I write occasional guest blog posts for a special interest blog with a very large readership. I don't get paid but that's okay, I have a strong interest in the special interest area, and it's very satisfying to share information in (cough) what I consider is a well written way.

My hope is that this exposure will help spread the word about my book when it is finished.

I haven't decided yet whether to submit to a publisher or self-publish. If one submits to a publisher, what does one do about the fact that some of the material has already been published (in the blog)?

The posts on this particular blog stick around for years, and continue to attract readers. I know because comments continue to appear in a slow steady stream.

I am thinking about making my own website, also, in which to re-publish (with permission, of course) the same posts, along with some additional material, most of which would be related to the book. (For example, some appendices with related technical information that would not fit into the book, or that would be too tedious for the book, but which some readers would devour, as they are trying to figure some things out.)

Is it still possible to submit to a publisher in these circumstances?

2 Answers 2


Not only possible, but better. Publishers want to know that there is a market for your work. The success of your blog posts proves that there is.

But there is a catch. Under what contract did you write those guest posts? Did you assign copyright to the site or did you retain it. If you assigned copyright to them then you will need their permission to reproduce it in your book (and the publisher will ask to see that permission granted in writing).

  • @TonyLinde and Mark, so far we have had an informal arrangement. I am about to submit a blog post that will relate directly to the future book. Can you suggest some simple phrasing I could include with this submission, to make sure I don't run into trouble down the road? Also, a relevant organization involved with the special interest area has looked at one of my drafts and has requested permission already to republish my article on its own website. Thank you very much. Feb 11, 2017 at 23:44

As @mark-baker has said, you need to check that you retain copyright, but also have the right to reproduce them elsewhere: you can retain copyright but not have the right to re-publish, even in a different medium, without permission. And this will be true whether you go to a publisher or self-publish.

If a publisher produces well-respected books in your field, approach them and see if they are interested. If they are, not only will you know the book might be marketable but they may negotiate getting the rights to republish from the blog owner(s).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.