Tuesday, January 6, 2009

But Wait! There's More! Act Now and You'll Receive a Free Lingering Sense of Having Been Had!

I've stumbled across the ABC's children's Picture Book Competion. Is this a legit contest? There is a $55.00 entry fee and the winner is supposed to get a publishing contract. I couldn't find the book that won the first competition but the second winner was listed on Amazon. I'd love to know your thoughts on this.
It looks barely better than self-publishing to me. I wouldn't expect the book that is published under this arrangement to earn back the $55 you spent on entering.

And Preditors and Editors recommends against it, which is good enough for me.

19 comments:

bfs said...

$55 sounds mighty steep!

shell said...

You should see some of the fees for some of those Illustration competitions. But I agree, this doesn't seem worth your money.

Wasn't there some vanity publisher that was suing Preditors and Editors? What happened with that?

christine tripp said...

I've never paid anything to enter an art contest and writers should never get roped into it either. I have paid for a critique by an Editor during a SCBWI conference and that is as close as I come to paying instead of earning when it comes to my work.
If this is what a writer has to do to get a certain manuscript published, it's time to write another and use that $55 for mailing and promotion.
I wonder if there are any "contests" with entry fee's , for doctors, nurses, teachers, office staff etc. Uh.... nope.

Ugly Deaf Muslim Punk Gurl! said...

55 dollars? Sounds like a rip-off to me!!!

christine tripp said...

I should let stuff like this go but I just can't, it gets me so worked up when naive and hopeful authors/illustrators get taken in by the, shall I say, less then honest, out there.

Looking at this "Bluebonnet, Boots and Books more closely, the owner has "published" only the winning books and even then, not all of them yet, what is that, 2 or more years ago now that some of these people "WON"?

Now, if just 100 people entered (which I think is a very conservative number) that's $5,500.00 Enough to PAY for the printing of one book a year. No advances are offered the author, so no money out of the "publishers" pocket.
I can find none of these "published" books offered on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel or listed anywhere on the internet, other then from this very poorly designed ABC's contest web site. That's always another clue for me, if the site looks like crap, thrown together with badly done clip art etc, then everything else about it will be just that, crapola!
Grrrr, I guess I will never understand the desiration that drives hopeful authors and illustrators to put blinders on.

christine tripp said...

desiration

Hum... this is why I don't WRITE:)
That should be "Desperation"

Anonymous said...

I heard the publisher say before that the contest used to be free, but they were so swamped with entries that they started charging money to reduce the contest's slushpile.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Anon--- That's hilarious, because it probably also reduced the quality of their slush.

I'm with Christine on this one... why PAY to enter a contest like this?

If your book is actually good enough to publish, why not try to get it published in a way that MAKES money?

Or, spend the time writing for magazines that PAY and build your resume?

Do you really want to waste perfectly good writing on a dubious scheme? It's much more important to be published WELL than published NOW.

bill megenhardt said...

I am the illustrator for the second year winner "Don't Eat The Bluebonnets". The book is listed in Barnes and Noble, was picked up by Texas Highway Magazine as a gift idea and lead to many school visits for me. This competition has been very good for me but I can't say it is for everyone. I just thought that I should comment on my experience.

Love your blog.

ae said...

I would never spend money to get published, contest or not. That is backwards behaviour. Not the best way to go forward

ae said...

I think desiration is a great word, Chris. Keep it!!

Like vanitized.

christine tripp said...

Bill, I do stand corrected about your book, as I did find it on the B&N site and Amazon. What I can not find are ANY of the other winners titles anywhere and I believe your book came out over 2 years ago now, so the publisher has 1 book to their credit. This to me is not a publisher in the truest sense. I do hope both you and the author are seeing royalties at least on the book.
I still think, when at all possible, contests are best avoided and traditonal publishing routes the safest and best way to go, no matter how long and hard the road is.

bill megenhardt said...

Christine,
It's my understanding that the first and third year books are coming out this spring. I know the first year book was delayed because of the complexities with telling the story. I can't vouch for the other books but it has been a good experience for me. When I did the contest, the illustrators got paid, I think it's the same now. I agree with you though that entering contests is not the best way to go about getting published.

BuffySquirrel said...

It's an "agent" who's suing Preditors & Editors, not a publisher.

"P&E is being sued by Barbara Bauer and by Victor E. Cretella, III, Esq. in two separate courts.

Ms. Bauer is a literary agent who alleges I/P&E called her a scam and a scammer and is suing for libel.

Mr. Cretella is an attorney for PublishAmerica. He alleges I/P&E harmed his reputation by reporting him to the Maryland State Bar Association and his former employer for his actions against a member of Absolute Write and is suing for libel."--Dave Kusminksi

See more at: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106444

shell said...

I looked at 'Bluebonnets' listing at Amazon. It's not available thru them; four other sellers are listed.
And... $31.00 seems a bit high.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Never pay an agent or a publisher. No 'reading fees' no 'application fees' or whatever else they like to call it. When the agent gets you a deal, that's when they can take their cut.

It's slightly different with competitions, because you need lots of readers and judges etc...but if the grand prize is getting published, charging a big fee looks like another way to get you to pay up front to get published.

Dee said...

This is OT, but I thought you'd appreciate some LOL Cat humor:

http://tinyurl.com/8vm53b

Nancy Coffelt said...

I'm glad that Bill got some good out of the contest. But I'm curious - did you get paid to do that or did you have pay an entry fee too?

I would never recommend that anyone do this. Learn your craft, practice, practice, practice your craft and then - when you're ready, enter the market place and get paid.

bill megenhardt said...

The illustrators get paired up with one of the ten finalist and create one piece of spec art. The illustrator for the team that wins the competition gets paid to illustrate the rest of the book, the other illustrators get nothing.