I get a lot of questions about contests and awards programs. Many self-published and small press writers are mesmerized by the possibility of prestige and recognition they seem to offer.
Archive for the ‘Writer Beware’ Category
When Westerners think of major book markets, India may not be the first country that springs to mind. But India’s publishing industry is the sixth largest in the world, and fully a third of it is devoted to English-language publishing.
Just as in the USA and the UK, the success of debut novelists in India fuels the dreams of legions of aspiring writers. And where there are aspiring writers, there are writing scams.
I’ve gotten some questions over the past week about a fiction contest currently being conducted by WriteOnCon, a “totally free, interactive online Writer’s Conference held annually during the summer.”
Direct contact from a publisher or agent should always be treated with caution, until research can determine whether the company or individual is reputable.
There’s been some Internet buzz over the past few days about an apparent scam in which an unknown individual, posing as agent Jodi Reamer of uber-agency Writers House, targeted an unsuspecting author with a fake representation offer, followed by a fake high-advance contract offer from a major publishing house, all in the space of a few hours.
If you thought that Judge Denny Chin’s denial of the Google Book Settlement last March was the end of that story, you were wrong.
When publishing relationships go bad, the writing was often on the wall long before the author signed on the dotted line.
Fellow authors, do you have a loved one who was a writer too, but sadly passed over into the Great Beyond with their poems or prose unpublished?
Before approaching people to review a book, you really ought to a) make sure they’re actively reviewing; b) determine that they review books in the genre you’re pitching, and c) spend a little time researching the venue you’re asking them to review in, to be sure it’s appropriate (not to mention, that it really is book review venue).
However, to my mind at least, the conflicts that arise when agencies begin publishing clients’ previously unpublished works are even more concerning. If an agency can publish a client’s book itself, will it try as hard to market the book to traditional publishers?