Poets are warned to be leery of where they publish their work ,whether it is a vanity publishing house, pod publisher or a magazine. Look at the reputation of the publishing house or magazine and look at some of those who have already published with them.
What is the quality of their work, how does their reputation proceed them, has any one else had bad dealings with the company? Writers please research. If you receive a royalty cheque for three dollars for the sale of over 50 books and your published book is returned to you not even edited; well you know very well that you’re not dealing with a real publisher.
If you see a nice add that comes in the form of a news paper inserted in your local paper that reads “Poetry Contest You Could Win $10,000 “ , please avoid it at all costs. As you are only going to receive a letter back saying , "congratulation your poem has been chosen for our anthology" Then they will request you to send them $49.95.
The only thing that prevents these dishonest publishers from a lawsuit is the disclaimer that is buried so deep within their contracts that you failed to read it, not to mention that they are providing you with a book. So it might not make them a scam but it does make them fraudulent.
The real kick in the teeth is when you try to get out of the contract because you realized that the publishing house is not on the up and up and you are stuck in a seven year contract. Well so much for publishing that book anywhere else. Honestly you may have your name on that poetry book and they might be your poems. However the book is no longer owned by you. Remember you signed it over for the next seven years and the publishing house is going to continue to send you a royalty cheques for three dollars. Please don’t be sad as the three dollars may at least purchase you a cheap pack of dollar store pens.
Over the past year I have been taken by two publishers because I did not carefully check out the company and read the fine print. I have lost money because I was eager to see my work in print. Doing a little research ahead of time will save you alot of frustration later.
On one poetry magazine’s website I had read the work of several of the poets they chose to publish. Let me tell you their work leaves much to be desired. It was evident to me that they were just publishing anyone. The poetry chosen had no Poetic meter and no form. I'm sorry when I click on a poem; I want to read a poem. At some point we have to ask ourselves where we draw that line.
I'm reading stuff that they had published as poetry that does not have the characteristics of poetry. Then those poets join forums like Today’s Woman or several of the other writing communities online and their heads are so swelled because they have had put in their heads that they are world-renowned poets and I’m sorry that is just not the case at all.
I will tell you and I speak from experience that publishing with a publishing house like the one that openly admitted that of the 11,000 books they've published, 1,000 haven't sold a single copy ; yet claims they have "more than 11,000 happy authors. How about the pod publisher that claims to be one of the leading names in POD yet they published only 6 books last year according to amazon or submitting to some awful magazine that claims to have been online sense 1997 and only receive 400 hits a day to their website and will publish anyone yet charge you 2 dollars per poem for a critic.
Mean while the poem does not even look as though it has been edited. None of these things make you a world -renowned writer. It might not even mean you are a good writer because let us face they will publish anyone. It doesn’t make you a bad writer but the only way you’ll know if you have any serious potential is to send your work to honest legit magazines and publishers.
And rather than paying a magazine publisher 2 dollars for a critique service, join a writer's group. Also take note that anyone can publish books. All you need is the know how and a list of ISBN numbers. If the publishing house or magazine that you are submitting to has little reputation in the writing business, then he or she has no more of a writing reputation than you do behind their name.
If you have been taken by anyone in the writing industry and you've already tried to resolve it yourself and failed then please alert all writing communities to protect others from falling victim. In the world of literacy ones reputation is built on respect and it does not take long for the word to get out.
In the mean time two web sites to check out are Windpub Literacy Scam and Today’s Woman warn writers.
Be careful and whatever you do don’t give up on your dreams of being published by a honest publisher. They are out there. You just need to do your homework.
About The Author
Rose DesRochers is the founder of Today's Woman Writing Community http://www.todays-woman.net, a supportive online writing community for men and women over 18. Rose is also the founder of Blogger Talk Blog Community http://www.bloggertalk.net, a friendly fast growing blogging portal, offering bloggers support, advice, tools, tips and information about blogs and blogging.
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