Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Money Flow And Its Traducers

     Remember what I said about money flowing first and foremost to the writer?

     One of the things my first agent told me, when I set out to market my first novel, was to beware the scam artists. New writers, excited about their creation and full of hope for its prospects, are unusually vulnerable to scamsters. I, being a callow youth of only 44 – Ah! Those golden days before hypertension, prostatitis, and type 2 diabetes! – was uncertain what would constitute “bewaring” them. The first step would be recognizing a scam artist’s entreaty for what it is. So I asked around: How does one distinguish the scamsters from all others with reasonable reliability? She gave me a simple touchstone:

If he wants you to pay him up front, before you see any revenue, he’s a scam artist.
“Money,” she said, “should flow to you before it flows from you. The scam artist will promise you the sun, the moon, and the stars if you’ll just purchase his promotional efforts at this really, really low rate – ‘because this book has such potential.’ I know you’re smart, Fran. But don’t imagine you have a more discriminating eye or ear than that. Decline politely and walk away quickly.”

     This is important – nay, critical! — counsel that every new writer should receive. Moreover, it covers approaches to groping for the writer’s wallet that aren’t of the traditional or “push” variety. As it happens, I stumbled over one just this morning:

     Now, these two might have useful advice to convey about marketing indie fiction. However, a glance at their published works suggests that they haven’t had much success of their own, so the notion that they’re well qualified to instruct the rest of us strikes me as dubious. Moreover:

  • Their book is published by “Peschel Press,”
  • It’s available solely as a paperback,
  • The price is $19.95.

     That’s a lot of money for a 282 page self-published paperback from an “authority” on developing a career as an indie writer. Granted, it’s less than what Kirkus Reviews or Goodreads demand for their dithyrambs, but I’d still want more substantiation about the authors’ fitness to advise the rest of us. Among other things, shelf space for physical volumes is rather scarce here.

     Use your own judgment. Mine says walk away quickly.

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

There are some books about writing and publishing that I'd buy/read. But, they are either Kindle Unlimited, ebook that I can get through the library, or reasonably priced. The bundles offered by qualify.
And, her books on the business side of writing are terrific.