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July 7th, 2005, 06:11 PM
I looked for this thread but didn't find it (although I'm sure at some point it's come up). Anyway it was suggested to me that I put my story in PDF format but I don't know how. I used to have Adobe but never used it for anything except to open PDF files online. Anyone know what I need to do? Or know a prefered format for stories online?

July 7th, 2005, 06:29 PM
first, you need some kind of adobe application, if you don't have adobe on your computer you can download the free version from the adobe site.

there are free programs that convert docs into pdf, i use http://www.pdf995.com/ (pdf995), which is also a free dowload.

its simple to use, if not a little strange. once you have it installed you open the doc you want to convert to pdf and go to its print menu, just like you were goign to print it, and the pdf application shows up as a printer you can select. you select it and hit print, and this creates the new file (it doesn't actually print).

i really don't know what the prefered onlien format is, but pdf files are much nicer to read, and I'd feel more secure showing my work as a pdf than as a word doc, which is easily alterable and shows mistakes, corrections, takes up more space, etc.

July 7th, 2005, 08:13 PM
If you're submitting it someplace, use their submission guidelines. Or take a look at Gregory Betancourt's article on The Obligatory Manuscript Format Article (http://www.sfwa.org/writing/format_betancourt.htm). Others can be found here: http://www.sfwa.org/writing/

It might seem like a lot of work but it makes you look professional.

There was some freeware pdf writers mentioned in the Writing Software (http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10669) thread.

July 7th, 2005, 08:14 PM
Thanks I'll download that and follow your instructions

July 8th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Is this just to put it up on a website or are you submitting it places?

July 8th, 2005, 06:40 PM
To put on a website (it's not ready to go out to an editor I'm hoping to collect reviews and comments as I put the chapters up THEN go back and revise parts of the story based on any good advice I get).

July 10th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Be very careful about that if you are looking to eventually get this story published. Nearly all publishing houses have a rule about not accepting previously published work. Putting the work on the website (even if only for comments) constitutes publishing to most houses.


July 10th, 2005, 07:19 PM
So what if I want to send this to a publisher I have to take my story down off this site? :confused:

July 10th, 2005, 08:31 PM
Honestly, if they knew it was up there, it would be too late to take it down. Now there may be some mitigating circumstances. For instance, if you are only publihing short excerpts on the web for critiques, you may be ok. If the form it is in is extremely rough, then you may be ok.

I am not sure about those last two points however. It all depends on if they've seen it, and if they remember it if you publish. This is why most online critique groups make you enter a password before seeing any of the works. Because of the closed critique group, the work is not considered published.

I am sure there are others more knowlegable in this area then myself. The best thing to do, is go find out some of the submission guidelines at a few publishers you were thinking about (maybe Tor, Del Ray, Bantam).


July 11th, 2005, 02:29 AM
I think the answer is maybe.... It's a minefield out there with regards to Electronic Publishing rights and changing all the time.

Most I believe consider crits done on a password protected "private" crit forums as ok... Scott Bakkar was a member of onlinewriting when it was sponsered by Del Rey.. as were a number of other now published writers. A number of writers have been "picked up" by mainstream publishers from their blogs and online writing groups. So crit groups and forums like this are a good breeding ground for new authors. Whether the work they did on the groups, blogs, forums was the stuff that made it into print I don't know.

You place it up at your own risk. And it is a risk, work can be copied and end up on other sites under other names. You could lose the "first publishing rights to it." in the eyes of some publishers.

On the other hand work on a site like this can bring you to the attention of writers/editors/agents etc... Your decision your risk, personally once I put something up on the community here or else where I pretty much right it off with regards to selling.... (most short stories by the time they hit here have been sent out a few times anyway) unless it is just a first draft or "taster". Even then *shrugs*

Here are a few articles on the matter. They are a bit old and as I said things are changing all the time.