One of the unexpected things about bookselling is the number of people who spend a lot of money getting their book published. In theory if your book is good enough to be in print someone will pay you money to do so. There are however a number of unscrupulous people who are ready to fleece the unwary with demands for “contributions” towards the cost of publishing. Often the results despite the cost are extremely disappointing – the promised marketing evaporates and the author is left with a bad taste.
I received a letter from the Rt Hon The Lord Pickles this week inviting me to contribute a 1000 word piece for The Parliamentary Review. It would be one of a collection of “articles from a range of large organisations, SMEs and small, niche businesses from across the country. The idea is to share knowledge and best practice in an attempt to raise standards”. The foreword would be written by the Prime Minister and I was urged to make a prompt response – which I did.
A well spoken young man assured me of the honour of being selected and the prestige of the publication before quietly muttering that a contribution of £850 would be required to cover costs so that I could see my name online (not unfortunately in print due to the cost…) When I picked my jaw off the floor I thanked him politely and hung up.