Today is IWSG Day because it’s the first Wednesday in May. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can follow other IWSG members here or on Twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page. The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds, everywhere!
I want to ask you … why won’t writers research the reputations of publishers and agents and markets before they submit to them? Why won’t they protect themselves against phony contests and scams? Why is it that they can read one hundred warnings about a publisher, but they believe they will be treated differently? I don’t get it. Are we so desperate to get our words in print by a “traditional publisher” that we’ll pay anyone?
Today I learned about a woman who is having a book signing here in my area. I checked out her publisher. My heart breaks for her because, yes, she signed a contract with one of those. At some point, this lady will realize she’s made a mistake but it will be too late. I’m very familiar with her publisher because I’ve been reading complaints (and warning people) about them for years. Many, many, many years! How on earth can they remain in business?
You should know there are websites and organizations that expose publishers that have “problems.” One is called Preditors and Editors. You can research publishers as well as literary agents. There’s massive info on this site. Explore it, sign up for their newsletter. Always check their site before you submit anywhere.
Another website is Consumer Affairs. Here’s a link that lists 121 complaints against a publisher. And yes, there are a few positive comments but those writers are living in fantasy land, flying high with a published book. Read the complaints and weep.
Writer Beware is another excellent, very user-friendly site that will educate you on literary scams of all kinds. There are so many things for you to read and investigate on this site. Please, please… take the time to do so.
There’s no good reason to be conned by thieves pretending to be agents or publishers. We have the world at our fingertips when it comes to resources. We can Google and research anyone and anything at any time.
If YOU are paying a publisher to print your books, they’re making their money from YOU. Why would they want to promote you? That’s real work!
Take your writing seriously. If you don’t, no one will. Don’t throw your talent away.