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Scams and shams

A couple of weeks back a large A4 Envelope turned up in the post! It was not the usual thickness of a returned manuscript, nor too thin to just enclose a single sheet of paper denoting another rejection. This was thick, cardboardy... this was going to be good. A publishers name printed on the envelope. Hope soared.

I ripped open the envelope, and two think folders were enclosed, emblazoned with 'Publishing Contract'! My heart skipped a beat, a squeal came out. Was this really happening? Oh My God! So quickly! My book must be good!

I did a little dance and skip around the living room. This was incredible.

And then I took the covering letter out and read it.

'Your manuscript was brought to our attention at the latest board meeting when we discussed it's potential...I can confidently state that your children's book was found to be an enjoyable story..'

WOW! Feedback. Fantasist feedback. And then lower down the letter - they couldn't offer me a non-contributory contract, due to the nature of the market, but a 'partnership' was on the cards. If I contributed between £2000 and £3000 and decided if I wanted a paperback or hardback book I would have a deal on my hands. They would look after the printing costs, the marketing, the distribution connections. Just for a small fee from me...

Now I've never heard of authors being asked for money and this automatically put a big red flag up. How would I know whats best in the market- hardback or paperback, surely a publisher would be best placed to make that decision?

So trusty google came to the rescue. Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd! Let's see what the world had to say about them. Article after article, comment feed after feed commenting on them as vanity publishers, taking money to upload your manuscript on to their own website- one that's unlikely to ever even get any views, never mind make your money back or make a profit. A scam essentially. A swindle. Cheating and stealing.

What's great is that my instinct and gut told me if it's too good to be true it is- what's even better is that the lovely folk of the internet confirmed my suspicions. But what they didn't steal from my pocket they stole from my soul. The initial thrill and happiness, the delight in the feeling of recognition and success. So now I'll be more careful when I open a thick envelope.

And when they open their thick envelope they'll find a letter that starts like this:

'Thank you for your letter and enclosed contract, after my latest board meeting, where the contents of your paperwork was discussed... I can confidently state that your proposition was found to be utterly ridiculous and a blatant scam...

This post first appeared on The Journey Of Halo And Flake, please read the originial post: here

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Scams and shams


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