Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekend Chat: Is your Publisher a Scam?

Writer's Block by kylie2good
Writer's Block Photo Credit Kylie2Good

Last week I received an email from a publishing company that they would be hosting a manuscript contest at one of my favorite Atlanta bookstores. But when I read the email and did a little fact checking I became pissed off(sorry, but that is the most appropriate word for how I felt.) Let me show you why?

or Listen here..

An excerpt from the email...

Want to get your book published?
2009 Author Manuscript Contest
will be at Borders Bookstore in _____, GA
Saturday, March 7th
1-3pm

Bring your manuscript to submit and receive 30% off the submission fee

for contest submission rules!
Okay. So what's the problem, Dee?

Let me count the ways:

1. This contest has a hidden agenda that doesn't involve publishing.
This sort of contest reminds me of the Zoo Press debacle back in 2004., excecpt at least Zoo Press was once reputable press with industry following. But in this case what we have is a vanity press disguised as a small press using a contest to fund the company, not the contest.

See. If this company was using the entry fees to fund the contest, meaning: contest advertisements, the publishing contract, publishing and distribution, etc, then there would be more mention of who runs this company, who are the contest judges, more acknowledgment about this contest through the bookstore that booked it, local papers within the area, and at least, at least a few reputable Atlanta news blogs. But zilch. I've found nada except a poorly constructed email campaign(that was sent to me without my agreement to opt-into their email service.) This lack of marketing, improper social media etiquette tells me that the company isn't fully solvent and this contest goal is to make them a little money.

2. The publishing company will deliver a winner
...Them


This "boutique" publishing company is a vanity press. They prey on the vanity of authors, who want to see their name on a book more than taking the time to build some compelling and fit for the marketplace. Therefore, they will publish any writing for a fee. So the gauge to determine what is publishable washes out, because this company has no gauge. It publishes whoever pays their set fee. Period.

Now this contest doesn't tell us how many books will be published in the initial print run or how many pages this book is maxxed to be or how the book will be bound. I have seen these books (and I have met the brains behind this company. lol. and I can't believe they were crazy enough to add me to their mailing list. lol) and the print run could possibly 500, the books are lean under 240 pages, its Japanese bound, trade paperback, poorly constructed cover board. So I'm pretty sure i know where this book has been printed from. So my general guestimation about $2500 to print. add editing and the publisher's fee. about $5000 to the author.

So this contest fee is about $25 books (fifteen more bucks if you add another submission.) In Atlanta, during this economy I guestimate maybe 100 entries as a very weak guestimate. I can't tell you the number of people I meet weekly who want to publish their own book. Most writing contest get about 500 entries. Are you smelling my coffee yet?

It's very sour.

What you have here, basically, this company is taking enough entry fees to publish a book through a local press. The cost for that is pretty basic, too. Here's a pub calculator from Author's Lawyer

3. The company is predatory.
You cannot my fathom my disgust for predatory companies that prey off authors, musicians, actors, artists, and parents. It is a thing I need to pray about because my anger becomes a rage, a hulkish rage.

Artists create,and some wish to share their creations with their community. However, in this world and this time, there are people who don't respect the beauty in creation. Instead they see an artist wish to present their art to the world and their wonder about if their work matters to this world and stomp on it with the artist blood, sweat and dollars.

But it's only $25, Dee?

It's so much more than pocket change. You have to consider many of these victims(and I can't necessarily call them victims either) have been:
  1. either rejected by a national publishing company
  2. a newbie writer
  3. a writer, whose works isn't fit for this current marketplace and refuses to accept that truth
  4. someone who trust this company as a reputable because they haven't engaged themselves in the writing community
#4 is one of the reasons for the creation of Christian Fiction Blog. Here this is a place where writers can come and learn about the industry, comment, join a network of published writers and industry professionals for free, and get the answers they need. We post legitimate contests here. We share scam alerts here. We offer advice here. The entire community does this not just me.

So this is this weekend's chatterbox question: Is your Publisher a scam? Do you know? Do you know how to know? want to ask me a question?

Let me remind you every Wednesday at noon est. you can join me for a 30 minute chat about book publishing and promotion at Media Candy. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mediacandy

1 comments:

Tiffany L. Warren said...

Wow, Dee. Tell us how you really feel :) I'm with you though! I had an author the other day tell me that she didn't send in submissions to agents because they want to put you through changes. I was like, what changes? A query, synopsis and first three chapters?

She said she was looking for a backdoor way into the industry....

So she probably entered this contest.

GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Labels

"hold out" (1) 1question (4) 1questionMay (2) 1questionspring (3) 1questionsummer (2) 1questionwinter (7) 2011 (2) 30 Days to Build a Better Blog (5) 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog (17) 9/11 (2) a good man blog watch (2) aaliyah (2) about me (1) Academy award (2) acfw-vip (2) Africa (1) african america (3) african american christian fiction (19) african american history (8) altartainment (1) amazon (9) american heart (1) american idol (1) amish (4) amy grant (1) Amy wallace (1) andrew carroll (1) angela bassett (1) Arts (2) atlanta (3) atlanta journal (1) atlanta tornado (1) audition (1) authentic creation (1) author (1) author interview (12) author read-in (3) authors (6) authors read in (2) authors read-in (1) awards (11) barbie (1) Basketball (1) bath luxe (2) bational wear red day (1) bbaw (1) bea (2) best of (8) bestsellers (2) bethany house (4) bible (3) bible study (3) bill gates (1) billie jean (1) birthday (3) black authors (2) black authors network (1) black christian novel (1) black christmas plays (4) black hawk down (1) black history (1) black in america (2) black men in america (1) black spiritualism (4) blacklitchat (2) blog alliances (1) blog talk radio (22) blog tour (14) blogalicious (2) blogcatalog (1) bloggers unite (9) blogging (7) bloglight (1) blogtalkradio (6) blythe (1) book (3) book arts (1) book awards (12) book blogging (5) book chat (3) book club (6) book cover (4) book deals (1) book events (9) book fun (2) book marketing (51) book pick (1) book pr (1) book preview (9) book promotion (7) book proposal (2) book release party (2) book review (52) book review submission form (5) book signing (4) book tour (4) book trailer (21) bookbyte (3) bookclub (2) books (3) brook promotion (1) bubble bath (1) bynum (1) c.s. lewis (1) camy tang (2) career (1) carl weber (1) carleen brice (1) casting call (9) cba (2) cfba (4) children books (7) chip macgregor (2) choir (1) chris well (2) christian (2) christian comedy (1) christian detective novel (1) christian ethics (7) christian fiction (13) christian fiction blog alliance (2) christian fiction news (28) christian fiction online magazine (26) christian living (2) christian movie (1) christian novel (4) christian publisher (2) christian retailing (2) christian romance (4) christian summer book (9) christian writer's carnival (1) christian writer's guide (1) Christianity (4) christmas (14) christmas story (14) Christy Award (4) christy awards (3) chronicles of narnia (2) chuck holton (1) chuck palahniuk (1) church news (1) cindy (1) cindy woodsmall (9) civil rights (1) claudia burney (10) clown girl (1) cnn (2) coco brother (2) contest (20) contests (6) controversy (1) convention (3) copyright (1) craft (1) creston mapes (1) cupcakes (2) cyndy salzmann (1) darfur (2) dargur (1) david c. cook (4) David Talbert (1) deanne gist (2) deborah raney (1) decaturbookfestival (1) dee and marina (4) dee stewart (19) dee stewart hezekiah walker (1) dee stewart linda beed (1) deegospelpr (11) dekker (5) denzel washington (1) denzel washington. (1) Derek Fisher (1) designer shoes (1) devotions (1) DiAnn Mills (1) digital publishing (2) disney (2) domestic violence (1) don hoesel (1) doodle (1) dwan abrams (2) e-reader (4) e. lynn harris (1) Earth day (2) eartha kitt (1) easter (4) ecpa (1) editing (2) ella curry (2) England (1) eric wilson (1) essence magazine (3) ethics (3) excerpts (9) facebook (3) faith and fiction retreat (11) Faith anf fiction retreat (1) faith*in*fiction (3) fashion show (1) father's day (1) fictin in rather short takes (1) Fiction (1) fiction in rather short takes (33) flag of our fathers (1) followthereader (1) fox faith (1) frank peretti (1) friday afternoon club myster (1) friday afternoon club mystery (1) friday fest (8) fuge recipes (1) genesis awards (1) George Jackson (1) giveaway (8) Golden State Warriors (1) good reads (4) gospel dream (1) gospel fiction (3) gospel music (19) gospel play (13) Grace (1) guestblog (9) haiti (1) haley kilpatrick (1) hank stewart (1) harper collins (1) Harriet Beecher Stowe (1) harry potter (2) Hawaiian Islands (1) heart disease (2) help wanted (1) historical (9) hope for women (1) horror (3) house of faith (1) human trafficking (1) I Dream of Jeannie (1) ibook (2) imprints (1) inciting incident (1) infuze magazine (1) inspirational monday (2) inspys (1) interviews (12) iThink (1) itw (3) jeanee