Saturday, June 10, 2006

Outrageous!

It's fun to be a little outré from time to time. Some of the best times I've ever had were unconventional, even a bit bizarre. Life would be pretty dull if we behaved "correctly" all the time.

Situations, on the other hand, might be subject to different rules. We expect a certain code of conduct in our day-to-day dealings as employees, as customers, as colleagues and, yes, on the Internet. We don't like it when the rules change without notice. If we suddenly stop doing our jobs, we'd no doubt find ourselves unemployed in short order. If your bank, your credit card companies, your ISP revise their policies overnight, they can expect to lose customers. On the Internet, though, things can and do change like quicksilver. Always know who you're dealing with before you divulge anything of a personal nature. All too often, people aren't who (or what) they say they are.

Be careful of predatory Internet businesses as well. Let's take PublishAmerica (you knew that was coming). They use the Net to bait and hook wannabe authors. And at first blush, their site looks pretty good -- to naïve, often very young people who know nothing about how the publishing industry works. Miss (who thought she was a pretty sharp cookie) was Gotten by them. In my defense, there wasn't nearly as much information extant on this publishing bottom-feeder at that time as there is now. If you've written a novel and you're looking for a publisher, the Web is a wonderful resource. But do your research! Many reputable publishers have Web sites. But ... PublishAmerica has one, too, and they count on people Googling the term "book publishing" to surf into it. Go to the site of a publisher whose name you recognize and respect. Look at what they offer. Examine any claims they make. Pay attention to their site design. Then look at PublishAmerica's site. The difference will be (or should be) immediately apparent to you. PublishAmerica's site is an ode to the Outré.

1 comment:

The Rentable Writer said...

Oh God, this is so true. And when you compare it to other more reputable POD publishers' sites (www.iuniverse.com or www.lulu.com) it looks like crap. It's really funny to me how PA tries to appear professional, but I know that they're a complete scam. They just make themselves look like idiots ... and they are. If someone was really smart and cared about their book, he or she would do research on a publisher. If that person chose to go POD, then, out of the top three POD publishers, s/he should choose iUniverse (easier to get books stocked in Barnes & Noble) or LuLu (pays a more noticeable advance and higher royalties than PA). But PA appears too good to be true, and it is, though newcomers don't know that. This blog should be on every writing-related link list as a testimony to the evils and downfalls of the sneakiest and most scandalous publishing "houses" in history. If not the most. Good job; you're blog is saving someone's ass.