Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Watching for Red Flags

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Someone in a newsgroup I'm in posted a link to a call for anthology submissions. I'm not going to link. The call (which contains blatant punctuation and grammar errors) is posted on a free Wordpress blog. It is the only entry, and has been closed to comments. The submissions address is a free e-mail address.

No pay scale is given other than a statement that pay will be some sort of royalty based on sales of merchandise and books, and the authors are expected to make personal appearances in support of the anthology.

The call is also lacking information on what rights they take. Some anthologies take all rights for a year or two, at which point they revert back to the author.

While I don't think this is a scam, it does suggest that the people behind this are probably well-intentioned but inexperienced. Another suggestion that they're inexperienced is the name of the press. Googling the name brings up a completely different publisher.

What would make me feel better about this?
  • A unique press name with a domain. Domains are cheap, and so is hosting for low-bandwidth sites.
  • A pay scale. Even if you offer something like a penny a word plus royalties, you're offering an indication that you plan to follow through with marketing and distribution on your end.
  • An indication of the rights the author is required to assign to them.
  • Drop the speaking engagements and the "statement of dependability and determination." Not all writers are good public speakers. Further, there are no details about the number or type of "engagements" or the locations. Will the writer have to pay her own way? If it's a four-hour drive, who will pay for the gas or hotel?
  • Fix the grammar and punctuation errors.
Given all that, I'd still wait for at least one volume of the anthology to hit the streets (they suggest there will be more than one volume) and see how they follow through on payment, and what writers end up bringing home. I wish them luck, but they need to address these concerns if the hope to make a go of their endeavor.

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Filed under: Writing   Red Flags         
10/17/2008 12:33:23 PM
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