Predators of the Unwary Writer

A writer’s life is hard enough. First you have to conceive the story, then write it. By the time you’ve finished it, you’ve read the damn thing so many times you need a barf bag by your side to get through the final edit and polish. Then comes the agent hunt, an experience one can liken to hitting oneself over the head with a hammer except that in this case, it doesn’t feel better when you stop. Get the agent? Great. Now comes the waiting. That shouldn’t be so hard, right? Ahh, but I failed to mention that your waiting area is the inside of a room-sized megaspeaker utilized by a/an {insert music you hate most here} band and that the insane, drug-crazed audience is throwing darts at you.

Sorry to say, but the torment doesn’t end when a publishing house buys your book. In many ways, it gets worse. There’s marketing, promotion, anxious hours staring at your Amazon numbers all the while trying to find 15 seconds to start work on your next book.

How much worse could it get? Agents and publishers who promise you the publishing world and then send you a bill to help you get there. These folks should be considered the lowest form of pond scum. They are the bottom feeders of the publishing world. And trust me, there are a lot of them out there; the unwary, star-crossed writers and the predators that feed on their dreams.

Anyone who even remotely considers looking for an agent or publisher should immediately check out Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors before buying their first packet of query letter stamps.

An item on the Grumpy Old Bookman’s site this morning prompted this post. Seems there is a publisher in Inverness, Scotland promising young writers fame and fortune. Of course, there is the little matter of expenses. Anytime any agent or publisher even hints that there might be a charge for anything related to the publication of an authors work, red flags go up big time. Sadly, the stars in many an author’s eyes can too often blind them to those warning flags.

I checked with Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors after reading the GOB‘s post and Aultbea Publishing, Ltd. is not listed on either site. Emails have been sent. Hopefully that will be rectified soon.

One Comment to Predators of the Unwary Writer

  1. dissapointed author says:

    re Aultbea
    The aforesaid publisher recently showed extreme interest in my book claiming in a meeting that it was ‘exactly what he was looking for†, and was eager to publish it and also show it to film companies. I travelled personally to Inverness to meet with said publisher as he wanted the full manuscript and sequel in hard copy and disk, and he was keen to have this title published quickly. He promised to send me a contract within two weeks and said that in six months I would have to be free to do lots of publicity and marketing. Naturally I was overwhelmed by the response. To reiterate his words he said ‘This book will change you life†. In a sense he is correct as I have never felt so foolish or so overwhelmingly disappointed in human nature! In addition, I must add that during our first meeting I was asked to contribute £15,000 towards marketing, something which seemed rather unusual and to which I said ‘no’. He apologised for the misunderstanding saying that I would be offered a 50/50 royalties deal. We finished the meeting with said publisher agreeing to draw up a contract that suited both of us. Two weeks later instead of receiving a contract as promised I received a letter stating that they had decided not to proceed with my book. I now feel incredibly stupid.

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