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I just got a letter which originated from a third-party publishing company sent home from my kids' primary school. They said some pictures my kids had drawn had won a competition and would be published in a book (with our permission).
My kids were really hyped up over it but when I looked closer it seems the company regularly do this kind of competition and it looks to me like they simply publish books full of kids' pictures and charge £14 a go for copies, which the kids obviously want lots of for relatives, etc. because their work is in the book.
I'm handling it carefully but I object to my kids being subjected to this kind of emotional sales hook so young. They were offered no fee for the work and no free copies of the publication, which I'd imagine an adult would be offered at minimum.
I'd just be interested if anyone else has seen similar stuff going on at their school or otherwise.
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This is a common technique used by publisher - it started off with poetry competitions " Your fabulous poem has won our competition and will be published!" - Oh, it will cost you £9 to buy the book.
We no longer take part in any of these schemes and the children themselves often see it as a 'rip off' and the fact they they haven't won at all, but have been taken advantage of.
Treat it as your kids' first lesson in life about rip offs!
Yep - that's what I figured. My oldest daughter was surprisingly grown up about it. She wants to see her picture in print but she can see that publishing it without giving her anything in return, then charging her money for copies of the book isn't 'fair'. All in all I think you're right - I should thank them for a valuable early lesson
Yes, it can be a problem. I had exactly the same trouble with pictures in a certain photographic book at ePhot.... whoops!!
Quote: Yes, it can be a problem. I had exactly the same trouble with pictures in a certain photographic book at ePhot.... whoops!!
What? You mean the togs never got paid for their shots?
Seriously though, I think some of these books/mags etc appeal to people's vanity, people will willingly pay to have their work featured. They can then say they are a "published" photographer! They don't mention that not only didn't they get paid for their work, but they paid to have in included. Most seem happy to do that, and the publisher is even happier! On the subject of "published" photographers, we have a pro tog near us that advertises himself as "an award winning photographer", and when I looked to see whaat he had actually won, it was the first round of a competition of some sort. Him and hundreds of others, I imagine, but technically he had won an award, and I don't suppose many will ever check to see what award.
I seem to recall Pete sending out similar e-mails when he was publishing "The Book"!
Someone I know has just received a similar letter, but for a poem. Entered by the school.
Do the schools get a cut in all of this? What benefit is it to them? Or do they not realise what it is?
Schools will either get a cut or - again - the the abilty to boast.
"Students work published"
which - at least if the school is private - is something that can only attract potential parents to the school
If its not that they might get some deal like a little off on their orders from the book company or some such. They might not benefit at all and just not see a downside to it for them (since its not them doing any of the selling or publishing - they don't lose out on anything)
Sadly, the techniques of psychologically manipulating kids in order to sell to parents is are well understood in the marketing industry (Google "nag factor" or "pester power" if you want some evidence).
I'd have expected schools in this day and age to be well briefed on this kind of tactic and filter what gets passed on to the kids accordingly though (especially to year 1 kids) but maybe that's asking too much.
Quote: Sadly, the techniques of psychologically manipulating kids in order to sell to parents is are well understood in the marketing industry
Particularly noticeable at Christmas time!
My daughter had a poem published via the school but we got free copies of the book, about 5 I think. Then we could buy more if we wanted. Her's was in the summer too.
That sounds far more reasonable. I did ask if in this case the kids could have just a single free copy each but the publisher refused.
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