My friend author Joe Konrath has an excellent post today on writing scams. He discusses Fee-Charging Agents, Writing Contests, Paid Anthologies, Vanity Presses, and POD Publishers, among other things. It should be required reading for all aspiring authors. Here’s a sample of his wise counsel:
PAID ANTHOLOGIES: Here’s another quick scam. You submit a poem, and it gets
accepted into an upcoming poetry collection. You get excited, tell all your
friends and family, and then get a letter in the mail saying that you can
purchase the anthology at $40.
Naturally you buy a copy, and so does Mom, and so does Aunt Grace and your
best friend Phil. When you get the anthology, you see it is 700 pages long, and
your wonderful poem is crammed on a page with seven others.
Do the numbers. If there are 3000 poems in the book, and each writer in the
anthology bought at least one copy, the publisher made $120,000.
Poetry.com was infamous for this scam. They’d also invite writers to awards
ceremonies, at staggering costs to the gullible writer, to receive a worthelss
award along with 1000 other ‘winners’.
Please pass the link to his post along to any struggling writers you know…they should print out his article and keep it handy. It will help avoid the temptation to pay an agent to read their books, pay to publish their book with iUniverse or pay to enter one of those Writers Digest contests…