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Avoid Those Writing Scams!

October 1st, 2010

It really is a turbulent time for writers as things are moving so fast.  Some traditional markets are gradually losing ground while now opportunities are coming up all the time.

A rapidly increasing number of people are reading their newspapers and books online or downloading them to reading devices…and it has become easier than ever to arrange to self-publish your work and supply it to your readers using POD (print on demand) or e-book format.

On the downside, print magazines are being squeezed and trying to keep costs to a minimum which isn’t good news for freelance writers.

It can pay to take a chance

So you could do worse than follow Rob Innis’ advice in this month’s E-zee Writer.  His philosophy is that although thorough research and analysis of your chosen markets is essential, sometimes ‘thinking outside the box’ brings its own rewards.  In his article he gives examples of how it has worked for him.

Avoiding Poetry Scams

But where it doesn’t pay to take a chance is with the scam merchants that proliferate on the Internet.  Probably the most common one is where you enter a competition (you can’t believe your luck… it’s free) and then, even better, you find you’ve been shortlisted.  And guess what?  The organisers want to publish your work in a beautifully bound anthology – a mere snip at £29.99 (or whatever!)

When you finally get your anthology (and the ones you ordered for other proud members of your family) you see that there are literally hundreds of poems crammed in and the quality of most of them is – to say the least – dubious.  The only winner is the competition organiser – laughing all the way to the bank.

For advice on this type of scam – and other aspects of vanity publishing – visit Johnathon Clifford’s site.  Also, before you enter any competition, always check out the organiser’s website and – sorry about the cliché – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Brewery Sponsorship

And finally, one that I just couldn’t resist is the Beer Writer of the Year Competition.  Admittedly, you’ll have to move quickly if you want to enter because the closing date is 6th October.  But with six categories, each offering a first prize of £1000, it’s definitely a cheering prospect.  Just think how many rounds you could buy at your local with the prize money…or perhaps not.

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