In “The Writer’s Toolbox” section we’re collecting links or pointers to useful sites and books. First off: Writer Beware.
Aspiring writers trying to get published for the first time are vulnerable to a variety of scams. The Writer Beware site run by A. C. Crispin and friends and published on the SFWA site, is an invaluable resource for cutting through the BS and telling the opportunities from the scams. However, without knocking the amazing amount of content on this site, Ann nonetheless summarized it to me once thusly:
Money flows from reader to publisher to author and never the other way around.
Of course you could say “Money flows from reader to bookseller to distributor to publisher to agent to author and never the other way around except for paying for extra review copies so you can do a booksigning in case the bookstore forgets to order them oh and then the publisher may pay the bookseller for shelf space and then don’t forget there is the issue of royalties versus advances…” but that would dilute the point that your prospective publisher should NOT be asking money from you.