Before you hit that Publish button on your blog site, you might want to stop and think hard about whether you plan to send that piece to a publisher.
I’ve spent the last week working with Duotrope and learned some hard lessons. Some publishers will not accept your work if you have posted it on your blog site or anyone else’s. They consider posting the same as publishing that piece and there is no way to get around their guidelines. I’ve scoured the Internet looking for loopholes but they just aren’t there.
Duotrope does have a nifty feature that tells you which publishers accept what they call “reprints,” which are any works that have appeared on blog sites, social networks or even previously published in a magazine or E-Zines. But, it is very disheartening when you learn that the perfect home for your piece is sitting out there, but you can’t go in because you have already posted that work somewhere else.
When I first started blogging on my sister site, “Grandma Says,” I gave no thought to hitting that “Publish” button. Now, I have to sit back and think before I throw that piece out there for my blogging buddies. Some of the works were produced by prompts and some were just my efforts to stretch my writing muscles. When I reviewed them, I found a few that I thought were worthy of sending out for publishing. That’s when I discovered some publishers frown on previously posted works.
This past month, I’ve had to set aside some really good pieces because I posted them on my blog site. I have written new stories, which unfortunately, I am prevented from posting here or on my sister site and, sometimes, that frustrates me. I like to give my followers the “first read” on my work and always find that their comments and suggestions make the final result shine. Wordpress does have a great feature in their “Feedback” capabilities, which allows you to send the piece to specific bloggers and publishers consider that okay as it hasn’t been published.
Now, some publishers DO accept reprints and that’s a wonderful thing. However, they are not the majority and when you post your work you are risking narrowing the field of possibilities for publishing your piece.
So, before you hit that “Publish” button, make sure that you realize that you have now excluded that work from being submitted to a large field of publishers.
Again, Duotrope has saved me time and embarrassment by pointing out the publishers that accept reprints. If you are looking for a wonderful tool to seek a home for your work, I highly recommend this site. Its five dollars a month well spent for me as it gives me a wealth of information about each publisher. Check it out here.
So, my friends, after finishing that post, take a good hard look at it and make sure that you want to hit that “Publish” button. Once it’s out in Cyberspace…you can’t take it back. Now, back to my writing!
Yours in Writing,
M E McMahon