Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Today I wanted to refresh a message I share with you from time to time. It never gets old, because it never goes away. And each time I put it out there, my hope is that one more person sees and absorbs the message. Today, I want to talk about vanity publishers.

Let me put this as plainly as possible: vanity publishing is a scam. Anyone who asks you for money to publish your work is not a legit publisher. Money flows from the publisher to the author, not the other way around. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it very likely is. Legitimate publishers rarely contact writers unprompted with contract offers. Before you sign any kind of contract, make absolutely sure you know what you’re getting into.

Last night my friend @luisaraegan posted a wonderful breakdown of some of the pitfalls of vanity publishing. You can read her article here, and I definitely recommend it – and not just because she quoted me throughout! I love that she’s helping to spread the word about this scam, and when she asked for my input I was happy to oblige.

In my writing class, Crafting the Short Story, I spend some time discussing the things to watch for when choosing a publisher. I put a lot of emphasis on avoiding these types of publishers because many of the participants are relatively new to the publishing world and have no idea this sort of thing even exists.

Again, if we can reach even one person and save them a lot of headache and heartache, mission accomplished. I’m always happy to do my part to put a dent in the potential pool of scam victims.

Thanks as always for reading. If you’d like to receive updates delivered right to your inbox, you can pop over to my contact page and sign up to be among the first to see all new posts. Until next time, stay safe, talk soon!

-JP

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