Nanowrimo survival tips 5 – Don't blog your book

By all means blog about your progress, but if you’re serious about writing (and let’s face it you should be if you’re going to get through the next month) don’t publish your novel on-line.

Blogging is self-publishing and unless you are really lucky, no publisher is going to touch a work by an unknown that has been self-published.

There are always exceptions, but unless you want to take a huge gamble, my advice is to resist.

A blogged book is often seen as secondhand.

Last year, I came a across a few people who had interest in their novels, but the publisher was not interested if the work had been previously published, even on a website.

They had to take the work down and hope the publisher didn’t find out. That’s not a good way to start to a professional working relationship.

Nanowrimo survival index

tips 1

tips 2

tips 3

tips 4



  1. “self-publishing”, “previously published”, and “a first print” and will have no interest in the novel. Excepts are allowed though so I might tease all of you with bits and pieces, leaving you wanting more. Thanks Debra for the tips and information. Nothing to write home about: Nanowrimo survival tips 5 – Don’t blog your book

  2. There was a post on the NaNoWriMo forums about this very matter: publishing a novel online, whether on a blog or a website, is considered first print, and makes said novel worth nothing if one day a publisher discusses the matter of first print rights with you. It’s a good thing to know, indeed. I understand that publishing excerpts is okay (as long as it can’t be considered that the whole novel is readable this way), but anything more than (probably) 10-15% of the book is a no-no.

  3. Yzabel – thanks for your comment and the link – I’m glad this is getting highlighted.

    It’s something people don’t often consider, and though you can take work off-line, it often lives on – the internet archive and furl are examples of this.

    Sharon – I’m sure you can do this!

  4. I don’t have any experience with the fiction publishing industry, but it doesn’t surprise me that a publisher would be wary of a novel that is available online. However, I would imagine that by blogging your novel you run the risk of having thousands of people read it. Okay, maybe not thousands, but…

    Blogging a nanovel (essentially a rough draft) probably won’t hurt since the final product (after multiple rewrites) will probably look so different and be of a higher quality. The only thing it will hurt is, potentially, your pride since your rough text will be available to anyone with a web browser.

    Or look at the problem this way. What if the real work was the blog? Say you are writing a narrative blog with an ongoing story line. Then imagine that if your story is good enough and enough people start reading a publisher might want to tap into that ready-made audience by publishing a novel based on the blog (it’s happened before, but not to me, unfortunately).

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