One of the things that annoys me to no end is folks who take advantage of others, especially by preying on their dreams. Poetry.com comes to mind when I think about places that take advantage of the new writer and their dreams of being published. I'm sure you've all seen them... you send them your poem, they send you a form letter telling you how great it is, that they're going to publish it in their latest anthology of poetry and you can get your copy for the low, reduced, bargain price of $69 or whatever it is lately.
Well, here's another site that is on my list of places to avoid.
http://www.zootyandflappers.com/ It's the "World's First Pre-Publisher" and is the brainchild of Domenic Pappalardo.
I've read his site several times and here's the gist of how he works.
First, you send him your novel. He sets it up and puts it on his site as a free download. The readers that download it, give it a rating of some kind. If enough readers like it, he pulls it from the "download for free" side of his site, and adds it to his "bookstore" as an e-book or cd and sells it with him paying you 45% of the sale price. Then, once you sell 10,000 copies, he will send a copy of your book along with a sales report and a readers report to "ten real agents."
I don't know about you but I have several problems with this.
For example...his definition of a published author.
What does Zooty and Flappers consider a Published Author? A writer who has secured an agent, who has sold your work to a Publisher who prints books on paper, and sells your books to books stores.
So, according to this guy, if you don't have an agent and a paper copy of your book, you aren't published.
Also, I have problems with his "approval" process.
If Zooty and Flappers accepts a manuscript, it will have to be of the same quality as demanded by Standard Publishers.We than put the book up for free review. This means readers may down-load the book free if they agree to give an evaluation of the book. If the greater percent of readers like the book, we than move it to our reader approved section.
Just how many readers does it take to get your book into the "reader approved" section so it can be sold? And where is he going to get these readers? And just what is their qualifications to rate these books?
I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have the fate of my book in the hands of a professional such as a legitimate publisher or agent than some reader off the streets, so to speak. Not that I have a problem with readers...we couldn't do without them:--)
If the sales of any book reaches 10,000, that book along with a sales report and reader report, will be sent to ten real Agents.
I've been to conferences, talked to agents, and studied agents online through their websites and blogs. There is no way this will work. Can you imagine how quick this will "package" will be residing in the trash? Agents want quality books they can sell. Not a book that has been "pre-published" and sold 10,000 copies.
And this...The Worlds First Pre-Publisher!
Here's his explanation...The term Pre-Publishing, as used by Zooty and Flappers, simply means; If you have a good book, we will Publish and test it in the real world before a Standard Publishers comments (I think he means commits.) to taking it on.
Seems to me...if he publishes it on his website, then the book is published. He can call it what he wants but if it's out there for people to download, then I consider it published...especially since he is calling himself a publisher.
I think what bothers me most about this is the poor new writer who doesn't know how the publishing industry works and believes this is the way to get his/her book in the hands of an agent or major publisher.
So...I'm asking everyone...spread the word about this. Domenic may not like me for this post, but if I can save one writer from having their dream of seeing their book in a bookstore squashed, then I don't mind.