Dear Miss Snark,
A relative recently registered the copyright for her collection of children's stories. Today she got a letter from Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc., a subsidy publisher.
Is this a new trend? You register copyright for an unpublished work and the subsidy publishers move in for the kill? I suspect that people who know little about the world of publishing are likely to be caught by offers like these. And how exactly do the 'researchers' get details of manuscript registration, including people's mailing address, from the Library of Congress? Is that information public? I have not seen mention of this particular situation anywhere before.
Of course it's public. That's the whole point of registering a copyright: so people will know it's protected, and if a work is published who owns the rights and who needs to give permission for it to be used.
Subsidy publishing is a business like any other. You buy a car, you get a letter from Texas Hold Em Insurance Company offering a rate quote for cars with purple fins. Have a baby: get a call from a Burp and Spit life insurance company. Sign up for Gin of the Month Club and Versace Pail Pals is on your doorstep.
I have zero problem with Dorrance doing that. They are upfront about what they are and how they work. They don't say "get your book in bookstores" and they don't say "sell your work on Amazon". They say they publish books..and they do.
Subsidy publishing is not evil. It's not the same thing as general trade publishing. The subsidy publishers who try to get your business by telling you POD subsidy publishing is just like trade publishing only faster easier cheaper and sexier...those are the snake oil salespeople I revile.