Poetry.Com Was A Scam And Many Fell For It
Years ago I had submitted my poetry to a site called poetry.com, which was run by The International Library of Poetry aka International Society of Poets. I submitted my poetry to their contests and allowed them to publish my poetry in their anthologies and also in a CD, which was a great sense of accomplishment for me. I wanted to share my experiences with poetry.com - both the good and the bad.
To Win The Poetry Contest Poets Had To Attend A Weekend Symposium
Poetry.com ran a poetry contest, without having poets pay a fee to enter. I was thrilled about that and had submitted some of my poems to their contests (at different time periods). I was super excited when I received letters in the mail letting me know my poems were chosen as finalists. I had a real shot of winning a poetry contest and even earning some good money too and on more than one occasion. How great was that?
Well, the thought was great and I even pictured myself getting up on that stage as I was declared the winner and handed my award; but as I continued to read further into the letter I came back to reality and my excitement quickly faded because I found out that to actually have a shot of winning the contest I had to attend their weekend symposium, for which I had to lash out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars (I think it was close to a thousand actually, if not more) both for the hotel stay, the symposium and the round trip airline tickets for which I had to pay out of my own pocket.
No way was I going to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a two day convention. It was just ridiculous. So, my poems never won, while they could have been potential winners. I was disappointed but I would have been more disappointed had I emptied my wallet to go to the symposium and lost.
I should not have to fork over a lot of money or have to attend some symposium to be eligible to win a poetry contest. That is just not right. And it seems like a scam to get poor souls to empty their wallets in hopes to achieve some sort of poetic fame, that probably isn't even worth anything.
While I didn't fall for their trick to get people to hand over their precious money many poets did. And this wasn't the only trick poetry.com powers that be had up their sleeves.
Have you ever attended the poetry.com symposiums?
Poets Could Commemorate Their Poetic Achievements In a Plaque At a Cost
Like many poets, I was offered to commemorate my achievements in a plaque, or a medal, which I could proudly wear around my neck or hang on a wall. That was exciting for me, except for that to happen I had to fork over a good amount of money. No way was I going to do that. I should't have to spend money (no matter how little or big the amount is) to get an award, whether it's a plaque or a medal or anything else. Awards should be earned and given out, not bought. If poets have to spend money to get an award, did they really earn it? Do the people giving the award actually think these poets are worthy of it? Probably not.
Poets Had To Fork Over Lots Of Money To Get The Anthology and the CD They Were Featured In
Poetry.com, run by the International Society of Poets, asked amateur poets to submit poetry to their website or to the contest and then sent them letters saying they wanted to publish their poetry in an anthology. Poets had to look over their proof of the poem and sent it back with their initials, giving poetry.com permission to publish the poem in the anthology.
Poets were told they didn't need to buy the book to be in the anthology but if they wanted a copy of the book they had to pay close to sixty bucks for the book (that's with shipping included). It didn't matter how many pages the books were; they all cost the same. Granted it was a hardcover book and there was a page decoration inside the book, that was in color rather than in black & white, but it should not cost that much money to buy the book. Books should be reasonably priced. And if books cannot be reasonably priced, at least authors should be given some sort of discount since without the poets' poetry these anthologies would not even exist.
Perhaps they were charging so much for the books because poets were the only ones who'd be buying them since the anthologies did not have ISBNs and bar codes and hence would not be sold at major retailers. But the reasons don't matter. The point is that they shouldn't be charging that much for a book. It is just not right. Makes me wonder how much they actually made from the sale of each book; probably a lot.
Besides having their poems featured in an anthology poets could also have their poems featured on a CD, if they granted permission for their work to be used. Once again though, if they wanted to get the CD their poems were in they would have to fork over a lot of money. As if I had any doubt about that.
Many poets fell for all this and actually forked over so much money to purchase the poetry book and the CD they were featured in. I fell for this too. I mean what poet would not want to own a poetry anthology that he or she is a part of?
While I never bought the CD, though I allowed my poems to be featured there, I did get three of the anthologies I was featured in. One anthology was the International Who's Who in Poetry and the other two were just regular anthologies. Thankfully, I was smart enough to stop at three books, otherwise I'd have spent way more than $180 since there were many more anthologies my poems were featured in.
Of course poetry.com people didn't stop there. They also send letters to other poets under a different name Noble House Publishing asking them to submit their poem for an anthology they were publishing. I got those letters too. Again, poets didn't need to buy the book to have their poems featured, however, if they wanted to own the book they'd have to buy it. They'd have to pay about the same price as the poetry.com books. Since I received these letters too, I allowed them to publish a few of my poems in their anthologies but I did not buy the books. They had enough of my money already.
Poetry.com or rather the company that ran the site was a scam for sure. I hope that I didn't do myself any harm allowing them to publish my poetry in their anthologies and for submitting my poems to their website. Thankfully, I was able to find the poetry I had published on their website in the archives and get it removed. I remain in the physical anthologies though, assuming they still exist. Who knows what they did with my poetry without my permission and what they do with it today now that poetry.com is run and owned by someone else?
Did you ever submit your poem to a poetry.com anthology?
Did you ever buy a poetry.com anthology your poetry was featured in?
© 2015 Lena Kovadlo