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richard lloyd cederberg

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Is your literary work being exploited?
By richard lloyd cederberg
Last edited: Monday, December 15, 2014
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2008

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Is your work being exploited in the schemes of global literary procurers? You decide!


In the last six months I have received no less than a dozen offers from exclusive 'invitation only' literary web-sites that, (in their own words) feature only the best of the best!

WOWIE ZOWIE! And they think that I am THAT good? OK ... that's cool!

Then there are the small press publishers here and abroad. Good lord, even from India they are sending offers, (why does that feel so cool?) and the review periodicals that respect what you do, etc. Everyone of them seem to want YOU to be a contributor on their 'very special' literary projects.

Sheeshka La Beeshka! How could I be so lucky?

Can you believe it ... they are asking me now! And, of course, in my zeal and hopefulness to break through the thick gnarled crust of an ever-present apathy towards writers and poets and artists, I eagerly accept their offers and press forward in faith. Yeah baby ... I'm on my way now, and I feel pretty doggone good about the whole thing. Yupperbud!

I don't want to seem pedantic or ungrateful, but there is a shady side to this process ...

While on the surface there is something flattering and exciting about getting a personal invitation from an editor or a co-editor from some (supposedly) high-profile successful project - a chance to get the coveted exposure that you desire for your work, and the possibility of discovering the perfect connections to further your own artistic agendas - most of these offers ring hollow. Too many of these publishers don't care about what your goals are, or you, for that matter. You are a means to their ends. They are only interested in using your skills to further their own visions.

Sadly ...

most are after the quality work of diligent and talented artists to publish in their own projects without any financial remuneration to the author. Most make money at what they do, and most of the contributors don't. There are some that actually want the artist to pay for the publication that they are contributing to. Can you believe that? Beware of those that try and make you feel as if they are doing you a favor by accepting your jewels, and then leave you with the impression that being published in their 'rags' will do your career a world of good.

Bunkee Doodle!

Hey ... check it out! I am going to submit a series of articles and photos to Oregon Coast Magazine about our adventures. That would be my wife Michele and me. If they are accepted, they pay you money for what you do. Be honest with yourself. How much have you made with all the exposure in all the small press publications? Last time I checked, being known all over the world, and read by thousands, can't even buy a can of Bushs beans.

Still though, I've met some really swell people. And who cares about money anyway ... right? Hmmmmmm ...

Web Site The Monumental Journey Series and Between the Cracks

Reader Reviews for "Is your literary work being exploited?"

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Reviewed by Janna Hill 10/21/2011
I realize this article is three years old but it is still totally relevant today and will always be. Thank you.
Reviewed by Z McClure 7/15/2011
As soon as I write a poem, or whatever, I give it back to the Lord, and what happens with it is in His hands. If anyone uses it, and makes money on it, they don't have me to worry about, but God. And then I forget about fame or money, and write more poetry.
I've found my work all over the internet, being used for artwork, and even to sell tire swings, but my poetry is God's property foremost.
You have written a good article, and I hope many people read it, Richard.
Reviewed by David Arthur Walters 4/19/2011
I have not received a single invitation, and I am a literary slut!
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 3/15/2011
Didn't take me long to snap to these sharks, buddy.
Reviewed by The Poetess 9/4/2010
I bit on one of those in the late 1980s. It was some sort of "anthology of poetry". Then they charged me over 30 dollars for the book they published. When I shared my songs in 2003, I was swarmed by the vultures. A few years later I found out that they had stolen my songs and one of them, "Last Dollar" is making a lot of money for the thieves. Its still hard for me to hear that song on the radio. Its sad how many scams are out there. The greed in our world really gets me down sometimes.
Reviewed by Debra Conklin 10/15/2009
I had this happen to me years ago when I first decided to use the internet as an outlet. I know think of those bad choices as learning tools and am thankful I didn't get sucked in for more money than I did. I've since learned that if somebody wants me to write for them I ask, "how much do you pay?" If they tell me it's see my name in a by-line or for "exposure", I tell them I can expose myself for free and write my name of my naked body to tell the world who I am, why do I need you to do it for me?.

Writing is a job, and like any job that you're hired for, payment is due for the work completed.
Reviewed by D. Kenneth Ross 8/6/2008
It makes no difference the type or the medium, from magazines to blogs, up the scale of book publishers, anyplace and everywhere, there are those who live to take the blood of the artisan for their own benefit. Most of us take a while to understand, finally, there are bottom feeders who prey on the author's deepest need, which is one of seeking people to read what he has written. Sad ain't it?
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 5/16/2008
Sorry to hear this, but I guess it comes with the Net. The only offer I got was from the Educational Testing Service and it was bona fide.

My first publisher, who believed in my work and literary potential, lost his substantial start-up funds, and went crazy trying to succeed legitimately. My friend, Angela Hoy of Writers Goes after these crooks.

Reviewed by JASMIN HORST SEILER 5/15/2008
What can I say? you have me worried Richard! Bless you for bringing this forward, and as for Georg, thank you, and just in case, I shall remember whatever Lula wants.... Bless you all! Jasmin Horst
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 5/15/2008
I have submitted poems to these type people and when the newness wore off I didn't anymore. Especially when I found out that since my poems had been published they could not be included in my own publication. What a bummer. Now days, it's a flat no and the flyer goes into the trash. You are right about it all being a rip, but I did garner some experience and met new people and learned what not to do any more. Great article. Liz
Reviewed by Marcia Miller-Twiford 5/15/2008
I think what a poet agrees to depends a lot on whether they want to share their poetry or if they want money for it. I don't know of any present day poet whose gotten rich by writing poetry. It's something we do for the love of it and it's meant to be shared. I won't pay anyone a penny for mine but will allow some to be published in magazines in exchange for a copy. We pay to post our poems and other writings here at AD, so what's the dif?
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 5/15/2008
Fortunately I've not "fallen" for the lines of the hustlers...not since procuring the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge :o) (really only kidding, unless someone is willing to buy LOL)
A much needed article you've written, Richard, and hopefully all new authors will be reading this!
Blessings ~~ Micke
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 5/15/2008
I have been now, and for a long time, telling my fellow authors that don't touch anybody with not a bundle of cash up in front. And that for get their book published, they should relay on
Since I introduce to AD many have gone that way and are satisfied, so satisfied are everybody that now AD and are an item of collaboration.
So hear what Richard here is saying, do you hear me?! ! !

Reviewed by Debby & Gordon Rosenberg 5/15/2008
great capture of the elated emotion felt when such an offer mysteriously appears in the writers life...and the fall as the realization occurs it is more about them, than it is about you or your work...the bright side for me personally, is these offers are helping me further trust my intuition and inner guidance to what is a higher conscious way of living
Reviewed by Ann Marquette 5/15/2008
I have been wondering lately about the wisdom of having my work on the internet at all. I have found that anything I put on the web is considered published and will not be accepted in writing competitions. Also, I have googled myself and found some of my work on other people's websites without my permission.

Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 5/15/2008
interesting write--and so true--

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