Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Writers Versus Scammers

To say the "self publishing" concept is growing rapidly is an understatement. This past year, for instance, more writers than ever before--300,000 in fact!--published their books via the self publishing route. Next year, the numbers will go even higher. And there is no end in sight.

This phenomena was accomplished, for the most part, with the help of the rapidly growing list of "print on demand" (POD) publishers. Incidentally, there are many different terms used for these publishers: subsidy publishers, vanity publishers, self publishers, etc. Regardless of what they call themselves, they all do basically the same thing. If you send them money, they will print up your book. No questions asked.

Reality, however, always rears its head sooner or later. Despite the glowing "sure-fire Best Seller" predictions that some of these publishers make in their advertising--and despite the glowing hopes and dreams of the authors who buy into those lofty projections--most books printed through one of these publishers sells less than 200 copies. Quite often, it is far less than 200 copies. And it is the writer him/herself who has to sell every one of those 200 copies or less.

The number of copies sold, however, is irrelevant to these publishers because they've already made their money from the writer who bought their services.

Sometimes these publishers make a lot of money from those writers. And they do it by requiring the writer to buy 1,000 copies (or more) of his/her own book. They offer the writer a "discount" of course. But even with 20% to 50% knocked off the cover price, the writer in many cases is still required to hand out five to ten thousand dollars up front! In return, the writer receives several large cartons of books that stack nicely in the garage.

It is no small wonder, then, that the self publishing industry has also been infiltrated by countless scam artists whose schemes are casting a wider and wider net to rake in more and more of the writer's money. In fact, there are now so many self publishers out there that no one person can keep track of them all.

Luckily, there are also a number of websites that have dedicated themselves to turning over the rocks under which these vermin live. And they don't just turn over the rocks. These sites also shine a clear bright light on some of their seductive schemes.

One of the most reliable of those clear bright light sites is:

So if you're thinking about using one of the zillion or more POD publishers now available for your next (or first) book, research this site before you do anything else. It's loaded with information on a variety of topics, all of which relate to writers and to the wide, diverse, and rapidly growing world of self publishing, and the scams connected thereto.

Posted by
Russ Heitz