It’s Awards Week at Writer Beware! No, I’m not handing out prizes–I’m dispensing cautions. I’ve got two posts this week, both focusing on literary awards you may want to think twice about before entering.
Posts Tagged ‘Writer Beware’
Query letters. Except for the synopsis, there’s no more dreaded task a writer has to undertake.
How to boil an entire book down to a short pitch that not only provides an accurate snapshot of the work, but makes a literary agent (or a publisher) want to see more?
On the heels of several publishers’ secret settlement deal with Google in the long-running Google Books lawsuit, a judge has made a major ruling in another lawsuit over book scanning.
Seven years ago, the Authors Guild and several major publishers (including McGraw Hill, Penguin, and John Wiley) filed suit against Google for its unauthorized scanning of in-copyright books.
On June 11 of this year, a class action lawsuit was filed against PublishAmerica by a Baltimore, MD law firm, in association with high-profile litigators Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.
Among other things, the complaint alleged that PA makes money off its authors while billing itself as a traditional publisher, requires authors to pay for “usual and customary marketing that any reputable publisher would do as a matter of course,” offers “services that are not reasonably designed to promote book sales,” and “duped” the three plaintiffs in the lawsuit with, among other things, “bogus services” and books “riddled with errors.”
Actually, I’m on staycation, but I’ll be cutting way back on the Web stuff for the next two weeks. I’ll be back the week of September 24.
If you’re a freelance writer, you’re probably under constant pressure to get the next paying gig and to keep the money flowing. This can override your caution and leave you vulnerable to scammers. I know, because I’ve been there myself.
In my recent blog post on Pearson’s acquisition of self-publishing giant Author Solutions Inc., I posed several questions that I hope Pearson will consider as it integrates ASI with Penguin Group. One of these was whether ASI will start being more transparent in its advertising and PR. I’d like to go a little bit more into detail on what I mean.
A prominent literary agent recently told me that unless an author receives a hefty advance of $100,000 or more most publishers will do virtually no promotion, leaving it to authors to create and exploit their own platforms via social media and networking connections, workshops and webcasts.