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Trust me, I'm published

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 26, 2013, 8:50 PM
With all the absolutely solid stuff floating around about avoiding scams, I wanted to take a look at when you can and can't trust what someone is saying.

Before I get into that, here are the journals I have in mind:

A Note on Publishing Scams +UpdateSome People's Kids
Warning: This is pretty tl;dr. Feel free to skip to the second section. Spread the word, because this community needs a little common sense sometimes.
Today there was a suspect-at-best post in the literature forums where someone who claims to have published nine anthologies and fifteen issues of a lit-mag was seeking submissions for a new anthology based around a short story that was, in his opinion, being rejected by other magazines because he's too "edgy" in his writing style (read: it was shitty so he had to self-publish it to have it read).
The poster was extremely homophobic, making comments about male-on-male anal sex and lesbians having cunnilingus, right in the body of his submission calls, and prattled on about how his publishing credits included the software program Open Office. I was pretty immediately off-put, so did some minor googling and found his "press", a lulu.com page, which was off-putting to begin with; he claimed it was a token-paying press, bot
Publishing Resources List:new:2/24/2015: Finally got around to cleaning up broken links and weird code. Let me know if I missed anything!
Make sure you :+fav: the news article!
So you've written something freaking awesome. You've edited a million times (and if you haven't, turn around and go do that. Right now). You think you maybe want to take the leap and try publishing something. But you have no idea where to start.
Well, this is a good place to be.
This the journal where I'll be keeping a running list of all the publishing resources I find, both on and off dA. Most of it will probably be related to literary journals, since that's the stage where I'm at in my literary career, but I'll add things about book publishing as I find them.
If you ever find a great resource, or if you'd like to request something specific, please leave me a note in the comments.
Also this journal is probably going to be super-messy and slightly badly-categor


All these guys have a good chunk of real-world publishing experience. Specifically, SadisticIceCream and DorianHarper have or are currently working directly with well-established publishers, and I'm pretty sure tiganusi would voodoo death me if I made shit up so you'll have to ask him what he's done.

(PinkyMcCoversong has a ton of resources and industry experience, and vglory is a local deity at Absolute Write, plus an expert in the world of erotica. BeccaJS does scripty things, LiamSharp posted a great article on getting into the comics industry, and if I think of others, I'll add 'em. There are a lot of people here who aren't necessarily industry experts, but who are smart writers. That list is too long for here.)

But here's the thing—it's just as possible to end up with someone who says they're totally legit, and provides a nice long list of authors (or publishers) they've worked with. So how do you protect yourself when someone sounds pretty good, they've got smart-sounding legal documentation for you to sign (which is a tricky one; even reputable places may have clauses in them that are a bit scary), and they have worked with people before?



Research research research research research. I can't stress this enough. Try Predators and Editors (okay fine TarienCole it's spelled Preditors and Editors), try the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler; these places are well moderated. The top few Google results might be misleading, so look for the tone of the first 2-3 pages of search results.
Look at their Internet presence. It's not hard to get 100+ Twitter followers if you follow bots that automatically follow back. It is, however, hard to have a conversation with them...do they ever reply to people or is it all a steady stream of 'I made X today'?
Professionalism. Before I start quoting von Clausewitz at you, let's make this easy. Look at someone super reputable, a big publishing company or a famous author. Now look back at the guy you're talking to. Regardless of publicity, do they maintain a similar sense of decorum?
Connections. Zero prior experience does not make someone a desirable alternative to the mainstream (which, by the way, isn't all that main when there's hundreds of small presses out there; beware of someone selling themselves on 'no one else will give you X'), it makes them a wanker who doesn't know what the fuck they're on about. If every single person they're printing is a young teenager who lists de facto prizes as awards on their CV, then this publisher is, deliberately or because they can't get anyone more reputable, targeting the uninformed. If an author is only getting into shitty magazines, either they don't care or they can't make it, for a variety of reasons that are all variously bad.
No such thing as a free lunch. Let's be realistic, there are over a million writers on dA. If someone comes up to you and is like 'hey wanna be in my mag,' they're just not super-huge. This isn't always bad, but you need to be realistic about what it means. Mostly, it's not going to be your big break, and down the line you may not want to ever admit you had that piece printed there.

