How To Spot A Predatory Publisher

Thank you Randy Ingermanson for permission to pass on this informative look at vanity publishing…

The phone rang just as I was sitting down to write my next blog post. One look at the caller ID told me it was trouble. My plumber, Sam, who has an endless number of ways to drain my bank account.

I let the phone go to voice mail and logged in to my blog.

The doorbell rang. Twice. Three times. Then one long continuous ring.

I peeked out my office window and saw a very short, stout older woman on my porch holding a plate stacked with the largest cookies I’ve ever seen.

I went to the door and opened it. “I’m sorry but–”

“See, he’s home after all!” boomed a familiar voice. Sam the plumber jumped out from behind an enormous tree.

“Dear boy!” said the woman. “Little Sammie’s told me all about you! Thank you so much for offering to help with my book. Here, have a cookie!” She handed me a chocolate-chip cookie the size of a small pizza. It felt like it weighed ten pounds.

I suddenly realized that the woman looked a lot like Sam, except scaled down in size. Sam is well over six feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds.

“I see you’ve met my Ma!” Sam bellowed as he wiped his boots on the welcome mat. “She’s got great news. Wanted you to be the first to know.”

“Um, that’s … great.” I noticed that some of the chocolate chips were already melting in my hands. “Listen, I need to go put this cookie down.”

“Go on ahead.” Sam pushed open the door. “We’ll just make ourselves at home.”

Which was exactly what I was afraid of. I backed into the kitchen, dropped the cookie on the counter, and washed about a pound of melted chocolate off of my hands.

When I got back to the living room, Sam had taken over my favorite chair and his mother was perched primly on the couch.

“I don’t think we’ve been introduced,” I said as I sat down. “I’m–”

“Sammie’s told me all about you already,” she said. “You can call me Minnie.”

“Well, um, Minnie. What sort of news do you have?”

“Dear boy!” she said. “I’m going to be published! By a real publisher. I’ll be an author at last!”

Will Minnie become an author? Read the rest of this insightful article at Advanced Fiction Writing.