Friday, November 28, 2008

Superstition, Nonsense, or Common Sense?

You might notice a nifty little gadget on my sidebar that tracks the word count of one of my current novels. It’s woefully neglected and I need to update it. It’s not accurate at all I finished the rough draft long ago and have been meaning to update it. I’m in edits now. In fact, I’ve started two more stories I haven’t put up a word count widget for at all. I wonder if I should put my titles out there before they’re contracted. I don’t want someone else to take them for one. Two, I guess I inherited a bit of Mom’s superstition about not talking about things before they’re a done deal. I really have doubts about divulging my works in progress and uncontracted, completed novels. Not with my friends, critique partners, or editors, but with the general public. It’s not that I think someone will outright steal my work. But I wonder if it unconsciously trigger someone to write something similar enough and get contracted before me that my story may be obsolete. What worries me more is that if I put too may excerpts, indeed entire chapters online, that a publisher won’t want to touch it as they already consider the work published. I hear two trains of thought on this so I’m not sure to which to subscribe. The first is what I mentioned above – that a publisher won’t touch a work already “published” online. The second, is totally opposite. That the chapters will attract a publisher to come to me to publish it, or more likely, that when I publish it, I’ll have a built in audience of readers who love the story and want to read the rest of it. If you’ve read my blog long, you may remember that an audio publisher found me not long ago, so I know for a fact it can and does happen. How often I’m not sure. It’s probably a once in a lifetime thing for me. Since I looked at that story as promotion and not as a source of revenue in itself, I wasn’t concerned that a publisher wouldn’t want it and I’d ruin my chances. So which way of looking at this is correct? Or is there one correct way? Is everything a gamble so it’s all arbitrary, and merely depends on our own comfort level? What do you think? Or do you know a definitive answer? I’d love to find out. "Naughty Boys", my M/M Christmas story is available at:

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Anonymous said...

I had a submitted but uncontracted excerpt on another blog which was immediately requested (same day) by the publisher and then put in an anthology before any other author was notified. HOWEVER, I have also posted a character sketch which turned up on someone else's blog with changes to the character while keeping the name and identity of the person I'd created.

I have heard there are some who, even though trusted, will swipe ideas and use them. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not. You are always safe if you play it carefully. Do what makes sense to you and don't worry about the rest.

Molly Daniels said...

I was also cautioned about posting excerpts of uncontracted wips, as they might be deemed 'already published'. Now I only post the blurbs.

And yes, one of my ideas has already been 'swiped', but the now published book does not resemble mine, so who's to say we didn't have the same idea at the same time, only hers was published first? I haven't even subbed mine yet, so there's still hope for it.

Happy Thanksgiving, Ash:)

Unknown said...

As per getting ideas at the same time and someone obviously gets theirs published first, it happens and it's hard to tell who started first. Usually there's different twists. It's happened to me, too. Oh well...

Unknown said...

I would never publish a title on my blog etc until I had a contract. I would never publish a wip on the blog as supposed 'unconscious' theft abounds. And I really don't understand this need to display word count? What is that about? Is it important for us to see the word count or yourself?

Website Content and Copy: Ashley Ladd, 2008.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Graphics hosted by Flickr.