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Author Identity Publishing (Authoridentity.com)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

James D. Macdonald

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I got some spam from these guys today:

AuthorIdentity.com Newsletter
Author Identity Publishing

Hi Short Story Author,
Would you like to get your short story published?
Would you be interested in selling one of your stories to us?
We are a small, but very reputable publisher looking to buy short stories for a compilation coming out this holiday season.
This could be your chance to jump start your writing career.
If you are interested in submitting a story or just finding out additional information, please click on the following link www.authoridentity.com
Wishing you success in your writing career.

Author Identity

Yeah, right, for the holidays. Way late to be getting into the game if you mean the holidays coming up in about a month and a half. Holidays 2007, maybe.

Nothing I want more than success in my writing career, though. So I went over and took a look. What was the first thing I saw?

That being said we do require certain marketing efforts from our authors. Remember it’s your book, and you must want to help in its sales. If you are not willing or unable to do so WE ARE NOT THE PUBLISHER FOR YOU!


We require you supply us with five (5) local newspapers we will send a press release to. We also require you to find 25 people who are willing to purchase your book on its release. Most of our authors have reached out to friends and family, however, we never tell you who must buy your book. You must however, demonstrate you have the ability to sell 25 copies prior to the books release. Once this book is published, the marketing will continue to be a concentrated effort. We recommend you approach at least two local bookstores and present the book for them to sell. Again, if you are not willing or unable to do so WE ARE NOT THE PUBLISHER FOR YOU!
Yep, vanity press!

What else?

Question: Do I need an agent?
Answer: Not if you decide to submit your work here. We select our authors without being represented by agents, no matter how hard they sometimes try. There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to locate a publisher. If you have already signed up with an agent, tell them to contact us with your work, and we will gladly study their proposal. But it will be no different than when you contact us yourself.
Yeah, right, agents are trying to sell them short stories. Pull the other one -- it's got bells! (Agents, real ones, generally don't handle short fiction.)

Even better -- look what they have under "News":

Become a Best-Selling Author
Do you want to sell lots of your books and become a Best-Selling Author? Of course you do! This new strategy is quick and simple to use. They practically guarantee results of best-seller status. Check them out at: {URL deleted}

Hey, I can tell you how to sell lots of your books and become a best-selling author, and I'll tell you for free: Sell your book to Scribner's. Really. That's the strategy.

But do you know what I don't find on Author Identity's website? The title of a single book they've published. The name of their editor. Anything that would make these folks look like a legitimate press.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Oh -- and if you do follow their link to find out how to get best-seller status guaranteed, you get to a place in that I'm-a-scammer triple-column format (I think they bought the template from one of those Make Millions on the Internet spams -- you can tell a scam site from across the room just by the layout and colors) telling you how to become rich and famous through radio interviews.
 

triceretops

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From the PAMB website:


Question: Do I need an[SIZE=-1][/SIZE] agent?
Answer: Not if you decide to submit your work here. We select our authors without being preached to by agents, no matter how hard they sometimes try. There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to locate a publisher. If you have already signed up with an agent, tell them to contact us with your work, and we will gladly study their proposal. But it will be no different than when you contact us yourself.


From the AuthorIdentity website:

Question: Do I need an agent?
Answer: Not if you decide to submit your work here. We select our authors without being represented by agents, no matter how hard they sometimes try. There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to locate a publisher. If you have already signed up with an agent, tell them to contact us with your work, and we will gladly study their proposal. But it will be no different than when you contact us yourself.

Well, taken exactly, word for word from Publish America. Why do you suppose that is? Is there a remote connection here? This is more than suspicious.

Tri
 

CaoPaux

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victoriastrauss

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CaoPaux said:

That's National Best Selling Author Kevin Fabiano to you, bub. (Who's his publisher? You guessed it. PA.)

(He's selling a "How to Get Published Guaranteed" workshop/course for $595. Would it be too cruel to blog about this?)

- Victoria

Edited to add: I think I will blog about it. There are so many faux "experts" out there offering horrible advice, and people are taking them seriously. It's a real menace.
 

James D. Macdonald

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So I looked at Kevin's information. He says: "I have five books in print along with a short story. One of my books The Palace of Wisdom: A Rock and Roll Fable became a National Best Seller."

I looked up The Palace of Wisdom and it's published by ... PublishAmerica! (I wonder how I missed it becoming a National Best Seller.)

