Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sucker, Meet Con Man

One of the principals of PublishAmerica has written what amounts to a book-length press release for PA that fraudulently tries to portray PA as a disenfranchised writer's David slaying the "elites" of nasty, awful traditional publishing. The reactions have been typical. Lee Goldberg has had his fun with it, as he does with all similar stories. Goldberg is a fairly successfull writer and vanity publishing scams and their victims give him a chance to feel superior to the benighted suckers who get scammed. Over at POD-DY MOUTH, there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in outrage.

I'm sorry, but this is getting really tiresome. How blatant does a scam have to be to become obvious to anyone in possession of their rational faculties? Anyone who has taken the time and made the effort to write an entire book-length manuscript can discover PA's true colors as well as the pitfalls of self-publishing and POD in at most, one hour and in many cases far less time with online research.

If they still decide to use PA, then no amount of anti-PA warnings will deter them.

There are stupid, credulous or deluded people who cannot be disabused of their fantasies. Stop spending valuable energy trying to protect them. If PA doesn't get them, some other vanity press will. As Calvera (Eli Wallach) says in The Magnificent Seven, "God made them sheep so that they could be shorn."

Years ago, Philip Wylie wrote of the principle of opposites as visually represented by the mandala. All sorts of things cannot exist in isolation. They only become perceptible when contrasted to their opposite quality. Without suckers, there would be no con men, and vice versa.

The iUniverse Dumpster

Susan Driscoll, CEO of iUniverse, has recently been promoting iUniverse by cavorting around on some of the litblogs, most recently by granting an interview with POD-DY MOUTH.

"Publishing, like many cultural institutions, is slow to change. I, on the other hand, am the kind of person who revels in change."

Yeah, right. Like when an embattled politican resigns to "spend more time with my family."

"So, throughout my publishing career I’ve always gravitated to the new and the different. In the early 90’s I was very involved with CD-ROM development. Later, I became involved with e-books."

Read any good books on CD-ROM or ebooks lately? Neither have I. POD is a clever technology that traditional publishers could, but don't use, to publish worthy books with limited but measurable markets. Instead, POD has become a dumpster for largely unpublishable writing.

First it was Driscoll's email to Lee Goldberg, now your interview (yeah, don't tell me, you invited her, but then she accepted the invitation).

Both are self-serving commercials. Business at iUniverse must be getting a little slack.

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