I have so many things I want to share with you all about the Pennwriters' Conference I attended this past weekend. There were so many generous and talented workshop presenters who shared their knowledge with us.
There is always something more to learn about writing and I will share some of that but I tended to attend the sessions geared toward promotion. One interesting hour I chugged coffee through was titled, Options in Today's Publishing. Dixianne Hallaj, acquisitions editor for S&H Publishing,Inc. talked about the many different paths to publication and the pros and cons of each.
Most novel writers have heard the goods and bads of big traditional publishers versus the same for small presses. Dixianne didn't mention anything I didn't know about those avenues and I won't go into them here since I've written about them before. Instead, I'd like to share some information that I did learn a little more about.
I never ever considered paying a 'fee-based publisher' to get my book on the market. These type of businesses make their money on fees they charge the authors and not on sales of books. As you can imagine, that means they charge authors desperate to see their books published, extraordinary amounts of money to do things such as edit, design covers, set up distribution, format and then publish a book. And then these sleazy companies do those things quite poorly and the writer makes no money and probably ends up in debt.
And here is the kicker, most of those differently named companies are really one big scam business called Author Solutions. If you google, Find a Publisher, almost all the links will be to Author Solutions or one of their branches. Even better, Author Solutions, is part of Penguin Group. At times, Author Solutions mislead writers into thinking if their book sells well, it will be picked up by the parent group.
Many watchdogs such as Writer Beware, warn authors away from these parasites but people still get stung every day. And Author Solutions operates world-wide, bilking people everywhere regardless of nationality, gender, race or religion. They're equal opportunity crooks.
Forbes originally reported a lawsuit against Penguin Group and Author Solutions. Writer Beware has this update on the lawsuit. It's frustrating that it takes the courts so long to act against these scammers and that companies like Penguin reap the rewards of preying on inexperienced writers.
Dixianne's last words of wisdom was to remind us as writers that this business isn't a get rich quick scheme. Statistics show that 54% of traditionally published authors and 80% of Self-published authors make less than $1000 per year. Very sobering.
And I'm still catching up on my rest after this past weekend. I could use a nap though not as much as a cat.
The average cat naps for 16-18 hours per day.
Do you know any writers who fell victim to a scam? Have you heard any horror stories about Author Solutions or one of its partners? Can you nap as much as a cat?