on getting started in the publising process.

 

You'll need to put together a query letter. Are you familiar with that?

letterpressfiction.blogspot.com
Distinguished Scribe
tiffany57
Posts: 763
Registered: ‎08-20-2009
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Re: Publication Questions


Brandi_R wrote:

tiffany57 wrote:

If we post a story or poem on the boards, can it still be published? I heard somewhere that if you post your writing online you cannot have it published.


Most publishers, when publishing work, ask for first serial rights. This gives them the right to publish the work for the first time. (Often this is also location based, ie. first North American serial rights.) You only have one first use right.

 

Now, that brings up to your question: is online publishing considered a "first use"? The answer isn't always clear cut. Usually, if you publish the work formally--on a blog, in an online literary magazine--you've published it and used that first right. Subsequent publications are reprints.The idea is that it's already available for public consumption. Why offer it to their readership if it's already available? There is some gray area. If it's published on a personal blog that gets little traffic, certain publishers may not consider that a first use. Some might, though.

 

Forums like this are a bit different. They're designed not for readers to read and enjoy the work (as in a literary journal) but for writers to improve their craft. So, the intent is not necessarily to "publish" the work for a readership, so much as to workshop and improve it. It's a work in progress, not a completed piece. Depending upon the publisher, that may not be considered first use. (The fact that forums are open to the public can complicated this, at times.)

 

Novels and collections are a different matter. They often include chapters or stories that have been published elsewhere. Take a look at the copyright page of a poetry or short story collection and you may see a notation of where stories/chapters have been previously published.

 


Okay, thank you very much Brandi!  I appreciate you taking your time to answer very much. This question has been lingering in my head for quite sometime. :smileyhappy:

If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must write it. -Toni Morrison
Moderator
Brandi_R
Posts: 1,598
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Publication Questions


tiffany57 wrote:

Okay, thank you very much Brandi!  I appreciate you taking your time to answer very much. This question has been lingering in my head for quite sometime. :smileyhappy:


It's a good question and one that you should certainly be thinking about. Glad I could help, even if only to introduce even more questions!

letterpressfiction.blogspot.com
Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,836
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Publication Questions


Brandi_R wrote:

TylerAE wrote:

What is the prime word count that publishers look for? If you're maybe 10,000 words or so under, is that a strike against your work?


Novels are often at least 80,000 words long, but that's really just a ball park figure. Some run shorter and some run much longer. There's no one word count to work toward. A shorter novel isn't necessarily a strike against your work. It really depends upon the execution of it.

 

There is a point at which a longer work of fiction under 80,000 falls in the category of the novella, and those are usually published in a collection instead of as a stand alone book (although not all the time).


I know this question is a bit old, but...

 

The word count really depends on genre.  For instance, 80k is middling to high for YA for a debut author (the sweet spot is 60k to 80k), and is a bit high for adult category romance, but for adult fantasy, 80k is a bit on the low side.  One of the best ways to know if your book is too short/long for your genre is to look for a major organization for your genre (for instance, SCBWI for YA and Children's writing, RWA for romance writing, etc.) and to learn from the resources they provide.