BlazeVOX Goes Vanity Press?

Posted by @ 3:24 pm on September 4th, 2011

I saw on Facebook where Matt Bell had written:

A really disheartening post at Bark about BlazeVOX’s new “acceptance” letter for book manuscripts, where they require a $250 donation from the author before publishing. BlazeVOX has published a couple books I’ve really loved, which makes me sorry and disappointed and angry to read this. I know times are tough, but preying on writers isn’t the solution.

I clicked on the link and read the article written by Brett Ortler, which outlines his exchange with BlazeVOX editor Geoffrey Gatza.

I echo Matt’s response: this is troubling and disheartening. For those of you out there who are new to creative writing, who are currently in the process of learning the ropes of publishing,┬áit is considered unethical for a publisher to ask you to pay to have your work published. Back in the day, before the internet, there used to be this thing called The Writer’s Market (maybe it still exists?), which was this huge brick of a book that helped writers find places to send their work. It also included helpful essays about publishing. One of the first rules you would learn by reading The Writer’s Market is that anyone who asks you for money to publish your work should not be trusted.

Like Matt, I admit that BlazeVOX has published a few books I’ve loved (and written about or run promos for here), but this sort of pay-to-publish policy seriously threatens to diminish the press’s legitimacy in my eyes.