TL;DR – I am no longer posting stories to Reddit for the following three reasons:
1. I lose First Publication Rights on my stories.
2. Content theft continues to run rampant, and I don’t want my stories used for others to enrich themselves.
3. I’m going to try to go the traditional publishing route.
By posting stories to an online forum, a personal website, or self-publishing them on Amazon, I’m losing something called First Publication Rights. Traditional publishers want to have the chance to publish and sell the public debut of books/stories. Since each publisher has different considerations for what constitutes first publication, it’s not wise to publish stories online and lose those rights. I mean, of course, I can still sell books and stories, but in that case, they are considered Reprints, which don’t fetch nearly as much monetary compensation. The market for these is also more limited.
Being how I’ve posted novella-length works to NoSleep, I’ve lost out on First Publication Rights for those. As I said, I can always try reprints or sell them in my collections, so they aren’t entirely lost. But I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I’d submitted them elsewhere instead? Likely nothing, but I’d rather work a top-down strategy with regards to my work. Start with the highest paying, more prestigious markets and work my way down the ladder until I’m confident my story isn’t going to sell. At which point, it’ll end up in a self-published collection. That’s the end of the line for my work at this point.
Content theft is the second reason I am no longer posting stories to Reddit. Other authors’ stories have ended up in anthologies sold on Amazon without their knowledge or permission on several occasions. Amazon doesn’t have an excellent track record when it comes to enforcing copyright claims against content thieves. I do not want to risk it. With limited time, I don’t want to spend it fighting off these thieves who will create another account and continue to do the same thing. Whack-a-mole is lame.
The same can be said about YouTube content creators as well. YouTube is much better with copyright claims, but once again, I’d rather not deal with the time and effort it takes to have copyright claims struck against a channel. It takes time to search for stories, fill out the Copyright Claim form, and then dealing with that back and forth with YouTube.
Lastly, and I think most importantly, I’m focusing my efforts on traditional publication. I’ve managed to sell stories for podcast audio dramas, YouTube content creators, and I’ve gotten published in anthologies in the past nine years. Getting paid for my work feels incredibly rewarding. Not only because of the monetary compensation but because it places value on my work. Of course, I will continue working with these publications willing to pay me for my work. I’d also like to seek better opportunities for myself for monetary compensation and more prestigious publications in professional markets.
Of course, there’s no guarantee of anything ever coming of this, so it is a risk.
As a result of this priority shift, I’ve removed all the Reddit account stories, except for stories that are a part of collaborations, including NoSleepTeams.
Additionally, I will no longer be focusing my time on writing reviews for books, movies, and television shows. There’s plenty of folks out there who can do it better than I can. Although, I will continue reading books and leaving reviews for them on Amazon and Goodreads. It’ll be anonymous, so I can give a real idea of how I felt about the book rather than feel concerned about how fellow authors may react to my feelings and critiques of their writing abilities.
With this update, I’ve deleted all the reviews from this website. I’ve decided to focus more on my author pursuits and my narration work.
Hopefully, this shift in priorities will help with fulfilling my dreams of getting published traditionally. If not, at least I can say that I’ve given it a genuine attempt.