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First Serial Rights

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2008, 08:11 PM
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Default First Serial Rights


Well, I think that I may be getting close to submitting my first short story to a magazine. After doing a lot of research on submissions and the contract aspect of it, I still come up a little bit short on one topic: First Serial Rights.

I would like to post my story on this site to get some feedback and have a few more eyes to point out any missed grammatical errors and stuff like that, but does posting it on a forum, such as this, hinder the ability to submit to a magazine that would want to claim first serial rights to the story? If, per chance, they accepted the story and then later found out that it was posted on here first, would they decline to use it or would it be a breach in contract or anything else like that?

Just checking to make sure that I don't do anything to jeapordize what I hope to be the deciding factor of trying to write as a potential career. Any info or even personal thoughts on this would be great!!!

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Old 10-15-2008, 09:40 PM
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Most mags view forum posts as 'work in progress'. Some don't.

If you think your story is good enough to submit, don't post it for critique, send it somewhere. Let an editor decide. If you don't, post it in the members only section where prying eyes won't see it.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:56 PM
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Hmmm.

It always, of course, depends on the magazine.

Make sure you read the submissions guidelines first. For instance, BDP (the publishing online company I run) accepts previously published fiction as long as you are the writer and you have the rights to redistribute it.

However, others are very strict.

It's best to find out first.

However, the Member's Only Forum, in that case, would be the best place to post it, because it's only viewed by us. But a disclaimer: other members can take your story. It's never been done before, and I'd like to think it won't ever. But there's a very slim chance.

Besides, you could delete the thread after suggested edits.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:10 AM
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The usual way magazines work is that, when they get a copy of your piece, they google either the title or the first few lines. If they get a hit back on a writing forum, and they find you've published that piece there, they could reject you straight off.

That's where the beauty of a Member's Only Forum comes in. Search engines don't have access to one of those, and therefore your work is safe.

As for deleting the thread - can members still do that? On other forums I know you can delete your own messages by editing them, but I dare say you can't delete a whole thread. I don't know. It's been a while since I was a member here. Can anyone help with this?
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:00 AM
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@Firefly: Publishers and editors take different views about work posted on writing forums but, more and more, I am finding that it's no longer accepted. Personally, I prefer to be cautious so any work I intend to submit either does not appear on any forum, or will appear in an area protected by search engines (ie the Members Only Forum).

@Daedalus: Members can edit their posts to remove the content. As for deletion, the forum is currently set so that members cannot delete posts or threads.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:01 AM
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SD - you can just write *please delete* and one of you staff will probably come along and delete it. But the title... ah, that's the problem. That's why you shouldn't write the title in cases like these, because you can't change the thread title.
{EDIT: whoops! Didn't see Q's post...}
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SynonymousWords View Post
SD - you can just write *please delete* and one of you staff will probably come along and delete it. But the title... ah, that's the problem. That's why you shouldn't write the title in cases like these, because you can't change the thread title.
{EDIT: whoops! Didn't see Q's post...}

That's something else you can ask us to do, though, and we will change your thread title for you.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:04 AM
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It would be funny, though, if a publishing company, big and rich and all, had "spies" in all the main writing forums, checking out the private forums.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:08 AM
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A terrible thought! Very Big Brother, but it has crossed my mind more than once.
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:02 AM
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And we would never, ever know... what if I were one! eek!
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:25 AM
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I think your imagination's running away with you again, SW.
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:42 AM
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Publishers are probably the same, eh? Guess I ought to run around and clean up the places I posted the work I'm planning on seeking publication for! Lol.
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:52 AM
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That's cheating, Devon. You wouldn't be advocating cheating, would you?
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:10 AM
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Cheating? Why?
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:49 AM
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I mean, the rest of the site can't delete work. But we can. Might be thought of as cheating, no? Never mind.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:57 AM
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Oh! Lol. No, I just moved it into the MOF, that's all. But others could certainly request their work be moved or removed, couldn't they?
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Devon
But others could certainly request their work be moved or removed, couldn't they?
Of course they can. So if a member wants to seek publication for something they've posted on the forum, they can ask to have it deleted so there is no trace of it.

Is it still cheating if everyone can do it, Daedalus?
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:29 AM
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Sorry, I'm raving again. Pay no heed.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:16 AM
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I'm getting the impression that it's a very slippery slope. Makes me nervous... (Looks around for spies)

Maybe I'll just stay on the safe side and put up a small excerpt or something... because that would be perfectly fine, I think. Right?
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:33 AM
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From what I've read, if it's posted in a members-only area that isn't directly viewable by the main public or Google, you are safe. All the work that I've submitted and published had only been posted on forums that were viewable by members only, and so far I haven't had any problems.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:15 AM
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@Firefly: Your work will be safe in the Members Only Forum because it is a private area, not public, and that makes a difference. So even if there was a spy (and I don't for one minute believe there is) they couldn't really fault you.

@Daedalus: You've been working too hard, boy. Take a break!
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:58 AM
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You're fine with posting in the Member's Only Area -- same thing as printing it out and showing it to your friends. Anywhere else that's publicly accessible is published already and the journal would have to accept reprints. Same thing goes for blogs. Once on a blog, it's published, and would be a reprint if accepted elsewhere.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:25 AM
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Did not know that about blogs. Learn something new every day!
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:49 AM
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Oh, yes! Anything posted in a blog is considered published. Wonder how many bloggers actually realise that.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:08 PM
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SD - nah, no spies, definitely... it's just me, with my *cough*imagination*cough*... of course... muhahahaaa...
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:17 AM
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If you put something on your blog, you can still get it published later, but it has to be as a reprint. Understandably, many journals don't want to reprint, so the market becomes immediately more limited than it was before.

That said, a blog with enough traffic or a blog that is written well enough could attract potential publishers, or at least, perhaps, other writers who may know such folks. Exposure is always key, no matter how one goes about it.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:16 PM
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It's true... there was this blog that was a story... each post was a part of the story. A publisher came by and asked to publish it. The posts were removed and it was published.

It was called Sam something something... or something like that, I don't know.
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