Postcript to yesterday's post: ePassion and ePublishing!
I am aware of all the idiotic, self serving nonsense the Vanity Publishing scams chunder out so nauseatingly, but I certainly never read the stuff: I may be Crazy but I'm not stupid!
However a friend sent me an example of an ebook put out by one of those "highly respected publishing institutions", with the promise of a good laugh.
The first chapter of the mighty tome promised shy, unsuspecting and naively aspiring writers fame and fortune beyond their dreams, world domination, invitations to TV talk shows, audiences with the Pope of their choice, housewives hanging on their every word, clamouring for every scribble...but wait, there's more! Three free suits, two ties, and a fully housebroken pet unicorn!
The body of the book however began with the not unsurprising assertion that no creative person, especially a busy writer "like you", could possibly deal with the difficult and challenging requirements of formatting and uploading an ebook, especially when there was more creatiivity to be taken care of
Therefore handing the manuscript to them for the necessary and painstaking formatting and promotion, and oh so challenging uploading to online stores would solve all a writer's worries.
The book went on in copious detail how to do exactly that: page after page of how the writer should format his book in several different ways: as an epub file, as a mobi file, as a Microsoft word doc. carefully formatted for print on demand production, and three other formats which to my knowledge don't even think exist, all the while stressing to be very careful and meticulous as the highly experienced editiors and formatters at this particular Vanity Publishing company could reject the files for even the slightest mistake, and that there was no obligation on their part to accept any files submitted by any author.
And the non refundable cost for this exclusive and comprehensive service?
Well : almost $1200 in upfront fees, as well as:
Total copyrights of the said manuscript transferred to them as publisher...
Total copyrights in all previous writing, including those already published, all current projects being undertaken by the writer, and all future writing: in perpetuity...
An exclusive, no obligation, prepaid enrollment to an essential book marketting course offered by the company, ( absolutely necessary because all marketting and/or promotion af any kind was the sole responsibility of the writer), valued at just over $600, with more courses on offer, on an ever increasing cost scale ( due to their ever increasing value) after successful completion...
And what do you actually receive in return?
Well a truly astounding 82% of the 35% royalty received by the publishing company from the online stores, where your book will be priced at $0.99c a copy.
Not to be sneezed at , heh???
But (I hear you say) I am a photographer, how does this affect me?
Well I suggest you read those small or hidden print conditions of acceptance for those photos you submitted for "publication", or those others you entered in those competitions.
And if you are model, it might pay to check out the small print fo those "contracts" you signed with that 'agency', especially the ones you never hear from except when there is money to be claimed, and those ones which "allow " you "to find your own work"
Yeah, ya gotta laugh!
But it really is no laughing matter, for thousands of people fall for these very scams everyday.
Only a week or so ago, a friend of a friend was over the moon, gloating on facebook how he had just landed an unbelievably terrific publishing deal on a book of (you guessed it) original poems, where after the sale of the first 75 copies, (for which he received nothing) he would receive the overwhelming royalty of 15% of cost price...and the deal was uncannily close to that outlined above.
And he could even improve sales by buying some copies himself for private sale or to give away to friends and family
I therefore plan to give up photography and writng and set up a boarding kennel for unicorns, so new jetset writers will have somewhere to leave their valuable pets while off travelling around the world on the talk show circuit , and having audiences with random popes.
No doubt I will make a killing!