Silver Publishing’s epic and totally expected implosion this week is a reminder that it’s time for me to do my standard nagging PSA for newbie writers:
DO. YOUR. FRAKKING. RESEARCH. BEFORE. YOU. SIGN.
Start by doing some simple Google-Fu. Try search terms such as “XYZ Publisher problems” or “XYZ Publisher complaints” or “XYZ Publisher writer beware” or anything like that.
Find out where the publisher is located. (If they won’t tell you, that’s a huge red flag.) Do a search on their state’s (if they’re in the US) department of state, or whichever department handles corporations. Then run a search on the publisher to see if they’re even incorporated. (If they aren’t, that’s another red flag.) Check to see their annual paperwork is up to date. Run searches on the corporation name and the state and “complaints” or other terms to see what pops up. Google-Fu the frak out of the corporation’s listed principles. (It’s public record.)
DO. THE. RESEARCH.
Here are other places to run searches. I’m spoon-feeding this to you, so you have NO excuses to do the work:
- AbsoluteWrite.com’s Bewares, Recommendations & Background Checks forum (if you don’t see a thread for the publisher, start one, and they have an Index thread you can go to for quick-reference).
- Preditors & Editors
- Piers Anthony’s site
- Writer Beware