Tips 'N Treats: Week 7

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My Tip

This week, I want to talk about scams and “bad” publishers. I’ve seen an incredible number of people on social media asking about how much to pay a publisher. Before I go any farther, this: REAL. PUBLISHERS. DO. NOT. CHARGE. AUTHORS. If a company wants to charge you to publish your book, they are likely a vanity publisher, which is, in turn, likely a scam to cheat you out of your money and hard work.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell what’s a scam and what isn’t. Vanity publishers have all kinds of ways for making their scams look legitimate. They might call their “fee” any number of things to make it sound like that cost is normal. It’s not. My best piece of advice to authors is to do your research. If a publisher looks like a great fit for your work but has shady (or extremely vague) guidelines about payment, search the internet for reviews of that publisher. Get on your social media platform of choice and ask other authors about a questionable publisher. If you’re feeling any doubt at all, research before sending your manuscript. It’s a lot easier to not hit the “send” button than it is to retrieve your manuscript sent in error from the hands of a scammer.

Some good places to research publishers:
-Writer Beware, the Blog is run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). As the name implies, they blog about scams writers should beware of.
-The Absolute Write Water Cooler is a forum inhabited by publishing professionals, seasoned authors, and those at various steps of the writing journey. It’s a great place to pose questions about uncertain publishers, and browsing the forums may provide answers without you even having to post.
-Thumbs Down Publishers List (SFWA)
-This post from Reedsy highlights the potential tactics and pitfalls of vanity and hybrid publishers
-And another great resource from Publishers Weekly

This list is in no way exhaustive. If you have a resource you love or can think of an obvious one I missed, drop the link in the comments. Writers are one big team, and we need to look out for each other.

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This week’s posts:

-Monday: IMPERVIOUS by Zoe Allison
-Wednesday: SELLSWORD'S OATH by Gail Z. Martin
-Thursday: MISSIONS by Marc McGuire

Guest Tip

This week’s guest resource comes from Katherine Hinkebein Pickett. This coming Tuesday, April 21 from 7-10pm EDT, Katherine will be teaching a class over at The Writers Center on Finding the Right Editor for You. The cost is $50, and the class will be conducted via Zoom.
What makes an editor an editor? How does developmental editing differ from copy editing? With so many people out there calling themselves editors, how do you know you have found a good one? Get answers to these and many more questions in this one-day workshop covering all aspects of hiring and working with an editor. We will discuss the types of editors available to you, how to find and hire a qualified editor, and what you can expect from the editing process. We will also look at sample edits and cost estimates.

~Sign up for the class here

Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services LLC and the author of the award-winning book Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro, now in its second edition. She has worked in publishing for more than 20 years, including 7 years as an in-house production editor. Before launching her editing company in 2006, she was told that to make the big bucks, she should specialize. So she went straight out and became a generalist. Now she is always in demand.

Katherine offers copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing to authors and publishers across the country. She has professional training in fiction and nonfiction, and she has edited award-winning nonfiction, genre fiction, academic books and journals, corporate reports, and medical textbooks, among other things.

Finding the Right Editor for You is one of Katherine’s most popular workshops. It was born out of her many conversations with self-publishing authors who were new to publishing and didn’t know where to start. After having the same discussion with multiple writers, she decided she could save everyone a lot of time and money if she could get a big group together and tell them everything at one time. And it worked! She has since developed several workshops and classes for new and aspiring authors and editors. It is one of Katherine’s great joys to help people succeed in following their passion.

You can find Katherine on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. Follow her blog at thepopnewsletter.

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