Monday, July 27, 2015

The Do-It-Yourself Magazine For Idiots

Every writer dreams of having their work in a magazine. It's a great feeling; some editor that apparently knows what they're doing reads your work, says "Hey, this shit ain't half shitty," and puts it in print to see if other people think the same. At that moment, you're officially a legitimate, published writer.

There's a problem, though. Sometimes there's difficulty defining the word "magazine." Which complicates that whole "legitimate" thing.

See, pretty much any jackass can put out a piece of stapled-together word-vomit and call it a magazine. And ultimately, it's a lot like Internet dating: as long as it seems normal online, you won't find out if the person on the other end is an unemployed, mentally unstable catfish until it's too late.

We have some hilariously terrible horror stories in this regard. Including the birthplace of our homeless hero, Slim Dyson.



Sadly, it was not a high-paying skin rag like Hustler. But we'll get to that in a moment.

For you see, we'd been burned before. Or more specifically, Brandon had been burned before. When we both started getting serious about writing, he submitted some of his short horror stories to as many magazines as he could find, and got a good many acceptances. Some were decent Indie magazines. Others... well, others were clearly made in someone's mother's basement. One was so bad that it arrived in the mail as just a few folded pieces of printer paper with one of his stories on it. And no other stories.

It takes a special kind of asshole to just send you your own story printed out on copy paper.


At the bottom of the envelope was a business card with the name of the publisher and a scribbled note that said 'thanks for working with us'. It was either the most terribly executed scam in the world, or the most terribly executed legitimate business in the world. We can't decide which is sadder.

So as we said, we'd been burned before. That meant we were extra cautious pursuing a magazine, and so we were pleasantly surprised when we were put in contact with a so-called "literary magazine." It had a very professional looking website, and a moderately sized staff, and had specifically said it was in search of a humorous male perspective. We dazzled the editor-in-chief with Slim Dyson, our homeless hero's very first short story, and she wanted to pick us up as regular columnists. Our work would be featured in each issue. We'd be listed as staff. We'd even be paid! It sounded too good to be true... Probably because it was.

This is the first issue, which was delivered 3 months late.

Click to enlarge. Or don't. It doesn't get any better up close.
(We'd blur out the name of publication, but that would actually imply this is a real publication. So fuck them.)

Above, you can see Bryan pointing to a spelling error on the cover. The. Goddamn. Cover. But we're optimists. We thought, hey, maybe it was just the newbie intern's fault. You know, the one who accidentally designed the cover with sharpies and colored pencils like a bored middleschooler doodling in their mathbook. We thought, maybe the inside was better.

We were wrong. The inside was worse.

Everything was riddled with errors. There were typos in the stories. There were typos in the ads. Hell, even the typos had typos. And let's not forget the "artwork."


The goober you see above? The guy with the playdough face, no ears, no eyes, and a mullet? That's an autistic rendering of our protagonist, Slim Dyson...who apparently likes to walk around holding fistfuls of cash (as all homeless are prone to do). And yes, you're seeing that correctly; not only is the title written in sharpie, but it was cut off on the left side because...copy machines are hard?

Yup, we'd found ourselves (and poor Slim Dyson) imprisoned in a shit sandwich, like a lone piece of cheese, between a dozen other terrible stories written by our very vain "editor-in-chief." That was when we learned this wasn't a magazine. No, this was a vain attempt by said editor-in-chief to make herself famous. She printed these pieces of dog shit herself...until her plan to get famous backfired, she sold zero copies, and then dropped off the face of the earth. Oh, and no one was ever paid.

Seeing as how the glorious editor couldn't even afford an artist and illustrated everything herself (in that magical sharpie), I guess we aren't surprised she couldn't afford to pay us.

This is actual "artwork" from the magazine, and yes, you're reading that story title at the top correctly. 10 points if you guessed that the editor-in-chief wrote it...because she did.
So we moved on. No more bad print issues, we said! We've been burned before! So this time, when we found an online only magazine run by young, modern writers that had a ton of registered readers, we thought surely we'd struck e-gold.

For being online only, this magazine seemed pretty legit. They had 50,000 Likes on Facebook, and 50,000 followers on Twitter. Their site looked amazing, and already had a ton of content. We submitted some short stories to them, and they offered to post them all, with direct links to our blog and even to our books. Free shameless promotion from a popular magazine? Cha-ching!

