No Paragon

Sooner or later any writer on the web (especially on Linked In) will run into mega-spammer Paradon Books (a revolution in publishing they will tell you) or Indie Writers Support. They exist, they say, only to help you get to be a star. But there are a few problems… like they don’t seem to actually exist.

This innovative publisher—though it’s hard to pin down what is so revolutionary about them, or what they actually publish–lists a PO box in Great Falls Montana, and sometimes a street address there: 804 47th Street S, Great Falls MT. And a photo of their huge glass building with their name on the front. But Google Street reveals that address to be a small residential building, and the big glass skyscraper doesn’t exist. At least not in Montana. The post office box is unconfirmed and their phone number is an 866 non-geographical toll-free. Which does not answer, or even ring (sometimes it returns a “fax screech”.) All email addresses for the company and people associated with it are hotmail or gmail, none use their own “names” in the addresses. If you Google them up, you run into a chorus of deep suspicions, including mentions on “419” sites that have reason to suspect them as originating from that area code—Nigeria—which is richly associated with email spamming and scamming. Continue reading “No Paragon”

When You Can’t Win for Losing

Come on, admit it – you have award envy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to describe him- or herself as an “award-winning author”? Why, it’s almost as good as “bestselling author,” and easier to achieve. All you have to do is win a contest. And there are a blue billion contests out there. One of those trophies must have your name on it already, right?

Not so fast. There are decent, well-run contests, and then there are people who want to part you from your hard-earned money without giving you much in return. Just like with everything else in this business, you should do your homework before you plunk down your money.

When you’re perusing a writing contest listing, examine these things to make sure you’re not getting fleeced: Continue reading “When You Can’t Win for Losing”