A good day to all my fellow WPressers!
Today, I want and need to write about something that a new, budding author may fall for – PUBLISHING.
Publishing sounds really good and enticing to all those aspiring and already-aspired authors. For those who have already published, I hope that they’ll get their new contracts with much ease than those who are yet to. But new authors must prove themselves. Therein lies the danger of getting swindled and cheated by so-called VANITY PUBLISHERS.
The issue started when I wanted to publish my first novel (SPOILER: which I haven’t published yet). I contacted a publishing house which rejected my 3-chapter summary. For those who do not know how the process goes about, let me explain:
- First, identify your publishing house (according to their intake and genre).
- Send them a summary (normally a page long) along with three consecutive chapters (not necessarily the first three).
- Then, wait for a few weeks to a few months for their reply. If they like it, they would request you to send them the full manuscript.
- Format your manuscript to make it at least well-readable, and then send it to them.
- Now, wait for a month or a few in order to hear back from them. Normally, if you don’t hear back from them within six months, I’m sorry, perhaps they don’t consider your manuscript worthy of publishing. But don’t lose hope. You’ll surely make it to other publishers. Try and try again, as I have been trying.
- If they get back to you positively, you’ll be asked to sign a contract (which can also be broken halfway through, although doesn’t happen often). You will get all the information regarding your book rights, publisher’s rights, royalties, and everything else.
Bonus Tip: Don’t expect to get filthy rich by selling books. That never (or maybe once for a million published books) happens.
Now, let’s get back to my story. Bored? Please don’t be; this is important!
I went through steps 1 to 3 for my first publisher. They didn’t consider my summary and three-chapters worth it. That was the first failure. But, I didn’t lose hope.
I did the same for another publisher ‘Austin Macauley’. They liked it. I was really excited. I completed steps 4-6 too. They had sent me a contract and that happened within one month and a half. I was so happy and delighted that I can’t even express. My dream was about to be fulfilled.
But, when I read the contract, I found out that I needed to pay 2500 Pound Sterling as I was a relatively unknown author. This was, I guess, the caution deposit for my book. I was stunned. I had expected the opposite as every other author does!
That was the first time I got to know about the hidden features of the publishing industry – vanity publishers. This publisher is just one of them. There are a lot of them to which I have attached links at the end.
Frustrated and dejected, I started searching for other opportunities. I had found my publisher – Partridge Publishers India. I sent them a query regarding their packages. I wanted to self-publish my book with their support. Since their website was fair enough to mention the price of the packages, I could, as well, trust on them. Moreover, Partridge is a trusted brand, all the more because it is a part of Penguin publishing house now. The senior publishing consultant called me up. I was glad. She told me all about the process. My inquisitive nature also made me ask a lot of questions although she was happy answering to them. Finally, after three days, it was time to send the first installment of the package that I had chosen.
Also worth notice: They had offered me a 50% rebate in their packages since it was the season of books in India and I was in their database since one and a half year (that’s true!)
On a happy Monday, she called me. I was delighted, nervous, and extremely joyous. My dream would come true now. But, my dream was to remain a dream. I didn’t know that I would only meet fraudsters all along my way. The consultant asked me to pay the first installment with a VISA/Master Card via the phone. I would never do that! I would never give anyone my important credentials over the phone.
That was the moment I searched for ‘Partridge Publishing scam’ in Google. What more did I need? There were already a few cases reported along with reasons as to how they cheat. I hadn’t expected that at all. That came as a total surprise. I sent them an email regarding it. She tried to clarify that those were all bad reviews that even good companies like Amazon and Samsung have. I never looked back.
Currently, I am sending my manuscript to some publishers in India. I hope they would consider my work and publish it in the days to come. I hope, for I can only hope and wait and hope. But, I have learnt that one cannot trust a name – it may be a hoax!