Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Run, Do Not Walk! (Part 2 of 2)

To clear up any misunderstanding before you read this, I am NOT planning to pay to publish--ever--but that is a choice.

Every aspiring author has heard of/seen ads for are known as 'vanity presses'. These are pay-to-publish presses, and many people use them for many reasons. Yesterday I 'attended' an online webinar sponsored by Writers' Digest and heard what I thought was a very fair and balanced presentation of the advantages/disadvantages of Traditonal (now often called commercial) publishing, Do-It-Yourself Publishing, and Supported Publishing, which is another name for pay-to-publish. Comparisons were made regarding speed to market, control, and investment required.

It's not my purpose here to hold one model up as better than any other. I believe it is a matter of choice. However--it behooves an author to recognize a vanity press masquerading as a small (commercial) press--and know the bottom line BEFORE signing a contract which is legally binding. (And let me state here that there are good pay-to-publish businesses.) Look for
  • fee of any sort
  • pre-purchase or pre-sale requirements
  • withheld royalties
  • promises that your book will be available 'everywhere'
If you are looking for a pay-to-publish business, make sure they are upfront about being what they are. Don't be led in the back door with the 'carrot-on-a-stick' plot and wish you'd taken a better look at the carrot first!

The link I directed you to in Part 1 contains lists and lists of other links to
  • research publishers and check reputations
  • learn about contracts
  • learn about epublishing
  • learn about print-on-demand publishing
  • find other resources to expand your knowledge about publishing
It is NOT trite to say that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. At the very least, knowledge is just plain common sense. And if we are creative enough to write, we are smart enough to know how to get it out there the very best way!The 'best way' may differ from author to author.

My thanks to SFWA--Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America--for their wonderful "Writer Beware Blog" and the Small Press Page (linked above) which inspired the "Run, Don't Walk!" topic. They are a savvy resource for ALL writers! Add their site to your desktop, subscribe to their blog, and stay up on topics important to the writing world.

Disclaimer: This recommendation is made strictly because I believe the information provided by SFWA is valuable.


Jill James said...

Judy, get info. Knowledge is power. The more things change the more publishing helpers will come out of the closet. Be sure you know what you are signing up for.

Judy said...

I'm not planning to pay-to-publish ever--but I know people who take this route.

Christine Warner said...

Great information...thanks for sharing!

Judy said...

Glad you find it helpful, Christine. Thanks for visiting me at The Word Place.