Well...imagine our surprise when we didn't get but 5-10 clickthroughs to our blog from their front page posting of our stories, and needless to say, not a single book sale. That didn't seem very "popular" to us. Hell, we've had over 10 clickthroughs just from a random blog friend mentioning our name in passing.

But that wasn't the ridiculous part. No, this magazine gets a dishonorable mention because only weeks after posting our stories, they approached us and asked if we wanted to try a new marketing campaign they were running, where for the LOW, LOW PRICE OF $2,000 we could advertise our books through their magazine. Which, you know, already went so well with our front page posted short stories, so why not keep the ball rolling?

The conversation Bryan had with their "CEO"*, a bimbo named Candi, was laughable.

*She's the CEO of a magazine much the same way either of us is the CEO of a publishing company





We told Candi where to shove it, along with her website and its 50,000 purchased Facebook Likes. That's where its popularity came from, by the way, was through buying fake Likes. You can tell because they would post a status, link, or picture and get 2-3 Likes... or they could post one of our stories and get maybe 10 clicks... which is a little low for 50,000 "fans", don't you think? Even my racist uncle's long-winded Facebook status on "the homosexuals" gets more Likes than that.

Candi went on to promote her own book through this "service", mind you, and based on Amazon sales rankings we would estimate that she sold roughly 2-3 books. Totally worth it!

Her site has since been shut down and has read "under construction!" for almost a year now.

And so that's the story of why we don't submit stories to Indie magazines anymore. Because if we wanted to staple some printer paper together and crayon up a cover and distribute it to three people while spending an ungodly amount of money that we don't have, we could do that our fucking selves.




Cheers and stay classy, friends,
B&B

Music: Waylon Jennings
Beer: Big Choice Poblano Stout

102 comments:

  1. Homeless people are loaded with cash? I'm going to stop giving them money.
    You've had some really crappy experiences. I've never submitted to a magazine, and now I never want to.

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    1. I imagine it's a lot like the publishing industry. Sure, there are some publishers that will offer you a 6 figure book deal through a major press. But for every one of those, there are at least 100 publishers that end up being nothing more than copy paper, slathered in crayon, held together by 3 bent staples.

      Delete
  2. Wow. What's the point of these people starting vanity 'Zines? "Well, print is dying, people don't like to read more than 140 characters, let alone words, I think the best way to get myself out there would definitely be a shoddily produced magazine!" Why start something in a dying medium unless you're super passionate about it?
    By the way, how dare you degrade Hustler as a "skin rag." There's much more than just skin, you get to see inner-skin too, like the entire labia. Hi, I'm Larry Flynt and I'd like to talk to you about flashing gash in a magazine and online in perpetuity. (Is there a worse synonym for the vagina than "gash"? Maybe "axe wound." Maybe.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The best part is someone starting a vanity magazine without having any sort of connection to actual readers. "Okay, I just spent 100 hours creating a new magazine. Now it's time to sell it! ...Shit, who do I sell it to? Moooom? Buy a copy, please?"

      And simultaneously, is there nothing worse than some douchebro using the expression "crushing gash"? I figure there's no better way to tell the world "I've never actually seen a woman's nether regions, so here's making up for it with awful slang."

      Delete
  3. Hmm, kind of reminds me of that spinning dancer animation; some people see it spin right, some people see it spin left. Except with this one, everyone with eyes sees that it looks horrible. How do they do it!!!??

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    1. I didn't think to address this, but maybe our editor-in-chief doesn't have eyes. That would explain her terrible layout. And terrible stories. And terrible illustrations. And why she stopped responding to people (she just can't see angry e-mails! - ohhhh, now I get it, and I'm no longer mad because she's handicapped!).

      Delete
  4. I didn't know being homeless was so profitable. Had I known, I wouldn't have spent so much money on my house and just invested in a good sturdy card board box. I know better for next time.

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    1. I bet if Slim Dyson had made his own homemade magazine, he wouldn't have been homeless. The story would have ended in one chapter. "And then Slim printed his first batch of magazines, and he became a magazine megamillionaire. The end."

      Delete
  5. Damn, I recently thought of a decent short story idea that I planned on submitting to a literary magazine. I'll definitely be wary of these scams. And stupid question: since you already submitted these short stories to a "magazine", does that bar you from submitting the same work elsewhere?

    Also, kudos to Notes Magazine for their brilliant slogan, "Reading = Fun." I would have never guessed.

