Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In Your Own Words

Jilly links today to an article on a scam vanity publisher who "illustrated" an aspiring author's books with photocopies of the Berenstain Bears. Reminds me of a particular incident back at the college literary magazine: a "writer" submitted the lyrics of Perhaps Love and Annie's Song as her own poems. I don't know if she thought we were ignorant or idiots or if she was playing a joke on us. None of the editorial staff knew her, so the last seemed unlikely.

Sometime later, we included a list of "things we don't want to see" with the weekly call for submissions we ran in the school newspaper. I think the list looked like this:

Amazingly, we got more submissions from this person after this call. She did alter the name she submitted under though; she added an unusual middle name.

Anyway, this comes on the heels of hearing from a poet who read for me a couple years ago that a publisher who'd had his second manuscript "approved" and tied up for a year abruptly took down a website, disconnected phones and tried to disappear, except he happened to catch her before she could do so.

I suppose I can understand the disappearing publisher - that's simple embarrassment. The Berencopy Bears are simple greed. But what would prompt a person to represent the lyrics of a song that had only recently been on the radio (this was 1986 or 1987) as their own? And if you were going to do that, wouldn't you at least pick a song that didn't debut as Muzak?

1 comment:

Jilly said...

How very odd.