It's been recommended to me by two people not to accept the contribution-based offers I've received and am tempted by. Two people who know more about the publishing industry than me. I know this about them because they are both published writers.

The rationale contradicts and nullifies my motivation for paying someone some money to publish my book, which is: I get one book published, and then I can say I'm a published writer, and then publishers are more open to my writing. Not so, apparently. What will happen is publishers will ask who published me, and I will say "publisher X", and they will know that publisher X asks writers to pay for the publication, and instead of inviting me in for coffee and a chat they will turn their noses up at me and think I am not a serious writer. Which I don't want. Because, as anyone who knows me will testify, I am serious, and I am a writer.

So thanks to published writer friend A and published writer friend B for the kind and generous advice. I appreciate it. Although, of course, it means I now depend entirely on the dozen or so publishers who have not yet responded. Which is not looking good, judging by the many negative responses received thus far. I will, in the meantime, have to find joy in other places and by other means, such as music from the '80s.

Speaking of which, if you recognise the pic above and can tell me which song and band it came from, I will personally give you a signed copy of my book. When it's published, of course.