There is a lot of information out there about the pros and cons of putting your writings on the web. Will it help you or hurt you? I’m sure there are many advocates for both. I am one that says it will hurt you when it comes to publishing with a credible publisher. While I am still working hard to become that published author, I have had contact with many who have published their work. Some have self-published, some have their work through publishers and some have gone digital through places like Nook and Kindle. Those that have had their work published through publishing houses have indicated that if they had any of their work published on the web there were problems.
- What are some of the cons of putting your work on the web?
- First how about the fact that you are letting people have a free reign with your ideas and whether you want to believe it or not those ideas if not properly managed can be stolen and even used.
- If someone is reading your work online why would they want to pay for your writing in a published book format or e-book when they are already getting it free? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for something I’m already getting for free.
- Publishing houses will see putting your writing online as a form of publishing your work. If you are trying to ultimately take your writing to a published level; such as a book, then this will most likely hurt potential sales. The publishing house is there to make money and I would think as a wannabe author you want to make money also, so why put your work out their in that fashion and take a huge risk like that?
- Have you ever posted some of your work on sites that allowed comments? Posting your work opens yourself up for negative and nasty comments toward your work.
- There are some who are willing to take the risks of all the cons to get a following of readers. Some editors, agents and publishers actually like this. The reason why they like it from what I’ve been told is that you have created an audience for the work you’ve done, which in turn proves to the editors, agents, and publishers that there is a market for what you wrote.
- Some of the comments you may receive on sites where you have posted your work could open windows to new directions your story could take, especially if you receive positive feedback.
Each writer needs to assess what they are trying to accomplish and clearly understand the pros and cons of what they choose to do. What if you are in a writer’s group and critiquing work? This has been a dilemma also for some because for online groups you have to post your work on the web. Some groups like Meetup.com get around this by allowing the members to upload a file, so the content is only accessible to its members. Do you still run the risk of having your ideas stolen – sure, but it’s less likely in such a controlled environment.
I stay on the side of caution. I don’t like online writer’s groups simply because you just don’t know everyone except by perhaps a profile which could be false. If you go to a writers group in person you have the opportunity to make real connections face to face and determine if you want anyone in that group to lay eyes on your work. Again, it goes back to assessing the situation and making the best decision for yourself. I don’t post anything on the web if I feel that I want to potentially pursue publication. I am cautious about posting my ideas to a storyline as well.
So, does putting your writing on the web help or hind you? It’s clear there is both good and bad, but the ultimate choice to do so is up to you. Some choices run risks for you if you want to have your work published through a publishing house, so be cautious and think about what you want to accomplish, and what you are willing and not willing to risk.