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    1. Nah, we can submit anywhere we want. Those Slim stories we submitted actually became the first chapters of the novel. If it was a legitimate magazine and they wanted to retain all rights, they would have made us sign an agreement. But taking our story, printing it in your basement, and then saying it's your own is hardly legal grounds for claiming ownership.

      Also, that slogan is ironic, considering that for a brief 10 minutes while we skimmed the issue, they made reading very NOT fun.

      Delete
  6. Slim Dyson is one impeccably dressed and rich homeless man. It's all things that, individually, don't seem that bad. But they're terrible when they're all put together in one huge smorgasbord of shit. Even when Slim became rich he never really realised it. I've not submitted many things myself. Most of the good ones that exist require you to pay to submit. I also don't really have the confidence to do something like that.

    Good to see it wouldn't have done me much good anyway.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For the record, we didn't have to pay for any of the submissions we made. That would just be the ultimate dick punch if we had.

      And that's why we were mostly submitting to Indie magazines, because sorry, no matter how good a magazine is I'm not going to pay something like $25 just to give someone a chance to read my story. Can you imagine any other field doing that?

      Now hiring at McDonald's! Please send resume and $25 to our corporate headquarters. Only 1 in 1000 hired. Best of luck!

      "Dammit, Steve. Why is there no food on the table? The kids are starving!"
      "Well I applied to six jobs today, so our bank account is now empty."

      Delete
    2. Shh don't give them ideas. They're already replacing people with robots because of the higher minimum wage. Let's not let them know they can offset the higher minimum wage and still employ people by making them pay for their application.

      Shit.

      I hate to go off on a tangent but I was disgusted when I found out that in America you have to pay to apply to go to college. It's kind of the same thing you're talking about. I could rant about it forever but I'll just leave it at "It's fucking ridiculous."

      Delete
  7. I like the "Reading = Fun" headline a lot.

    I feel awkward reading this blog, though, because I showed up to work today wearing the same outfit as Candi. Power ties are important in establishing my reputation, though.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Rest assured, we weren't making fun of Candi in that regard. No, her outfit demonstrates that she's a strong, sexual, independent woman in the work place. She's wearing that because she's empowered. Just don't stare, because that makes you a disgusting, sexist pig.

      Delete
  8. Oy, the frustrations. It just goes to prove, time and again: if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself or in my case, hand it over to BnB.

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    1. So what you're saying is that you're pleased with the crayon sketches I did, and after I photocopy them, we can start stapling together books and selling them on street corners? I'm only asking a very generous 50% of the profits for my services.

      Delete
    2. Yes, and maybe we'll strike gold and rise to best-seller number 1,300,000. Oops, did I say that out loud?

      Delete
    3. I simply can't promise those kinds of numbers. In this market, selling one single book is virtually impossible. But if you want to at least try, I know someone who's an expert. If they're not too busy earning Pulitzer prizes and teaching workshops on the art of writing and can afford us lowly peasants some time, we may stand a chance at earning that one sale.

      Delete
    4. I suppose it's worth a try. We should have a realistic AND ideal goal, like making it into the top one-million books, Bryan. I think we're worthy of that. Right? Maybe the expert can point the way, if he/she's willing to talk to the little people.

      Delete
  9. "not only is the title written in sharpie"
    Sorry guys, but this is where you're wrong. They actually picked one of those fucking fonts that look like handwriting, and then didn't account for the extra space it needed (because it's a wonky-ass font) in the type placement, causing it to partially fall outside either its container (digital) or the printer's range.
    Still super duper sad though, there's so much wrong with the layout a two-page bullet list wouldn't even begin to cut it.

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    1. Holy crap, what a terrible font. I can see it now, but it really does look like bad sharpie. Yikes.

      If you make that two page bullet list, make sure it's in sharpie, okay? And break it up awkwardly with a really bad hand drawn picture. That would be great.

      Delete
  10. Well there goes any want, if I had any, to ever to submit to any magazine of any kind. The cat could fart and drum up more clicks than 5-10 lol

    I keep getting emails from something like that later one saying they have over 300,000 Twitter followers worldwide that would love to read your book and it only costs $400 bucks for an ad. Closer inspection you can tell those 300,000 followers are mostly garbage fake crap. Almost all numbers on all these sites are fake. I've found 3 that get decent sales and then bookbub, who are stick up their bum types now that they are big.

