With our talk about publishing contracts on this week's episode, I've been thinking about an issue that should be on the minds of all creative types--how to keep ourselves and our work safe. Now, the contract we went through with Susan Spann isn't the worst out there at all, and it might be great for some authors.
But there are a lot of people out there who are more than willing to take advantage of naive and beginning authors, and this is your reminder to be aware and keep yourself safe! How? Do your research.
Preditors and Editors is one of the most recommended sites to make sure you're working with a legit agent or editor. They even have a nifty section of general guidelines and tips to avoid scams, which are all great things to keep in mind, no matter which stage of the publishing game you're at.
AgentQuery has another great page on avoiding scams, and a huge database of agents you can search through, if you're looking for one.
And, of course, Writer's Market has a huge list of agents, editors, and publishers accepting non-solicited works (but they do charge for that on their site, or you can buy every year's new edition of the book, I guess).
Basically, do your research when you're looking at submitting or publishing a piece, whether it's a short story, or a novel, or poetry, or whatever. If you feel like something's a scam, stay away. If you're unsure, ask people in the industry or a lawyer. And always have someone comfortable with law-speak look over a contract to make sure you're not signing away any rights you don't want to lose!
@EmilykSinger, and even more chocolate and tea.