From Rick:

A few posts back, I did one called “Greed” wherein I pointed you to the bit of amusement called “cockygate.”

Here’s an update on how it all turned out, and you’ll see that the author who started it all came to realize that had she thought about and researched what she was trying to do in the first place, she wouldn’t have gotten herself into trouble.

COCKYGATE RESOLVED

Ignorance caused in a stupid action that resulted in a lot of lost time all around, time these writers could have spent on more productive endeavors.

Now, here is yet another illustration of ignorance that led to ultimate stupidity:

AN EXAMPLE OF WRITERLY CLUELESSNESS

Kris Rusch emphasizes the contract and business aspect of writing, as she always does. But the lessons here run far beyond just writing. While I feel for some of the people who get into these situations, they really have no one to blame but themselves because they failed to ask questions and to understand the situation prior to getting involved. Sure, many writers would love to have an agent take them under their wing, but they rarely bother to investigate first to be sure they’re making a wise decision.

How many of us have signed contracts without fully reading and understanding them? How many of us know what our various insurance policies do NOT cover? How many of us have signed up for a service with a “one-month free trial” only to discover that it automatically starts charging you unless you cancel it? Or the one-year subscription that automatically renews unless you cancel or uncheck the automatic renewal? And you learn that once it renews, you’re stuck with another year of it because it’s non-refundable.

Scam artists rely on our ignorance, stupidity, and basic trust of what we’re told. Our failure to research, investigate, and READ what we’re signing is what causes us problems. The stupidity of it is that we sometimes just like to remain ignorant, often out of laziness. Why should you read before signing? The person who’s asking you to sign has our best interests at heart. Right?

Folks—especially you writers, since this is what the blog is about—don’t let yourselves get caught. Be informed, not ignorant. If you want to be a writer, understand everything that’s involved. Understand how the writing world actually works TODAY, not how you think it works or how it worked ten or twenty years ago. Being informed can only help you. Ignorance is bliss only until it bites you.

You have this wonderful thing call the Internet. The answers to most or all of your questions are out there and easy to find. But you have to want to look for them.

–Rick