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Dramedy Writer80

Blogging stories - bad or good move?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Friends! Curious to hear your opinions and arguments for or against blogging stories. Once you post it online, it is technically copyrighted, correct? I'm at a place where I don't have much downtime for writing, and I'd like to start blogging regularly, too. I don't see a future in traditional publishing, and I'm thinking blogging could help me build some sort of following. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm not certain I have anything to offer the world as far as writing or editing tips, I don't want to blog about my life, and I'm not a fast enough reader to blog book reviews. I need motivation to keep trucking with my WIP and short story ideas. Would it be better to use Wattpad?

Edited by Dramedy Writer80
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I think it's a good idea. I have plans of doing something similar with short stories. The idea is to give readers a taste of my writing so that they would, hopefully, want more. Wattpad is an option, because it gets a lot of traffic. However, I think it would be great to also have the material on your own website. The big question for me is whether I can carve out the time to do it.

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16 minutes ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

Hi Friends! Curious to hear your opinions and arguments for or against blogging stories. Once you post it online, it is technically copyrighted, correct?

 

That is my understanding although others on this site will have more experience than me.

 

The thing about blogging is a) having the time to do it & b) having something worthwhile to say.

 

For both reasons I tend not to, but that is just me. 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to disagree, but don't waste your time blogging about your stories.  First, they can be ripped off.  Plagiarists can just take them and publish them anywhere they want.  Believe me, I have experience with this and it isn't pretty.  Yes, your material is technically copyrighted, but that won't stop them.  You can sue ( I did and wasted $10,000 and still didn't get a penny out of it), but really, is that what you want to waste your time doing?

 

Second, why don't you do book reviews, opinion pieces, interviews or something that will attract attention without attracting the wrong kind of attraction?

 

It's just my advice, but believe me I have good reasons for it.

Edited by suspensewriter
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@suspensewriter - I'm sorry to hear about that. It sounds terrible.

 

@Dramedy Writer80 - If I were you and I wrote the types of stories that I've seen you write, I would go for Wattpad. It is very much a Romance and Romance related genre kind of place. There is a ready made audience of Romance-aholics there looking for the next thing to binge read. Different authors have different update schedules, and there is a really wide range of abilities present. (At least, that's what it was like about a year ago when I researched it and posted there for a little bit.)

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Wattpad is bad, too, Thomas.  There are no protections against plagiarists there, either, and it's easy enough to stop, but they just won't do it.

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It is very sad about Wattpad.  The idea is lovely and the stories that are not pornography are fresh in a way that makes me glad they haven't been through the sausage grinder of public opinion.  But more and more there is nasty stuff.  I have left it behind me, hoping someone will come up with a similar platform with all the safeguards.  

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I think another other thing to consider is that if you really hit on something you liked with one of your short stories and wanted to expand on it, a traditional publisher at least would then consider the source material "published." This can complicate selling the story.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, EBraten said:

I think it's a good idea. I have plans of doing something similar with short stories. The idea is to give readers a taste of my writing so that they would, hopefully, want more. Wattpad is an option, because it gets a lot of traffic. However, I think it would be great to also have the material on your own website. The big question for me is whether I can carve out the time to do it.

Short stories is what I was thinking too...something I won't cry about, if posting limits what I can do with it later on, but something I can have fun with. Yes, I was also thinking this might attracts readers who like my voice as a writer. I'll tell you...I blogged an entire story draft back in 2011, and gained some followers who told me that pulling up my story blog with a bowl of cereal was something they really looked forward to every Saturday. 🙂 But...blogging was a different animal back then. It's gotten a lot more complicated in nine years. And if anyone can do it successfully, I know you can, @EBraten! You're a regular Speedy Gonzales with drafts!

Edited by Dramedy Writer80
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5 hours ago, Shamrock said:

 

That is my understanding although others on this site will have more experience than me.

 

The thing about blogging is a) having the time to do it & b) having something worthwhile to say.

 

For both reasons I tend not to, but that is just me. 

 

This is my struggle too, @Shamrock. My blog is suffering from lack of attention, and I'm limited on time. I was thinking I could kill two birds with one stone if I blogged short stories or something.

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5 minutes ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

 

This is my struggle too, @Shamrock. My blog is suffering from lack of attention, and I'm limited on time. I was thinking I could kill two birds with one stone if I blogged short stories or something.

What is your blog? I'll follow you! 😁

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5 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Sorry to disagree, but don't waste your time blogging about your stories.  First, they can be ripped off.  Plagiarists can just take them and publish them anywhere they want.  Believe me, I have experience with this and it isn't pretty.  Yes, your material is technically copyrighted, but that won't stop them.  You can sue ( I did and wasted $10,000 and still didn't get a penny out of it), but really, is that what you want to waste your time doing?

 

Second, why don't you do book reviews, opinion pieces, interviews or something that will attract attention without attracting the wrong kind of attraction?

 

It's just my advice, but believe me I have good reasons for it.

 

Thank you for your honest response and advice, @suspensewriter! I greatly value your opinion, and I'm so sorry that you went through that! That's terrible. So yes...I'll prayerfully consider this risk with the content I post. I did write book reviews for a while, and I did enjoy that. But time, its a rare gem these days...

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5 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

If I were you and I wrote the types of stories that I've seen you write, I would go for Wattpad. It is very much a Romance and Romance related genre kind of place. There is a ready made audience of Romance-aholics there looking for the next thing to binge read. Different authors have different update schedules, and there is a really wide range of abilities present. (At least, that's what it was like about a year ago when I researched it and posted there for a little bit.)

