Quite recently, an evil friend called me to ask if her friend was the victim of a scam. The friend had a publishing contract when her manuscript wasn’t finished. Now this was not an author who had published anything before. This writer did not have an agent. She had obviously not submitted to traditional publishers of any kind. In fact, this was her first manuscript.
Serious red flag time my evil darlings.
There is really only one rule you need to remember about publishing.
THE MONEY GOES TO THE WRITER.
The writer does not pay money to the publisher. This is pretty much a guarantee that you will never make enough money from sales to break even.
These are the only times you pay for things.
- You pay for a copy edit—someone who goes line by line and checks punctuation and grammar and continuity.
- You pay for an editor critique from a quality source.
- You decide to self-publish, and pay for artwork and formatting.
You never ever pay for these things.
- A service that provides editing, artwork, and formatting, and who will not allow you to sub any of those jobs out to someone of your choice.
- A service who claims that they can get your books into bookstores. They can’t.
- A ghost writer for your fiction.
You do not get a publishing contract for an unfinished manuscript until you are already traditionally published, and have a track record. It doesn’t happen.
I am not sorry to burst your little dream bubble because I am trying to save you from a scam artist. Writing has nothing to do with bubbles. It is evil work and evil sweat, and evil tears and IT IS HARD. If it isn’t then you’re doing it wrong.
There are about eighty million websites to show you who the scam artists are. Do your dang research. Stupid is not evil. Here are three. Be smart.