Avoiding Publishing Scams and Gaining a New Website

Dear Lovelies,

Do you ever grow bored and tired of your mundane weekend routine of bingeing Netflix, ordering pizza and drinking copious amounts of beer, all while wondering where your life went wrong? Well, do I have a solution for you! Here is an unique way to have an unusual but effective weekend (only extended if you don’t have to work on Monday like I did this week)!

(Almost) Fall for a Publishing Scam

Over the weekend, actually, on Monday of last week, I received an email from Z Publishing House telling me that they had found my website online and wanted me to submit some work for publication, specifically in their “America’s Emerging Writers” series. Needless to say, as a writer who has two publications to my name, I was super excited! I jumped with sheer enthusiasm at the chance of possible publication because it meant more readers would hold my writings in their hands. Who wouldn’t want that?

There was one major problem I found with this:

According to their Copyright Policy, no royalties are sent to the authors. Instead, authors “will have the option to join Company’s affiliate program” which is described as “not mandatory to join,” but the only way any authors published in their anthologies get paid is through commissions by a third-party site. In other words, you don’t get paid for your writing unless you sell the book in which your writing appeared.

Now, I know some publications don’t pay for publication while others do. When I got published for the first time, I didn’t get paid, so it’s not that big of a deal to me that Z Publishing House doesn’t offer royalties, but to offer payment on the grounds of “sell our books” just seems wrong somehow. Stay far away from this and similar websites.

One Exciting Payoff: Owning My Content

Before I realized that the somehow larger-than-life opportunity was nothing more than a plot aimed at naive writers, I heavily pondered over one requirement: those who wanted to submit were not able to do so if their work was owned from a third-party; they had to fully own their content.

As a writer, owning your content is vital to creativity. I don’t know about you, but when I was using my old server, knowing that they could, at any time and with no reason, shut my blog down filled me with anxiety and it is this that pushed me to make a change.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most tech-savvy person out there. I was intimidated while migrating my blog from WordPress.com to my own self-hosted blog because I thought I had to learn code. Thankfully, that was not the case. I got very little sleep this past weekend because I was both frustrated and excited because of this new endeavor. Once I realized I didn’t need coding expertise to have a great website, that took a lot of stress off my body.

Getting Thrown Out of my Comfort Zone

Between work, mini naps, and Broadway jam sessions featuring Rent, Hamilton, Be More Chill, and Dear Evan Hansen, it took me three and a half days to perfect the look of my website. From playing around with templates and customizations to figuring out if I wanted a static page or not, it took a lot out of me mentally, but I couldn’t be happier with the results. There were so many times I wanted to quit and get my refund back, but I am proud of myself for sticking with it, even though it was difficult and I pulled out some of my hair during this process. 🙂

This whole ordeal took me out of my comfort zone, but it stretched me at the same time. I want to hear from you guys. Have you ever experienced something that took you out of your comfort zone? How did you handle it?

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