 

Wattpad is very tempting for the following, @Thomas Davidsmeier. I posted a few chapters from my published story there, and did get some bites. @suspensewriter, wow, that's surprising that Wattpad won't deal with plagiarists! I'll have to look that up and do some research. Thanks for letting me know.

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2 hours ago, Nicola said:

It is very sad about Wattpad.  The idea is lovely and the stories that are not pornography are fresh in a way that makes me glad they haven't been through the sausage grinder of public opinion.  But more and more there is nasty stuff.  I have left it behind me, hoping someone will come up with a similar platform with all the safeguards.  

 

Thanks for the heads up, @Nicola. It must be bad if you left. Yikes. They should have content filters. I do know there are Christian groups there.

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55 minutes ago, PenName said:

I think another other thing to consider is that if you really hit on something you liked with one of your short stories and wanted to expand on it, a traditional publisher at least would then consider the source material "published." This can complicate selling the story.

 

That is true @PenName. It would complicate a story's opportunities in traditional publishing. But honestly, I'm willing to sacrifice one of my story ideas and sets of characters, if it will help me build a following. I'm thinking I'll probably stay on the indie route anyway.

 

My blog is https://www.gwendolyngage.wordpress.com/. I started posting small excerpts of a writing exercise I did last last year, playing around with the thought of what my villain would do in an encounter with Jesus. It's not received a lot of attention, but my fault for not being loud on social media, lol. I've been blogging for a while, but after moving from Blogger to Wordpress a few years ago, I lost the following I'd built. It didn't help that I wasn't consistent with content.

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3 hours ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

But honestly, I'm willing to sacrifice one of my story ideas and sets of characters, if it will help me build a following. I'm thinking I'll probably stay on the indie route anyway.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith's wife, is a very respected voice in the indie community. She has a thing on her blog that she calls "Free Fiction Monday," in which she shares a short story for free. She also gives short stories to her newsletter subscribers.

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14 hours ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

Hi Friends! Curious to hear your opinions and arguments for or against blogging stories.

 

I think it's a matter of personal preference, and difficult to compare author to author. Some authors have a high output, while others (like me) have enough of a challenge just writing/finishing novels.

 

I don't because because it's not within my bandwidth, and I tend to save these story ideas to integrate into future novels.

 

14 hours ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

Once you post it online, it is technically copyrighted, correct?

 

Technically, yes, but that comes with a huge asterisk. As mentioned up-tread, there are people who will pirate your "free" material for their next novel. If you could hunt these people down, and prove that they stole your material, are you willing to take on the legal fees to sue? Add to this that most lawyers would likely advise against chasing these lawsuits because they rarely yield anything.

 

Most authors have enough trouble protecting copyrights on their published books. Mine are regularly pirated and pop up on sites all over the place. I could spend several hours a day sending DMCA take-down notices, but it's like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Besides, most of these sites only have the sample portion of my book (harvested from sites like Amazon) because they're really trying to infect you with malware.

 

But I digress. 

 

The bottom line: If you post anything on-line, do it with the understanding that you're basically tossing it up into the wind. It could go anywhere and be used for anything. 

 

 

 

       

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So all this begs the question—it’s hard enough for the legitimate author of a book/story to drum up publicity for it, let alone sell it, so how can the “pirates” possibly expect to make a profit off it?

 

I must be missing something somewhere...

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They grab whatever they can grab and hope for the best.  They market it all over the world, though, and through countless scam sites.  And they just keep selling and selling them.  They don't care if they don't hit on every single one.  They make their money on bulk.

 

Sometimes, they implant viruses on your stories, and offer them for free.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Zee said:

So all this begs the question—it’s hard enough for the legitimate author of a book/story to drum up publicity for it, let alone sell it, so how can the “pirates” possibly expect to make a profit off it?

 

There are several different types of "pirating" going on, and not all of it is about profit. Here are the one's I've run across and have given my own names to: 

 

1. The Plagiarist Pirate. They will take your book, re-title and publish it under a different author name. Most retail sites automatically monitor for this, so these pirates try to change things a little in the manuscript to spoof them. Sometimes they are successful. Depends on the strength of the retail site tools. 

 

2. The Alternate Retailer Pirate. They steal your eBook, set up their own account on any retail site you don't sell through, and upload it for sale. So if you're exclusive on Amazon, they will upload and sell your book on Kobo. They pocket royalties on whatever sales are made while you try to explain to Amazon why they found your book up for sale somewhere else after promising them exclusivity (and your account is frozen). Try to untangle that!

 

3. The Robin Hood Pirate. This is more common. These pirates steal your eBook and upload it as a free download on various bit-torrent sites. They don't make any money off of it, so their motivation is unclear. I guess they think anything should be free on the internet. Some authors will send a DMCA take-down notice to the hosts, which usually works - but then it pops up on other sites. This is the whack-a-mole dilemma. Most authors simply ignore this as people who download from these site wouldn't pay for a book, anyway. No real lost sales.

 

4. The Malware Pirate. This is a nasty variation of the Robin Hood Pirate. They upload what appears to be free books to download, but they're really incomplete sections (usually free samples) of your book that contain malware to infect your PC. You know what happens next - identity theft and extreme misery.

 

It's always a good idea to set up automatic Google searches on your book titles and your author name. That way you can keep track of anything that's posted. However, be very careful about clicking on any site that Google reports. It could be a Malware Pirate!    

 

 

     

 

          

Edited by Accord64
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Wow, these pirating issues sound like real nightmare! Thank you so much @Accord64 and @suspensewriterfor drawing attention to these problems. That's so awful that there are people out there who do this. You'd think that copyright laws would protect authors, but if lawyers advise against lawsuits, and no real consequences happen, no wonder these pirates run rampant. Sheesh.

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To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars (A New Hope):

 

"The Internet: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." 

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