Sunday, April 28, 2013

Scams to Look Out For- Part One

Now we're going to be covering some general scams that you may find on your trawls as you search for a publisher/agent. With the advent of the internet and new tools available for publishing, there are a lot of con artists out there. Here are some signs that you need to look out for.

1. People who advertise in any form or come to you

Remember, real agents and editors have to fight back clients. They don't need any more. Only con artists/vanity publishers put any kinds of ads anywhere, magazines, on Google ads, or something like that. And if your publisher's is geared towards writers instead of readers, which means that it seems like they really want people to submit, than this is also a sure sign that something's wrong.

Also, no editor will ever come to you. If anyone e-mails you asking for a manuscript whom you haven't submitted to, 99.9% chances are that it's a scam.

2. People about who there are no records

Now, I suppose you're probably going to check up on any agent/publisher who offers you a contract. What if you don't find anything bad, but you find nothing?

That's another sure sign that's something is wrong. Real agents and editors get talked about. They have records. If someone doesn't, it probably means a scam of some kind.

3. Seeing your books in stores

A lot of publishers will mention that if your book gets published by them, it will be available in stores all over the country. What they generally mean is that if someone walks up to the store and orders your book, then they'll deliver it to that store.

Now, think about it. In your long years as a reader, how many times have you walked into a store and asked specifically for a book to be ordered to you? Let me guess, zero. Almost all readers only browse what's right in front of them in a book store.

Check your publisher's name. Go into a store like Barnes & Noble and ask if they have any books by that publisher. If you don't see any, well, then yours probably won't be there too. Remember, everything you see in a book store is a result of a publisher. Your publisher negotiates for a spot on the shelves, the number of copies the book store will hold, etc. Besides begging on your knees for them to take in your book, there's not much that you can do to get your book into a store.

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