Publishing is a long game.
It takes years to master the writing craft, write and revise a publishable manuscript, and build a solid platform. And that’s just the work you need to do before you publish. After you sign that contract or start the self-publishing process you need to focus on marketing and advertising while working on your next book!
It’s tempting to take short cuts to publication (who wants to wait years?), but consider those options carefully.
Recently in a Facebook group, an author won a contest where the “prize” was to have the first chapter of her story published in an anthology–all the winners would have their first chapters included.
This author could only see what she wanted to see: she would be a published, award-winning author. All I could see were red flags.
- Who would ever want to read a book full of ONLY first chapters?
- The contest rules gave the contest coordinators universal rights to the content, meaning they would own the first chapter.
- Once any part of a manuscript is published, it’s considered published, so she couldn’t pitch the whole novel to traditional publishers without disclosing part of it had been previously published.
I’m not an attorney or agent, but my understanding of the industry is that her book would essentially be unpublishable with the rights of that chapter belonging to someone else. She would never be able to include those award-winning words in her book.
Thankfully, she asked many other authors for their advice. Some gave bad advice (go for it!), but there were enough of us with experience to tell her to run away.
This “contest” certainly seemed like a faster way to becoming a published author, but it could have destroyed her chances to publish that manuscript. As is the case with most things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Have you come across any publishing news or opportunities that seem too good to be true?
If you ever have questions, please reach out! If I don’t have the answer, I know plenty of people who do.
Not sure if something’s a writing scam, here are some warning signs:
Self-Publisher Beware! http://writenowedits.com/2019/07/self-publisher-beware-by-susan-k-stewart/