Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Would a Traditional Publisher Scam an Aspiring Writer?

I’ve published a number of articles about writers being scammed.

One was, How Can Writers Avoid Being Scammed?

Another, Help! I’ve Been Scammed!!

Both of those should be read carefully by aspiring writers (especially anything I linked to...).

Today’s post takes a particular angle on scamming

It’s not enough that “young” writers are encouraged to go the traditional route—many rejections by editors, bad contracts even if accepted, a pittance in royalties—Traditional Publishers can be some of the worst Scammers

That’s one reason I’ve written 150 posts about Self-Publishing

To learn more about how the “Big” publishers use scamming, let’s look at some of what David Gaughran has to say in his article, This Is The Modern Publishing Business.

Here are a few excerpts, with the first being High-Irony:

“Publishing, you see, is far above the rough and tumble of everyday capitalism. Publishers may make profits now and then, but only as an accidental by-product of their true pursuit: the promotion of literature. Without publishers there would be no books, of course, and we should thank the heavens that an eagle-eyed intern plucked Beowulf from a slushpile or the world would be very much the poorer.”

Next follows information on a huge scam in the 60s by a very famous editor at Random House…

Then this:

“…it’s the differences between today and the sixties which are most illustrative, and disturbing. Scammers used to operate – with a few notable exceptions – at the fringes of the industry. Today, whole swathes of the publishing business is geared towards shaking down aspiring writers.

“From exploitative vanity presses owned by respectable, mainstream publishers, to writing contests with egregious, grabby terms being run by well-known newspapers, to exploitative book display services being run in conjunction with famous book fairs – none of these practices are at the fringes anymore.”

I highly encourage writers to go read David’s full article; and, I even encourage readers to do it, since they may decide to not support traditional publishers with their hard earned money

Naturally, there are “self-publishing” companies that scam writers, too; but, it’s looking like the Big 5 traditional publishers will soon have bought all the ones an unwary buyer might easily run into…

You can find self-published books on GoodReads.

Or, check out this article on The GuardianLooking for a great self-published book? Here’s where to find it.

Then, there’s the Blurb Bookstore.

Or, you could try the FastPencil Marketplace.

And, don’t forget the Incredible Smashwords.

There are more places, of course; but, I don’t want to spoil your own search for books that weren’t Scammed into being

And, even though I’m a self-published author and this post heartily encourages the purchase of self-published books; please, don’t feel guilty if you really want a particular traditionally published book—go ahead and buy it :-)
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