At one time, it was easy to figure out who the self-publishing companies were. They were called vanity presses, and people paid them large amounts of money to get small amounts of books to distribute to their closest friends and family members.
Then the self-publishing world exploded and in so doing became a little more respectable. Unfortunately, along with that came a bunch of companies that took advantage of writers who were unfamiliar with how to get published traditionally, who were too impatient to climb up the rungs of traditional publishing, who wanted to control their own publishing process, or (yes) who had written something that wasn’t ready for publication but wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
Self-publishing can be the perfect answer for people whose books are of interest to a limited audience or who want to be able to control the entire experience, but you need to do your homework when choosing the company that’s going to help you do that. (If you want a sickening look at the dregs of this industry, read Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell by former FBI agent Jim Fisher.)
After a while, it was still somewhat easy to tell who the self-publishing companies were. It became difficult when the less ethical companies changed names once they got a bad rep among writers. For example, did you know that AuthorHouse used to be 1st Books? Well, it turns out that Author Solutions owns a lot of the less-than-savory self-publishing companies: iUniverse, Trafford, AuthorHouse, xLibris. Many of us relied on sites like Preditors and Editors to keep track of who was on 1st and what they were calling themselves now.
Now the plot sickens. Simon & Schuster has entered the self-publishing business. And they’re partnering with Author Solutions to do it. David Gaughran describes it all in Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers.
I have to say that I’m not going to think of S&S the same way again. It would be as if I’d found out that Women Writing for a Change had acquired Hustler.
There are many respectable self-publishing companies out there, like Orange Frazer Press Custom Books and Queen V Publishing. Author Solutions just isn’t one of them.
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Posted in General, Writing Life, tagged critique, editing, fiction, get published, manuscripts, process, punctuation, Sisters in Crime, Speaking engagements, style guides, traditional publishing, writing, writing workshops on September 15, 2012 |
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Today I’ll be talking with the Sisters in Crime of Columbus, Ohio (SiCCO). Don’t you just love that acronym?
We’re going to talk about how to get your writing in the best shape for submitting it to editors and agents (and contests, too!). I read some great stories and can’t wait to meet the authors. Some of the things we’ll be discussing are manuscript format, action verbs, punctuation and style guides.
For example, did you know that you’re supposed to put only one space at the end of a sentence and after a colon? Do you know when that standard changed? In the mid-1980s. Want to know why? Well, you’ll have to invite me to talk to your group to find out!
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Posted in General, Writing Life, tagged contracts and copyrights, editing, fiction, get published, manuscripts, marketing, My books, nonfiction, self-published book, Speaking engagements, Stephen Gillen, traditional publishing, Valerie J. Lewis Coleman, Write On! Workshop, writing class, writing workshops on January 16, 2012 |
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Thanks to everyone who came to the Write On! Workshop Cincy Style yesterday. Judging from the evaluations, and speaking for Val and me, a great time was had by all! And didn’t Colleen Zuber at the Refuge Coffee Bar serve us a great lunch? Steve Gillen’s presentation on Copyrights and Contracts (and all the extra tips he gave us!) is surely going to save many of us a lot of headaches.
For yesterday’s participants: did you feel as if your head was spinning and you couldn’t write fast enough? For those who couldn’t make it: are you kicking yourself now? Never fear! Sign up now for the Write On! Workshop that we’re holding in Dayton on March 31, 2012. See you there!
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