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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Weird Email

   
Author Topic: Weird Email
Merlion-Emrys
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Wasn't quite sure where to put this, but there's more traffic here. I got a weird email today, supposedly, maybe actually, from some new publication looking for material but...the nature of it (I am about to post it so people can evaluate) strikes me as a bit much like some of the scam-emails one gets all the time. It's also a little odd because it came to my primary email, but for the past, oh, year and a half or more I've had a separate email I use for submissions, editor correspondence all that kind of thing. Have a look at this and tell me what you think, I'm also curious if anyone else got one. I didn't follow any of the links yet as I don't quite trust it.


Hello!


We're launching a couple of brand spanking new online short-story magazines; you can see them at this website (wwwiridumsound.co.uk). We're going to launch them both 1st April 2012 (probably), and to ensure that we hit our publication timelines we need lots of stories in the pipeline, like RIGHT NOW!!!!


First off, we're sorry for contacting you like this, out of the blue. But we've seen some of your work online and thought it was the sort of thing we're looking for. We really liked it.


The theme of the magazine is odd fiction. This means anything that's slightly out of the ordinary, one step removed from reality That's it, no other rules! We're SO easy to please.


If you're interested in submitting stories, we'd love to hear from you. Please read the submission guidelines here - http://www.iridumsound.co.uk/submissions/. Unfortunately we are currently unable to pay anything significant for contributions, but that's one of our key aims for the future – please help us get there!


If you have any questions reply to this email, we'd love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you'd like to keep tabs on us in a more detached manner, follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/IridumSound.


Thanks, and tell your friends,


The Soon To Be Editing Team (Mike and Olly)

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LDWriter2
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I think I got one basically like that a couple of years ago. It turned out to be a real magazine but they didn't last long.


I don't know of any writing scams, even though there probably are some, so I can't speak to how they are usually done.

But do you have slightly off stories on your web site? Have you checked for them at Ralan.com or duotrope's ? Even if real they may not be there but it could be worth checking.

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genevive42
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These guys don't give any of their own credits and they're launching on April Fool's Day. Sounds like a prank or a scam.

If it is real, it seems rather unprofessional. I wouldn't touch it.

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KayTi
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They don't pay. Who cares? [Wink]
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Merlion-Emrys
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I haven't checked Duotrope yet...the email just looked so bizzare and I don't even know how they got my address.
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pdblake
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Doesn't smell like a scam, just not very professional. Their website looks a bit half arsed as well.
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mrmeadors
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A couple of years ago I got an email from this guy saying he was from a literary journal and was interested in publishing my work. It was a bit after one of my stories was in a magazine, so I thought that maybe he saw me there. I googled him and his magazine, and...it looked like there was a real magazine. I dug deeper, though, and started getting suspicious because there was some weird stuff with his domain and things from Romania, and...no stories. At the same time, I created an email address for a pen name I had just made up to write another genre in. and guess what--an email came from that same guy. I still don't know who he was, but it was just kind of weird, so I just deleted him. It may have been that he was trying to get started, etc. but I just didn't feel comfortable with that. He even offered payment!

I say go with your gut. If you feel like something is not right, then it is probably so.

ETA: I checked out their website and they actually look better than the one I got email for. I'm betting it is NOT a scam, because they are very upfront about what they are, and there is actually like, artwork and designing on the site. It sounds like a community that is looking to expand their horizons. Which is a risk in itself, but a different sort of risk.

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extrinsic
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A market that doesn't pay, a startup, a somewhat personal call for submissions from out of the blue: sounds to me like a bootstrap operation in progress, pulling their publication up by its own bootstraps.

Sure, it's a scheme, though that they don't pay yet implies their business plan doesn't have solid backing. However, I don't see a great deal of risk. It doesn't seem a malicious Nigerian phising scam.

Some writers looking to break into the publishing culture from the distribution angle. Everyone, even publishers have to start somewhere. Does it behoove writers to foster new markets? I believe so, so they'll become great if they have it in them to do so. Start isn't very far from star alphabetically.

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redux
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If not a scam it's definitely unprofessional.

If they've actually seen your work online and that's why they are interested in publishing your work, why didn't they specifically mention what story of yours got their attention? Why are they sending you a generic email?

Also, like genevive mentioned, of all days to launch, why April Fool's Day?

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aspirit
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I had the same thoughts as redux and others. Busy, established editors manage to personalize their e-mails more than these two did. It's like they are using someone else's e-mail list.

Publishing on April Fool's Day could be a marketing ploy, but they're not confident of that date? Why not generalize with the month, instead of providing a specific date that they aren't sure they will hit?

I wouldn't bother with them until they've published for the first time.

By the way, their Twitter page doesn't exist.

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Pyre Dynasty
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I see this as well intentioned, but ultimately bad. Yeah it is weird that they would just email you out of the blue, but it seems plausible that they did it because they read your stuff, so I'd file that under "good things." If a paying, higher tier publication did that it would rock.


The worst thing I see about it is they want to to put your work into Creative Commons Sharealike thing.

quote:
If you're successful, we'll ask you to release the work to us under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence. There's a bit of epublishing advice here, here and here, and you should check out our "Why Attribution-ShareAlike?" page, because it plainly sets out what impact releasing your work under this agreement has on you, the author.
And her is their whole explanation page on why you should release it to sharealike.

quote:
At Iridum Sound, we're all about sharing. All that commercial stuff doesn't really interest us. We like this

If you release your work to us under this licence, it is very likely that no other magazine, online or otherwise, will want to obtain re-print rights for the work. After all

So, the only reason to do it is so no other magazine will want to reprint this? I'm convinced, those half sentences really cinched it.
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Merlion-Emrys
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Yeah I had no real plans to do anything with it regardless...I don't even really have any stories free right this second anyway. But it struck me as very bizarre, and if it were something bad I wanted to make other folks aware.

mrmeadors, you reminded me I had something similar ages ago...before I even started submitting, when I just had a few of my first works up on Elfwood, before I knew that sort of thing renders stuff essentially unpublishable. They talked about some magazine in another country...never got any response out of it.

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