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Preferring to peddle my Science Fiction manuscript to a Literary agent, may well be an impossible dream. In which case I feel that whilst I’m considering that option, however remote it may be, I might as well use my Blog site as a potentially useful device to launch the first 5000 words of my novel. Furthermore, blog visitors who have followed a link from Twitter or Facebook to my site, would be offered future chapters as and when they become available.

The question is, how would this affect my chances of a book deal with a publisher in the future?

  • Any publisher looking for First World Publishing Rights may well not touch it. – CLockeWork Jan 28 '15 at 13:08
  • Thanks, thats true, but First World Publishing Rights isma little out of my reach....foe the moment:) – james a Bresco Jan 28 '15 at 13:29
  • No worries James, my point is just that as a decent majority of publishers require first world right (digital or print) if you publish elsewhere before hand you won't ever be able to publish through them. This does depend on the publisher though. – CLockeWork Jan 28 '15 at 13:31
  • Link above is dead, here's the archive. – Zayne S Halsall May 5 '16 at 5:17
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As with any self-publishing project, there are two answers.

  1. If your self-published version becomes a big success - which will require relentless promotion on your part - it will be easier to get a traditional publishing contract.

  2. In any other scenario, it will make it harder because you'll no longer be able to offer first publishing rights.

Either way you don't want to launch an ebook just because you think it will be a bridge to a contract - you should do it if (and only if) you legitimately think you can make it a success on its own terms.

If you have a pre-existing online fan base and/or access to an active social network, it's quite likely your book would do better as an ebook than if placed with a traditional publisher. But don't think simply placing something online means people will read it (even if its good).

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  • 2
    I would like to add that a decent self-published success can be a door-opener when you submit your next novel to an agent or publisher. Mention that self-publication in your query letter, including a link and a short description of its success (e.g. so-and-so many downloads or subscribers to your newsletter). Don't get hung up on your first novel having to be a bestseller, but always plan to make your next novel better and more successful. See my related answers: writers.stackexchange.com/a/15904/5645 and writers.stackexchange.com/a/12634/5645 – user5645 Jan 29 '15 at 7:57
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It would depend on the publisher. Some publishers like to publish work that already has an established fan base because it helps them in the long run and they already know how the work will be received. Fifty Shades of Grey is a good example (not of writing but of work being published online first) - it was initially published on a fan fiction website. This didn't deter the publisher. The backing of a major publisher inevitably helped the book to get out there, but with a built-in fan base that increased their likelihood of picking it up, too.

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  • Thank you for that,its what I thought but needed it confirmed:) – james a Bresco Jan 28 '15 at 13:26
  • Fifty Shades is perhaps not the best example, as (as far as I remember) her husband was a high end advertising exec who used his position to get the book published. – CLockeWork Jan 28 '15 at 13:28

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