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Writing Scams and Schemes
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Poetry anthologies

You enter a poetry contest and later receive the good news that you've won a prize: free publication in a poetry anthology.

So what's the catch? None, except for the fact that the anthology costs $75. You happily pawn your grandfather's gold watch to buy half a dozen copies, and the anthology publisher adds your check to hundreds of other book orders from gullible poets.
Spurious "Who's Who" directories work the same way. You get a letter that says you've been nominated for Who's Who Among Unpublished Authors, and the directory publisher scores a $50 or $75 profit when you send in your payment. (See my
Poetry Scams article for more on this topic.)

Bottom line: Be careful

If a publishing opportunity sounds too good to be true, it's probably a ripoff. Fact is, the way to succeed in publishing (or screenwriting, or any other marketplace) is the old-fashioned way: write great material, learn to market it, and keep mailing off query letters and attending writers' conferences until you're able to get the attention of potential buyers.

- Durant Imboden

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