Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Online Publishing

There are a lot of websites like bookrix.com and inkpop.com (run by HarperCollins) that allow you to submit and "publish" your creative work online. Does this count as publishing work?

Only if you get paid. In actual money.

(Some contests require that you only submit unpublished works). Also, do you retain copyright on the stories you submit?

If it is a legitimate, paying online source, they will ask to retain the copyright for a certain amount of time (usually a year or two), after which rights revert back to you. If you don't know their policy, ask.

Does publishing yourself online adversely affect your chances of being published legitimately?

No. But it might not do anything good, either.


Anonymous said...

A lot of online lit journals don't pay--like smokelong quarterly, etc,

Are you lumping those in as not "counting"?

The Rejecter said...

Being paid used to be the standard of legitimacy. To be honest, that may be changing in fiction, but it's not totally gonna help your book get published.

I don't know what the standard is for non-fiction articles.

Morgan Dempsey said...

It sounds to me like the person asking the question wasn't asking about legitimacy, but if it "counts" (ie if s/he tried to submit it as "not previously published" when it has, in fact, been published, with specific rights consumed). If that's what they're asking, then IIRC yes, it has been published (in a way that keeps you from submitting the work elsewhere, but doesn't allow you to say anything about it on a query).

I could be wrong though. The "Some contests require that you only submit unpublished works" is what makes me think this is the case.

Puffy said...

I think it would be good to note that it could affect a writer's chances of someone at an agency or a publishing house taking their queries seriously, if they mention their self-published works as legitimate credentials - unless they've sold thousand of copies and have garnered wonderful reviews by respected people about their work.

Johnny Smith said...

I would certainly agree that being paid is the gold standard of legitimacy.

I have just started publishing ebooks on a similar site and am enjoying it immensely. But, I would be embarrassed to call myself "a writer" in public without something a lot more substantial.

Having said that, there is some fantastic stuff out there that people are giving away for free while at the same time a lot of rubbish is being published by the big publishing houses.

Anonymous said...

Besides ebooks, there are also people posting chapters of their novels online, using blogs and websites. In those cases, should the author mention that the work is out there on a blog when trying to get it published?