The Mail I Get

Writer BewarePosted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Received in email this morning via Google Alerts: this press release from an outfit called 3L Publishing, announcing publication of a book called Vanity Circus: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Avoid Publishing Crap.

A manual on how to avoid bad writing? Not exactly. “Vanity Circus is an entertaining, funny and insightful book that guides readers through the complex, sometimes frustrating but always interesting world of publishing.”

As it happens, the book’s authors are co-owners of 3L Publishing, and 3L publishing is a book producer–or, if you want to be less polite about it, a vanity publisher. I don’t whether to laugh at the press release’s opening line (“Business owners and individuals who have lost their jobs or seek new ways to supplement their income are turning to book publishing as a way to make money”), or cry at the fact that anyone would advocate paying a lot of dough to a book producer as a way of beating one’s economic woes (“People are out of work and reinventing their lives. Many people just have stories to tell yet need help from a ghostwriter or editor. They don’t know anything about the business. We wanted to help these people through the process”).

Think I’m being too mean? Check out 3L’s “Publishing Service Sheet,” which promotes their “New Hybrid – Pay for Play” business model by contrasting it with fake facts about “traditional” publishing.

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