• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Amelia Publishing and Amelia Book Company: Sons of Litfire Publishing

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware In 2014, I wrote a long (and recently updated) blog post about LitFire Publishing, a publishing and marketing service provider that copied the Author Solutions business model (overpriced publishing packages, junk marketing services, and aggressive solicitation), and was founded and run by former Author Solutions call center employees in the Philippines.I didn't know it then, but LitFire was in the vanguard of an invasion of Philippines-based Author Solutions copycats (I've written about some of them here). These predatory schemes are a major danger for the self-published and small press authors who are their main target. Not only are their "services" expensive, falsely presented (phone and email solicitors often claim to be literary agents or book scouts or to have connections with major publishers), and frequently substandard, they are everywhere. I know of over 30 of them at this point, at least half established just in the past year. LitFire is one of the oldest of these ventures, and like any outfit whose main aim is extracting cash from vulnerable writers through misdirection and hype, word has gotten around. Complaints are accumulating online, along with commentaries and exposes (not to mention all the reports and complaints Writer Beware has received). Even Wikipedia has taken note.Now LitFire may be doing what dodgy businesses often do to escape a bad reputation: changing its name. Introducing Amelia Publishing and Amelia Book CompanyAmelia Publishing is a general purpose publishing and marketing company, with a suite of Author Solutions-style publishing packages (black and white, color, and "special"), junk marketing services (press releases, video trailers, pay-to-play book reviews), and add-ons such as editing. In other words, it's a lot like LitFire.Amelia Book Company (ABC--get it?) targets children's authors. It too sells publishing and marketing packages, as well as merchandise (magnets! Stickers! T-shirts!) and illustrations. It also has a "subsidiary" generically titled Children's Publishing, a grab bag of poorly-written and in some cases oddly terse articles interspersed with ads and links to Amelia.The Amelias' About Us pages feature conveniently vague information that can't be verified, and their websites include the frequent English-language lapses that are typical of Philippines-based publishing and marketing scams ("Amelia Publishing. Your Self-Publishing Headquarter.") Both Amelias' domains were registered on May 24, 2017, and they both have business registrations in the state of Georgia. They also share an address and phone number. (I'm including so many screenshots because I expect that at least some of the evidence will vanish after I publish this post.)So how do I know that the Amelias are LitFire? Well, a little bird told me. But also, Litfire is really, really sloppy.Amelia Book Company (the one for children's authors) has a bookstore, though it's not linked into the main site; I found it on a Google search. The first thing you might notice is how few of the books are for children. There's a good reason for that: they're all LitFire books. For example, here's a book at Amelia:And here's the same book at LitFire:Inspecting a page's source code can also yield clues. For instance, on one of Amelia Book Company's book pages, this snippet of code:Or this relic of LitFire's footer, complete with LitFire's street address, which is on every Amelia Book Company book page that I checked: Similar lapses are all over Amelia Book Company's website.By contrast, Amelia Publishing's website has been more carefully vetted. But an apparent effort to convert the LitFire blog into an Amelia Publishing blog wasn't so successful, which likely is why it has been removed. It still shows up in a Google search, though:And then there's this. LitFire apparently caught it and got rid of the page where it appears (the link is to a Google cache)--but I had to laugh. Whoops.Apparently I'm not the only one who has figured it out.LitFire appears to be alive and well at present, so there's no way to know whether it's planning to ditch the LitFire name entirely and become Amelia, or whether the Amelias are just an attempt to establish additional income streams. Either way, Writer Beware will be watching.

"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware Many of you may already be familiar with the names in the title of this post. If you're not, have a look at this Alert on the Writer Beware website, and at my September 2009 post about the Florida Attorney General's civil lawsuit against Fletcher, his companies, and some of his business associates for deceptive business practices. For those of you wondering about the status of the lawsuit, it's still active, and proceeding through the courts. Lawsuits of this kind often progress very slowly, especially where defendants seek to delay the process by...
  • Three Mistakes of Life, portrays the life of three friends in Ahmedabad. The story is an amalgamation of political outburst, riots and unacceptable love of the protagonist with his friend's sister.
  • https://i2.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/brighter-... 300w, https://i2.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/brighter-... 768w, https://i2.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/brighter-... 600w, https://i2.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/brighter-... 825w" sizes="(max-width: 525px) 100vw, 525px" data-recalc-dims="1" />photo adapted / Horia Varlan Many writers of contemporary fiction start their stories with their protagonist in a fairly low place, barely tolerating his existence. It’s a modern-day, first-world setup:...
  • Authors and scriptwriters are often worried that someone might steal their book or film idea. They become nervous once they start sending out their manuscript to agents or producers.
  • Liz Robbins of St. Augustine, Florida won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award for Play Button as judged by Patricia Smith. She received $1,500, and her book will be published by Cider Press in 2012. The annual award is given for a poetry collection. The next deadline is November 30.

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Fast fact about writing

The elements of fiction are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, and style is the how of a story.