Good morning gentle readers, before I start this morning's discussion I need to clarify one small error that I made in yesterday's post.
Chuck Sambuchino pointed out to me that his band rocks in Cincinatti, not Jersey. My apologies to Chuck. For those of you in Cinci, go see him, I hear by midnight, they totally smoke!
On to the discussion.
After reading all the generous comments on yesterday's post concerning the con's Chuck had presented about posting work online, I decided that I would also do the same for Jane Friedman's post, which says to do just that. And here I've taken her reasons and put them forth for all to see. (Getting to their website was harder for me than breaking into Monster Baby's piggy bank.)
Anyway, Jane says that it's perfectly fine to post work online, and
1.Test marketing is one of the best things you can do to improve your work and build an audience. Agent Michael Larsen even recommends it in his classic, How to Write a Book Proposal.
2.Getting feedback on your work (whether you’re specifically asking for a critique, or just hoping for reader comments) can be critical to a writer’s development. No writer should ever be discouraged from posting their work online in a critique environment, EVER.
3.No sane agent or editor would disagree with points 1 or 2, since doing these things advance the quality and marketability of your work. Hiding your work in a closet until you feel it is “ready” for a “professional” to consider it? Folly. Hasn’t anyone told you that the gatekeeper era is coming to a swift end?
4.If we’re talking about novel-length works, then sharing pieces of it, or even serializing it, over a long period is NOT going to affect its market value. (Anyone who says it does has a very antiquated view of online media, as well as where traditional publishing is headed.)
5.Offering a work online, whether in serialized format or in an alternate media (e.g., audio), can increase interest and demand for a physical, print product. This is proven out by people like Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood who serialized their work as podcasts, made them absolutely free, and secured traditional book publishing deals after developing a significant following.
People who post their work online can do so in a very smart, strategic, and targeted way that feeds into demand for a traditional book that a publisher would love to produce (or that an agent would love to sign). *****(all work taken from http://www.writerunboxed.com/Jane Friedman/ I'm sorry I can't link this, I don't know why.)
And there we are. Both sides of the fence, and I think most of us are sitting in the middle. Sure we're all paranoid, this is what we've slaved over the last year or so, maybe longer. How would we feel if it was stolen? But, for those people who do steal other's work, I like to think that Karma would have a very firm grip on the situation.
What you do to others, comes back to you, therefore if you steal someone's book, when you go to publish that book, it will fail, miserably. At least I'd like to think so.
So you decide. Post online or not?