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Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. LXVI

April 23, 2010

Oh, hi, Internet! You're still here! I'm sorry, Internet. I've been kind of ignoring you the past week or so. Well, at least this part of you. I'm sorry. Want a hug? A handjob? Okay. Whatever you want, slugger!

Anyway. If you've been following along with my shit on Facebook, you'll know that a couple of weeks ago I submitted my completed novel, The Boar War, to a publisher. This was the first time I had submitted since last summer (I think I might have sent out a couple in the fall, too, but I don't clearly remember), and you can imagine my level of excitement when I got an email back from the publisher saying that they liked what they saw in my query and wanted to see the whole thing.

It was somewhere between "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" and "I just shit a solid gold brick!"

I thought nothing of it. I pieced together my manuscript into one document and sent it to the acquisitions department. I was excited. I was thrilled. This was finally it! I was going to shuffle off the "unpublished" adjective from the "author" part of my self-proclaimed title.

The next day, I got a confirmation that my manuscript was received, and then after that I got an email asking me some "further" questions, like how much was I willing to promote this book (until my fucking legs fall off, are you fucking kidding me?) and my publishing/writing history. I filled it out. I thought nothing more of it.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited some more.

I got some more emails from them, telling me to be patient, they'd make a decision, no need to call, they've got it covered. So, I was a little bit...suspicious. Not too suspicious, mind, but enough that I was beginning to have some apprehensions. But, fuck, this was as far as I'd ever gotten trying to publish this thing! Why not ride it out to the endgame? Besides, I had checked out their website, everyone was glowingly ebullient in their praise for this publisher. So, I kept waiting.

Unfortunately, I kept dreaming. I was thinking about how fucking nice it would be to walk into a bookstore, go to the shelf, and see my book sitting on it. I could go to the library and check myself out, if I so desired.

And I so desired.

Then...I got another email from the publisher. They were offering me a publishing contract...through email...no phone call, nothing. Hmmm...that's only a small red flag. Anyway, they were telling me that they liked my manuscript! They'd love to publish it! My dream--my impossible dream that I've had since I was my daughter's age--was about to come true!

...with the "caveat" of a $1000 check made out to the publisher.

Caveat indeed.

Caveat is a Latin term, from the verb cavere, which means "beware, avoid." Literally translated, caveat means "let he/she be aware of". You've probably heard the term in the phrase caveat emptor, which means "let the buyer beware."

In this case, it was caveat scriptor, let the writer beware!

The whole deal, as it was explained to me, was that I pay them $1000 dollars, we split any money that is made on the sale of the book 50/50, so after selling 250 books, I would probably recoup my losses. If I sold 1000 books in one year's time, I got an automatic $1000 bonus check, and I would have a lifetime publishing contract where I wouldn't have to pay them any more money, and any manuscript I finished would get published and sold through them.

And so I sat and thought it over for a while.

Between my awesome blog followers and my friends on Facebook, I could probably sell 100 books right there. That's almost halfway to my 250 total to recoup my losses.

My friend Joe then suggested I look into the company a little deeper, so a quick search for "Strategic Book Publishing" told me to slam the door in the face of these people, and do not answer the door when they ring the bell again. In short, Strategic Book Publishing was a scam, and enough so that the Attorney General of Florida has brought a lawsuit for fraud against the CEO of the company. Several people discussed how they had sent their $1000 dollars to the company, had friends order the book, and then the book never showed up in their e-readers or in the mail through Amazon (or another retailer) and how the author never got paid for the sale of the book.

So, in short, it was a scam, one that I did not get involved in monetarily. Unfortunately, I did get caught up by dreaming that I could finally publish my book.

*suspiro*[1]

I guess it's true, that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Or, there's this alternative:

Cave meretricem quae dicit suus primus es.

Pronounced: "Cah-way may-ray-tree-came kwhy dee-keet soo-oos pree-moose es."

Yowza. Something in the hovertext. Whatever. Just keep talking to me...


