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Back to 2005-06

SYS-CON - unethical money grabbers?

I'm not happy with SYS-CON Media at the moment. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article to appear in one of their magazines called Java Developers Journal. If you don't know what this is, just imagine a magazine stuffed full of advertising and very little actual content and you're not far off the mark. I knew at the time that I was doing this free of charge, but was promised a few copies of the magazine when my article was published.

My article got published, but I did not receive a single copy of the magazine. I reminded them about this and was told that they had not printed enough copies. Oh well, there's gratitude for you. Any idea what it's like to contribute several pages of writing to a publication and to never actually see it in print? It sucks. To this day I have still not seen a paper copy of my article. In fact, I have never seen a single copy of Java Developers Journal in my life.

This had all blown over months ago, until I noticed something the other day that I just could not believe. They were selling my article on Amazon for $5.95 a pop! Perhaps they were not content with the amount of money they made by cramming adverts into every page of my article. What a bloody cheek. And what do I get out of this? Absolutely nothing, as usual.

If you're ever thinking about writing for SYS-CON Media, think again. If this experience is anything to go by, they'll just use you as much as they can and not give a toss about what is right as long as they are making money (and they'll keep spamming you with "news" which looks suspiciously like paid advertising).

Fortunately, I learnt my lesson a long time ago and would never consider writing for JDJ or any other SYS-CON publication again. Shortly after my article got published, I went off and wrote a book for O'Reilly and got some real, fair remuneration. It was a pleasure to work with people who seemed a lot more organised and it was certainly a stepping stone into a new world.

15 Jun 2005 - 16:08:51 BST
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