A fellow author made a post on Facebook tonight that I really appreciated. Apparently, Poetry.com is at it again.
They are stealing poems they find online and posting them on their site. In case this isn’t clear enough, they are posting them without permission.
I found several of my poems in their database – after being forced to create an account in order to search. That was the first thing that ticked me off. The second was finding several of my pieces when I know that I definitely did not publish them on that site or give permission to that site to do so.
They do have a link that allows you to claim it as your work and request that it be removed from their database. That doesn’t make you feel any better about the fact that someone has stolen your work, though.
If you’ve written any poetry and put it online at any point, ever, do yourself a favor and check their database. And if you read poems on their site, keep in mind that they are stealing poetry from other people and sites. When they aren’t stealing poetry, they are conning young, inexperienced, hopefilled poets into posting on their site and entering their contests, and then send them tons of junk emails and snail mail telling them they’ve won prizes and awards or can attend conferences – all for the low price of some exorbitant fee. (Please note the sarcasm there.) Or they’ll publish you in a book, and all you have to do is pay to purchase it! Wow, how exciting! Or not.
As a writer myself, I am all for finding methods and places to express yourself. I am all for self-publishing as well. I self publish. I’m even considering the idea of doing that with my poems. But what is a problem for me is someone taking advantage of the desire to express yourself.
Poetry.com is doing exactly that – they are taking advantage of people who either are not familiar with how it all should work or who are so eager to see their name in print that they don’t bother to read and understand what they are getting themselves into.
If you really want to spend money to publish your work online, spend the money on a domain name instead. With your own domain name, you create your own website – giving you complete and total control over your own work. You can put up your work and take it down at will, no worrying about someone ignoring you or “losing” your request to remove it.
And if you don’t want to pay, but you want to see your work online, try Allpoetry.com. It’s the site I used for years (and still do for now, while I get my poetry transferred to here), and it’s free. You can pay for premium membership, but you don’t need to. You keep all your rights, they do nothing but provide you with the place to post your work proudly.
Whatever you do, stay away from Poetry.com.