Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preditors and Editors

After the release of "A marriage of Convenience", a reader and aspiring author asked me about my experiences with the publishing industry. The answer took me down the very rocky road to my first publication. I have to admit, my biggest obstacle wasn’t the numerous rejections. It was the many scam artists preying on the desires and dreams of those of us desiring to share our passion with the world.

I initially submitted my query to a literary agent, whose name I will not mention. To my surprise, they invited me to submit the manuscript within minutes of receiving the email. I was ecstatic. On my first try, I got to second base! A little voice in my head told me it was too good to be true. But the little red man with the fork on the other shoulder said to ignore that little voice. I submitted the manuscript. The next day I received an email accepting the manuscript and telling me to send money for proofreading and editing fees.

My antennas went up. This was a warning sign I read in my research about the industry. So I decided to investigate that literary agency a little closer. First I did a little experiment. I emailed a garbled query which was nothing but a bunch of words strung together randomly. In no time I received the same form email inviting me to send the entire manuscript. Weird huh? Next, I googled the literary agent. The internet was flooded with complaints about that agency. It was in that investigation I stumbled on a valuable resource for authors and aspiring authors. It was called Preditors and Editors at http://pred-ed.com/. (This is NOT the same as preditorsandeditors.com). The pred-ed.com site listed literary agents, publishers, legal groups representing people in the literary field. Most importantly the literary agents and publishers were evaluated and many scam artists were flushed out. It was there that I confirmed what I suspected in the first place. The literary agent to which I submitted my manuscript was nothing but a scam, making money off of fees rather than actually finding publishers for the work. Needless to say, I ditched those con- artists. I submitted my work to those agents and publishers listed in Preditors and Editors as legitimate. One of them was Dorchester publishing, and the rest is history.

There are many predators out there who take advantage of aspiring authors. I highly recommend that any author who desires to be published take a look at the preditors and editors website. It is one of the valuable resources I discovered on the road to publication.

What are some of your resources?


Anonymous said...

Here are some resources I regularly follow:

Writer Beware!
How Publishing Really Works
Help! I Need a Publisher!

I also maintain a big list of lots more writing related links. See the side-bar gadget on the Novel Racers blog.

KeVin K. said...

Thanks for reminding me about Preditors and Editors; hadn't visited them in a while. I'd also recommend folks check out Absolute Write; their forums alone are a terrific resource.

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, I discovered P&E before I started submitting, thank goodness. When I started my blog I put a link to the site and I always point newbies in that direction.

Captain Black, I tried to put a link to Writer Beware in a comment earlier and Blogger wouldn't cooperate. That's a great resource too; Victoria Strauss and A.C. Crispin provide a wonderful free service. When four agents were reading my ms. I passed the names along to Victoria and their feedback on was invaluable.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks guys for the additional writers pages. I'm glad there are resources out there to guide new writers because it is really a dog eat dog world when it comes to scams.

Wish I'd discovered them before my initial mistake. But you live and learn.