Online publishing

I constantly go back and forth on whether I want to post my work online.

Pro: I post online, I’m published.

Sure, it’s unlikely anyone will ever see it, but that’s about the same as if I never post it online. I can start to build an audience, maybe someone will see it and be impressed and I can begin the process of becoming a ‘real writer’ rather than an amateur/hobbyist.

Con: I post something online, I’ve made use of first time digital rights or something.

Makes it less likely for me to be picked up by a traditional publisher for anything I might post or any story I might post. It’s no longer as radioactive as it was several years ago, the publishers have realized they need to make exceptions for the really good books and smaller publishers see it as less work for themselves

Pro: I’ll have to finalize my stories.

Recently, I did a major rewrite of a long story. I now had two versions which were almost long enough to be published. I didn’t care for the ending in the newer version, it was going in a direction I didn’t care for and I’d failed to shift the story in a direction that I’d sworn I would. So I decided to write a version with a major change – different protagonist, different major plotline. It’s been almost a year, I’ve had a dozen false starts (some of them long) and I have no idea what the story is anymore. It exists, that’s about it.

Con: The terror of finalizing the stories may crippled me.

Sometimes things need to change and I like having that ability right now. Seanan McGuire writes a lot and she posts short stories online of which, one collection, Sparrow Hill Road, was sold to be turned into a real live book (not to be confused with many of her stories which are turned into free to download ebooks). Apparently, during the editing process of moving from the internet and the real world, a story got cut, a few others got altered to fix continuity. She’s asked us not to look up the original.

I still don’t know how much I’ll post. Hopefully, it’ll be something.
-Xander