I have had delusions of possessing some writing skills as some of my posts in the past have proven. Presently I am roughing out some fiction that is about 5,000 words in length and I now have ideas of how to push it probably past 10,000. Its usually not the traditional way of writing, but I am writing each as a short story that ties back to the previous. So in other words it could be argued I am writing each chapter of a longer story while tricking myself. Perhaps. But I seem to have a mental hangup when it comes to longer pieces.
So one of the things aspiring writers do is look around. Do we try to crash the barricades of the big publishers like Random House or Baen? Or self-publish? Or perhaps go to one of the Print on Demand[POD] places. Just mentioning POD brings back images of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, of your entire being stolen away and replaced by a worker drone. Another name for POD publishers is vanity publishers. The authors at such places tend to get jacked around and bank account lightened to prove to their small circle of friends that they are a published author. And when you go to places like Amazon to find the book, the title is listed as Amazon's #6,431,909th best seller.
Then there is a truly special publisher called Publish America. If you look for their titles on Amazon, generic cover art will be displayed for paperbacks that list for hardcover prices. They claim they are not a POD or vanity publisher but it seems they are. As for their prowess in editing and formatting, it seems not so great as some of their authors claim Publish America added typos to their works. A collection of science-fiction authors decided to take umbrage at Publish America's condescension towards the science-fiction genre in 2005 by writing one of the worst novels ever hatched called Atlanta Nights with horrible formatting, missing chapters, duplicated chapter numbers, and horrible prose; amazingly Publish America took it all in and was ready to print it. Then when they learned of the hoax, all deals were off and it seems Publish America got real pissy over it. For a rundown of why many authors think Publish America is bad, try this forum.
So to avoid the pitfalls of being sucked into a scam, talk to a real author. Ask them what you need to do to get published by a publishing company. While never forgetting to practice your craft.
Post Ludi - I wonder, got this 40,000 word anime fan-fic. Publish America. Should I just to see if they green light it? Nah, I will stay good.