Monday, December 5, 2011

Writing Contest or Scam?

I realize that I haven't done any writing on my WIP "Nameless" in almost two months, but I might have had an opportunity for one of my other books to be entered in a contest.  It's through Deep River Books - a Christian publishing company.  The contest seemed like a good idea and my book does fall within the requirements and genre. 

But... there seems to be a catch with the agency.  If you are chosen for traditional publishing with that company, you have to buy 1,000 copies of your book to get it published.  I am not sure if that would work the same with winning the contest, but I would assume since that it how they operate.  I don't know if I would want to enter my manuscript in that contest if I discovered I had to buy 1,000 copies of my book to get it published.  It seems like there is something wrong with that.  I have yet to come in contact with an agency that requires that. It should be a clue when they only have 3 successful authors listed on their website.  Are they the only ones to do well with that company?  Most publishing companies can give you a list of successful authors.

So, as a writer that wants to be wise - I did a little research about the company.  It's apparently better known as a vanity publisher.  You get to feel great because you are published, but you are shelling out the money for your book and there's no guarantee that your book will even make it into the stores that they "claim" it will be sold in.  Buying 1,000 copies would probably cost around $9,100 and that's at a discount for the author.  OUCH!  I can definitley think of many ways to spend $9,100 - paying off my tuition or using that money for living in New Zealand for a year or maybe two years on that amount.  I am thankful that I did some research - "Absolute Write Water Cooler" had a BEWARE post about them and other vanity publishers.

Just because it is different doesn't necessarily mean that it is a scam, but it is not some place that I would give my manuscript to. I prefer to stick to traditional publishing and wait for find the right agent/publisher.

Have you ever come across something like this?  It almost makes me sick.  I hope that other writers don't get sucked into something like this.  Beware of this publishing company and contest.

9 comments:

  1. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. These companies who prey on aspiring writers really annoy me. It's amoral.

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  2. It really is. I feel sorry for those aspiring writers that fall for it and end up selling 1,000 copies out of their trunk or closet. I wish companies wouldn't take advantage of writers like that.

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  3. I've never heard of this before but it sounds terrible! I would self-publish any day over that. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. I haven't run into this particular scam before But I've heard of some similar situations like this.

    Sad, really. Very sad.

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  5. @Jen - I totally agree! I would rather self-publish than be caught like that. It's really terrible.

    @Angela - I agree, it's very sad that publishing companies will do this to writers. Very sad.

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  6. completely off topic... but I saw "Falling Star"'s description and I have a ton of questions to ask you as I was completely railroaded by my church for having written a similar novel of 75k words... I'm not sure how else to contact you

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  7. Anonymous - you can send me an email at kristam@iastate.edu with your questions and I love to try and answer them! :)

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  8. Sad thing is, someone is going to fall for that thinking it's a good deal and they can sell the books out of their trunk.

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  9. I agree Catherine - I feel really sad for those people that will fall for it and end up selling books from their trunk or using them for fire kindling when they are broke.

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