PROCEED WITH CAUTION From time to time, you may receive a letter from a company whose name may, or may not, sound familiar. The letter may start with language like, "You've been referred to me by one of my many sources as being a talented songwriter" or "You're a writer who wants to be published and I'm a publisher looking for talented new writers."
Generally, these letters ask you to send your original works to a post office box or a suite number to be reviewed by their qualified staff and there is no mention of money required. If you respond to such a letter, the company will often write back that you have alot of talent and they want to publish, produce or record your work, whichever is applicable, but first you must send $39.00, or a similar amount, to help defray costs.
BE CAREFUL. Even if the company's letters look personal, there are some very sophisticated form letters floating around which are nothing more than a pitch for money.
Don't think that all of the so-called "vanity" publishers are fraudulent. Some are very reputable small companies that cannot bear the full cost of publication and distribution. If you are unsure whether the publisher actually believes in your work and will publish it properly, or if you will simply lose your money or your work, or both, there are a number of things you can do to help you ascertain whether the publisher, or other company, is reputable before you send money and/or a signed contract.
First Published Version copyright 1990 David M. Spatt
WRITERS BEWARE It has come to the attention of this writer that a growing number of so-called literary agents are soliciting prospective clients if the client pays a reading fee. While it is true that some legitimate agents do charge a reading fee, beware of the agency that goes out of its way to solicit new writers only for the purpose of obtaining those fees. When in doubt, ask for references and a list of recent sales which you can confirm.
First Published Version, copyright 1991 David M. Spatt
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copyright 1997 David M. Spatt, All rights reserved
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