re: Bad Idea to Post Excerpts Online?

in Publishing Biz by

Dear Editor…

I’d like to post a 1- to 2-page excerpt of my latest manuscript along with a summary of the book on my blog. Do editors and agents frown on having the material out there for all to see before they’ve had a chance to sell it? Should I worry about the idea getting swiped before I publish it?

Sincerely,
Heather

Dear Heather…

Editors and agents don’t care if a few pages are out there when you’re submitting. After you’re signed up, though, they’ll probably want the material pulled down because you’ll be revising it. You can re-post the final excerpt on your website/blog to help you promote the book when pub time comes. As for people stealing your idea pre-pub, it happens. Heck, people will steal your entire identity online, what makes you think your intellectual property is safe? I’m not a fan of posting pre-published material for that very reason. You can likely prove you had the idea first by using blog dates and the like, but why would you want to put yourself in the position to have to fight that fight?

Happy writing!
The Editor

5 Comments

  1. What scares me the most are the big sites (some belonging to large publishers) that want you to put up your whole book and have readers vote on it. They say that agents and editors are trawling the site, but so are other writers. I don’t understand why writers would put up their whole book like that — the ideas, characters, or even turns of phrase can be stolen.

  2. I think people do it for the same reason musicians put up free songs. You want to be noticed. In a sense, you may give up that one “song” but if your talent is noticed, it’s the second song that sells. Songs don’t take as long to produce as a full novel, so maybe that model works better for musicians. However, the concept behind putting it up is the same for both. Trust me. I’ve thought of free give away e-books on Amazon, knowing full well what it meant. Haven’t done it, but I can understand it. You just have to have something else to follow up your free give away.

  3. Thank you for your sage insight. Your post exemplified the very unseen snares that terrify me. I was further drawn in by Katie’s book title, which promises to help me face my fears (on promotion), and was unable to resist the drawing offered. Thank You!! When I read the Promoting Books blogs I was a goner. Fabulous information. You have held up the light and refueled my pen.

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