You Might Be A Published Author If...

By: Scott Lindsay

You've ever printed up several copies of your work and passed them out at the mall.

You've ever written something pithy on a restaurant napkin and left it for the waitstaff.

You've ever written a poem in the memo of your checkbook.

You've ever published a selection of stories in a three ring binder for neighbors as a 'welcome to the neighborhood' gift.

The truth is, the definition of a published author might be more encompassing than you may have realized. Most aspiring writers tend to think of a published author as one who has had a manuscript accepted for publication in a book or magazine. However, because there are assignable rights to your work it is important to know that chances are very strong that you are already a published author.

If you have posted a story on the web, you are now considered a published author. This scenario can be confusing and sometimes frustrating for writers because some publishers only accept work that can be provided with first or exclusive rights. If the piece has been published on the web, these rights are no longer available.

It should be noted that there are also many publishers that will accept second rights or non-exclusive reprint rights for those works that have been published before.

One of the primary reasons to consider web publishing is because it allows an audience to read your work and provide feedback while allowing you to grow as a writer.

When you begin a writing career it can be very important to find as many avenues as possible to allow your work to be seen and the web provides a readily accessible forum for doing just that.

Some will refer to this as assisting in the building of a portfolio which is essentially a means of showing potential publishers that your work has been accepted (or published) in a wide variety of venues.

The more publishing credits you have the greater your chances are that a publisher will review your work a little closer.

If you have ever participated in a writing contest, had your work accepted by an ezine or had a writing printed in your local newspaper, you are now a published author.

The bad news is you've forfeited the opportunity to sell the piece for first and/or exclusive rights.

The good news is you are realizing a dream that is forfeited by many because of the fear involved in clicking the 'submit' button.

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