damoff (2) jeff gerke (1) jena 6 (3) jill elizabeth nelson (1) job announcement (1) juanita bynum (3) juanita bynumemkm (1) juneteenth (4) karen kingsbury (3) kathy herman (1) kim brooks (1) kim cash tate (1) kimani press (1) kimberla lawson roby (2) Kindle (1) kristy dykes (2) laura bush (1) lent (11) leny (1) librarything book reviews (2) lifetime tv (1) lifeway (2) linda hargrove (2) links (1) lisa samson (3) literacy (1) literary agent (3) Literature (2) love (1) M M (1) madea girl talk (1) marcher lord press (1) marilynne robinson (1) marilynnn griffith (5) marina woods (2) marines (2) marketing (5) marketing christian fiction blog (1) marriage (1) mary demuth (1) mary hart (1) media candy (10) medical fiction (2) melody carlson (2) meme (1) Memorial day (3) michael jackson (1) mike duran (1) ministry (3) miranda parker (26) mochareaders (1) mombloggers (2) mommyfest (5) monday mention (3) monika drake (1) morgan freeman (1) mothers (3) motivationmonday (6) movie (14) mtv awards (1) myspace (1) nanowrimo (7) Nat Turner (1) National Basketball Association (1) national book month (1) NBA (1) networking (1) New York Times (1) Newsletters (1) nicole seitz (5) non-fiction (2) novel (2) novel writing (10) ny times bestseller (1) obama (14) off-topic Thursday (3) offf-topic Thursday (2) olympia vernon (1) online bookstore (5) oprah (2) ott (2) Pacific War (1) pam perry (1) parenting (2) party (1) pat simmons (1) pay it forward (2) Pearl Harbor (1) people magazine (1) Philippines (1) play (2) plug and play (1) po bronson (1) politics of the mass media (1) poll (1) prayer cell (4) prayer request (3) preorder pick (2) prince caspian (1) princess dominique (1) publishing (14) race and religion (3) radio (1) radio talk show (4) rawsistaz (4) reading series (4) rebeca seitz (1) reflections (1) relief journal (1) Relief Journal christian writing (3) Religion and Spirituality (3) renovating becky miller (1) reshonda tate billingsley (5) retreat (1) rhonda bowen (5) rhonda mcknight (9) richmond (1) romance (6) romantic times (2) romantic times magazine (8) rt convention (2) saint patrick's day (1) sally e.stuart (1) saturday christian carnival (3) Science fiction (3) secret life of bees (2) selah (3) self-publish (2) shana burton (8) sharon ewell foster (6) sharon hink (3) shawneda marks (1) shelfari (1) sher (1) sherri lewis (12) shine in 09 (5) shoes (1) Shopping (1) short story (2) Sidney Sheldon (1) single women (1) sistahfaith (1) skype (2) Slave ship (1) social media (7) social network (2) social network problogger (7) social networking (2) social networkingh (1) sormag (1) South Carolina (1) specfiction (3) speedlink (8) spiritual autobiography (3) Sports (1) spotlight (2) stacy hawkins adams (6) star wars (1) steeple hill (1) storytellers (3) stranger than fiction (1) sudan (1) summer (8) sunrise (1) survey (2) sxsw (1) t.l. hines angela hunt (1) tavis smiley (2) tavis smley (2) teen (4) the first lady (3) the master's artis (2) the master's artist (56) the masters artist (6) the shack (2) the spirit of your story (1) the stones cry out (1) the trouble with publishing (2) theology (2) thomas nelson (7) thriller thursday (7) tia mccollors (1) tiffany warren (7) titletrakk (1) to (1) tolkien (1) top ten (25) tosca lee (1) tours (1) trailer park tuesday (61) trailer park tuesdaycngdkvb (1) travis Hunter (1) tribute (12) tricia goyer (4) tuesday (2) tv (1) twitter (22) ty moody (3) tyler perry (55) tyler pery (1) tyler play (1) United States (3) urban christian book (5) Utah Jazz (1) utterz (10) valentine (2) vanessa davis griggs (1) vanessa miller (2) veteran's day (2) video (2) wachooreading (2) walmart (1) wanza leftwich (1) warren buffet (1) WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group (1) weakend read (2) wedding (1) wednesday wrap (11) weekend chat (29) weekend chatter (17) weekend read (11) westbow (1) what i'm reading (3) what's done in the dark (1) why fiction matters (9) widcard (1) wiki (1) wild card (12) wildcard (32) Wings of Glory (1) womanist thought (1) women (1) women of faith (2) women's ministry (1) workshops (4) world aids day (1) World War II (1) write-or-die chick (3) writer's call (3) writer's conference (8) writer's prompt (2) writing (4) writing conference (8) writing contest (8) writing journey (2) writing life (38) writing opportunities (2) writing project (5) writing tip (3) writing workshop (2) x-files (1) yolanda king (1) young adult (5) youtube (4) zondervan (5)