Tag Archives: ripoff

Wonderful blog post on the evils of vanity publishers – more connecting with the slimy underbelly of publishing

David Gaughran writes a wonderful blog for writers. You should all subscribe. It’s a rare rare day that I don’t find something of interest in his well-researched posts.

Today he takes on the evil “we want to help you publish your book” folks at Penguin/Random House, Writers Digest, etc etc.

For myself, I’ve given up on Writers Digest – I used to get it as a baby writer and it was a bit helpful then, but now it seems more like a shill for various rip off writers companies. Their information is available in multi-spots elsewhere, and heck, I could write many of their articles, so it is less than helpful to me. And now Gaughran reveals that they, and several other places of note, have a whitewashing strategy regarding these publishers – they will not allow any negative commentary about the huge sums these pirates charge authors ($1000’s to “get on YouTube”?). Some help for writers, eh? Half of their advertising pages are filled with such tripe, so I suppose it is unsurprising.

Guess we know where all that money is going.

My biggest shock from the article came from the fees charged by these companies for book signings at Toronto’s Word On The Street. Check it out.

And follow his blog. You won’t regret it.

So, we get some pandas…

Wow. You’ve got to admire the Chinese. They give you a gift that is even more expensive to keep than Royal Swans, and you DON’T DARE refuse it!

See, here’s the thing. If your government goes over and smarms effectively with the Chinese, conveniently ignoring their human rights record, smiling at the fact that they have already been found to be invading your government in an undercover way, discounting the fact that they are flooding the markets with heaps and heaps of low quality junk that breaks and fills our landfills while secreting lead into our children’s skin and killing off their own population involved in manufacture – well, you get the picture – if you do that effectively enough, the Chinese grant you the great privilege of looking after two of their Pandas.

Never mind that the Panda is the animal most deserving of extinction. Let’s see – it eats bamboo, a low nutrition plant – and it needs miles of it to support its bulk. It mates rarely, probably because the male pandas have very very small penises and are too hung up about that to use them on a female, who probably thinks, “What was that?” and lumbers off in search of more bamboo, which at least grows tall and rigid. Panda couples rarely speak to each other and seem so uninterested in mating they’ve had to resort to showing them Panda porn to remind them how to do it. Then, if the stars mystically align, they produce one or two little bears and wander off to forget about mating for another twenty years or so.

They are coloured to be visible to predators. Here in Canada they’d be toast in a matter of days.

I’d prefer to re-create the Dodo. The cost would be about the same.

Because the Chinese just LOAN their pets. For a rent of a million a year, each. For a required ten years. Egad. And that doesn’t include the cost of the special enclosure, or the shipment of tons of bamboo, probably refreshingly sent from China at a marked up rate. Should the pair do the completely unlikely thing and mate and have baby bears, the rate goes up. And then we send the babies back after three years so the Chinese can conveniently “donate” them to another country.

And the country can’t refuse the bears because it is viewed as a great honour to receive them. To turn down such a generous “gift” would be like recalling an ambassador. What a ruse!

Think of how many homeless people that would house? I know, I know, homeless people aren’t cute, but maybe if we painted them black and white and covered them with fur? It infuriates me that we are thinking of spending this kind of money on these useless animals when the government is cutting back on services in all sorts of areas. But then, we weren’t given a choice, were we?


Hmm, maybe we could offer to send our Senators (hockey team or government) to China for the same deal.