How The London Book Fair Helps Vanity Presses Exploit Newbie Authors

David Gaughran

londonbookfairThe most prestigious event in the UK publishing calendar, the London Book Fair, welcomes predatory operators with open arms, deliberately positions them opposite author events for extra cash, and then helps to whitewash their reputation – even running misleading interviews and puff pieces on its own website to help them get more leads.

I’ve been campaigning against vanity presses and author exploitation for five years now, and one thing that became apparent is the key role of book fairs and industry events in this mess.

Vanity presses are always keen to appear at these events because it:

  • lends their seamy enterprise an air of legitimacy to inexperienced authors who don’t know better;
  • gives them direct access to a pool of newbie authors attending the events; and,
  • creates an opportunity to sell various products to their users such as book signing services and book display packages costing thousands of dollars.

I’ve…

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Bills defend consumers’ right to leave bad reviews

Sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog but real life has been keeping me busy. Some days too damn busy. I seem to remember a group of authors and author wannabees yelping in delight when they found any article online about bills or petitions or anything that would curtail the ability of people to leave a critical review.

Here is an article in The Detroit News about just the opposite.

 

UK Vanity Publishers Austin Macauley & Pegasus in Horrible Bait-And-Switch

David Gaughran

austinmacauleyA number of UK-based vanity presses are engaging in unsavory tactics: passing themselves off as trade publishers and only hitting writers with the bill when it comes to contracts.

I moved back home recently and started being assailed by all sorts of seamy ads aimed at writers in the UK/Irish market. One of the most widely advertised is a vanity press called Austin Macauley (I’m not linking to them and boosting their SEO, here’s a link to a Google search instead).

The basic MO is to pass themselves off as a regular publisher – right down to having commissioning editors, submission guidelines, the works – when they are really what the industry refers to as a subsidy press.

A subsidy press is generally defined as a publisher which requires its authors to make a “contribution” towards the publishing costs of the book. In practice, subsidy presses are simply vanity presses…

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A Great Reckoning On Sale Now

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.
Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning. -Amazon

“Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable – the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace.” ―New York Times Book Review

If you haven’t read Louise Penny you should, start here:

Screenshot (8888).pngWinner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter. Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.- Amazon