Publishing Fiction on a Blog

Editor Maria Schneider shares thoughts on whether and how writers should post fiction on their blogs.
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Hi Writers,

One of the questions that came up when I originally posted my 20 tips for good blogging was the issue of whether or not it makes sense to post your fiction online.

(Should writers have a blog?)

And the answer is, well, it depends. It's important to think hard about what your writing and publishing goals are before you decide to post your original fiction online.

Publishing Fiction on a Blog

A few points worth considering:

  • Are you hoping to get your piece published elsewhere? If so, it’s wise to reconsider posting a full story on your blog, since many editors will consider this previously published content, and therefore won’t accept it for publication. Put yourself in an editor’s shoes: if a story is available in full online already, what’s the point of including it in a book or literary journal (online or print).
  • Yes, a blog can help you develop a readership, or perhaps even snag the attention of an editor or agent. But again, consider the consequences of publishing full stories or novel chapters online. A better tactic might be to publish excerpts to give readers a taste of your work.
  • If you’re posting your work online as a means of creative expression or simply to get feedback, sure, go ahead and post your fiction on your blog—just know that you might be giving up the chance to get it traditionally published later.

For a thorough read on the topic of what’s considered published and what isn’t, go to Shades of Gray, by Jordan E. Rosenfeld. Here's a brief excerpt: 

Perhaps the grayest area of all is the blog. In the beginning, bloggers were seen as little more than confessional diarists posting their ramblings on the Internet for anyone to stumble across. Because numerous bloggers are prolific and even respected now, however, the issue of blog publishing leaves a lot of editors uneasy. Most agree that content that appeared on a personal blog doesn't count as being published—as it hasn't gone through a committee process—but some still prefer not to publish it. If you aspire to publish in a particular journal, you're better off keeping prospective pieces off the blogosphere altogether.

Do you publish your original fiction on your blog? If so, how’s that working out?

Keep Writing,

Maria

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