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    1. Also, I bet a magazine about a farting cat could sell more copies than this shit.

      You know things are sad when a magazine with 50,000 "fans" gets 2-3 Likes per post, while our pathetic Facebook, which we hardly keep up with, gets anywhere from 5-20 Likes per post while not even having 400 fans.

      Delete
  11. It's the Walmartians, out for revenge for you entirely too accurate portrayal. You heard it here first, guys.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. I can only assume that zombies ate their brains, which actually makes the whole thing impressive; they managed to sharpie together a cover, staple together some stories, and put out a whole magazine while not possessing any kind of brain.

      Delete
  12. I know people (including myself) who have burned by start up magazines and newspapers. The entrepreneurs in question thought people would give them tons of money to advertise in publications that were similarly slapped together in a library, and one time in an abandoned office building that had printing equipment. Luckily my investment was just a few weeks of work from home cold calling. I did collect almost $100 for my efforts. Other people weren't as lucky and we're told they could sue the perps but if you're too broke to pay your employees, you probably don't have anything to sue for. At least you guys weren't given paychecks that bounced after weeks of work, so there's that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I mean, it's not like we were ever promised hundreds of dollars. I think we were told we'd get something like $10 per issue. We only contributed twice (after having seen the first issue, which was 3 months late) and then immediately stopped, so neither of us really cares about $20 THAT much.

      That magazine did boast a $1,000 prize for its monthly winner. Now... THAT'S something I might sue over. Especially since that magazine was probably lucky to even break double digits in monetary sales.

      Delete
  13. B&B:
    A marvelous narrative about your angst regarding publishing.

    We've come a very LONG way from the halcyon days of magazine short-story publishing (which in MANY instances from the 50s and 60s launched the careers of a crapload of (soon-to-be) famous authors.
    Ahh, for the old "pulp" days, indeed.

    Having once worked for a major medical publisher (W.B. Saunders - a division of CBS since the mid 80s, sad to say), we used to see what went into getting things to print, albeit from the professional career standpoint, but authors are still authors - doesn't matter the genre.

    These days, we're inundated with scams (thanks more to the online gigs)...and to some, it's a pretty lucrative "business"...at the expense of people doing the REAL work out there.

    Glad you guys are savvy enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    It certainly isn't getting any EASIER out there.

    The main thing I always hear is to KEEP ON PLUGGING (which works damn well on leaky dikes in Holland).
    The next submission might be THE one...you never know.

    Stay safe out here, guys.

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    1. One of the biggest scams in that world is where they pretty much accept anyone who submits, and then tell them they have to pay for their "contributor" copy. After every single person who submitted buys a copy (because hey, you have physical proof you're published!) the magazine's creator basically just cashes in on his own writers. Because let's be honest, no one else buys those things. But with that business model, no one else has to.

      Delete
  14. I know magazines have been on the decline since the internet. Can't believe how many "indie" magazines exist today

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    1. The blatant misuse of the word indie makes me almost ashamed to hold the title of indie author.

      *staples together notebook paper*
      "Dude, wtf is this? This isn't a magazine."
      "Of course it is! It's indie. It's real. It's raw."

      No, it's not. It's just lazily homemade dog shit.

      Delete
  15. I'm sure some of those indie presses have good intentions but others are just trying to make some bucks off of other people's hopes and dreams. I've had three different small press book publishers close their doors when they had my books under contract. One declared bankruptcy and it took over a year to get my rights back. It's so difficult to know who to trust.
    Susan Says

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    1. The idea of a bankrupt company holding the rights to my books sounds like a nightmare. Glad you got them back.

      And really, indie book presses aren't any different than magazine presses. Some are a legit staff of editors, artists, and salesmen, while the rest are some jackass in his mother's basement who just self publishes it on Amazon and takes half the profits for using his company's "name."

      Delete
  16. Damn, I'm pretty sure a middle schooler could do a better job than that. Candi may be snorting candi up her nose. Plus, Slim freakin' rocks and he deserves to be in Hustler wedged between the latest S&M fantasy and the stand by good girl/bad boy story.

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    1. If I ever talk to her again (and I hope I don't) I'll have to ask if Candi is short for Nosecandi.

      And at this point, we'd even take a Penthouse forum letter.

