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Similar to the online forums mentioned above, some of these self-publishing companies will sponsor "free" contests that are really lead-generation devices for aggressive marketing campaigns, or worse.Copyright your manuscript before submitting, to reduce the risk of piracy.
Vanity contests are characterized by low standards, and are willing to publish most of the submissions they receive (typically half or more).
They primarily market their publications to the contestants themselves, often at high prices.
"We recently discovered and we believe it has the potential to be a national bestseller.
Your book comes highly recommended and is precisely the kind of book we have had the most success selling." Well, gee.
These contests exercise a modest degree of selectivity, accepting 25-80% of entries.
While this is better than publishing virtually all entries, we prefer more rigorous contests that reserve praise and publicity for truly outstanding work.Writers considering self-publishing should read Book Baby's article on spotting self-publishing scams.Be wary of service providers that make extravagant promises of profits or book sales; operate under several different business names; or inflate their price tag with unnecessary additional services instead of offering options.There are plenty of better ones to submit to, selective contests that want to promote good work to a wider audience.Some of the contests that target schools, such as Polar Expressions Publishing, Young Writers of Canada, and Creative Communication/Poetic Power, make us uncomfortable.Also be wary of contests that assert derivative rights over all winning or submitted entries, such as the right to make and distribute audio/video versons or translations.Reputable contests may ask writers for a license to reproduce their work in other media, but it should always be clear that the writer retains creative control over the end product and the right to terminate the license.Winning prizes from these organizations will add little to your resume, and may even make you look amateurish to publishers and other poets.10KCASH Contest America Library of Poetry The Amherst Society Appelley Publishing The Brightest Arena (Words Aglow) Cader Publishing Circle of Poets Eber & Wein Famous Poets Society (aka Christian Poets Guild) Forward Poetry Freeditorial Literary Contest Greenspring Publishing Iliad Press (an imprint of Cader Publishing) Iliad Literary Awards Program International Library of Photography (aka Picture.com) International Library of Poetry International Poetry Digest International Poetry Hall of Fame International Society of Poets JMW Publishing Company League of American Poets (poetryamerica.com) The National Amateur Poetry Competition (Eber & Wein) The National Archives National Library of Poetry Noble House (an affiliate of Watermark Press) Paramount Group (aka International Library of Photography) Poetry Institute of Africa Poetry Institute of Canada Poetry Laureates Poetry Nation Poetry Press Poetry Press Publishing (songwritingopportunities.com) Poetry Revival Contest Poetry Unlimited The Poets' Guild Poets The Poets' Workshop ( World Poetry Movement) Publish My Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum Stamford Research TA. Edizioni United Press Watermark Press White Oak Press (aka Poetry America) World Poetry Movement Z Publishing The most common pitch is to make poets buy their anthologies as a condition of publication.Publishers in this category include: Famous Poets Society, Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum, The Amherst Society, The Poets' Guild, Poetry Press, Poetry Unlimited, The National Archives, and JMW Publishing.Others try to sell you services, such as manuscript editing or agency representation.