White Haven wrote:
Wouldn't flagging the Fanfics forum as invisible to non-members protect original fiction from losing first rights? It would be a minor annoyance, if that, to our members, and could potentially spare some grief down the road.
This is something that's under discussion among the moderators now. From my reading of the situation, this would provide some measure of protection. However
, it's in a gray area. When publishers say it's okay to post in a private, members-only, password protected community, they mean something more like the Writer's Guild, where you have to be a writer to enter and stories are posted for critiquing help. By comparison, the barrier to entry onto SDN (and hence Fanfics) is very low. Password blocking Fanfics might or might not protect writers who post in it.
Password blocking would primarily be for writers like me, who started out writing something with no intention to publish and then changed their minds. If you're sure you want to publish, I wouldn't put it in Fanfics.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
That might suck since a lot of the new members, for example, got drawn in by reading Stuart's work, or Stravo's Star Cross works, or something.
Perhaps a special sub-forum in Fanfics especially for authors who want to post their original works to only the SD.net audience?
That is a consideration. The overwhelming majority of what's posted in Fanfics is...well, fanfics, and their authors aren't concerned with publication. And the most popular original work, TSW, is self-published, so Stuart doesn't have to worry about any of this. It might be that the staff decides that it's worth losing a relative handful of original work in order to keep Fanfics visible.
There might be merit to your idea as well. I'll talk with Mayabird about it.
If you must test out your original writing in an open environment; write a short story, and accept that this story will never, ever be commercially salable. If you're thinking about posting a longer work that you hope will be commercially published someday; I'd think you only be less-screwed if you(*):
A) Only published a small part of it.
While I wouldn't stake my career on advice from me, I think small excerpts are acceptable, especially of novels. Short stories, I wouldn't let any part of them anywhere near the Internet.
B) This part you self-published online will bear only a passing resemblance to the full novel, on the account of being a few major revisions behind the novel in it's final first draft manuscript form. Meaning that the two are separate and distinguishable works.
This one's wrong. Subsequent drafts are new editions of the same work, not whole new works, unless you change the story so much that it's totally unrecognizable between drafts. Think about it this way: if the first draft were published as one book, and the final draft were published as another other, would the authors be able to sue each other for copyright infringement? If they could, it's still the same book.
Be aware that you'll still have to disclose that you've done this to whomever is representing you / your potential publisher.
Absolutely. Don't even think you could lie or hide something like this. Not only would you be on the hook for breach of contract if the publisher found out (and responsible for returning your advance--sucks for you if you've already spent it), but publishing is a small world, and you don't want a reputation as someone who fucks editors around.