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Friday, 20 March 2015

Boot and Other Foot?

The madness continues at Indies Unlimited, the #PublishingFoul features reached the halfway point in the month with an update on the story so far.

A quick way to catch up with the information gleaned from the four corners of the Indies world is to click on the referee image on the right hand sidebar. The link takes you to the #PublishingFoul index page and posts directly related to the March Madness.

It doesn't make for easier reading, but highlights the frequently asked question, why do we, (writer's) fall for the scams? The simple truth maybe that they are better at the dark practises of scamming and fleecing than we are at spotting the same. Knowledge is the answer, and the greatest defence, and one of the strongest elements I've discovered among Independent authors is a willingness to share information. This month's features on Indies Unlimited supports this. 

We all want to sell our books, of course, but that doesn't mean we have to compete with each other when it comes to steering away from trouble. Any one of us may have narrowly avoided the pitfalls by  way of another author sharing their experience.

The update offers a review and links to a couple of useful pages; How to avoid a scam and  Resources for Authors, for legal advice and tips on where and how to research the useful details for avoiding the scammers.

The stakes are high! David Gaughran's posts at Let"s Get Digital, and his research on AuthorSolutions, reveals some of the figures involved. A new piece in the story appeared today with an appeal from David to spread the word to writers everywhere:  AuthorSolutions are sponsoring the Bay Area Book Festival; a very profitable ground for their activities, to the cost of many authors!.

Victoria Strauss offers more information at Writer Beware and one particular link discussing Vanity/Subsidy Publishers caught my attention. A lengthy piece worth taking the time to study, especially the case histories and the custodial  jail sentences given to publishers. The owner of Northwest Publishing, a Vanity Press based in Utah, received thirty years for cheating authors out of millions of dollars. (Some of the details may seem dated, but the page has been checked recently - Dec 2014.)

Labyrinthine, yes it may be, chasing the links between the sites offering information, but and it's a big but; taking the time to work your way through the links may save you a lot of money and of heartache.

Following the links proffered by the Vanities may drag you along at the same pace; however the end result may be very different to the one you wanted or expected to find.

Tread carefully, there are plenty of people out there who will trample your dreams without finding that we've been doing the same, to our own dreams!

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