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Shades of Gray : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Shades of Gray

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Brian
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Shades of Gray

Postby Brian » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:53 am


Brian
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Shades of Gray

Postby Brian » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:53 am

In every issue in "Writer's Digest"'s InkWell section, we pose a thought-provoking question related to the writing life. In the June issue, Jordan E. Rosenfeld writes about some of publishing's gray areas ( http://www.writersdigest.com/articles/r ... f_gray.asp ). Do you think columns and writings on blogs or personal websites should count as being published?

To be part of our monthly Conversation, e-mail your brief response (up to 50 words) to mailto:writersdig@fwpubs.com with "Shades of Gray" as the subject line or post it right here. A few responses may be selected to run in a future "WD" newsletter.

abqwriter
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby abqwriter » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:00 am

Columns ... on blogs or in publications? 

KarenRankowitz
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby KarenRankowitz » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:37 am

Good question, both Brian and Lisa...

Is this 'published' to mean in online form only of personal blogs and personal websites?

Or a Blog associated with another source/publisher?


charanne
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby charanne » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:48 pm

I do not think what is written in what I think you mean, a personal blog or website, should be considered published.

Of course with self-publishing of books, etc it could be confusing, but anything I put on my personal blog will not be something I consider important enough, or good enough to attract a publisher.

KarenRankowitz
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby KarenRankowitz » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:48 am

Brian, I'm going to jump in again...

Being of the print age, where published meant paper, I don't think that personal blogs are even to be considered in the real world of publishing.

I'm sure I'll take a ton of flack for that but, anyone can blog.

As far as personal websites go...I'm not sure.  Here's why, there are many paper published authors who have personal websites.

Published to me, and remember I'm small time, means putting your best work forward, having an editor like your work, that editor then puts your work in a publication.  Hence, the writer gets paid to provide information, insight, knowledge on specific topics, humor, and fiction, etc.

The internet gives too much freedom to people who's work just wouldn't make it to national publication.

How's that for an opinion...


maria
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby maria » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:20 am

I think you need to look at this from an editor's perspective: if a piece of writing is readily available to the masses online, why should I pay for it and publish it?
-maria

abqwriter
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby abqwriter » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:25 am

I don't want to blow my two cents on old bubblegum, so I'm still hanging on to my change until I know if Brian meant by "columns".

Brian
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby Brian » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 am


abqwriter
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RE: Shades of Gray

Postby abqwriter » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:47 am

Ok, here's my two cents:

From a credibility viewpoint, pontificating all day long or once a week within a blog does not a writer make.  Blogs, like writers, span the gamut of quality.

From an editor's viewpoint, everything is and should be considered published if it's appeared anywhere in a public venue either online or in print.  That doesn't mean it can't be resold, but it sure means an editor shouldn't have to pay for first rights.  Who wants to buy a great piece only to find it verbatim on the writer's blog?  Editors buy work to generate sales; having the work already available to the public certain works against the better good of the buying publication.

From a writer's viewpoint, if its requested by an editor - whether paid or unpaid, online or in print - it should count as published.  A writer should never post something on their personal blog that might later become a piece worth selling.  But a writer can and should put their personna and style out into the public for higher visibility.  Well written blogs can develop a loyal following, and that can lead to assignments and more business.

From a personal viewpoint, I don't ever put something on my blog that I want to sell.  But I do put up teasers to promote what I've already sold.  I also may briefly cover an idea in a column on my blog that I later write about in my printed column.  Ideas can be approached from a variety of angles, so I make sure that I leave myself room to approach any idea from a new angle in case I want to write about it for a publication at some later date.


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