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Speculative fiction writer and editor. You can find links to her published work and current projects on the left side of the page.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogging Vs. Self-Publishing: Are They The Same?

To Publish: to issue for distribution to the public; to make publicly known.
To Self-Publish: the publishing of books and other media by the author of those works, rather than by established third-party publishers.

How you view self-publishing probably depends on where you are in your writing career. You could see it as investing more money than you are likely to see in return. Maybe even as pure laziness; the author didn't want to invest the time to find a publisher, what does that say about the authors work? What about blogs?

Blogging: a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries. Many provide commentary or news on a particular subject.

By definition, a blog is (usually) a free way to self-publish views on particular subjects and provide samples of work to the public. It is a collection of thoughts and ideas put in a friendly format to share.

Still not sure your blog is a work of self-publication? Go to an editors guidelines, look for what they will accept. Do they accept previously published works? Some do, others don't. Look closer at the ones that do NOT accept work that's been available to the public, 'includes any posting of this work on blogs or other web sites.' Guess what? You've been self-publishing in your blog!

Wait a minute. You didn't make any money putting your story/article/review on your blog and now you may not. All your hard work out there for free. Did you realize that when you started typing away and updating your blog?

Blogging is a great tool for those who write for the joy of writing, without getting paid. It's also a great self-promotional tool. Publishing in a blog means you are giving your readers a taste of your style and flare, which could work to your advantage as a writer.

What will you self-publish today?


  1. When I began writing again, I would post my stories on a forum that I regularly visited. It had a small gathering, but it was open to the public. I didn't think anything of putting my shorts up there for the other members to read.

    Until a memeber said the exact same thing you just stated.

    I worry so much when I see someone post their work in their blogs or online. If I'm friends with them (i.e posted more than once in their
    blog), then I send them a message and warn them. You'd be surprised at how many didn't realize they could be harming themselves or their chances of having that story published.

  2. Thank you, Jannette.
    This was a surprise to me as well. I used to put everything I wrote up for my friends and family, until I tried to sell a piece and a requirement was 'never before seen'. I was devastated.
    It's one of those things we learn as we go, and should share. :)

  3. I didn't know that. I just but a short in a critique forum. If you revise and edit, does it still count as previously seen?

  4. Mo,
    It's really going to depend on just how much you revise it. Will it be a completely different story or pretty much the same?
    Some editors will be a little more lax if it was for critique, but every editor is different. You'll have to check with them.

  5. once it is out there for the public to read it is Published. a friend told me if you are going to do this just put a excerpt then there is still the option-sometimes; some publishers will not take anything that has been even read aloud for a group. and if you lie and get caught your name is most likely down the pipes.

  6. Wow! Thank you Paige. I didn't know about the read aloud issue. Makes you wonder how anyone is to get help or assistance if they can't type it out or read it aloud. Editors can be a pick bunch I guess.
    Learned something new!

  7. Wow... this is good stuff to know. I want to eventually post shorts and such that I don't intend to publish on my blog, but I never thought about excerpts being a problem. Good to know, since I've kicked around the idea of blogging pieces of my novel-in-progress just for fun.

    I wonder if it's okay to post scrapped excerpts from a WiP? You know... those scenes you like that end up on the "cutting room floor" as you revise? I also wonder about people that write entire first drafts on blogs (blovels).

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post, Jessica! :)

  8. You're very welcome, Jen.
    This whole writing online seems to be a hot topic with editors. They are looking for things that are brand new, and if its been seen before, it isn't new.
    Makes me wonder about critiques in forums? Would that also qualify? If so, where do writers get help?

  9. Thanks, this was an informative article.