I’ve been rethinking my approach to publishing articles in publications. To my horror, I’ve seen links to hundreds of my old articles take people to “file not found” or other 404 pages. Other articles are now behind subscription or pay walls, or can be read only as you navigate through ad mazes.

Large audienceThat was never what I wanted. I don’t think any author would ever want that. I want as many readers as possible.

At best, in most cases I at least have my last draft that I submitted for publication still in my archive. The good news is that most of my articles don’t need much editing. The bad news is that these drafts are all I have to send people, including a recent potential client, as a copy of an article they can’t find instead of the working link I (and they) expected. I’m the one who looks like I don’t know what I’m doing when I send people to a dead link to my own article.

I dealt with this issue many years ago by posting drafts of missing articles as blog posts. I considered that possibility and, for now, have rejected it in favor of looking to the future.

typewriter typing "blog"I’ve also become frustrated by a publishing model that creates a big delay between when an article is finished and when it becomes available to an audience. I recently realized that an article I agreed to do with an end-of-February deadline will not appear until July. I’m now rethinking my approach to that article and keeping out ideas I want to get out into the world before July. The photo to the right made me think of how some publishers still think about blog content.

The long post/article I posed yesterday, “Outside Law Firm Panel Convergence – Innovation Driver or Innovation Destroyer?” is the first example of my new approach, which is actually a throwback to an old approach where I published to my blog first and publications requested the rights to reprint as an article in print or online.

For new articles that I write not done as a favor for an editor or under contract, I will publish first as a blog post. I call this #blogfirst. The post will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). People can use the post as they wish, only with attribution and only for non-commercial purposes as defined under the license. If someone wants to publish the post or a portion of it in their publication, they can contact me to discuss and we can reach mutually-agreeable terms.

Generally, after I post to my blog, I plan to post a somewhat-edited version (hoping my audience lets me know about typos, oversights, revisions, etc.) as an article on LinkedIn. For example, here is the LinkedIn version of the panel convergence article. Again, if someone wants to publish the post or a portion of it in their publication, they can contact me to discuss and we can reach mutually-agreeable terms.

This approach will keep the responsibility for the continuing presence on me (and sort of on Kevin O’Keefe at LexBlog, who hosts my site and in whom I have every confidence).

I believe this will be a very workable system for publishers who have wanted to use my articles in the past. If it adds extra steps or difficulties, the blame for that lies solely on your publisher colleagues, who seem to have forgotten that it is authors that provide the content that brings the audience that brings the dollars, and that authors deserve better treatment of their published articles than I’m currently seeing and experiencing.


Photos from Pexels.com

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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