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A Warning about vanity-publishing!

It is understandable that you should wish to see your poetry in print, to do this you should send your work to established and reliable sites like erbacce, The Journal, Orbis or Neon Highway, IF your work is good enough these sites will include your work in their journals and send you a free copy; they may even pay you royalties if their sales allow it. Once you are widely published in small press you can aim for a larger audience by submitting collections to publishing outlets or by producing your own chap-book. (See our chap-book section)

 

BUT meanwhile; there are sites out there which may exploit your natural desire to see your work in print. They will offer 'prizes' for poetry competitions and no matter what rubbish you send them you will probably get a letter or email back telling you that your work is wonderful and is to be included in their forthcoming anthology. Then comes the small print in which they will probably ask you how many copies you'd like to purchase; often these are hardback editions and cost anything from £15.00 to £65.00... still you may think it's worth the investment; after all your poetry will be read by a wide audience wont it?

 

The answer to that is 'Probably NOT'.

 

More specifically; what many of these people do (we call them Vanity Publishers) is to send letters out to (say) 120 would-be poets, then they ask how many copies of their forthcoming anthology (which will include the poet's poem) the poets want sending to them. If that is (say) two copies per poet then they print off 240 copies; no more... and so your 'wide audience' will consist of the other poets in the anthology, no one else, and the probability is that even these poets will probably only ever read their own poetry over and over again and never get round to looking at yours. And meanwhile these Vanity Publishers pocket a fat profit.

 

There are also, sadly, a mass of poetry 'organisers' and slam-presenters who hover on the fringes. They don't actually exploit poets directly but you may not care to support them by shelling out your hard earned cash to enter their 'events'... sites like Farrago Poetry for example who recently attacked us on facebook for standing up for a poets right to be paid... not nice people on the whole; more concerned apparently with lucre than literature.

 

Below is a list of what could be referred to as Vanity Publishing sites; we'll add to it as we weed out more. THE most infamous though is poetry.com (one of my fellow poets calls it poetry.con), I once sent them an advert from the local paper and they agreed to publish this 'wonderful poetry'. You can actually have enormous fun sending total twaddle to poetry.com and waiting for them to tell you how wonderful it all is... if you send any real howlers to them which get accepted then let us know. We'll 'publish' these ourselves; in order to expose them. Also if you know of a site we should add to our list, let us know.

 

WARNING; It is NOT illegal to be a Vanity Publisher, if you REALLY want your work in print and have money to spare then you may decide to use these people. All we are doing is advising of the pitfalls.  Personally we would advise that you steer clear of them and indeed of any site that suggests you send them an 'entry fee' for each poem or story you submit such as Aesthetica... but in the end it's up to you to decide:

 

          www.poetry.com

          www.poetryamerica.com

          www.forwardpress.co.uk

          www.jmwpublishing.com

          www.cyberwit.net

          www.circleofpoets.com

          www.unitedpress.co.uk

          www.famouspoets.co

 

By the way: Just recently I sent a 'poem' to RD. Suite 200G Baltimore MD 21208 AKA PoetryAmerica (website above). I wrote it in ten seconds and signed it 'Alice'. I'm sure you agree it is pure garbage:

 

          I am over come with sadness

          And filled with lots of badness

          Because you went and lied

          And then you went and died.

          Come back to me once again

          Take away my hurtful pain

          Kiss me on my waiting lips

          My sweet little puppy ''Pips''

 

They promptly offered to publish this utter drivel in their new anthology; A Treasury of American Poetry…for just  $65.95'! Stay away from them; they are not interested in poetry they are interested in getting their grubby paws on your money!

 

Do yourself a favour and send these con-sites none of your work and certainly don't ever send them any money; the bastards will be laughing all the way to the bank!

 

E-mail us if you know of any other sites you would like us to add to our vanity-publisher's listings. Lets expose them all!

 

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Also; there are other nasty money-grubbers out there; be VERY wary of an organisation named Duotrope who listed our journal, then removed it, then refused to remove the mention of us on their VERY dodgy pages. They arrogantly said that they were within their rights to keep us listed as having withdrawn from their sordid site. Nothing specific; but if you email us privately we'll give you full details. Ask yourself; WHY did they list us in the first place (we never asked to be listed) and WHY won't they remove the notification? Suspect. Money grubbers. BE WARY!