Writing to get published
As the title implies. Stuff we want people to read because we honestly want to get it published.
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Hi. I want to publish my books-in-progress on my fictionpress account because I'm interested to see what people think and get constructive criticism. But if I finish them, I also want to try publish them sometime, and I don't want to risk the chance of someone stealing them or of them getting out so that the publisher's can't publish them. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of how to protect my story from being stolen. I thought at first about deleting the story once I finish, but I don't know that that's fullproof. Then I thougt of leaving parts of the chapter out, but I don't want to deprive readers of parts of the story. I also thought about not publishing the last chapter, so that when I try to publish it, even if the story gets stolen, it won't be finished and publishers and I can still profit from it. Does anyone know if that will be a good plan. If not, what should I do?

4/19/2008 #1

I wouldn't worry about it...If someone steals your idea and you find out about it, you can sue them and take them to court....You'll have proof that you uploaded the material on here before them, as well as have proof (at least I'd think you would) on your computer that you had this material saved on your computer before someone else published it.

4/27/2008 #2
Witchy Rain Girl

Just type a little note at the beginning of each chapter that says that the story is copyrighted.

5/28/2008 #3

Well, if you're posting on fp your chances of getting published are going to be significantly lessened immediately. This is because most publishers consider work that has been posted on sites like this as having been already published. A few don't, but most do. So, if you want to post work on fp, you should just be absolutely sure that you won't want to get it published later.

As to people stealing ideas, I think if it does happen then you could sue them simply because the fact that it was posted on this website means that it'll be clear that you were the original author. Besides, don't worry about people stealing ideas. Most ideas are stale anyway, people are always using old ideas, it's what you do with the ideas that counts and no-one's ever going to be able to replicate your words perfectly (unless they've copied and pasted, in which case SUE THEM). Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you personal voice and style is what makes your ideas come alive and that's the most important thing, because there are probably others out there that write on similar themes to you.

:D Good luck with getting published and with fictionpress :D

7/4/2008 #4

So, what if I was to post summaries of my story on fictionpress, and then email the chapters to the members that ask for them? I could send the story to myself as backup proof that it is my story. That way I wouldn't be publishing the story itself and I'd still have the peer reviews that I want when I post the actual story on this website. Does that sound like a stupid idea?

7/6/2008 #5

No, I don't think that's stupid at all. In fact, I think a lot of writers use writers' circles and pen pals for exactly the same purpose. What's your story about? I'm getting very interested here :D

7/6/2008 #6

I've posted a summary somewhere around here. Hold on, let me find it...here:

Here's the summary: Five teenagers in Needles, California, each going through their own sort of struggle. Tess Holland, a shy girl trying to bear the loss of a beloved father alone; Lena Mingarelli, an offbeat, but seemingly happy girl with hidden insecurities; Cooper Reeves, a socially awkward writer struggling to find her voice, recently switched from an entire life of being home schooled to her senior year in a typical, cutthroat high school situation; Michael Damien, a high school dropout and runaway who sees homelessness as a better alternative to living in the same house as his crack addict mother; Alex Hawke, a boy who has everything: beauty, respect, a gorgeous girlfriend, money--everything but a family he can be proud of. But they find themselves drawn to an abandoned house, or more importantly, an old notebook inside the attic of said house. Them find a vent for their problems by writing to each other anonymously, and form a strong bond through their secrets. Meanwhile they fight with each other at school, wave at each other from across the street, or pass each other running at the high school track, never knowing each other's faces...until their haven is threatened to be torn down by the city council.

Yeah, I'm not that great at writing summaries, it probably sounds uber boring.

7/7/2008 #7
Skye Hegyes

Always keep a hardcopy of your story. Another friend told me that you can send a copy of your hardcopy to your own address and never open the package. (It has to go through the mail system and get the ink stamps they stamp mail with sometimes.) As long as you don't open the package, you have the proof that someone stole your idea were you ever to see it elsewhere. When you take it to court and show them the package (those stamps have dates on them) that will prove you're telling the truth.

As to putting it on fictionpress and then getting it published, that's also what I am doing, but I am going to take it off the site when I want it to be published. Every time I write a new chapter, I add it here, but when I finish the whole story, I'll take it off and send it out to a publisher.

7/11/2008 #8

No, it doesn't sound boring. It sounds good. G'luck with it :D

7/11/2008 #9

I'm joining this a bit late, but to hell with it:

I started publishing online in the hope that I would be spotted by a publisher. This is because I read a book (actually hard-copy published) by a 16 year old. There is a note at the start by the publisher that says something like "Rachael was just 14 when she posted the first few chapters of this book on a writers' website... Scholastic were so impressed by the amazing reviews and fresh new talent that we decided to publish her. Sometimes, the reality is as good as the fiction"...

The book is called "Starcrossed", and is by Racheal Wing, published in the UK by Scholastic.

That should give us all some hope, right?

8/27/2008 #10
Birdie Shalii

So, I have to ask about this as well.

So far it's been established that FictionPress is like an automatic copyright, and what we post on here is ours, but if we want to be published, it's a bad idea to post our entire works on here. So, what if when having a writer's circle, someone from the writer's circle steals our work? We have no copyright and the proof is a lot less tangible. (Postage idea set aside.)

4/25/2009 #11


As many people have pointed out, you have it saved to your file and the website, but if you don't have completely correct personal details for the website it might not stand up in court. It should do, but if you have something worth nicking, the thief might have a pretty good back-up plan!

So, what i do is email everything to a hotmail account BEFORE uploading it here or anywhere else, and save it to a file marked "do not open", so that I know it contains my writing. You can do the same with an unopened, dated envelope. :) It sounds a bit drastic, but it should hold up in court as long as you don't open the email/letter.

And it's good to know that most of us here are after the same thing as you - getting our own work published. You would be very unlucky to have your writing stolen.

8/9/2009 #12
After reading this I'm left asking: So does that mean posting a story on here won't lessen my chances of getting published or will it though? I heard on yahoo answers people say that companies count it as a "Second Printing" and that worries me. What about if I keep it on here, and then right before I want to try to get it physically published, I just deleted it off of here, would that make it more likely to get published?
3/21/2012 #13
I also always stop with Chapter 2 on here, that way the whole work isn't on here. That way it gives people a taste for the story but the whole work isn't on here. So I get critique to help with the story, but the finished one can be physically published.
3/21/2012 #14

I actually had this discussion with my Creative Writing professor yesterday. Web self-publishing used to have a very negative connotation with publishers, but the writing world--and the publishing world--is changing drastically as technology changes our culture. That negative stigma that used to be irrevocably attached to online self-published authors is disappearing fast. My professor, who is widely published in short story and novella writing, says that it's almost nothing to worry about. Getting your name out there is worth more than the tiny risk of a publisher or two looking down on you. There are many authors now who are very successful (Brandon Sanderson included) who started out self-publishing.

4/27/2012 #15
Well great. I feel like a complete idiot now. I'm going to delete all my non piety wiring on here ASAP now.
4/2/2013 #16

You took the words right out of my mouth. Copywriting can be expensive, so like you said, just mail a copy to yourself and keep it unopened. Best advice so far!

4/8/2013 #17
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