Showing posts with label vanity publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanity publishing. Show all posts

Poetry, Inc.--The Great Vanity Publishing Network & Cover-up

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This anonymous Comment was originally posted on June 5, 2008, at 12.04 p.m. as a reply to HOMPRANG HAMMERED before H.H. was elevated to a post and then deleted from the comment section.

Christopher [Woodman] is like a character in a John Grisham thriller. The law firm of American Poetry, Inc. is a great Vanity Publishing Network and the cover-up is more horrible than the crime.

If not John Grisham, then the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Dracula, or a terrifying scenario more horrific, where poets are zombies who feed off innocent flesh: the minds, hearts, souls and money of ‘paying poetry customers,’ the would-be poet and hasty poetry reader who has scanned a few contemporary poems and said to themselves “I can do that.”

The living dead of Poetry, Inc. are no longer concerned with Poetry and its readers, Poetry and its history, for all “readers” are now would-be poets willing to pay for the privilege of being ‘poets’ in a shadowy realm of ‘contemporary anthology’ pretense, manufactured by the lawyers of Poetry, Inc. You sign on the dotted line at the nearest MFA recruitment center and agree to participate in the game: you agree to never ask why it is always night, why some things are just ‘not discussed,’ why the poets wear blank looks and carry black appointment books and blithely abet the pyramid scheme of money-laundering for the secret muse.

Woodman met a ‘respected’ official of the poetry world, a gentleman calling himself ‘editor’ and ‘poet,’ warm his voice, with unctuous flattery, but once, when Woodman looked away, this smiling editor, with teeth shining like ice, suddenly lurched towards Mr. Woodman’s neck. Woodman looked up in horror. Was it a dream? The ‘editor’ drifted back into the night, complaining he was busy, and had so many clients who needed his expertise. Woodman followed, and met up with a woman who hissed at him like a snake, warning him to leave the gentleman ‘poet’ alone. Woodman went to Policemen and Writers, to the Academy of Poets, Toads, and Spiders, seeking help. Every policeman and toad he encountered had the same blank look and—could it be?—he heard the hissing sound of that woman in a nearby room…

Madness, I tell you! Madness! The record of Woodman’s complaint! Gone! It was all a dream! Come away, Christopher, come away! In the shadows, here, down by the earthen lake, your fate awaits you, the raven flies and beneath the hidden moon, she is waiting, the proper one, with the ghost-white guidelines in her slender hands…the icy caress of the secretary muse…of Police & Writers...Poets.Ogre...

Poetry, Inc.!

Thread: What is Legitimate Academic Publishing? (Athena)

I'd love to go from Hunger Mountain right into a piece on Colrain--which is the same deal, really, except people spend much more money, and Joan Houlihan and Jeffrey Levine are editors who can publish their "students" and perhaps eventually judge them in a "contest," thus providing incentive for the aspiring writer to pay the "manuscript doctor" fees.

Most of these poets would never pay a thousand dollars, or whatever it is they have to pay, for a vanity publication, and Levine and Houlihan would vociferously deny they are in the "vanity publication" business, but if they collect money to edit a person's manuscript, become acquainted with that person and their work in the process of taking their money, and then subsequently publish them in a magazine or a book--how can any objective viewer not reach the conclusion that this is, in fact, vanity publishing?

If an editor receives an manuscript out of the blue and says, "Wow, I must publish this," fine, wonderful.

But if an editor takes hefty fees from a poet for "manuscript doctoring" services and then subsequently publishes that poet, one has to be rather naive not to know what's going on.

And then, of course, the "students" and the Colrain manuscript "doctors" trumpet the "success" of the "manuscript doctor" retreats.

Okay, now we just put a headline on it:


Forum Thread: What is the Difference (if any) Between Self-Publishing and Vanity Publishing?

Here is the first in-depth comment on this thread:

From...Spambait (Thanks).
Getting published is where you submit, rewrite, rehash and resubmit until a publisher finally accepts what you've written and pays you for it. A vanity publisher will want you to pay him instead. Self-publishing is where you know you're going to pay for everything pretty much from the start.

With self-publishing the author can choose to pay very little by using photocopy services, staples and hand folding a pamphlet up to hiring a bindery to print and bind his manuscript.

A vanity publisher is going to try to make you believe your book or whatever is the next runaway best seller, charge you a large fee and send you several cases of books for you to do as you please.

Then there's self publishing on the internet by using a blog, webboard or maybe a dedicated website.

Since I run a web hosting company and assist people who choose to "publish" on the web you could consider me a vanity publisher of sorts.

Well, I'm not going to tell a client their writing is outstanding and they should make millions but I'm not going to discourage a client with a good idea either.

Nice thing about web publishing is you can easily revise your writing. Bad thing about publishing is you can easily revise your writing.

On the web your audience knows revisions will probably happen. This isn't really good for fictional works as the reader may see a early version that then gets revised to the point of being a total different work. But web publishing might be great for a chapter or two of a book in pre-release form.

If you have a lot to say in a changing venue or market though, web publishing might be the way to go. If you have a local guide or informational product that will fit the pamphlet format self publishing might work for you.

If you're willing to take a large risk with a novel or a book of poems and can't find a publisher you might want a vanity publisher to take the printing binding tasks off your shoulders. You can then do the distribution yourself.

The risks are fairly large but lots of best sellers started life as self published works. The Christmas Box started out as a self published work for the authors family and friends at the urging of his family.
Feel free to add comments to Spambait's discourse.

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