Another place on one of those sites I see:

How to Get Published Guaranteed Without an Agent or Vanity Press
Home Study Course

Dear Future Authors,
Would you like to have your book published by a traditional publisher GUARANTEED. I have uncovered a proved system that will GUARANTEE your success in finding a traditional publisher for your book. This is not some vanity press, instead an opportunity to find one of over 400 traditional publishers looking for new or first time authors. This is truly your chance to jump start your career.
Don’t wait any longer – it’s time for you to get your book published GUARANTEED. Click on the attached link for further details. Get Published!
Best wishes,
Kevin A. Fabiano
The link takes you to a place where National Best Selling Author Kevin A. Fabiano is willing to sell you a set of six CDs. I wonder if Kevin took this course, because he sure-enough published with a vanity....
 

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Jeez, James, how do you get on these mailing lists?
 

James D. Macdonald

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Bartholomew said:
Jeez, James, how do you get on these mailing lists?

I have a web page, and on that page I have the words "short stories." That's enough for the robo-spiders.

It was spam. Spammers get addresses from all over.

(BTW, I too have "uncovered a proved system that will GUARANTEE your success in finding a traditional publisher for your book." I'll sell you the secret for just $549.95. Oh, heck, I'll tell you for free: Send your book to PublishAmerica. They'll take it, and they're "traditional." (They say so themselves.))

What I really want to know about is the apparent Super Secret Mailing List for Newbie Authors where they learn about some start-up publisher, where the publisher's only publishing experience is having a book out through Lulu.com, and which is planning to specialize in short stories and poetry. Where do the newbies find these places?
 

CaoPaux

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James D. Macdonald said:
Where do the newbies find these places?
Spam, Google ads, and unvetted listings like Writers.Net and FirstWriter.

ETA: And, increasingly, evangelizing by a certain 20,000 Happy Authors for the mothership (or for their own New & Improved scheme that's oh-so-much-better than PA).
 
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Roger J Carlson

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WritersMarket.com has a lot of them. All you have to do is search for agents that accept first-time writers or publishers who accept unagented manuscripts and viola (yes, I know, it's a stringed instrument). That's how I found ST Literary (now The Literary Agency Group).

WM can be a great starting point, but you have to do a lot of research too.
 

JeanneTGC

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Roger's right. I don't have a website, nor do I write poetry, but you'd be amazed at how many offers I get for poetry contests. My ISP sells names like they were going out of style. I received the short story offer, too, the other day. It went into the delete file immediately, but I'm sure that won't happen all across the board.

Also, as an unpublished writer who only happened to stumble upon both P&E and this site by accident, no one out there TELLS you that Writers Digest and the like don't necessarily do the screening that is necessary to weed out scammers and illegitimate agents. As an author seeking publication, you head for the Writer's Digest and Jeff Herman references and you use them as your bible, and you think that if the listing or ad is in the WD or one of their newsletters, that it's automatically safe and approved. I know I've entered contests and sent queries to places I shouldn't have -- but I only know that now that I've found this site.

So, there are always going to be innocents for these scam artists to con, because I'd venture to guess that the majority of authors out there seeking publication aren't aware of the watchdog sites and why they should use them religiously. I wasn't until just a couple of weeks ago (but I'm very glad to be here now).
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
I have a web page, and on that page I have the words "short stories." That's enough for the robo-spiders.

There's a line of code, I think, that you can put in your meta tag that will make spiders skip that particular page.

If you want, I could look into it...
 

James D. Macdonald

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"robots.txt" Also META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW" I know about 'em; only works on legitmate spiders like Google's.

Besides, I want Google (and Alta Vista, and all the rest) to index my site and follow my links. How else am I going to get visitors?
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
"robots.txt" Also META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW" I know about 'em; only works on legitmate spiders like Google's.

Besides, I want Google (and Alta Vista, and all the rest) to index my site and follow my links. How else am I going to get visitors?

True, dat. I was just making an attempt at being helpful.
 

ChunkyC

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There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to locate a publisher.
And what else is it an agent should be doing for an author? Mow their lawn? Do their groceries?

Sheesh.
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
So I looked at Kevin's information. He says: "I have five books in print along with a short story. One of my books The Palace of Wisdom: A Rock and Roll Fable became a National Best Seller."

*raises hand* If a book is a "national best seller" why haven't any of us heard about it before?
 

Cathy C

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Interesting. I hadn't heard about this particular scam until the other day on another forum. Seems like they've been busy folks there to raise this much flack over such a short time.

I think I remember someone in small press saying once that if a book hits an in-house store bestseller list in two different areas of the country (other than the state where the publisher is), it qualifies as a "national bestseller." I'll have to find where I read that, because I thought it was interesting.

These definitely sound like folks to avoid. I'll spread the word. Thanks, UJ. :)
 

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