Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

The Posting Pit

on June 26, 2013

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I’ve been a busy, busy bee these past two weeks.  Determined to build up my publishing credits, I’ve been polishing posts that I felt were worthy of submission to literary magazines. I spent time carefully editing them and sending them out to be considered.

I followed all the submission guidelines: the format of the manuscript is carefully followed, the spacing adhered to and the short bio or blurb carefully constructed.  I check the spelling of the editor’s name three times and finally e-mail my submission.

The other day, an awful thought popped into my head.  The stories I had submitted had all previously been posted on my blog site.  Since some of the publishers I submitted to requested unpublished works, does that mean that my stories are automatically refused?  They didn’t ask if I had a blog site, but it would be easy enough to find me out there in the cyberworld and find those stories.

I searched the Internet hoping that publishers didn’t consider Blog posts as published works.  Well, my friends, I’m sorry to say…they do!  Well, poopy-do and all that!  Now, I had submitted a total of three stories to an online magazine that accepts pre-published works, but there are not that many of them out there.  (All three got accepted, I’m happy to say!)

So, what’s a blogger to do?  We beta test our stories by sending them out to our readers on the site.  They either ignore them or make comments that convince you that it is worthy to be read by the general public or is of no interest at all to the everyday reader.  Their response usually tells you if you’ve got a good story going.

I guess that I will no longer be able to post my fiction/non-fiction/memoir stories on my site if I feel that I may want to submit them to publishers at a later date.  That sucks…but I guess it’s the only way not to have my story thrown into the Posting Pit.

If any published writers out there have found more information than I could about the legality of claiming a post as a unpublished work…let me know!  Otherwise, all the stories I wrote for my readers here are never going to go any further than this site.  And, again, that sucks.

But, it is what it is.  For those of you who are just gathering up the nerve to send in some of your work to a literary magazine, you might want to learn from my experience and follow the comments (if I get any) before you e-mail those stories that you once posted on your site.

I just thought I’d warn you about walking into the Posting Pit.

Love,

Cranky

Authors note:  I did submit a piece that was on my site to one of the publishers, before I realized that posts would be considered pre-published works.  I have the ability to withdraw it from consideration…but I haven’t done so yet.  Looking for more information before I drag it back home to die.

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37 responses to “The Posting Pit

  1. Just a thought. Can you delete it from here and still legitimately submit? It would be a shame to not be able to have them published. Congrats however on the success you did meet with. Smiles and blessings.

  2. grannyK says:

    In my humble opinion, it shouldn’t count if it’s on YOUR blog and written by YOU. That just seems wrong to me.

  3. Bastet says:

    Oooo dem’s da pits… ;-(

  4. barbtaub says:

    I can’t pretend to have any expertise here, but I do know there are some good sites out there where writers put up their work for critique. And, because it’s understood that these are works in progress, it is also understood that they are still virginally unpublished. My favorite was one run by Writers Digest which, sadly, they closed down. But another popular and influential one is Absolute Write Water Cooler [http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums]. You have to post a certain number of times before you can put your own work up for critique, and sometimes the responses can let blood, but the people do know their stuff. Another option is to find critique partners, people who write in your genre with whom you can trade edits. I’ve found some wonderful CPs at Ladies Who Critique [http://www.ladieswhocritique.com], which lets you shop for CPs by genre. My advice to you in this case is to take down the posts you’re submitting (or even better, all but the first few pages of each work), do a stiff edit (or send to a CP) and consider them unpublished. You are a fantastic writer, and I think you will do so well! Good luck.

    • Thanks for all the info..I currently have chapters in my book on a Critique site and it is helpful and it won’t be considered published work. But, the posts I’ve published on my blog site are definitely considered pre-published, even though I feel that a blog is a personal site and not used to promote my work. I just enjoy writing the stories and letting my blogging buddies read them.

  5. Rose says:

    One of those, “oh to have come so far, and now this crap!” kind of things. I feel for you on that one! I know nothing about publishing, but know enough about life to know there are often loopholes. Best wishes on this one!

  6. tric says:

    I know it is most disappointing. However you began to blog roughly the same time as myself, and even though we have both posted a lot we still have so much more to give as we are still relatively new. I am sure you would agree! I do know that it is okay to make a fair amount of changes to a post and that it is then considered new, so maybe that might work for some you particularly like.
    You are so much more advanced than I am. I would love to get my writing out there but I am clueless. I love reading what you are up to and thinking….. “Yes I might do that some day”.

    • I would have to change more than the title to make it “new again” and then I’ll lose the plot I intended. But, I’m back on the laptop and if I want to have it critiqued I have a site I am a member of that does that.

      You are more likely to hit the book stands before I do, I love your prose!

  7. aj vosse says:

    Strength and some luck is what’s needed here…
    Good luck, lets hope a few publishers fall into their pit as well… maybe then, when they crawl out, they’ll see the light! 😉

  8. Lori says:

    thanks for the heads up and good luck with your publishing (I swear, I’m not jealous, just check your brakes before you head to the grocery store!)

  9. Aurora says:

    Just a thought after your post a couple of days ago, but have you thought about buying the domain name to match your pen name yet? If you haven’t I would seriously consider it before looking at doing any serious publishing. If you don’t domain squatters are all too happy to snap up the names of up and coming authors and make them buy them back for very inflated prices.

    (Not to mention if you get it through WordPress, these blogs do make rather nice websites with a bit of tweaking.)

  10. Aurora says:

    I am going through a similar situation right now, a few months ago I used a common domain buying site to look into buying the name of the fictional town some of my novels are based in. Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later when I went to buy it, the domain was suddenly owned by the site I was going to buy it from, and they offered to sell it to me for $65. (this particular site is known for that, but apparently no one warned me about it before I just used it to look up the domain to see if it was available)

  11. TamrahJo says:

    I wrote for awhile for two print publications that also had online copies – I wrote pieces and submitted to them, when they accepted, they printed the article, with a link back to my blog, where the article was also posted – –
    It was nice – gave them articles and got my blog some traffic – I will say I knew the editor in person and this was the deal we brokered –
    😀

    • I’ve submitted to a similar type of publication and am waiting to see if my submission was accepted. It’s such a slippery slope we writers are on when we post stories online.

      Thanks for sharing!

  12. keladelaide says:

    Can you post a link on your blog to the articles once they’re published? Just a thought…..

  13. Sallyann says:

    Eldest Daughter’s boyfriend had the same problem. He set up his blog here on WordPress simply for some feedback and loads of his work is sitting somewhere in the “posting pit” because of it. 😦
    Not good. He has since closed the blog down … and been published.

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