Don't have much in the way of a personal writing update as everything is still status quo from last week, but since this is Writing Wednesday, I do have something that is writing related.
Last Saturday (10/8), I was at the post office finishing up the last of my morning errands, which in this case was buying money orders for bills. One of the other things that I do at the post office is check my mailbox. I check it about a couple of times a week to see if anything in the way of book orders (no), mail (junk), or business correspondence (yes) was delivered to me.
So before going to the window to buy my money orders, I checked my mailbox. This time around, instead of finding dust bunnies, I found a large envelope and my local newspaper. I ditched the newspaper (my local paper is a freebie and is about twenty pages in length) and opened the envelope. After skimming the letter and getting just a little bit peeved while reading it, I saved the person's business card and shredded the letter.
The reason as to why I saved the card was not so I could contact these people but so's that I could remember the name of the company that I want to rant about.
I will give the person who works for Vantage Press (on Writer's Beware Preditor & Editor's list) a small modicum of credit in that she did do a little bit of basic research on me before sending me this letter. In the letter she did mention the name of my latest book (Line 21), which she more than likely got while reading my blog. And this is all the credit I'll give, because the rest of the letter I found to be highly insulting and unfortunately geared towards those people who would be desperate enough to pay to see their name in print (I was unfortunately one of those the first time around back in '08, but by '09 I learned a lot more about the self-pubbing game and again tried my hand, only this time I had a long range plan worked out, but that's been covered elsewhere).
The opening paragraph irritated me, because it said that one of the agents that I'd queried passed my manuscript on to them and thus the reason for the solicitation.
First of all, no good self-respecting literary agent would even remotely consider recommending a vanity publisher for a rejected manuscript. If they didn't like it, they might recommend it to a co-worker to look at. Secondly, good literary agents don't even ask for a full manuscript unless they found the requested query letter AND synopsis AND partial manuscript compelling enough to make that last stage request. If they didn't like the full manuscript, they would tell you why they didn't like it and perhaps ask you to fix those things that they didn't like and to resubmit afterwards.
Thirdly, this shows an incredible amount of arrogance in assuming that the recipient of this letter, which would be me for the sake of argument, was querying agents to begin with. While it is true that I first started off by querying agents this past Spring, because of the sexually graphic content, I decided to concentrate on publishers instead.
Finally, after reading the remaining page and a half of blather and usual assortment of boiler plate language, I got down to the nitty gritty of this letter, which was the price of self-pubbing with this "respected" publisher. The price range that they quoted my friends, represented about one quarter to one third of my yearly salary, which in this case was $8K to $15K, depending on what kind of services I wanted to purchase.
Yeah, like I really want to drop that much money to get my book out there to the buying public. My friends, the only way I would drop that much money, is if I controlled every aspect of my book and decided to job it out to people who do this type of thing for a living. More bang for the buck, so to speak.
But since I don't want to drop that much money to get my book published, especially since there are myriad of other options of self pubbing (of which two good examples are Lulu and Smashwords, which cost very little to use and basically are the best P.O.D that you can get out there, 'cause you can decide whether you want print or e-book), I'll stick to trying to get myself published the old fashioned way: querying publishers and checking out the occasional writing contest that doesn't concentrate on niche markets like literary fiction.
Some day I may again try my hand at self-pubbing and if I do, it will definitely be with one of those two aforementioned publishing companies, and not with a vanity press. Until then, I'll keep on doing it the old fashioned way with the latest twist, which my friends is doing it via the e-mail.