Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

‘Desper-Doodles’ and Snake Oil Salesmen

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“Never mistake motion for action” – Ernest Hemingway

If you’ve been at the writing trade for longer than twenty minutes or so, you’ve probably noticed the “desperate doodlers.”  These are the writer wannabees who are so desperate to break into print that they’ll pitch their work to anyone and everyone, even paying a third party to get “published.”  Those who continuously stoop to submitting anything, anywhere, with little to no regard to a publisher’s reputation, accessibility or integrity aren’t Real Writers so much as they are Desper-Doodles.  They’re dying to pad their scanty resumes with “publishing credits” from any Tom, Dick, or Harry that comes along and says “I’ll take that.”  (This can actually hurt you in the long run if you make it a habit.)

Heads Up

A word of clarity here: In the publishing world, “small” or “independent” doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality or ill repute.  Just because a publisher or literary outlet isn’t a household name doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a boiler-plate, fly-by-night outfit.  But it might.  So heads up: “Come one, come all” publishers who prey on inexperienced novice writers are a dime a dozen.  They’ll publish anything and everything, usually for a fee, regardless or quality or merit.  Some of these “publishers” make a living at predating on hapless souls who are willing to sell their firstborn for a chance to see their name in lights.

Look before you leap.  You may get your work “published” with some of these “snake oil” publishers, but good luck on finding anyone who’ll actually buy your book – let alone fall in as a loyal reader.


Have you had an experience with a publishing “snake oil salesman?”

What did you learn?

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