Over recent days I have been surprised by some of the reactions I have been hearing about my new company, IFWG Publishing, by the writing community around the world. It was not what I expected. I was, perhaps, a little naive. I can sum the general responses in one sentence: "It’s too good to be true!" I feel compelled to dispel that stink bomb.
IFWG Publishing was created by writers for writers, and we believe that we are giving authors the best service they could find anywhere, whether it be in self-publishing, or traditional. We term our services as ‘hybrid’, because we don’t fit the mold of either traditional or self-publishing, mainly because we are author-centric. Other blog items covers that stuff 🙂
What got me was our quarterly contest. Listen folks! Every three months we run a short story contest where up to 33 finalists get published for FREE in an anthology, and will get marketed. The winner will also have one of his or her major works published for FREE, and will get marketed. Every three months!!!! And some people think we are scamming. Sheesh.
We are running this contest for two reasons. Firstly, it gives authors a real chance to experience publishing and get some of their material into the industry and reader world. It helps them, and it costs them very little indeed (time and creativity). For us, it draws in (theoretically) hundreds of talented writers and we can tap into this group, and help publish genuine talent. Authors make money, we make money. Simple business. Symbiosis.
So why so cynical, writing world? I suspect there are a lot of reasons, but perhaps the biggest is that the publishing industry, almost more than any other, has a dismal track record, where there are in fact scammers galore trawling the seas of lost and disillusioned authors. I can’t really blame them.
We are a new company and our first titles are just about to roll off the presses. We are running our very first quarterly contest, and so there are no previous awards to demonstrate our street cred. The starting gun had only fired fourteen days ago. When I responded to one particularly cynical writer, I ended up being quite brief. I asked him to visit our site and pick up what our ethos is all about, and if still not satisfied, to bookmark our site and visit it in 3 months. That is what it is all about. We need to prove ourselves by delivering.
However, there is a bit of a dilemma in play here. We still need enough material to allow delivery. We need authors to believe in us and we can produce quality titles. We need entrants to our contests so that the field is outstanding. We need people to understand what we are about and put their trust in us.
I hope you are one such person.
2 thoughts on “When “Too Good To Be True” Is Just Plain Wrong”
Any kind of internet or media-based offer is hard to trust, because it’s just words. A million testimonials don’t mean diddly squat, they can all be lies. The con self-publishers draw you in with a carrot, and apply a lot of pressure, stroking your ego, feeding on your hopes. They’re very slick, utterly unhuman and impossible to trust. You haven’t established cred yet but for me that actually makes you less daunting. I don’t want to hear promises from publishers, because none of them can fulfill the kind they make. I want to hear humans, with human foibles, acknowledge what they can and can’t do, what they’re willing to try, what they understand as the truth. What’s different about your company is that you’re being honest and upfront. No hype, no over-marketing, no bs. No attempt to manipulate people’s vulnerability. Call me naive, but I believe that’s what creates the strongest foundation. It certainly makes me more inclined to trust you. Probably takes a bit more time in the beginning than going the hype route…
Very kind words… and appreciated. I wrote this at a low point – not just the observations I mentioned, but several other things – some private – coinciding. It doesn’t mean I didn’t mean what I said, but the degree of emotion is perhaps a little different now. Your statement is highly reassuring, and rings of truth – because we do believe in honesty and we don’t believe in screwing people for money. We believe we can make everyone happy at the same time. Yes, this will take time, but we are willing go on the long haul. thanks again