How to Avoid Publishing Scams

Mar 20, 2023   admin

How to Avoid Publishing Scamss

As an author, I would always like for my book to reach maximum people. And I am sure that is the dream of any aspiring author, and to ensure that, the job of an author doesn’t end with writing only. It reaches the target readers only when the author successfully avoids publishing scams and reaches the right publisher. Publishing scams are rampant in the publishing world and there is a constant fear by many aspiring authors of stepping into the traps of some notorious self-publishing company and all the hard-work of the author goes down the drain in the process.

Worst self-publishing companies

Worst self-publishing companies are not few in number. They wait with the fangs and claws out, ready to attack any author caught unaware- particularly those who are not aware of how they work. They take advantage of the lack of knowledge and inexperience of the author and disguised as traditional publishing house, cheat the author for money- at times disappear with the manuscript.

Book Publishers to Avoid

Book Publishers to Avoid

It is extremely important for an author to know from beforehand which publishing company to avoid and whom to trust. Here are few traits of the self-publishing companies which are signals of publishing scams and an author should avoid:

Publishers who load authors with unnecessary costs and fees like

Reading fees- no proper publishing company charge for reading manuscript. It is their job and they eagerly look forward for good manuscripts.

Purchase compulsions- no proper publisher forces the author to purchase his own book.

Publisher fee for a traditional publisher- A traditional publisher never claims service charge fees. It is Self-publishing companies that take a service charge.

Contest fees- only the notorious publishing companies force the author to participate in paid contests and charge fees

Publishers with conniving advertisings and claims

No good publishing house can guarantee the author for his work to become a bestseller or assure the sale of a guaranteed number.

Another indicator of publishing scam is grossly over-priced self-publishing services and low quality editing and designing.

Author Scams

Author Scams

One of the most dubious set of publishers who can ruin all the hard-work of an author is Vanity Publishing. They are a set of publishing house where the authors publish their work with hardly getting anything in return. As the name suggests, the authors publish purely out of vanity, knowing well their endeavour shall not be a commercially viable one. Taking the advantage of the situation, these publishing houses charge exorbitant fees. Vanity publishers are sly set of people who flatter the author, take money from the author and deliver poor quality of books. Their motive is to make money from the contribution fee of the author- hence are reluctant about promotion, marketing or selling of the books. Vanity publishers have least connections with bookstores and all the books they publish end with sad fate.

Publishers with Unethical Contracts

Unethical Contracts

It is very important for the author to read the terms and conditions very cautiously. Contracts are drafted by the publishing houses and they design the contract for their own financial interest. Worst self-publishing houses add clauses like minimum sales guarantee, or get the rights of the book to themselves and manipulate with the exit clause. Ethical contracts generally allow the author to retain their rights- but these areas are played upon tactfully by the worst self-publishing houses. They are manipulative on the percentage of the royalty to the author as well and try to pay the author as less as possible. Sales residuals are of extreme important and most authors ignore this, being oblivious to the benefit of residual income. The author should ask for it as that can be a major source of income for the author in later days.

Thumbs Down Publisher List

There is a huge list of book publishers who are to be avoided by any author. One of the most prominent vanity publisher is Author Solution. They trade under a long list of names- few of them are  AuthorHouse, AuthorHouse UK, AuthorHive, iUniverse, Palibrio, Partridge Publishing, Trafford Publishing and Xlibris. Some other book publishers to avoid are Abbott Press, Alliant Press, AlphaScript, America Star Books, Archway Publishing, Balboa Press, Barbara Bauer Literary Agency, The Writing Crew, The Clock Writing, Olympia Publishers, Indie Writer Support, etc. There are a huge range of names in this category and almost all these companies have issues regarding quality, service, communication, marketing and contracts.

Signs of a Publishing Scam

With alarming rise in rate of publishing scams, it is advisable that an author keeps a strong vigil on the few signs that are considered as indicators. Getting indication of any one of the alerts mentioned below is a signal to the alert to get alert, keep a watch on the publisher and do a thorough check on the credentials.

  • When a publisher try to impress the new aspiring author with flowery statement
  • When the representatives of the publisher cannot explain the business model or is not confident while explaining the payment structure.
  • Incorporate marketing deals in the package which the author can manage by himself and doesn’t actually need any support of the publisher.
  • Publisher charging for reading the manuscript. No ethical publisher- traditional or self-published, charges for reading the manuscript.
  • No phone number or address is mentioned and the email address is also ambiguous.
  • Names of real people of the company, updated website, presence on social media is missing.
  • The publisher insists on the author buying bulk copies of his own books.
  • Publisher assuring high sale.
  • Communication without any real-life contact. All communication restricted to mails only.
  • Ambiguity between verbal discussions and contract.

Book Publishing

Writer Beware’s List

An author may find website of Writer Beware extremely useful for combating publishing scams. Writer Beware is a blogsite which has been made primarily to safeguard the authors from publishing scams. This acts as a watchdog in most cases and updates the authors of the latest publishing scam. Furthermore, they try to throw light on impersonation of any form through which an author may get cheated.