May 31, 2021 · 2:57 pm
I often see social-media posts from people who want to know how to get their books published. How NOT to get “published,” as explained by Anne R. Allen in this vital post, is where they should start.
So, if you know folks who are working on a book but are new to publishing, send them this article. Now.
Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog
When those “dreams come true” are publishing scams…
Because I have a lot of articles out there on publishing scams, I get frequent messages from writers who fear they’ve been ensnared by a scammer.
I hear even more often from their friends. These friends or relatives see something iffy going on, but don’t want to be the Debbie Downer who brings unnecessary negativity into a hopeful writer’s life.
The friend usually has a reason for being suspicious. Whether the “dream project” is a dodgy anthology, an overpriced no-name contest, a vanity press masquerading as a real publisher, or a junk marketing scheme, a lot of people will have a feeling the project isn’t passing the smell test.
But if they don’t know much about the publishing industry themselves, they hesitate to rain on a newbie writer’s publishing-fantasy parade.
Their writer friend is happy for the first time in forever, floating…
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Filed under business of writing, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Scams and Hoaxes, writing novels, writing scams
Tagged as how to avoid book publishing scams, how to get published, how to publish a book, hybrid book publishers, kinds of book publishers, paying to publish your book, vanity presses
December 29, 2018 · 11:46 am
Are You Being Scammed?
Victoria Strauss is a gem. She does our research for us. What’s especially useful about this post is that she not only reviews specific scammers but also lists some specific clues that an author is being scammed. If you’ve been approached by a “company” that is just dying to publish your book—Beware!
Filed under business of writing, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, small presses, Writing, writing novels, writing scams
Tagged as author solutions scam, how to publish a book, publishing scams, vanity presses, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, writing scams
November 14, 2018 · 11:28 am
Yet again, on a Facebook page for writers of fiction, someone asked about a clear vanity press scam. Page members quickly jumped in with the appropriate answer for such a query: RUN!
But what amazes me is that I see so many of these kinds of questions. I’m not a particularly patient soul myself, so I had to throttle my immediate response: Don’t you have a computer? Don’t you know how to Google? Shouldn’t basic research be the first step for someone thinking about publishing? Doesn’t it occur to folks that in this day and age, How-To is there for the asking? All you have to do is look.
I consider the answer I composed reasonably tactful (for me):
These days, when we all clearly have access to the Internet, it surprises me that people don’t actively search for information on “how to publish a book.” Of course, a search like that will turn up lots of scams and vanity presses, but it will also turn up many useful sites that offer advice. Everyone who is thinking seriously about publishing should be compiling a personal list of the most helpful FREE sites that lay out the ins and outs of today’s publishing options. A search for “best websites for writers” would yield a ton of these. Yes, you will get some conflicting opinions–some people love Amazon, some hate it–but you’ll begin to get the lay of the land. After a while you begin to get a sense of which bloggers know their business and which don’t. In my earlier comment, I listed Jane Friedman and Victoria Strauss (Writer Beware): invaluable. I also recommend The Book Designer (Joel Friedlander). You can buy books by the carload that will walk you through every step; most are cheap enough as ebooks that you can buy more than one and get a wider set of options. Takes a little time, yes, but not nearly as much time as you have devoted to writing your book, and this basic research will save you many hours by helping you make the best choice for you. Chris the Story Reading Ape also offers regular links to excellent advice. I found these people by Googling, attending conferences, and searching Amazon. Don’t put less energy into this than you would in buying a car!
Okay, I get it that posting questions to Facebook groups is a step in this process. But Facebook friends can’t offer the kind of education we writers need. Learning about style and grammar and showing-not-telling are basic skills, but so are the fundamentals of the business you are thinking of entering. For example, one respondent said she couldn’t afford to self-publish! Facebook friends can’t possibly slap up a full explanation of why this comment is unfounded. They basically have to say, “Go look it up!”
So that’s what I’m saying: Want to be a writer? Go look it up.
Am I completely off base here?
Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels, writing scams
Tagged as book packagers, book publishing, book publishing scams, Chris the Story Reading Ape, creative writing, fiction, good book publishers, how to publish a book, Jane Friedman, Joel Friedlander, publishing, vanity presses, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, writing, writing novels
October 10, 2018 · 2:32 pm
Via Chris the Story Reading Ape, one of the most comprehensive guides to publishing options I’ve yet seen. I learned a lot. With a new manuscript almost ready to go that won’t fit into a lot of traditional niches, I am hungry for this kind of guidance and thought you might be, too.
Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog
New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings.
Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.
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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, indie publishing, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, Self-publishing, small presses, Writing, writing novels, writing scams
Tagged as author solutions scam, creative writing, digital only publishers, fiction, hybrid presses, publishing, publishing scams, self-publishing assistants, self-publishing companies, vanity presses, Writer Beware, writing, writing novels
September 28, 2018 · 10:19 pm
Dreams of publication? Yes!
Here’s support from ALLI, the Alliance of Independent Authors, for my claim that you SHOULD NEVER PAY SOMEONE TO PUBLISH YOUR BOOK. Yes, there are some reputable book packagers out there who will charge you for various services, but the chances that you will make back what they charge you are slim. YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF. This ALLI article explains why it is so easy to fall for vanity scams. Here’s an important quote:
Many vanity presses will try to persuade authors that they are incapable of producing a professional book without an expensive full-service publishing package. This is particularly effective on authors who may not be comfortable with new technology; the idea of handing off the details of publishing to someone who will take care of it for you is alluring.
Do not be fooled. You can start your book off with a very modest investment if you apply very basic skills to get it formatted and posted. Spend your money on a cover and an ISBN, not on thousands of dollars for “publication” you’ll never get back.
Maybe you’ll notice that I’m very passionate about this. I just hate scams.
Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, indie publishing, Myths and Truths for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels, writing scams
Tagged as Alliance of Independent Authors, book packagers, creative writing, fiction, how to publish a book, publishing, Self-publishing, vanity presses, writing, writing novels
July 15, 2018 · 1:20 pm
Thanks to Chris the Story Reading Ape for making this terrific Jane Friedman article available! I’m closing in on the decision as to whether to self-publish or go the traditional route with a small press, so this article is a godsend!
Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog
In my annual chart,The Key Book Publishing Paths, there is one column that is most vexing and problematic for writers to navigate: small publishers.
Into this category falls some of the most prestigious publishers you can imagine, that can boast of New York Times bestsellers, and that writers dream of working with.
But it also includes publishers that started up last year out of someone’s home office, run by people who may not know anything more about the publishing industry than you do.
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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, reversion of rights clauses, small presses, Writing, writing novels
Tagged as creative writing, fiction, hybrid presses, Jane Friedman, publishing, publishing a book, publishing contracts, traditional publishing, vanity presses, working with a publisher, writing, writing novels