Friday, November 17, 2006

Wrimo's Beware!

We aspiring novelists are trying to finish 50,000 words of deathless prose fiction this November. I hope we all reach the goal or are happy with the effort we've made should that magic number not be attained by 11:59::59 on Nov. 30.

Either way, there lurks out there beyond December 1st, a grave hazard to the novice writer - scammers.

The sad fact is, scammy agents, "traditional publishers", and a number of literary parasites, might just start contacting us - they'll have seen our blogs and used our contact info or maybe it's just lucky spam mailers. Possibly we'll see a key word ad somewhere and think, "maybe I could get this published, what could it hurt?" and click through.

Many people just starting to write are unaware of the signs to look for and will fall prey to the scams - I know this from reading hundreds of posts by people who thought they were going to be legitmately represented or published. Two years ago I wouldn't have known - I'd never heard of Absolute Write or Writer Beware.

The fact is, if we do succumb, it will eventually leave us sadder and out of pocket a significant sum, for no hope of return on our investment.

A. C. Crispin of Writer Beware has posted on the At Last! Writer Beware Blogs! site an important warning. Please read. And make your NaNoWriMo colleagues aware as well. I've also gone to Digg and posted the article - a vote on Digg for it gives it even more visibility. Please go vote. It doesn't draw any attention here to this blog - it points folks right over to the Writer Beware blog.

There are also vanity presses who will offer to print (they may say "publish" but let's be real - a publisher would put your books in bookstores where books like ours need to be to sell to the public - not These presses will print you a copy of your book and maybe list it on the bookselling websites but at the end of the day you get no editing, no distribution, no marketing and you're on your own with a crate full of books to sell.

There is another "publisher" who claims to be a "traditional royalty and advance paying" publisher called PublishAmerica. Please don't be tempted to place your NaNo work with them. There's a long list of reasons why in my sidebar...scroll down to the "Don't Be Scammed by Publish America" list. Some of the links are dead now - I will go clean that up eventually...

So, whatever you do, please - before you send your manuscript off somewhere - read A. C. Crispin's message.

Help spread the word. Link to the Writer Beware blog. Post about it. Please visit and vote: Digg the Writer Beware article

For more on scams and scammers, here are two good books to get your hands on: The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World and Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell

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P.S. I managed to push another 423 words into last night's writing to bring my count up to over 30k. I haven't started writing tonight - totally procrastinating.


Blogger Serena Joy said...

Any and all warnings against PublishAmerica are good warnings.:)

9:34 PM  
Blogger Jessi said...

That's a nice set of links. Thanks!

10:11 PM  

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