Have you or anyone you know ever been fortunate(?) enough to be entered into a poetry writing contest?
Now I’m not saying they are all deceptions as I’m confident that the vast majority of them are bona fide.
However, the scam ones generally operate something like this…
You’re a budding poet who quite likes the idea of having some of their work published.
As an unknown the traditional printed options are quite limited so you search around the good old internet, finding a website that runs competitions.
You allow your imagination to flow, your creativity ooze through your typing fingers and, ultimately, produce a fair bit of work.
Crossing your fingers you submit your poem and wait.
A few days later you receive an email, flattering your work and announcing that you have been selected as a finalist.
Even better still, they will publish your work in a book and it only costs $50 to have your poem on it’s own page.
Of course, what may not be instantly obvious, is that only those who pay actually get their poem printed.
Furthermore, the only people who pay to have the book are those who are being scammed in the first place.
Think about it, 5000 poems in a book x $50 each (did I mention that there were a lot of finalists?!?) is a lot of money!
It gets better too.
Pay to have your poem in their book and you pretty well guarantee that their “panel of judges” will deem your poem to be extra special (you saw that coming didn’t you?).
Natuarally this makes you feel good and much more likely to invest in having it read on a professional cd (at a cost of course).
Then there’s the winners’ convention (everyone who is still paying at this point is a “winner” by the way).
A nice lunch and a little cup is a great reward and, I’m sure, well worth the over inflated cost of the food and scammers’ company.
Conclusion: Do your research as there are genuine publishers out there.
If you have genuine talent you will succeed with perserverance so don’t be desperate enough to get caught out like this.