Face Off Friday: Posting Excerpts of Your Work



This morning I wasn't sure what I was going to blog about (what's new), but then I read Julie Dao's post on imitation over at Silver Lining (thanks to Sierra's Google Reader Roundup for highlighting it, since I had missed that post this week) and got inspired.

The post was basically warning to be careful what you post about your WIPs because once the info is out on the internet, anyone can steal it or your ideas.  Now, in response to this post, Sierra said she doesn't plan on participating in blogfests and such anymore for  this reason.

I have mixed feelings on this issue.  I'm pretty paranoid by nature and tend to not share the overall concept for my WIPs when I'm working on them, but I do participate in blogfests on occasion and post excerpts.  (Although, once I start shopping a book or entering contests, I pull those snippets off.  And yes, I know about cache copy.)  I also have my blurbs for my completed novels posted on my website and on the "my writing" page on this site.  Am I worried someone will steal those?

*shrug* Not really.  I've cursed them with a strong voodoo spell that will inflict years of intestinal nastiness if stolen.  But also, only I can write the books I write.  My voice, my words, my story.  Just like I couldn't go grab an excerpt of one of your stories and recreate your novel.  It would come out as a totally different story.  

However, what I would worry about is posting your one or two sentence hook or logline--especially if you have something high-concept.  In this competitive market, if you have some brilliant hook/logline, I would keep that to yourself because maybe there is only room on the shelves for one story about alien ants who invade our picnics to spy on human communication (well, I doubt there's room for even ONE of those books, but you know what I mean.)  

I definitely have gone to blogs and seen those little one sentence hooks and thought "ooh, that's goooood."  Now, of course, I'm not a thief, so my thought is "I want to read that", not "I'm going to steal that."  But there are many out there who would hijack it.  (Although, I'm hoping that karma gets all those filthy liars by making sure they're terrible writers and would never get a shot anyway.)

So I guess I fall somewhere in the middle on the debate.  I say be careful, but also don't deny yourself the fun of blogfests, contests, and opportunities to get reader feedback.

But I'm curious to hear your opinions.  Do you worry about theives?  Where do you draw the line on what you post or don't post?

**Today's Theme Song**
"I Think I'm Paranoid" - Garbage
(player in sidebar, take a listen)