Originally Posted by anonymous66
Has anyone here been published?
I'm writing an article (my first) I hope to get published in a magazine. It's about the history of a watch company here in the US. I'm worried about how much I should share of what I'm learning.
I've been approached by someone who is asking about the same info I'm researching for a short article to be published in a book. I did share some info, and was promised I would get credit. There was also the hint that she would share info with me.
How worried should I be? Can I share any info I like with this person, and still get my article published? Or should I carefully guard what I have until my own article is published?
Anyone have experience in this area?
I don't exactly have experience in this area. I'm working on a series of historical novels and have thought about this kind of thing a lot. So, not exactly the same type of thing as you.
In my case, I think it's generally okay to discuss and share things easily found elsewhere. I've often put threads up here about the topics I plan to write about. The difference is, almost no one knows how I plan to use the information. Say I have a character who is impressed into the Royal Navy and I put up a thread about impressment. Another poster decides the topic is interesting and s/he wants to write a book, too. It doesn't mean the information will be used the same way. Even if the other poster wanted to write an article or a non-fictional book, that's still no threat to what I'm doing. Same information being put to different uses.
I'll be interested to read other responses here, but here's some things to consider.
- How soon are you to sending it off to publishers?
- How soon will she be sending hers? Will it be after yours?
- It's a short article. That you know, will you both be covering the same points?
- Is the information easily available online?
- Is the person compiling articles from other authors or writing them all him/herself? Why not just pay you for your article? Make sure you keep your rights to it, in case you want to publish it elsewhere.
- Are you addressing this topic in a unique, ground-breaking way? The more unique your information, the more close-mouthed you should be with it, imo.
People publish their spin on the same topic all the time. So, just because you are both writing similar articles is not necessarily a problem. As long as it's not plagiarism or in the same format (like, both on a "top 10" list), it's okay to share some stuff. But I definitely wouldn't share everything. Point her in the right direction to get her started and let her do most of the footwork herself.
I also think it's okay to say, "Hey, I don't have much experience with this kind of thing and feel uncomfortable sharing this info until after my own article is published." She should understand, hopefully.
I'll be looking forward to hearing what Asherman says on this topic.