I’ve been a patient in this writing ward of ours for the better part of three years, and I must say I’d thought I’d seen it all.
Oh, wow, I was totally wrong.
Recently, I received two invitations from separate publications to post a couple of my articles. When this happens it’s always one of the times I do a little happy dance and, of course, submit. Hey, if it was good enough for an invite, then maybe it will get more traction.
And we all know more traction typically means more people read the piece, right? So, I didn’t even think twice about it. I just submitted those suckers and moved on.
In hindsight, I should have been just a bit more selective. You know, actually looked at the genre and caliber of the posts on each publication.
And since anybody who reads my stuff knows I’m usually late to the party, the next day, I decided to check out how my pieces were doing in both publications.
I know, I know. I should have done that before I submitted the articles. Like I said. Always late to the party?
One of the publications is, in my opinion, a pretty class act with some really stellar writers (a lot of whom I’m already reading) and which I will gladly promote (along with many others — be patient I’ll get to y’all) any day of the week, come rain or shine.
I give you Illumination:
We curate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.
Now I’m not promoting this site simply because I have a piece there. In full transparency, I do. I’m promoting it because, like scores of other publications here, the owners and editors of Illumination are always on the prowl for talented writers, which they feel will make their publication a place where readers often frequent.
It’s a publication that suggests writer collaboration which helps a writer produce the best writing they can possibly provide, which just may help get them noticed by other editors.
Just like many, many, many publications here, this is a site for writers.
Now I’ve talked about beauty, so it’s time to talk about the beast, the other publication. In my opinion, and because this is an opinion piece and I can d*mned well offer it, the tactics used by this other publication are an embarrassment.
I refuse to even provide their name. Which serves two purposes. First, I don’t believe in revenge call-outs specifically by name. Second, getting banned from this site and being subject to a potential defamation lawsuit ain’t my bag either.
In my mind, it shall heretofore be known as That Sleazy publication. That Sleazy publication whose owner sent me a private note asking me to join their ranks. That Sleazy publication, which then took my submitted article and inserted a link to a story that promotes That Sleazy publication.
That Sleazy publication whose owner also put a call to action at the end of my submitted article, which takes the reader off this site and sends them to That Sleazy’s own blog site newsletter.
Let’s see. I read somewhere how a writer could end up in jail for adding CTA(s) in their pieces.
Okay, you may be thinking really P.G.? A lot of us ask folks to sign up for our newsletter. And the self-promotion of the publication should help you as well as them.
Yeah, I get it. But here’s the deal, and it’s a big freaking deal as far as I’m concerned.
Because neither the owner of the publication nor one of the editors who later pinged me by a private message asking me to be a contributing writer, mentioned nor alluded to the fact they were going to insert that sh*t in my piece.
They just freaking did it! And it pissed me off.
What pissed me off even more, was evidently That Sleazy publication had chosen my piece to ply their self-promotional gimmicks. I checked a ton of other articles on That Sleazy publication, and none of them had promotional inserts or calls to action.
It pissed me off so much I immediately removed my piece from That Sleazy publication. Then I edited that sh*t out of my article and posted it again sans bullsh*t. Then I responded to one of the editors by private message and told him what That Sleazy publication did was, in my opinion, well, sleazy, and that I’d removed my piece.
The more I thought about it, the more I should have realized. Why would an owner/editor of a publication ask a writer to submit to a publication which is riddled with content nowhere close to the genre or niche of the invited writer?
It didn’t make sense.
And then it occurred to me. That Sleazy publication wasn’t interested in my article. How could it be? My piece stuck out like a sore thumb among all the other similar genre stories.
They wanted my piece to stick out like a sore thumb. That Sleazy publication wasn’t interested in my work. It wanted my followers and readers. Followers who read my work and then this piece with all the site-specific self-promotional crap in it.
That Sleazy publication wanted to use my piece like a grocery store banner offering thirty percent discounts on week-old bananas.
So the moral of this tale of two publications should always be caveat emptor.
Buyer and submitter beware.
As it is in this dog eat dog, dog eats cat, dog eats their own poop world, some people are just a little more interested in themselves and their own agendas than they are in yours.
Especially if anyone is following your work.
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