      "Dear Penthouse,

      You will never guess what happened in my cardboard box yesterday. So, I was having this girl over for a can of spaghettios, and it was getting hot, so she took off her trashbag poncho..."

      Delete
  17. They are only out to make money off of the authors. I'll never submit to any of them.

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    1. We got suckered into submitting to them, but thankfully we never lost a penny. Only our dignity.

      Delete
  18. And that is why I have never submitted to any magazines.

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  19. I once submitted a story to an anthology and then had to buy the collection myself. I don't know where the money went However it was through a well known blogger so I figured it was legit. Butt... I still had to buy the collection.

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    1. Well known blogger or not, I would venture to say that all proceeds went... straight to the well known blogger. I don't think of it so much as a scam, but as a very crappy business model. Crappy for the participants, that is.

      "Congratulations, little Timmy! You won 1st place in track and field! Now if you'll just have your dad write a check for $49.99, someone has to pay for this trophy he just won. You can, uh, make that out to me. Thanks."

      Delete
    2. That made me think of our "party room" in this apartment building. They recently removed all the blinds, which I agree were rather crappy, and then posted a notice asking if the tenants would like to contribute to buying new ones. A lot of our class were furious.

      Delete
  20. You've given me soooooo many ideas for business ventures, let alone outfits.

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    1. We're always glad to inspire tyranny. Here's a good one: Steal a bunch of short stories from an elementary school class. Publish them as something profound like "the voices of the future." Reap all profits. Bonus if you make the kids' parents buy copies for themselves.

      Delete
  21. You've given me soooooo many ideas for business ventures, let alone outfits.

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    1. This is probably how half the businesses in America started, so hey, if not you, it's just gonna be someone else.

      Delete
  22. Sadly, publishing scams are nothing new.

    I remember submitting poems (well, song lyrics, really) to magazines where coincidentally, you'd be accepted if you ordered copies of the magazine.

    That's why when I wanted to get collections of song lyrics published (mainly wanted the copyright protection), I just did it myself.

    I did manage to get a local bookstore to stock a handful, but it was basically a vanity publishing effort at a much lower cost.

    If you can make a living writing, good for you. But you nailed it up above-it if sounds to ggod to be true, it probably is.

    Larry

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    1. That is the one thing I'll say about the above "magazine." For all of its crappiness and vanity, we were both surprised that she never asked contributors to buy copies. Hell, maybe that's what bankrupted her so fast; sending free copies to all of her writers.

      For being a scammer, she wasn't even a good one. Womp womp.

      Delete
    2. >>... it if sounds to ggod to be true, it probably is.

      I'll have what THAT guy's drinking!
      Ha!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  23. Being an old guy it took me a long time to realize that indie meant something other than Indianapolis which is known to be one of the armpits of the Midwest. Then I learned the truth, but in your case it could still be construed as "armpit".
    So send me $2000 and I will make a few phone calls and see what I can do. If I fail at least I can get my car fixed and I'll be forever grateful. I also promise to pay full price for all your books. See? I am offering yo a better deal already.

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    1. There are a great many Indie writers, musicians, and artists that are taking a grassroots approach to getting their work out there as they intended it; no heartless tweaking by a big company. We'd like to think our current work is part of that. But for every one of us, there's 1,000 idiots that couldn't get a terrible book published anywhere else, took a crayon to a piece of notebook paper and called it a cover, and then decided to hit "Publish" on Amazon and called it their own decision as a way of saying "Yeah, fuck 'the man'!"

      "Yeah, bro, I'm an Indie author now. I'm so Indie I've only sold 3 copies. Don't want to go mainstream or anything. The 2 people that have read it hate it, but that's because they just don't understand my art. The other copy? Oh, that's mine. I always reread my work."

      Delete
  24. I was contacted ast year by a lady who said she was the owner of a magazine and wanted to know if I'd like to write a rat related article for her magazine. I said yes and she even sent me a free copy...it was a homemade put together at Kinkos magazine that had all of 15 pages to it. She was charging $5.99 for each copy each month and people are still buying it. smh

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    1. None of that surprises me...except the last part. People are actually buying it? How? Is it because rat magazines aren't really a big thing? This chick cornered the market? All of that makes me sad for the state of literature.

