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View Full Version : Self Publish and POD, and PA and Conferences



SherryTex
04-22-2008, 01:53 AM
I am throwing this out here for everyone because I was so stunned at the conference itself, I found it hard to believe.

I went to a specific workshop designed to help writers get past the editor's door and the teacher gave lots of tips on essentially hiring your own editor --to get the work ready for the editor. Now I had problems with that idea alone, then I checked her published work, most of it she admitted had been self published to start and it made me more hesitant. Then in the grand finale, she talked about how PA gets a bad rap and it has a place in the publishing world, that she knows there are scores of web sites and she mentioned Preditors and Editors with a slight hint of derision, that think only horrid things about PA.

I was stunned --I will say, I did not confront her about this for three reasons. I came late to the lecture and thus was unable to tell if she prefaced all of her speech with her own experience either not being typical or some other caveat. She said this in her closing as we were preparing to leave, and as such, I'm not sure many people even took in what she said.
Third, having no arguement other than what I know via AW and Preditors and Editors, which she dismissed, I didn't know how I could either change her mind or address the issues itself. I was shocked and I did write up the conference lecture specifically with my concerns in the survey.

I have since subscribed to the woman's newsletter to get a grasp of her philosophy in general, in an attempt to give it all a fair shake, but feel grave concern that she's encouraging writers who are impatient with the publishing process to try a short cut. She talked about how most books are shredded in 90 days. To me, this was designed to drive us to self publishing.

Stormhawk
04-22-2008, 01:57 AM
There are no good experiences with PA, just people who try and delude themselves.

veinglory
04-22-2008, 02:22 AM
I would be concerned about any event where self-publishing techniques, even good ones, were presented as relating to commercial publishing. And I wouldn't count endorsing PA as good self-publishing technique.

Linda Adams
04-22-2008, 02:44 AM
I've seen something similar unfortunately. I ran across a regional writing organization that had been around for a surprising 88 years. They did have published authors, and many of them were members of local chapters giving lectures about publishing. So I emailed them and asked for more information. Then something made me go back and look through the Web site in more detail. I actually looked at each published writer's information and discovered that only one author had been professionally published, that through a small press. The rest were all PA authors, and they were the ones giving lectures on how to get published. Needless to say, I didn't join.

IceCreamEmpress
04-22-2008, 03:15 AM
I went to a specific workshop designed to help writers get past the editor's door and the teacher gave lots of tips on essentially hiring your own editor --to get the work ready for the editor. Now I had problems with that idea alone, then I checked her published work, most of it she admitted had been self published.

So what does she know about the skills she was being paid to teach, then?

Geez Louise.

Sheryl Nantus
04-22-2008, 03:37 AM
I've become convinced that there are more BAD writing conferences/workshops/teachers/publishers/experts/etc. out there than good ones - and it's hard to tell the difference.

All you can do is NOT rush to the nearest workshop and fork over the dough without researching who's giving the chat in the first place.

I would write about my concerns to the organizers - it's possible she presented herself as an expert and offered to do her panel for free without causing any suspicions. Still, they should know what she was all about.

can't trust anyone these days...

*sighs*

scope
04-22-2008, 03:42 AM
She obviously doesn't know what she's talking about. Forget her and move on.

maestrowork
04-22-2008, 04:41 AM
I think self-published or POD authors are legit as long as they disclose that fact and don't pretend to be commercially published. They certainly shouldn't lead the writers on thinking that self-publishing/POD is the (only) way to go because, sheesh, going the commercial way is "just too hard."

And before anyone goes to hear a talk, make sure you know the background and credibility of the speaker. Check out their books. Read reviews. There's nothing wrong with self-publishing if you know what you're getting into.

However, supporting PA simply puts this writer in a bad light. She shouldn't be out there giving out advice like that. You did the right thing telling the organizers.

benbradley
04-22-2008, 07:16 AM
...
She talked about how most books are shredded in 90 days. To me, this was designed to drive us to self publishing.
Obviously she didn't mention that most self-published books rot from mold from being in their authors' garages and basements for years and years...and worst case, a commercially published author gets to keep the advance!

I've become convinced that there are more BAD writing conferences/workshops/teachers/publishers/experts/etc. out there than good ones - and it's hard to tell the difference.
Hmm, if the conference presenter(s) have names, it should be easy enough to find their book titles and "publishers", even if it is PA or some other vanity-press-like thing.

All you can do is NOT rush to the nearest workshop and fork over the dough without researching who's giving the chat in the first place.

I would write about my concerns to the organizers - it's possible she presented herself as an expert and offered to do her panel for free without causing any suspicions. Still, they should know what she was all about.

can't trust anyone these days...

*sighs*


She obviously doesn't know what she's talking about. Forget her and move on.
Not bad advice in itself, but even further, I'd feel a societal obligation to warn others about such people and conferences, as it appears Sherry is doing. These people are likely making more money telling others how to "get published" than they are from selling their own books (though such a conference could be a convenient place to dump offer their books for sale), and it brings to mind a four-letter word for what they're doing: scam.

KTC
04-23-2008, 03:53 PM
I'm kind of shocked that a conference would have her facilitate. Was it a writers' conference, or a conference on something else? I just helped organize a conference... I was actually on the speaker/workshop facilitator committee. We went to great lengths to get respectable/reputable facilitators. I would not have looked sideways at a PA published author. Shocking. And that she was speaking like that at the conference to some people who may not know otherwise, and therefore take her at her word... is heinous. It makes one wonder how she got in the conference line-up. It questions the credibility of the entire conference.

Momento Mori
04-23-2008, 06:10 PM
SherryTex:
I went to a specific workshop designed to help writers get past the editor's door and the teacher gave lots of tips on essentially hiring your own editor

If I were you, I'd go to whoever organised the workshop and tell them what happened and why it's a concern (particularly if you were charged money to attend the workshop). If someone's offering a seminar or whatever aimed at providing practical tips and the speaker clearly doesn't have enough relevant experience to be of use to those paying, then that speaker shouldn't be there and the people attending shouldn't be charged money.

That's not to disparage people who self-publish, but in the context of what this workshop was about (i.e. getting past the editor's door), the speaker should be someone with considerable experience at dealing with non-POD/vanity publishers.

MM

maestrowork
04-23-2008, 06:46 PM
That's not to disparage people who self-publish, but in the context of what this workshop was about (i.e. getting past the editor's door), the speaker should be someone with considerable experience at dealing with non-POD/vanity publishers.

MM

Maybe she meant "bypassing the editors completely" (by going vanity/POD/scam publishers).

Momento Mori
04-23-2008, 07:11 PM
maestrowork:
Maybe she meant "bypassing the editors completely" (by going vanity/POD/scam publishers).

Heh. A fair point, which I hadn't considered.

MM