I recently had one of my poems published in the latest incarnation of the series, Stars In My Heart, Perception. I received a very nicely printed volume filled with poems which are good to excellent and which I am not ashamed to show to my friends or list among my published work. Many of the writers published here are very talented and I have enjoyed reading this volume.
I have self published seven poetry chapbooks. This did not make me famous or rich overnight but I am quite proud of my work. Vanity publishing has a long, interesting history. One of my learned friends published a book through a vanity publishing house and later succeeded in getting a regular publisher to bring out an edition of it. Some very competent university professors published through Vantage press and two or three others. They were able to sell their books through their lecture tours. Dagobert D. Runes, Ph.D. had a very worthwhile dictionary of Philosophy published this way. Vanity publishing is not ipso facto fraudulent.
Years ago vanity publishers turned out telephone directory size collections of badly written stuff which no library would even consider putting on their shelves. The contest approach of World Poetry Movement allows the present publishers to exercise a great deal of editorial discretion. This is an area where you pretty much get what you pay for. I have considered several vanity press deals to discover that at their price, I definitely don’t have that much vanity!
There are a number of people on Amazon criticizing World Poetry as a fraud, one individual condemned this as a scam. It is outrageous that he did not get paid for his poem and they are charging others for the book.The people complaining and even denouncing this company tell me they know little or nothing about their subject. Most poets, academic or otherwise do not get paid for their poetry. There are poetry journals and poetry sites where they can get published, most don’t pay. Those whose poetry books actually sell are usually famous for something else. I do not recommend political assassination, but it has worked well for many. Willie Sutton published a wonderful book, very interesting to read, about his career as a bank robber, not poetry but it illustrates my point.
The world of publishing is seldom, if ever, a get rich quick proposition. Henry David Thoreau ended up with 700 unsold copies of his first book. In 1950, Isaac Asimov made 1,000 dollars publishing classic Science Fiction stories which later made him world famous, and 10,000 dollars as a chemist. Most writers write because that’s what they really want to do. Ray Bradbury wrote two million words before he ever got anything published. In 1970, The Science Fiction Writers of America had 400 members, ten of them could be said to be making a living writing.