I am new to fictionaut, but was surprised that both my profile and my posted story appear in Google searches. The story has not yet been published, and I don’t particularly want it to appear in searches online.
I was under the impression that fictionaut was a private community. Is there any way to set your profile and posts so that they do not appear in searches on the internet?
Eugenia: Fictionaut is a private invite group, but almost all reading is public. Your profile and stories are public and will show up on search engines. If you do not want your stories to appear publicly, you should not post them on the main board. You can, however, join one of the private groups and post your stories privately where they will not be available to the public.
Thanks! I am becoming much more aware of how much is available to the public online, and am being more cautious. I also want to make sure unpublished work does not appear publicly.
When working on a piece I plan to submit, I usually give it a fake title (and delete it after a day or two).
After a week or so (however long the interval is between Google "crawls") it doesn't show up again.
Also, sometimes if a piece is up for less than a day, just to have a fresh look at it, and then deleted, it is up/down BEFORE the Google "crawl" thing takes place and it never shows up.
When you REALLY don't want a piece to be "seen," be sure to delete it. Several times I've found pieces that I've set to Private still show up on Google searches even after several weeks.
Even though, if it has been picked up, it might still show up for a week after deleting.
It's important not to worry too much! ;)
The benefits of posting far outweigh any drawbacks. I've published a bunch of stories that first saw the light of day here. I get comments and feedback, weigh it carefully, it's very helpful.
When I send a story out, I just set it to "private." Yes, it may still show up a little while in search results, but honestly, I've never had a problem.
This all reminds me of the old days, when some people would very carefully draw a C with a little circle around it before making photocopies for a workshop. I persist in believing they were worried about the wrong things! ;)
For myself, the big struggle when I'm writing is just getting to the end of the story. All the rest tends to take care of itself. At those times, worries about the google cache are pretty low on my list...
Matt -- good info. and great idea: use a working title instead of final title. I entered a contest for cnfic essay ($5) and immediately afterward thought of asking the editor (Matt Bell) whether Fictionaut or blogs "count" as previously published. They do and they don't. They do count as having "previously appeared" but not as "credit" for publication. He replied that he googled my title and found it easily -- both at Fictionaut and on my blog, Ana Verse -- so asked me to withdraw it from the competition but invited me to submit a different cnfic essay never seen before (at least not on the web or in a print journal). In the end, I realized that to fulfill his requirement, I would need to write a piece expressly for the Collagist contest (facing slim odds) and decided that since it was a contest and not a direct or solicited submission to pass.
On another occasion -- and this is a true good luck story -- I submitted a fiction short story to Asymptote. A friend advised me not to admit that it had appeared on the net in a downloadable short ebook. The friend said the title of the story would not show up in a google search, and though he was partly right (the title does show up in my blog index as a "draft"), I decided in favor of full disclosure and let the Asymptote editor know that the story, called "Dumb Luck," appears in an e-chap. I let him decide. Then this is what happened.
The usual policy at Asymptote is not to publish previously published work (not counting translations) UNLESS the editor(s) REALLY go for it. In my case, call it luck, "Dumb Luck" got in to the special fiction feature issue on "the unsaid." I was absolutely thrilled and also felt perfectly clean about it, didn't glance in my rearview to be sure no one was on to it. Zero subterfuge. Double win.
Bill Lantry, you are so right. The writing of the story is the full concern. The other issues are semantic.