      Delete
  25. There are probably a bazillion bogus indie magazines around, but there are also some decent ones. The catch is, not all of them... okay, hardly any of them... pay much... okay, any... money. If you don't already subscribe to them, pick up a copy of "The Writer" and/or "Writer's Digest" at the newsstand. Both of them usually have a list of respectable magazines, what kind of stories or articles they're looking for, and how much, if anything, they pay.

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    1. The funny thing is, I don't really care about the money from a magazine. No one lives off of magazine money anyway, not unless you're a regular columnist for something like People Magazine. I just care that it's in an actual magazine. Not something that was printed, bound, and laminated at Kinkos.

      We've found some, uh, losers in Writer's Digest, so I don't really take that as the end-all sign of quality. The Kinkos special lurks in many corners. Even the Digest.

      Delete
  26. Your stories are pretty much the equivalent of the old "Enter the songwriting contest" in the backs of old comic books. "You are a winner, and for the low price of $100 a copy, you can have the fancy magazine-paper printing of all the suckers' -er, I mean winners'- submissions." Did that too, jumped off w/o buying. I already had the poems I published in our school literary "magazine", I didn't need a fancy version of "Geez these guys make me look good."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You know what would be the ultimate dickpunch, then? We should have everyone submit stories to our blog, then post those stories on our blog, but offer "official" physical copies for all entries, for the low, low price of $25. Then we just print the exact web page from our home printer, in black and white of course, stick it in a binder, and mail it to you.

      Delete
  27. Brandon and Bryan got burned at the stake,
    Up and coming authors get taken by snakes,
    steer clear of heartbreak, shakedown con-artists
    because they're the dumbest not the smartest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're the kings of stupidity, so you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to try to out-stupid us.

      Delete
  28. Yeah, fuck 'em all. I've had good relationships with magazines, but I don't send out stuff anymore. They have to find me, and I seem to be pretty well hidden.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. We're big fans of the "fuck it" mentality. And of remaining hidden. Our agent still managed to find us, though... which I guess in this case is a good thing. To quote Loki from the Avengers...

      "You must be truly desperate to come to me for help."

      Delete
  29. Oh my-first your Slim Dyson I like better than the little kid with the dog on the beach. 2nd-Her rendition looks very familiar to me for some reason, I almost want to say she copied the look from some old MAD magazine or something and 3rd-did you notice she drew the boob on the chick as if it got flattened by some iron? I have never seen a boob with a side plateau. You have been through some bad experiences but it was fun reading about them:)

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    1. 1) If anyone should be selling sunscreen, it should be a leathery skinned homeless dude, not a little kid.
      2) I thought that stripper bore a striking resemblance to Alfred E. Newman.
      3) I thought the ass was just as bad as the boobs. It goes up way too high, it's square, and well, it looks more like the outline of an adult diaper than a well shaped ass.

      Delete
  30. But...what WOULD my cat say if he could write a letter?!?!

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    1. "I can't help but feel this might have been easier with opposable thumbs."

      Delete
  31. Sorry you guys had to go through that crap. I've been lucky with ezines, but I did have a bad experience with a publisher. The owner took all the money (from over 200 authors) and ran. It's made me leery of publishers. Almost as leery as I am of silhouetted strippers.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah, yes, the Indie publisher. Some are good, honest people trying to get authors out there, and others are just a guy in his mom's basement self publishing on Amazon. And taking everyone's money to do it.

      Plus, if I see one more badly mashed together puddle of cheesy stock photos being called a "professionally designed cover" I'm going to scream.

      Delete
  32. Things I have learned today:
    Never try to get published in a magazine. Because fuck that shit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You don't even want to know about the things Hugh Hefner did to us to be in Playboy.

      Delete
  33. I love these horror stories of yours - they're what make you the mild-to-moderate success you are today ;)

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    1. Well, my friend, you don't get to be a D-list Internet star that gets recognized in public by strippers* without having had endured a few roadblocks.

      *True story. We thought she was just teasing us, but we quizzed her and she knew exactly who we are. This is what fame tastes like. It tastes like herpes

      Delete
    2. Were you at the stripper's place of work at the time? Otherwise, how did you know she was a stripper?

      Delete
    3. Nope, this was at a bar. She just told us. And interestingly enough, it was her dorky male roommates that had turned her onto the site. They were big fans. To which we said, "Ahhh, that makes SO much more sense now!"

      Strippers aged 22-25 are not typically in our demographic.

      Delete
  34. Two things I dig: Waylon Jennings and...
    women with an arm growing out of their stomachs.

