Authors are hopeful creatures. Our industry is rough, we all get rejected at least once (and usually more like a hundred times), and sometimes we’re left sitting there with 80,000 words of our soul, wondering if anyone is ever going to love us.
This is why I DESPISE spammy and scammy publishers. Trying to scavenge the living bones of an author’s hopes, dreams, and hard work is fucking low.
And today, they went after me.
Unfortunately for them, I am not desperate. In fact, I have a lot of fight left in me. I’ve got two novels out, one more coming from a medium-sized publishing house in the Fall, and one currently in progress. I’m in the relatively privileged position to tell these vultures where to stick their “chance at an offer of publication.”
So, let’s talk about InkItt.
First of all, what’s wrong with it? Well, the good news is, they don’t seem to be straight-up asking for money, unlike the usual vanity publishing scams. The bad news is, to “submit to their contest,” the thing they’re spamming you to get you to do, you have to publish on their site. There go your first publication rights. Now no normal publisher will touch your manuscript, because it’s already been published. The contests offer (very) small prizes and a chance to get shopped around to real publishers…which is the job of an agent, not a publishing house.
And then there’s the spam.
This morning, they tweeted at me from one of literally dozens of their accounts.
No legitimate publisher will EVER tweet at you out of the blue with an offer. That is not a thing.
I responded, more or less telling them to piss off. They immediately deleted the tweet. But they continue to go after people (alphabetically, no less) who tweet about writing, giving each one the same canned ‘inquiry.’ I replied to each one of those, warning the recipient that InkItt is a gross scam. They’ll probably block me soon.
Then I searched “InkItt” on Twitter, and started reporting ALL of their accounts for spam, because they are, and I am vengeful.
And when they noticed that I was going to war with their spam accounts, they hunted down my email and contacted me.
At time of writing, they had stopped responding. So. That went well.
If any “publisher” is spamming you like this, report them. They can’t dupe you, but the next author might be more desperate or less informed about scavengers.
Stay savvy, folks.
Update: Though I did not reach out to InkItt for comment, they have insisted on giving it to me at length anyway, contacting me by Twitter, email, attempted phone call, Twitter again, and finally here in the comments section. I’ve let their comment stand. You may notice that it in no way addresses their use of dozens of spambots, nor does it resemble anything so much as a copypasta press release. I remain unimpressed. Hopefully, InkItt will have a glance over the comments left here by other authors, also severely unimpressed, and reconsider their awful business. I hear garbage collection is a nice line of work. Maybe they should try that.
Update 2.0: I originally listed thirty or so accounts that Inkitt used to spam people, but they have since all been deleted. Possibly because people reported them for spam. If you search Twitter for Inkitt, though, you will still find two things: spam, and people who signed up with Inkitt trying desperately to get views for their “contest.” Don’t be one of those people. You and your book are too valuable for that.