As you may know, I publish some of my poetry and short-stories at a site called fictionpress. I have been asked once or twice why I don’t publish my novel there as I am working on it. The reason is simple..
I don’t want to and you can’t make me.
The fact is that publishing a novel online is dangerous. Very dangerous. Not only because you run the risk of someone stealing it, but also because you shoot yourself in the foot if you ever plan to publish the finished work for real. I am never planning to publish any of my poetry, at least not the stuff I put on fictionpress; but I still sustain the distant dream that I will find a publishing house for my work one day. (Hope springs eternal) Now loading my novel online does not mean that I lose the right to do this, or that I can’t be published. However (and this is a big one) I can’t sell the publishing house what is called first print rights. By loading the novel onto the internet I have published it, and so I am selling a reprint.
If you’re really good, this might be enough for them; however many (i.e. most) publishers will insist on first printing rights, especially with a new author.
So I am going to keep my novel to myself for a while, thank you very much. When it is in semi-final draft I am going to share it with some pre-selected individuals for comment, but until then…
You’ll just have to wait like the rest of the world.