Deep River Books

Discussion and links regarding potentially problematic publishers, agents, writing contests, etc.

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Deep River Books

Post by zacdfox » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:37 am

Does anyone have knowledge of, or experience with Deep River Books? Are they a scam or legit?

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Deb Porter
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Re: Deep River Books

Post by Deb Porter » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:07 am

Best source for this sort of information is Writer Beware or the Absolute Write forums.

I found this information with a quick Google search. This is from a blog post by Writer Beware (See this link for the full article ... chive.html):
Unpublished Manuscript Contest Moneymakers

Another kind of contest with a hidden moneymaking agenda is conducted by fee-charging publishers. These contests focus on unpublished authors, and since entry fees are small or nonexistent, and prizes often involve a promise of fee-free publication, they can seem very attractive. Beware, though: the contest may be mostly, or partly, a way for the publisher to gather a pool of potential paying customers.

For instance, the Deep River Books Writer's Contest, the 2011-2012 results of which were just announced. Deep River Books (formerly VMI Publishing) is a "partner publisher" that requires authors to buy a minimum of 1,000 books. This year's winners received non-fee contracts; other entrants were recognized for various degrees of merit. They were also solicited for publication:

I wanted to be the first to Congratulate you! Your manuscript received “Honorable Mention” in the 2011-12 Deep River Books Writer’s Contest. And while you did not win first place, “Honorable Mention” is a significant achievement when you consider there were over 400 contest entries. You are to be applauded for what you have accomplished.

As you know, Deep River Books is a full-service partner publisher. Our goal is to publish the best manuscripts from new authors, and we certainly feel yours could fit into that category. Due to the high score your manuscript achieved by our judges, I would like to send your manuscript through our regular editorial review process for possible publishing by Deep River Books.

If your book were to be selected by our editorial review board, we would make it a “Feature Title” which includes media coverage and an invitation to be a featured author signing books at our booth during next year's International Christian Retail Show where over 10,000 people, including many bookstore owners/buyers attend. It would also be a featured title at the Deep River Books website.

And because of the “Honorable Mention” status in the contest, we plan to offer you a $500 discount off our standard partnership program as an added incentive, if your book is selected by our in-house editorial team for publication.

This letter (which concludes by assuring the recipient that their manuscript was "a joy to read") sounds personalized, but it's not. Other contest entrants received identical solicitations. I can't help thinking of the "free contests" conducted by vanity anthology companies, where just about everyone who enters is declared a semi-finalist and offered publication, along with the chance to buy the anthology in which their work appears.

So even if a fee-charging publisher's contest sounds attractive, be aware that it may have a hidden agenda, and that entering may make you a target for a sales pitch.
My advice is to avoid.


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