If You Buy Into Jerry B. Jenkins’ Other Ideas, Then He Has a Deal For You

Jerry Jenkins is one of the authors of the ridiculously-popular Left Behind series, and he now wants to help other authors self-publish their work

Jerry Jenkins

Jenkins said the new venture was the result of an “epiphany.” Despite the best efforts of his guild’s training, he said, not enough new authors have been able to land deals with traditional publishers, in part because houses continue to insist that authors have a significant “platform.” As a result, “good, passionate authors are ignored because they’re unknown,” Jenkins told PW.

That sounds… downright charitable… but there’s no way he’s doing this out of the goodness of his heart. I just don’t believe he’s capable of such a thing. What was his epiphany? “I need more money”? He’s made millions of dollars convincing people the anti-Christ is real and that the Rapture will happen. He’s an expert in selling bullshit. That has to be what this is, right?

Though having long discouraged new writers from self-publishing because “for too many years so [many self-published works were] awful—poor writing, little editing, sloppy proofing, bad covers” — Jenkins said he realized his school could help. The goal is to help authors “produce books that don’t look self-published, and at the very least could compete in the marketplace without their having to apologize for them.”

That would be great… but there has to be a catch… what’s the catch…?

Those applying to the guild’s Published program must submit part of their manuscript for evaluation. If accepted, they follow a six-month course — costing just under $10,000 — that includes mentoring by a published author. Copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, custom cover design, marketing advice, printing, digital formatting, and e-book file creation in all formats are included in the package. There will be a surcharge for manuscripts over 75,000 words.

Aha! We have a winner!

So it’ll cost you almost $10,000 to publish your book, money you’ll likely never recoup. (Not to mention freelance editors, proofreaders, and publicists can be found separately for far less money.)

When it comes to publishing, there’s a rule of thumb worth following: Money should always flow to the author, not the other way around. This is taking that rule and flipping it on its head.

The sad part is a lot of Christians will be duped into paying for this course because, you know, Jesus.

Jenkins has responded to the claims of this being a scam on the Publishers Weekly website:

Jenkins, of all people, would know that it doesn’t cost $10,000 to do the work he says his group will do.

It’s true that mainstream publishers aren’t taking chances on newer authors like they used to. If you don’t already have a platform, they’re less likely to take a look at you, so self-publishing is the only option for a lot of people. But if you’ve written something that’s decent, getting people to help you publish it is no longer as big of an ordeal as Jenkins makes it out to be.

Save your money. Hire a freelancer or three. Don’t waste it on this scam.

(via Slacktivist)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.