    Show me a woman with an arm growing out of her stomach, and you can be sure that all I wanna be is (Link:->) HER MAN.

    How was that Big Choice Poblano Stout?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I don't know if you'd like the stout itself, but for being a stout it's pretty light. Not heavy or coffee like. And the poblano taste is heavenly. Not spicy, just pure pepper taste.

      As for the song...

      I've been a wild catter and a go go getter
      Been an SOB right down to the letter
      I've had misadventures I even drawn pictures
      And done me lots of harm
      So startin' today all I want is her torso arm

      Delete
  35. My good men, you certainly have some horror stories. Am I sadistic if I like them? Well, that ship has sailed and there's nothing I can do about it.

    By the way, torso arm? LOL.

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    1. Well, based on the deformed torso-arm (which she seemed to love to draw, as even Slim had one), I'd say we're pretty sadistic too. Our ship sailed long ago. You know, the one that came with a free ticket to hell.

      Delete
  36. Yep. And this is why I never went the magazine route. I just never know which ones are any good.

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    1. As a general rule of thumb, if the cover is full of "tips" like "How to have the sexiest sex ever with your sexy man" then it's probably complete garbage.

      Delete
    2. And you guys probably had nothing to do with any part of it. And you guys probably wouldn't typically choose to purchase it either.

      As another tip for you, if there's a UFO on the cover, or if Oprah looks skinny, stay away, BnB. It's fictional garbage. You're welcome. Smiles.

      Delete
  37. I have to say, your versions of the pictures are much better than the ones she did herself.

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    1. Which is sad, considering my renditions took a grand total of 4 minutes each to draw. I timed myself. A small part of me wonders how long each drawing took this woman. I mean, if it's anything more than 15 minutes, it's every bit as sad as it is hilarious.

      Delete
  38. So . . . wait! I can make up my own magazine, publish my articles (I'll find plenty of good ones on this blog) then get to call myself an officially legitimate writer? AND charge people $2k to market their books? Why on earth did you not tell me this before? I'm gonna be rich biotch!!!!!

    P.S. WTF o_O

    P.P.S. Thanks for the laugh :P

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    1. Hey, if you steal some of our blog articles to publish in your magazine, make sure and tell us, okay? We'll want to buy a bunch of copies so we can brag to our friends!

      Delete
    2. Okay, but they might not believe you. Brenda and Bryanna are girls . . . so . . . "A Wine for the Shower" is completely original. ;)

      Delete
  39. So hard to find good publishers these days, eh? ;) (Thanks for the laugh.)

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    1. I think a better way of saying that is "so hard to find an actual publisher." Stopping in at Kinko's and making a bunch of laminated copies does not a publisher make. :)

      Delete
  40. While this is hilarious, it's also pretty damned scary. You asked me once why I had so much written and none of it out to the public. This would be one reason (that and the fact that I'm really lazy and broke when it comes to editing). Unless you're good or lucky enough to be picked up by one of the big (legitimate) publishing houses, it's such a crap shoot. From the cheap and rotten scams to the small publishing houses that opt a book and go out of business before it is ever published. YIKES! It's tough when you're trusting your heart and soul to these creeps.

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    1. Our rule of thumb is either to go big or go home. So if we're going to go with an actual publisher, we'll only accept offers from a big publisher (or an imprint of a big publisher), which is what our agent is for, or we'll go home... as in self publishing. Those small publishers are a ripoff. I know that might ruffle feathers since a lot of blog friends here do go through small publishers, but the majority of them are just run by a small group of people no different than you and I, who contract out covers and don't have enough money for promotion. So basically they're the ones who hit 'publish' on Amazon instead of you, and they get to keep half of your money for doing it. They don't/can't market your work, so you're still left being your own salesman. Why people don't realize that's a scam on its own is beyond us. Perhaps the validation of saying, "I have a publisher* behind me, so I'm better than those self published authors!"

      *some guy in his basement in Minnesota who decided 2 years ago to start a publishing company

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  41. I have thought about submitting poetry to magazines and then I wondered why some of them charge you for an entry and it doesn't guarantee you will be accepted or published. Is that normal? Too bad that happened with the scams..everyone is out to make a buck I guess. I think you found your niche in writing and I might add it is hilarious. Have a great week guys and keep writing...

