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Question about first publishing rights

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vanwijk88 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 10:38pm
Not sure if this is a good or bad time to field a question. :P My thought are that it'll hopefully distract a little from the tense results wait but regardless of timing I have been a little curious about something for a while. I understand that the reason to post our competition pieces for peer review in the locked forum as opposed to the public one is related to first publishing rights. I'm wondering what the semantics of such online postings are. Say I write a competition piece and share a password protected link or file to a social media platform but only give the password directly to people who ask, would that count as online publication? Where is the line drawn? Is there a strict definition for publicly accessible that would define something as a publication?  

Thanks in advance for any clarification :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 11:05pm
You'll find a lot of this covered in some of the other posts, but the short answer to your inquiry is:

1. There is no universal rule. Each venue has there own definition of what 'previously published' means.

2. In most cases, if you have put something on the web, freely accessible, it is considered published.
2a. In many cases, if it has been password protected and otherwise limited so that it cannot be viewed by 'anyone on the web' and is hidden from search engine results, publishers consider that "not published' since it is not publicly available. 

Since all publishers make their own rules and definitions, there are plenty of exceptions - but this covers the broadest number of cases, and is a reasonable "rule of thumb" to start from.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanwijk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 11:30pm
Thanks Nixie :D

I guess a further clarification/question I have as well is would an expanded flash fiction piece count as a second edition or a separate publication. Although, I already feel like there is no defined rule for this and it'll be a case by case thing? 

Edit: And I suppose another thought, what about things that would be shared temporarily then removed and be no longer publicly accessible. (Just trying to figure out some do's and don't's of social media promotion for potential future endeavors :P)


Edited by vanwijk88 - 12 Sep 2017 at 11:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sootfoot5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 12:40am
In my opinion, the reason you post your story "protected" here is not only because of first publication rights, it is also because some cretins (lazy writers, disreputable Hollywood types, and just go on and list every kind of creep you can think of pertaining to print and film who could benefit from your story and not pay you - you heard me -NOT PAY YOU - yes, some of these creepos would slither in here if they could and try to steal your work away.  Sure, your story is copyrighted just by virtue of you writing it and you putting your name on it (no, you don't have to mail a copy to yourself or anything like that), but do you want to take to court the fella who has just made mega bucks, maybe gotten himself famous, over your story?  It is better to make it difficult for him to get to.  

RE your second question, play it safe and don't put your stuff on a blog. Period. Not one where people can go read the stories.  And you can't just put it on your blog for a while and then take them off.  Publishers are like Santa - they have ways of knowing when you're lying.  Be good, not bad.  You don't want to be blacklisted.  Besides, it would behoove you more to spend your time submitting your stories out to publications requesting submissions rather than spending time putting your stories on your blog, then taking them off the blog, then wondering if anyone knows that they really have been published as the publisher you're submitting to defines the words.  Also, if you're new to writing, spending time going to classes and rewriting your stories would be a great idea!

Tell people about your stories rather than post the actual stories on a blog.  If one gets published, post the link, if the story has one. on your blog.   In between pubs, dazzle them with some two and three sentence "stories" you can come up with.  You'll get the idea by the time you need to really understand it.  Just play it safe and don't go putting your stuff on an open forum.  Good Luck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanwijk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 1:51am
Thanks for your advice sootfoot :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 8:30am
Originally posted by vanwijk88 vanwijk88 wrote:


Edit: And I suppose another thought, what about things that would be shared temporarily then removed and be no longer publicly accessible. (Just trying to figure out some do's and don't's of social media promotion for potential future endeavors :P)

What about a thing that was published and is no longer in print?  It was still published at some point. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanwijk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 9:56am
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

Originally posted by vanwijk88 vanwijk88 wrote:


Edit: And I suppose another thought, what about things that would be shared temporarily then removed and be no longer publicly accessible. (Just trying to figure out some do's and don't's of social media promotion for potential future endeavors :P)

What about a thing that was published and is no longer in print?  It was still published at some point. :)

Fair enough :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 10:19am
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

You'll find a lot of this covered in some of the other posts, but the short answer to your inquiry is:

1. There is no universal rule. Each venue has there own definition of what 'previously published' means.

2. In most cases, if you have put something on the web, freely accessible, it is considered published.
2a. In many cases, if it has been password protected and otherwise limited so that it cannot be viewed by 'anyone on the web' and is hidden from search engine results, publishers consider that "not published' since it is not publicly available. 

Since all publishers make their own rules and definitions, there are plenty of exceptions - but this covers the broadest number of cases, and is a reasonable "rule of thumb" to start from.

So, Nixie, when you submit one of your pieces that you've put up on the forums here, do you mention it upfront?  When I've looked at some of the publications who are accepting submissions, they aren't asking for specifics when they say no pieces previously published.  I do realize most of us are stumbling in the dark figuring this out as we go, but I believe you've done some submitting, so I wondered what your experience has been?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Zblugg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 11:23am
Originally posted by Andrea Andrea wrote:

Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

You'll find a lot of this covered in some of the other posts, but the short answer to your inquiry is:

1. There is no universal rule. Each venue has there own definition of what 'previously published' means.

2. In most cases, if you have put something on the web, freely accessible, it is considered published.
2a. In many cases, if it has been password protected and otherwise limited so that it cannot be viewed by 'anyone on the web' and is hidden from search engine results, publishers consider that "not published' since it is not publicly available. 

Since all publishers make their own rules and definitions, there are plenty of exceptions - but this covers the broadest number of cases, and is a reasonable "rule of thumb" to start from.

So, Nixie, when you submit one of your pieces that you've put up on the forums here, do you mention it upfront?  When I've looked at some of the publications who are accepting submissions, they aren't asking for specifics when they say no pieces previously published.  I do realize most of us are stumbling in the dark figuring this out as we go, but I believe you've done some submitting, so I wondered what your experience has been?

The idea about thses here forums is that you're using a private part to show off your wordbabies. The link in your signature should link to that private forum post, NOT directly to the text itself. This ensures that the story has actually never been published... errr... publicly. Only a couple handfuls of peoples have had access to it, so I think you're safe on the publishing front. I wouldn't even think it's worth mentionning it to an actual publisher, at that point, as it could sow doubt in their mind as opposed to reassure them.

I think.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 11:37am
Thanks.  That's kind of what I figured.  I'd read past posts about publishing right in the the forums.   Thanks, @nixie for helping us get our stories up correctly so they're available but not "published." 
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