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What counts as 'previously published'?

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Jazz Club

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Forgive me if this is a dopey question! I've seen on some agents' websites that they don't want anything that's been previously published anywhere, including online. By that I assume they mean they don't want a whole novel that's been up on Wattpad or Royal Road for months. It wouldn't matter if I put a chapter up for critique on a forum like this, would it? Or do you have to keep your whole novel off public forums and just hire beta readers if you want to try to get it traditionally published?
 

veinglory

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Generally, they mean a part of the internet that does not require a password to access. So critique forums requiring membership to access are okay. But that is a general rule of thumb rather than completely universal.
 

Jazz Club

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Generally, they mean a part of the internet that does not require a password to access. So critique forums requiring membership to access are okay. But that is a general rule of thumb rather than completely universal.
Thank you so much. I thought that might be the point of the passwords but wanted to check.
 

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