Scam artists make their living by telling people what they want to hear. And what unpublished writers want to hear most is, "We want to publish you." An intense desire to be published combined with lack of knowledge about the publishing industry leaves novice writers vulnerable to scam artists, from the "We'll publish your book!" vanity publisher ads in the backs of magazines to full-scale rip-off artists posing as agents. Educate yourself The best way to protect yourself against scams is to educate yourself about the publishing industry. Read the articles on this site and other legitimate author sites. Read the books we recommend that appeal to you. Be sure you are getting advice from either real authors whose books you can find in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore, or real editors with major publishers: that is to say, people who are truly experts in their field because they live it every day. Find out how the industry works, find out the

rules of the road, and use the information to help you get published. Along the way you'll run into many people who will tell you that the advice we're giving here is bunk, and that they know the "real" secret to getting published. Some of these are well-meaning but naive people who may have had a bit of luck to begin with, perhaps a nibble from an agent, or a book "published" by a vanity publisher that has sold a few dozen copies. Others are professional scammers. Both can get you into trouble and cause you to waste time and money on fruitless pursuits. It's also wise to educate yourself about the scam artists that are out there. We recommend these websites: Preditors and Editors (yes, that is how they spell it, for alliterative purposes): an extensive site with information on many, many editors, agents, book doctors, publishers, and more. Writer Beware: a service of the Science Fiction and Fantasy…