There was once a time when Writer’s Digest was an excellent tool for writers of all skill levels. The magazine was brimming with articles filled with writing tips, advice from authors and editors, and fun but informative essays. When it made the jump to digital, I was happy to subscribe.
I didn’t think much of it when WD began pimping its writing contests left and right. I didn’t have much of a problem when I saw how much it was charging per entry. Most recently, however, I noticed the price had jumped to $100 per entry (for "early bird" submissions), which is a bit troubling to say the least. Still, I remained on the mailing list because of the quality of many of its articles.
The webinars became more frequent, with prices spanning from $199 to $799. No longer was all author advice a part of the subscription; for the really good advice (or at least we should hope so) one now needed to pay hundreds of dollars. Still, I remained a loyal subscriber.
Today, however, I received an ad about WD’s latest venture—a publishing “opportunity” through its new partner, Abbott press. It promises to be a better deal than Amazon and the like, claiming distribution in nearly every possible venue. It claims everything you’d find in a vanity press and more, including access to radio interviews, exposure to movie producers, book signing tours, “affordable” advertising, and full editorial support. Even more, authors receive a one-year subscription to the magazine and a free webinar of their choice. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
But wait—there’s more! For “only” $500, authors can buy Indie Kirkus reviews; that’s only $75 more than what Kirkus would charge directly for the same service (never mind the fact that most people disregard paid reviews, including Indie Kirkus reviews). So how much would you be willing to pay for this amazing “opportunity?” $10,000? $9,000? Nope—this all comes for the amazing starting price of $499 for e-books and $699 for print books (the “economy” packages, which include benefits no better than Amazon’s optional author assistance services), although to receive all the “benefits” offered, one must spend anywhere from $999 to $7,999.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s the last straw. The camel’s back has finally broken. My respect for WD has dwindled as far as it can. It’s time for this writer to unsubscribe.