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    1. Some of the bigger magazines do that and aren't a scam, but it still sucks because you have to pay just to get them to look at your writing. It's no guarantee of anything. Frankly, we think that's BS and won't ever pay to submit. I mean, your average writer is a starving artist, not someone who can just drop $25-50 here and there for submitting a story or poetry just for a CHANCE at it getting published. As I joked to another person above, what if actual jobs did that?

      Now hiring at McDonald's! Please send resume and $25 to our corporate headquarters. Only 1 in 1000 hired. Best of luck!

      "Dammit, Steve. Why is there no food on the table? The kids are starving!"
      "Well I applied to six jobs today and none of them took me, so our bank account is now empty."

      Delete
  42. I'm pretty sure I lost one of my stories like that. Submitted to a publisher that turned out to be fake (like everything else). Not sure how to go about searching for it to see if it would pop up anywhere else and I don't dare try to publish it myself (Smashwords frowns on plagiarism to the point of deleting your account and your presence from their website)

    Sigh.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. If it was a fake I can't imagine any way that Smashwords could try to get you for plagiarism. It's your story, after all. Someone taking your story via fake magazine doesn't mean they own it now. After all, we still published Slim after these goobers tried to use him in their phony baloney magazine column.

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  43. I've just now decided that so long as there is a "market," there will be a scammer there to shamelessly exploit it.

    BTW, I know how to copy and own a stapler. Wanna send me a couple grand? I'll make sure you become rich. Seriously. R-I-C-H.

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    1. We're not after it for the riches. No, we just want fame. So if you can mass produce those stapled copies, then that two grand is YOURS!

      Delete
  44. I'll play it serious on this one -- too bad you fell into those. When I decided to start trying to get my stuff published someone other than me two years ago, there were some 'sites' that published my stories, FOR FREE!, and I thought "wow the exposure would be good" and then I realized that I got more hits on my blog, which is funny because actually my blog has NEGATIVE hits. When I post stuff on the internet it actually makes people pay less attention to me IRL. Which is why I do it.

    I digress. Anyway, I decided to only publish with someone if they paid me, in advance. Screw 'exposure.' If I want exposure I'll take down that sign on my door that says "Check to make sure you're wearing pants."

    I think about 99% of the publishers out there are simply getting paid by the people who want to be published, paying them reading fees and buying the magazines/anthropologies they are 'published' in. I won't submit to someone that wants me to pay to read them, or to someone that wants my stuff for free. I CAN HAVE SOMEONE NOT READ IT ON MY OWN BLOG FOR FREE, man!

    PS As a guy who helped run a 'magazine' for a year I wanted very badly to sympathize with the people you ran into, but I couldn't. At least we didn't use a sharpie! (We used pictures I took on my cellphone. WAY MORE PROFESSIONAL.)

    Here's hoping you guys get a 10-book deal soon. You deserve it.

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    1. Hey, thanks for the serious comment! You can make it up to us next week with a barrage of hilarious knock knock jokes.

      We're in the same boat. The only way we'll ever publish with a real publisher is if it's big enough to offer us an advance. If they can offer us an advance, chances are good they're going to want to recoup that money by selling our books, and will be able to help us market it. Outside of that, a small publisher just can't do anything for us that we can't already do for ourselves.

      And hey, I remember that magazine! At least it was free. Plus, give me cell phone pictures over a misshapen sharpie stripper any day.

      Delete
  45. Well, yikes! The best I can do is try to check everyone out, see if there are complaints, etc. I don't submit it if they want money. I don't submit if it's just for exposure (though "royalty" pay is pretty close to that). I expect at least an e-copy of the issue I'm in, if not a hard copy, as well. So on and so forth. And I've only submitted to one fledgling magazine since there's no information on them to say if they're good and bad. I'm always a little wary, but I also want to get my name out there before I start querying a novel. We shall see, eh? Here's hoping I don't get a sharpie covered, stapled magazine!

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    1. So my question is this: if you get your name out there via a rinky dink magazine that has 200 fans on Facebook and generates 20 total downloads, and is essentially just self published on Amazon, does an agent/editor really care? That's a genuine question, mind you. I don't know. It looks good on a resume in theory, but it also might not mean much.

      Delete
  46. Shit! That sucks. I didn't even know you could buy fake likes!

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    1. You can. I think you can buy something like 10,000 fake Likes for $50. It makes you look immensely more popular, until you post something and no one Likes it. Then you just look like an idiot.

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