I think these five points are an easy place to start, not to mention the excellent blogs at the top, and if you'd like to add more, do so in the comments. (Warning: if your statements don't tally with my experience, I will say so. I don't hide comments. No take-backs.)



In short, be vigilant. You haven't fallen for 'em...yet.



Please favorite, comment, and redistribute as appropriate. We need to know whether stuff like this is useful.

literaticat.blogspot.com/2013/… - also this. Jennifer Laughran is a fountain of wisdom.

There are two things that get super under my skin on this site, in relation to the topic:
- people who are shitty writers posting advice about writing as if they are the second coming of Shakespeare
- scam publishers who hide comments gently rebuking their utter and complete lack of research

Of course, the question is why you should trust me, and I don't have a great answer there. I've got some modest creds (a super cool one just came in the mail YEAH WIN WOO) and I can't share them here because this is not my professional face.

Anyway, the skin is by $Ikue and the GIFs are from I Say Fever by Ramona Falls, which I am unbearably addicted to at the moment, and which is also strangely apropos.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconvontage116:
Vontage116 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014   General Artist
how do you get published?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
By submitting work to publishers (or, for books, usually an agent).
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:iconvontage116:
Vontage116 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014   General Artist
do you know a good one? I want to publish the story I'm working on when it's done but don't know anyone
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Duotrope.com and newpages.com both have lots of listings. But it's not just about finding a 'good' publisher, it's about your work being the right fit for them, so make sure to do your research!
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:iconvontage116:
Vontage116 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014   General Artist
ja danke ^^ I appreciate it
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Good luck!
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:iconvontage116:
Vontage116 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014   General Artist
danke by the way what book did you get published I would love to read it ^^
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No books, just short stories for now ^^;
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(1 Reply)
:iconlucidkitsune:
LucidKitsune Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013   Traditional Artist
Very useful, I am going to save this for later :3 Thank you!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure :D
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:iconsadisticicecream:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013   Writer
Look ma, I'm a reputable source! :slow:

Really though, great advice here. :thumbsup:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're reputable and you know it :P

Thanks!
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:iconbeishung:
Beishung Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Professional General Artist

Not for everyone's tastes or projects but check out the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) at scbwi.org. Once you're a member and have had a book published you can get on their PAL (Published and Listed) roster BUT only if the publisher is on their list of established publishers. Through knowing the group and it's members (22,000+ worldwide), you get good, solid, well-tested information and word of mouth as to who is looking for what. I got my first illus gig through another member who met a publisher's rep at a conference. I've illustrated 8 children's books and been doing this for more than 10 years. The last publisher I worked with is not on that PAL list. I had no problems with them but since then I have heard writers have had no end of grief and runaround from them.

 

If someone offers you pay down the road, royalties only, for the "exposure" or something that smells of week-old dead squid, run far and fast away. The stories I've heard of authors and illustrators getting shafted and paid next to nothing are on the rise. With ebooks and self-publishing it's getting worse. I chase away most of the selfers by quoting an upfront minimum. And btw, most of the mss I read have a long way to go before being publishing ready. Tad Crawford has an excellent series on contracts for writers and artists, what to look for and avoid, and do-it-yourself kits. As the article said, find out as much about who you are going to work for as possible.

 

I'm all for risk taking but if you're taking all the risk, forgedabowdit!

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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, thank you, this is all absolutely solid information :D There are some other societies, too, RWA/SFWA/HWA/etc.

And omg, yes, you should be paid up front! I've seen people offer royalties, and I imagine most artists don't know that the overwhelming majority of self-published books don't even sell 100 copies...think about it guys, that's only $99 total and if you're getting 10% of that, it doesn't cover even a single hour of labor...it worries me that people will work for that little. (And, ha, yeah, most self-pubbers write in a vacuum. Just having a friend who beta reads is meaningless.)

