Received an invitation from 'Trycycle' publishing (and distributors, copywriters etc) requesting an investment on my part of R14,200 to appear in their proposed book. Doing the numbers, a 100 artists (suckers in my language) would give the 'publishers' a gross income of R1,420,000. Not bad you'll agree for putting a book together and previously a common ploy by a number of other so called 'vanity' publishers from across our shores. The eagle (vulture?) has landed now on our shores. So I replied as below to the request:
All seems a bit vague for me to part with my R14,200.
How many artists are you intending to cover?
If say 500 and you are printing 2000 copies and giving away 2 to each artist that leaves only 1,000 for distribution - not a great investment in terms of potential buyers from my perspective.
What space will be allocated to each artist? - A page, a chapter 2 column centimetres?
What credibility will the publication have? I.e. will it be introduced by Sue Williamson for example?
If I am a seriously bad artist who paints either copies of other artist's work or "Arniston cottages no 943" can I still be accepted? In which case perhaps being associated with me will be detrimental to other better artists and therefore a waste of the R14,200.
See the publisher is also the distributor. Does this mean that you have agents countrywide as bigger distributors have?
Otherwise how will you cover the country?
What type of publicity and media do you have planned?
Publishing 'towards the end of the year' is pretty vague if you take my $$ and then nothing happens. Realise you are wanting upfront commitment but you are going to have to be a lot more definite for me so that should you renege on the specified deadline I have some sort of come back to demand my investment back.
You're going to have to do a lot more to convince me (and I suspect other artists) that is not simply a vanity publishing to enrich you (rather than enhance my career)