So, to all my writer friends out there, I remind you, caveat scriptor and scriptorum semper legis! ("always read the fine print!"). Not to say that, if someone should offer to publish you, it's a scam. I'm just saying, do a better job than I did and make sure that you don't get caught up in a deal that smells of fish and old eggs.

And stay far, far away from Strategic Book Publishing.

[1] "I sigh".

20 comments:

BigSis said...

That stinks, but it's much better to find out now that they're no good!

Cora said...

Oh no! Mjenks, I'm so sorry! That effing stinks like Lindsay Lohan's hoo-ha! *shudder*

((((HUGS))))

Scope said...

Crap. That sucks.

Tell you what, between the coin I've recently won in the UK Lottery and the money I'm going to make from helping out this dude in Nigeria, any day now, I'll have the spare scratch to help you get published.

Bev said...

Oh buddy, I'm sorry! That is so fucking disappointing, and I detest scam artists who feed upon the hopes of others. Thank goodness you found out before parting ways with 1000 big ones, though. Be proud of yourself for not falling victim to them fully.

((hugs)) It will happen. Keep trying - you're very talented!

Adam L. said...

Dang! Better to get out of it before yous sent the money, though.

Any chances of sending it to a different publisher? There's gotta be someone out there who won't be trying to scam you!

Eric said...

It's lame they prey on people who are just trying to follow their dream.

We would have also accepted 'lupa' as slang for whore. Nice picture there by the way.

red said...

That sucks, dude.

I can't imagine any legit publisher would ask you to pay them, right? Jerkfaces!

kate said...

Uhhh...that sucks! I had a job opportunity fall apart like that - an offer and interview that were so over-the-top amazing sounding that lead to nothing after I looked up a little bit of the company's background information. Can you say "door-to-door salesperson"? No, thanks.

Ed said...

Aw man. That sucks dude. Have you thought about just publishing it yourself through a site like Lulu or something?

P.S. Another fineass redhead. Bravo!

SkylersDad said...

Is this publishing company run by a Nigerian prince?

That really sucks, I hope another publisher takes you up.

Nej said...

How frustrating!!!!! What a crock of shit. Glad you found out the read story before sending them anything. :-(

P.S. Heck yeah I would have bought a copy...or two...for the cause. :-)

Chemgeek said...

I'll screw you over for a lot less.

Send me $20 and I'll not publish your book better than anyone around.

Gwen said...

Aw, sug, I'm sorry. What asshats.

I felt so bad for you that I got up off my fat ass and looked at my Dad's self-published book. He used authorhouse. They're ranked #2 aout of twelve at this publisher rating site.

You WILL get published and I will shove, elbow and bite anybody who tries to beat me to the front of the line to buy a copy of your book.

Wynn said...

Oh I'm sorry, what a bunch of douchebags. You deserve to be published! I might even buy the book myself when you are! See, that's a HUGE step forward for you, to sit in my shelf at home.

Joke aside, I'm sorry and I'm sure it'll loosen up for you soon!

corticoWhat said...

Have you considered an agent?

Also, nice redhead! :)

mo.stoneskin said...

Unbelievable. I'd buy you a pint if you were over here. Or I was over there. Or, coincidently, we ended up in the same bar in Paris. Anyway, sorry to hear about this business.

Pint?

snowelf said...

Mjenks,

My next career move is to be an editor. And I'm serious. Not that you can tell from my sloppy ass blog posts, but in real life, I have more love for the English language than you have appreciation for the female form. And judging from your blog posts, that's a lot. ;) So I can absolutely appreciate where you are coming from and I hope things work out for you soon. You've definitely got the talent, that's for sure. And yea, that publisher unfortunately sounds really scammy, but keep trying anyway. I'm convinced as long as you are capable of writing, getting published is all about the timing.

--snow

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Yes, you've been mia too long. You totes owe the internet and me handjobs.

This post made me cry inky, times new roman tears.

Are you worried about them having your whole MS? Or do you think they just deleted it right away bc it is a scam?

Dude, that blows. Hard.

Wonderful said...

Man, I was so excited for you too...but at least you didn't fall for the scam. You should never have to pay anything--they should always pay you.

Sully said...

I'll prepare an insult for them... bastards...