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January 30, 2007


Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Mr. Quarterman, the Atlanta Nights and Crack of Doom sting operations weren't aimed at any real publishing houses. They were intended as demonstrations that their actual target, Publish America, is a vanity operation.

PA regularly claims to be a "traditional publisher." They also claim to be picky about what they publish. Neither claim is true. PA doesn't select, edit, market, distribute, or support their books. They'll publish anything that's longer than a pamphlet, is not in journal format, hasn't already been published elsewhere, and isn't obviously deranged gibberish. And every year, they suck thousands of would-be authors into exploitive publishing arrangements that have no hope of success.

After years of patiently explaining these facts to newbie writers, mostly in the forums on Absolute Write, a group of writers loosely affiliated with Writer Beware and SFWA decided a more vivid demonstration was in order. Thus was born Atlanta Nights ("A bad book written by experts"), and later Crack of Doom. Both books were promptly offered contracts by Publish America.

In short, while the two projects accomplished exactly what they set out to do, neither had anything to do with the real publishing industry. It would be an error to see them as evidence of its current state.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden



Thanks, Teresa.

So apparently many people can't tell the difference between the vanity publishers and real publishers.

Meanwhile, many people seem to think that all open access scientific publications are similar to vanity presses.

Plenty of confusion to go around.



The traditional academic market behaves a similar way, with obsessive attention to citings, resulting in the arisal of cabals running conferences, and eventually conferences that just run so anyone can get published, thus bypassing the inwards-looking gatekeeping and keeping expenses lower.

The fact that these mechanisms do nothing to improve the actual content doesn't seem to enter into it.


fristlty i wanna say that the scientist will never get confused and as they fight agaist those cooks who want that sceince should be daily news paper.

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