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Do NOT Do This!

For those of you interested in publishing your work, Penguin has ever so helpfully started a scam operation to assist you in transferring your wealth to them. To wit, courtesy of Passive Guy:

In a sign that major book publishers are now recognizing the potential of the digital self-publishing industry, Penguin Group (USA) on Wednesday is launching a service to help writers publish their own books.

For a fee of between $99 and $549, plus a cut of any sales revenue, Penguin’s subsidiary Book Country will offer an array of tools—ranging from professional e-book conversion to a cover creator—to help a writer make their work available through digital book outlets and print-on-demand services.

The self-publishing venture could help Penguin discover new writers while creating an additional revenue stream.

You can do all of this for yourself, for a hell of a lot less than $549. Save your money; this “additional revenue stream” is nothing more than a mainstream publishing house trying very hard to liberate cash from the ignorant.

Adding salt to the wound, Konrath opens fire on this with his fiery bon mot entitled Book Country Fail.

And please excuse the late-day edit to add David Gaughran’s even more pointed rejoinder: Penguin Launches Rip-Off Publishing “Service” Targeting Inexperienced Writers. One might think that with so much on the line, given the emergence of the self-publishing dynamo, that traditional publishers might try to save themselves in a more writer-friendly way…but no, first step: start scalping everyone in sight.

Fight the power!

Categories: Writing Tags: , ,
  1. November 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I’m totally disgusted. These are desperate times aren’t they? Thanks for bringing this to light. I had not heard of this yet.

    • November 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      Very desperate times, and a lot of writers who don’t know any better will fall for this, thinking that if it has Penguin’s imprimatur, it’s got to be more “legit” than the usual method of self-pub…and therefore, it’s worth paying them to publish it, and then allowing them to keep X%. Which is, of course, unmitigated horse shit and just plain old dishonest. Which traditional publishers have been accused of for decades. I guess now they’re so desperate they no longer care if their reputation goes down the toilet.

  2. November 21, 2011 at 6:07 am

    There are so many productive and supportive options for traditional publishing to move into the self-publishing space. Didn’t the learn by watching the music industry go casters up? There’s still a lot of money being spent on music, it is just through new and innovative channels of distribution. I think I am less upset about the greed (that is half expected) and more upset by the lack of creativity from an industry that is supposed to focus on just that.

    • November 21, 2011 at 7:46 am

      The industry isn’t being very creative in its approach to problem resolution, that’s for sure–though one could say that such a brazen approach toward removing dollars from the wallets of writers could be considered “creative”, given the fact it was always done behind closed doors in the past.

  3. November 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    It’s a vanity press. I had friends look into it- it’s a complete scam. AND they take your rights for one year.

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