Well said :clap:
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:iconkykel:
Kykel Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
Thank you so much! This is a very interesting read and very useful information!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear it!
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:iconkykel:
Kykel Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
:) I look forward to the day this information is useful to me.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:eager:
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:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
There are also sites online such as pred-ed.com/ (preditors and Editors) which has a ton of info about diffrent scams, how good/reliable certain publishing houses are. There site looks like it was made 20 years ago but it's good. And simple things like you should never have to pay a reading fee, or for the work to get edited, or anything to do with marketing. Unless your self-pubbing in which case you absolutetly should hire an editor. Even if you have an english degree, having a professional copy-edit go through it will clean up the work.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the actual link, I been lazy and just mentioned them in my post :B

The idea is that traditional publishing deals with everything except actual writing (and a little bit of proofreading, they'll run shit by you before putting it up); anything else is either a scam or not traditional publishing. And seriously, you can't self publish without spending money unless your industry contacts are stellar.
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:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
There is also vanity press, which isn't technically a scam, but costs you and the likely hood of you actually making money are slim to none. However you do get your book and many copies of it professionally bound and printed. Far as I can tell it's not really much though, you'd be far better of self-pubbing since they usually screw up editing and get shitty cover work anyway.  But it's not a true scam.

And you really can't, between hiring an editor and getting some decent cover art money will be spent. I'm not sure how much but I should think it'd be worth it. I do wish more self-pubbers would invest in an editor so as not to give the rest of them a bad name.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, as long as you know what you're getting into and that you can't be like "I haz a publisher I'm a professional!" If all you want is copies for friends, I'm cool with it.

Yeah... and hire actual designers for their covers. Illustrators tend not to be on top of fonts.
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:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
I fully intened to get a printed copy of my novel(probably with a plain cover) just for kicks when it's done even though I know it's not ready to publish.

Yes, designers are amazeing, and make sure it's a good one. There are plenty of failed art students pretending to be designers out there who are selling HORRIBLE cover art.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just off Createspace or whatever? They do send a free proof, I think.

Omg, and for exorbitant prices.
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:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
Something like that. I'm a long way from the novel being done.

I know, I don't understand how they make any money. Who buys stuff that terrible at those prices?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Word. Good luck!

People who know absolutely nothing about the industry they somehow think they're going to be successful in.
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:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
Good ol neurocake to teh rescue with more fancy articles. I don't have any current plans to publish anything, so I guess its nice in the sense that I'd just be giving myself EVEN MORE to worry about if I was trying.(Of course, maybe some years down the road i will try, who knows!)

I should probably get to know some of the big lit players that aren't Grim and thorns. :I

do you like cheesecake
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:eyes:

Pff, I swear it's not that bad. I've been in like...three? four? small small presses and had no problems, and in one of those cases I even signed a contract that technically gave them the rights to do whatever they wanted...generally speaking people want to maintain a good reputation!

To be fair, if you know thorns you know everyone by extension. I'm trying to weasel more drunk stories out of Grim.

not really, but it's an ally so I just put it on the front line
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:icongeek96boolean10:
geek96boolean10 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
(this has nothing to do with the article:) ...do you seriously reply to every comment you get??! thats a ton of comments.

In any case, great information. Knowing that many people can now print digitally, however, are those methods safe? I know Amazon and Smashwords are among the top for self-publishing online, are those viable publishers or are physical prints much better?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Many of them, it doesn't take as long as you'd think :P

Thanks!

What do you mean by 'safe'/'viable'? I think it really depends on what you're looking for.
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:icongeek96boolean10:
geek96boolean10 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
well, firstly if its lucrative, and secondly if the risk of piracy (most ebooks are downloaded as a file) is great.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I hear that almost no self published books make it to a hundred sales, although past that I don't have much data. It varies, you could be in the right place at the right time exactly, but really if you don't have a firm grasp of networking and marketing, you will have a problem. (Also, even traditional publishing isn't so lucrative you never have to work again.)

