Monday, January 24, 2011


Ok, where was I.  O yea…”The Company.”  Before I go on; a word about “Copyright.”  Legally-the moment you put pen to paper ( literally or figuratively ) your creation has copyright.  The problem comes when that copyright is violated.  You have to prove that you created it ( in court if necessary ) and it helps to have more than just your word for it.
When I first started writing Blood and Chocolate, I typed out a couple of paragraphs outlining the plot and the characters.  I sealed it in an envelope and mailed it to myself.  The dated postmark served as my “proof” that anyone who made claim to Kelly and her adventures, after that date, could be exposed as scoundrels. 
When I finally finished writing I wanted to have an official “Copyright,” so I went to and followed the typical government bureaucracy, filed my papers and paid my $35.  I kind of forgot about it because I was thinking of other things and about 8-10 weeks later here it came in the mail.  My “Copyright Certificate.!”  I was thrilled.  I now had “Intellectual Property!”  How cool was that!
The reason I bring this up is because The Company wanted $100 to do the same thing “for me.”  The same thing I had done in a couple of minutes with very little fuss, and a third of the price.  I should have taken this as a sign of what was to come, but I just shrugged it off and rationalized that labor was expensive and they needed to pay “someone” to do it if I couldn’t/wouldn’t take the time.  I was glad that I had taken the time.
OK, back to our regularly scheduled program.
I decided that if I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it right.  SO I took the plunge and ordered the most expensive package The Company offered.  $1000.  Not spare change to be sure, especially on a pension, but I really WANTED to do this.  I wanted Kelly’s story to be read, by people, someone who was not obligated by marriage ( or friendship ) to like it.  I sent a copy of my Galley to The Company along with my credit card info for the $1000.
I received an e-mail congratulating me.  My manuscript had been read, and judged to be good enough to be published by The Company.  I was thanked for my order and now that my manuscript had been approved, I was promised a simple and exciting journey through the publishing process.  I was welcomed to The Company and provided with a list of a group of people who would be my “One on One” personal guides.  I was assured that I would be assisted every step of the way and also provided with testimonials from other authors who had been there before me and sang The Company’s praises.

The first person on the list signed the e-mail and told me that I was now being passed on to the second person on the list who would be in touch soon to start me on my way.  Later that day, here came an e-mail from the second person.  She introduced herself and I was again congratulated and thanked.  The rest of the communiqué was a long confusing message outlining the strict guidelines for submitting my manuscript for publication.  The spacing had to be thus, the font thus, the margins…etc. etc.  etc.  If any of the guidelines were not strictly adhered to the manuscript would be rejected.  If I wanted The Company to do the formatting “for me” they could; for a price of course.  ( Do you see a pattern yet?  Don’t worry… will.)  After the formatting guidelines came a list of “other services” The Company could provide, the price for the service and how easy it was to order.  I was then directed to go to my “Author Center” page on The Company web site.  I was assured it was easy to find.  I needed to be signed into my account, and there, decisions were to be made about the publication of my book.  How GREAT was this !  Here we go; we’re on the road now!  This is Gonna HAPPEN !
Over the next 15 to 20 minutes I tried to easily find the “Author’s Center.”……………..

1 comment:

  1. This is getting scary, Vince. Everything I have heard about this Company looks like it's true in your case...I hope there's a silver lining for you because this sounds really sketchy!