Wednesday, 12 March 2008

To show or not to show

Hi Guys

I was thinking of putting a couple of my chapters on to my blog and, having only started blogging this year wanted to know your thoughts about this. I know some of you have your work on display and others don't. Are there reasons why? If you have put some work on your blog, have you found the experience good or bad?

Some of you have visited my blog and you know the problem I have wondering if my work is chick lit or chick grit as I like to call it. But just lately I've been starting to think it is pure and simply women's fiction. Chick lit is a genre in itself and although I cover some of the issues, I'm not sure what genre I'm working in.

So I need your help please. Should I put on chapter one of each book? And if I do, will you come over and look at it?

By the way, a massive thanks to everyone who has visited my blog regularly. You've made a huge difference in my life and my confidence has soared. Well, sometimes anyway!



Anonymous said...

I would say it's okay to post chapters but I would advise against posting complete works. Some agents/publishers won't accept work that has been on the internet.

The advantage of posting is that you'll probably get more feedback, hopefully constructive, from your fellow bloggers.

The disadvantage is that you may be baring your soul somewhat :o/

A. Writer said...

My advice would be to create a new blog but make it private so you have control over who sees your chapters. Like Captain Black says above, some agents/publishers won't accept work that has already been 'published' on the net. You can get round that by not having your work out there in the public domain.

I have extracts available on my website that are password protected. So far I've found it neither a good or bad experience.

If you do put your chapters online somewhere, I'll read them!!

JJ said...

Hi LPlate, I don't put them up because I spend all my time putting off writing!

I'd come and read & comment, but guess that the advice above is sensible.


Leatherdykeuk said...

Some I put up for display (ABLS and Jasfoup's Blog, for example) and others I keep very much behind a locked blog wall, for the reading and commenting odf a chosen few beta readers who point out typos and huge gaping flaws in the plot.

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

I've just posted on my blog today "what is women's fiction." The bottom line is these genres are marketing categories. A good agent will help you match your work with the right editor.

I've posted a short expert from my first novel on my website but wouldn't do more for the reasons other commenters have stated.

There was a recent case of a children's book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, posted on a website that was then published and is on the NYT best seller list, but that seems to be the exception. Even Stephen King didn't have much luck with his web published novel - pay as you want form.

You might want to read the NYT article Crossover Dreams from 12/13/07.

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Sorry, the link to NYT article in my last comment didn't work. This one should:
Crossover Dreams

Leatherdykeuk said...

Good link. Thanks Sarah.

A point I forgot to mention that i have a book coming out later this year. In order to generate interest, I post new flashes and fillers using the same characters. Will that generate sales? I suspect it will. It's peanuts, but I expect to sell 1000 copies just from people that already love the characters.

Rowan Coleman said...

hey there, I'd be careful about what you post if you are planning to bring it to publication elsewhere. If it's just for the blog fine (like my Brief Encounter series), but otherwise a post that only the people you choose can see sounds like a compromise. Also I know I have banged on and on about but PLEASE don't get caught up on worrying about if you are writing chick lit, chick grit, hen lit or anything else. Write your book, make sure it is good and Sarah is right a good agent will find you the right publisher.

L-Plate Author said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

I've certainly had food for thought as I would never have thought of agents and publishers not wanting anything that's been 'published' even though I would never have put up more than one chapter. I've decided not to show them.

And Rowan, thanks for that. I guess I don't realise how many of you come and visit my blog. Just thought I'd need to remind everyone of what I do. And I suppose I'm scared of getting rejected again. But who knows fingers crossed...and legs...and eyes...

Sean McManus said...

I post chapters on my site to promote my books (the first two chapters of my music industry novel 'University of Death', and representative chapters from the non-fiction books about small business and customer service). It gives readers the ability to buy online but still browse like they would in a bookshop. It gives them a chance to start reading for free, and then buy the book later.

I'd advise against posting works in progress because you might need to edit earlier stuff later on. The starting point for my novel changed three or four times, and is much stronger for it. If I'd already made a public commitment to a certain first chapter, I'd have been in a bit of a corner.

I'm not sure there's much point in posting stuff online for the benefit of agents and publishers. I very much doubt they go out looking for talent - I think they're probably snowed under with unsolicited submissions anyway.

Getting feedback is good, but I'd tend to approach some people whose views I trust rather than throwing it open to the whole world. I think you'd get better quality feedback that way, with less interference and greater creative freedom to make changes later.

As the others said, I wouldn't worry about genres. Just write the book you want to write (or want to sell, depending on your motivation) and then worry about how it's classified for marketing later.