To be honest, I have no idea about piracy. But if you want to do print on demand, keep in mind it's expensive and potentially inconvenient.
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:icongeek96boolean10:
geek96boolean10 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
k, thanks!
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This reminds me of an incident I had when I made my first critique here on DeviantART. Long story short, the author rejected my critique because:

1. Hundreds of people liked it and I was only one. And...
2. It was going to be published.

The first one made me laugh: he was going off of views tally for the Deviation, which I pointed out to him wasn't an accurate read for how many people "liked" his piece. A better indicator would be favs and comments (preferably ones that weren't from acquaintances and had more substance than "this is teh best work evarz!"), the former of which being at a staggering zero. Granted, as someone with my degree in English (specifically writing) I could see his work had a good start. It just needed some drastic improvements.

The last point, however, I questioned. After admitting he had to take a "writing test" by the so-called "publisher," and that they promised him a lot of sales, I told him that he should probably rethink that contract, especially given that he had to pay for said test. Given the gross spelling and grammatical errors in his piece (which were the least of his problems), and him saying he passed "with flying colors," the whole thing sounded very suspicious. 

But then, all I could do was offer my warning and let him choose for himself what he would do.

Side note: when I say critique, I mean he actually offered the critique option on his Deviation. I guess he wasn't prepared to have negative feedback. He never approved my review.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I...wow. Yeah, so so so many things wrong here, starting with someone who thinks that views is a good indicator of quality. He must not be aware of bots that can boost those things, not to mention the existence of hotlinking that causes work to be underviewed, and the fact that 5000 views/3 comments is indicative that your piece isn't actually that engaging. u:

And then that publisher. :facepalm: Bitch got scammed.

There's a nice thread in the lit forums that includes a corollary about why the hell you'd request critique when you can't handle negative feedback, which leads to people only expecting positive feedback, which explodes my brain even more (if possible) than thinking that giving money to someone and getting praise from them is so totally spot-on.
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It was one of those incidents that was so ludicrous, I had to shake my head. Fun fact: he was not pleased when I told him his story was very cliche and proceeded to link him to the Snopes article of the urban legend he had based it on (not in the critique itself, but a separate comment). He also wasn't happy with my thorough explanation of why his plot didn't work on a basic level. I mean, granted, I can't exactly prove my English degree (technically Interdisciplinary Studies: English and Psychology) without photographing my diploma, but still, it was really, really not that hard to see the problems with the piece.

And frankly, the detailed feedback is one of the reasons I personally don't use the critiques; what I upload in writing is admittedly the rough draft or (in most cases) just for my own amusement and not hardcore criticism. When I want/need it, I'll use it.

Still, I hope that budding author wasn't burned too badly by the potential scam.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome. I wonder if he got kind of overwhelmed by it, too, seeing as how he apparently had been plodding along without any.

Seconded! I feel bad, though, sometimes I get it anyway and it's like, oh man this is not my best work.

Yeah... hurts him and others.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Professional Writer
You should trust Neuro because I know her professional face.  I've even seen it IRL.  SO.  There.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pinky is even more professional, so this constitutes the MOST LEGIT of creds. u:
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Professional Writer
Ta da!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Go us!
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:iconchivi-chivik:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've seen plenty of writings, websites and articles talking about scam publishers... there has been some huge publishing problem in the US lately? :?
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nothing new, and it's absolutely not restricted to the US, but in this day and age it's a lot easier to set yourself up as an author or a publisher - all it takes is a swank website and a couple of registrations within your state, and the latter part doesn't apply to authors.

I think it's just that we had a few in a group, so it came up :B
Reply
:iconchivi-chivik:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I understand. :)
Well I don't think I'm in peril- yet, because here where I live it's very (VERY) hard to get published ^^; (It's a pity) Economical problems don't let authors to get published...
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Writing (any art, really) is a luxury good, it's always been a tight market o:
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:iconchivi-chivik:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I know ;w;
Reply
:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
Thanks for putting this up.
And now I'm addicted to that song too.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I keep playing it in my car!
Reply
:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
I had to stop myself from playing it after the tenth replay.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Reply
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