Becoming a writer is a tough process. The writer works alone. Often it’s his or her ‘second job’, the one done for no pay while spouse and friends are watching television or socializing or working at second jobs that have real paychecks. Nevertheless, the neophyte writer labors on alone until he has that first, finished manuscript. And then he lifts his head up and wonders, “How does this get turned into a book?”
And that, sad to say, is when the sharks may begin to circle. A ‘bite’ for the fake agency that charges the author a reading fee and sends him to the fake ‘book doctor’ who takes another bite and sends him on the pretend ‘publisher’ who tears off a chunk of his money and his pride as he sends the writer off, alone, to peddle a badly-edited, overpriced book to his family and friends and no one else. A book that receives no advance, no publicity, no distribution and no royalties.
Worst case scenario? Yes. But it happens far too often to inexperienced writers.
Over many years of writing and years of offering advice to newcomers to the field of writing, I’ve often referred to Writer Beware as an extremely valuable source. If you write or think you might want to write, bookmark that link right now! This recommendation applies for writers of all genres, including poetry and mainstream, because there are no limits to the scam agents and pitfalls for new writers. And in a time when self-publishing is no longer seen as an author’s last resort, but a valid option especially for special interest books, the scams have only multiplied. Make no mistake. There is a long line of folks who would love to take your money and trash your dream.
And that is where Writer Beware! comes into play. Writer Beware! is a site that investigates scams affecting writers and boldly publishes their findings. They will tell you, bluntly, which agents and publishers to avoid. They put out, in plain words, exactly when you should be willing to pay a fee, and when that fee is a cheat and a rip off. They will tell you which publishers are actually vanity presses, and give you the information that can help you decide when self-publishing IS a good choice, and how to go about it.
Plainly put: They teach you what you need to know to avoid being fleeced on your way to being published.
Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin have been extremely valuable allies, over and over, to me and to many other writers I know. They have given unselfishly of their time, pursued lawsuits on behalf of writers and endured the sort of harassment that befalls people who expose scumbags. There is now a concerted effort to discredit Ann, Victoria, Writer Beware! and many of the people who have supported them. For the details on this, I will refer you directly to Ann’s Blog about the matter.
Don’t be deceived. Writer Beware! is a valuable resource to any writer. If they weren’t effective, they wouldn’t be enduring this harassment.
Ann and Victoria, thank you.