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Thread: Need clarification on self-publishing blog content

  1. #1
    I poke badgers with spoons pinkrobot's Avatar
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    Need clarification on self-publishing blog content

    I'm working on a book that I'd like to self-publish, and I'd really like to include some of the content I've posted on my personal blog over the years. I know you can't try to get published by an agency using content you've published online, but can I use it if I'm self-publishing?

  2. #2
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    If it's your content, it's yours - do what you want to with it!

    But remember the old "won't buy the cow if they can get the milk for free," idea. You might want to take down the blog content if it's a significant part of your book.

  3. #3
    I poke badgers with spoons pinkrobot's Avatar
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    Absolutely. I've held off on publishing some things on my blog that I planned on including in my book!

  4. #4
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobot View Post
    I'm working on a book that I'd like to self-publish, and I'd really like to include some of the content I've posted on my personal blog over the years. I know you can't try to get published by an agency using content you've published online, but can I use it if I'm self-publishing?
    My bold.

    Agents don't publish books: they work for authors and help them find publishers for their books.

    Trade publishers do publish books which started off as blogs: it's similar to publishing books compiled from newspaper articles. Consider Ben Goldacre's Bad Science, which started off as articles for the Guardian and for Mr Goldacre's very popular blog of the same name. The important part is that your writing is good.

    If you still want to self publish then you have no problems. You own the copyright to all your own work: you can do what you like with it.

  5. #5
    Got the hang of it, here valeriec80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    But remember the old "won't buy the cow if they can get the milk for free," idea. You might want to take down the blog content if it's a significant part of your book.
    I have nine books available free on the internet. Six of them are my very best sellers.
    Online young adult and dark fantasy novels, available at: vjchambers.com.

  6. #6
    ...it's anything but. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Another example of someone who published a novel online that was later picked up by a publisher is John Scalzi. He had a recent post about it, for the 10th anniversary of getting the offer on Old Man's War.

    The caveat is that this method of getting a publishing contract is far more rare than the submitting to agent/publisher route. And as Old Hack points out, the writing has to be *really really good*.
    Stories n' Stuff:
    Close Quarter and Slow Waltz (M/M paranormal romance)
    Missing Persons (fantasy short) in Trust and Treachery
    Takeover (M/M contemporary romance)
    CTRL Me in Rules to Live By (M/M contemporary romance)

    Latest Release: Just Business (M/M contemporary romance)

    I have a Website! My Pen Name has a Website! I also Tweet!

  7. #7
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valeriec80 View Post
    I have nine books available free on the internet. Six of them are my very best sellers.
    Do you have a theory about why that is? It seems strange that people would buy something they could get for free...

  8. #8
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Valerie, do you include your free downloads towards the numbers your best-sellers shift? If so, might that explain why they're your best sellers?

  9. #9
    Aerospace engineer turned writer
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    I put the first few chapters of any book on my web site. I try to make them good enough to be enjoyed by very critical readers, but they ARE drafts and I expect to get some negative comments. Sometimes they are very helpful and I re-write the draft.

    Then when the book goes on sale I'll take down all but the first few chapters and link to where the book can be bought. They are never more than the first third of the draft. Too much work to put up more, and MAY take away from sales.

    As for putting up entire free books. They can take away from sales of the books. But at least as often people will go ahead and buy the book anyway. There are several reasons. One is that some books bear reading over and over again; it's handy have them already. For others it's because to them hard copies have several advantages over ebook copies.

    There's another reason for putting up free books. They act as advertising for all the other books from a writer. Especially if the free book is the first of a series.

  10. #10
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laer Carroll View Post
    There's another reason for putting up free books. They act as advertising for all the other books from a writer. Especially if the free book is the first of a series.
    My bold.

    I've seen this work really well in promoting a series; but it can work against you if that first book opens with too much scene-setting, for example.

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