I've been going back and forth with this issue for some time now and I've been wondering whether it is a good idea to post my work online or not. I've seen this topic pop up on several blogs I've read lately, and to tell you the truth, I am even more confused now than ever. It does seem that there are more views leaning toward not posting than there are in favor of posting.
On the positive side; I've read on one blog in particular; Stop Being Afraid of Posting Your Work Online
The author suggests that you shouldn't be afraid of posting your work online.I believe this includes websites. She claims that test marketing helps improve your work and aids in building an audience while getting feedback is critical to a writer's development.
I agree. I would also go on to say it is so important to developing technique, voice, etc. Also, getting the assurance that your MS or short piece has any appeal. And what better way to do that, than to post it on your website or blog? Maybe.
On the negative side, I've read--let me just lay it out here--writers steal. Really?
Check out these two blogs:
Be Slightly Afraid of Posting Your Work Online
Posting Your Pose Online--Don't
It's always been in the back of my mind, but hey, then I think, who in their right mind would want to steal my writing? (Okay, so it sounds like I have a self-esteem problem, I don't, just saying). Anyway, not all, in fact, I would hope most writers don't steal, but I'm sure there are those shady characters out there that have a nasty habit of taking your very creative idea and tweaking it just enough to call it their own. They're just lurking around writing groups and checking websites for that phenomenal story that might just have that golden ticket. And how do we know if this happens? I would think, we don't. I'm sure you can't possibly look at every book title out there and find one that you think might have been your idea.
If you're posting your MS on your website or blog hoping some agent will see it, well the author of one of those blogs reminds us that agents and publishers are not surfing the net looking for aspiring author's blogs and websites (yes, there are exceptions, but as a rule they don't).
I wouldn't think they'd have time to do that anyway.
Another argument is that some publishers might ask if your work has ever been published. And some will argue whether or not posting on blogs and website is a form of epublishing.
Well now I'm really confused.
I personally don't think it's a bad idea to post small amounts of my writing in critique groups, (I need all the help I can get) but I think I'll keep pieces of my MS off my blog and website, until after their published. :) But what do you think?
Another thought, I don't believe I've ever seen a sample posting by a published author (well known or not) of work they are in the process of creating on their website.
So by presenting these ideas, I ask; should we or shouldn't we post our unpublished, pieces or full MS on our blogs and websites? And, does posting an unpublished MS, short, or chapter on a blog or website qualify as epublishing? Hmmm...
Thanks for reading and I'd love your comments.