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Author Complaints at L.R. Price Publications Ltd.

L.R. Price Publications logo

Founded in 2013 by Russell Spencer, Leonard West, and a New Zealand company called Redairon Holdings (whose director, Susan Woodard, served as an officer), UK-based publisher L.R. Price Publications Ltd. (LRP) describes itself as "dedicated to publishing books by new and unknown authors".

LRP is a fee-charging publisher. It offers three publishing paths: fully author-funded; "shared publishing", with LRP saying it contributes part of the cost; and publisher-funded ("Choose this option if you would like the publisher to pay all of the publishing costs and if you do not mind losing ownership or the rights to your book"...hmmm). All of the LRP authors who've contacted me (more on that below) signed up for the shared publishing option, with payments ranging from around £900 to around £1,500.

Unusually, LRP doesn't feature its books on either of its two websites. Instead, it provides a link to Waterstones, where 99 LRP titles are listed (many with cover images missing). There appear to be distribution issues, however. Only a fraction of the titles are actually in stock online; most have to be ordered from the publisher, with a delivery lag of 4-5 weeks.

Two New Solicitation Bewares: and Reseller Ventures

Header image: "No Soliciting Please" sign hanging on a red-brick wall (Credit: rSnapshotPhotos /

I've gotten several reports over the past few days about solicitations from an outfit called The solicitations are "personalized" with the author's name, and have slightly different text, but the import is the same.

In the original email, if you hover over the link you'll see that it actually goes to a different URL, That's often the case with mass marketing campaigns, which take you to a special page that tracks clicks from the solicitation emails.

So what is (That's the real URL.) On visiting, I recognized it as a company I mentioned all the way back in 2018, as part of a post on predatory publisher-finding and -matching "services". These outfits have you fill out a form with your name, contact information, and maybe a couple of things about your manuscript (is it fiction? What's your budget?) and then either provide you with a list of supposedly perfect matches, or promise to send your matches to you.

Artificial Intelligence and Copyright: SFWA’s Comments to the US Copyright Office

Image Header: Neon image of a human brain embedded in a computer motherboard. Credit: vchal at

In August, the US Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comment on copyright and artificial intelligence. The NOI is part of the Copyright Office's AI Initiative, which seeks to assess whether copyright-related legislation or regulation is needed in response to the rapid development and deployment of generative AI.

The NOI seeks factual information and views on a number of copyright issues raised by recent advances in generative AI. These issues include the use of copyrighted works to train AI models, the appropriate levels of transparency and disclosure with respect to the use of copyrighted works, the legal status of AI-generated outputs, and the appropriate treatment of AI-generated outputs that mimic personal attributes of human artists.

Below is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association's response to the NOI. It details a variety of harms reported by novelists and short fiction writers as a result of generative AI (including the training of AI systems on vast amounts of in-copyright work without permission), and offers four specific suggestions for protecting creators and their work.

Contest Caution: Lichfield Institute Writing Contest

Header image: Zigzags of yellow Caution tape on a white background (credit: heromen30 /

I've gotten several questions lately about a writing contest offering enormous prizes: the Lichfield Institute Writing Contest.

Just about every temptation for a hungry writer is here. Big bucks for the winners. Feedback on every submission from distinguished judges--at least, one assumes they're distinguished, since they're finalists for important literary awards. Monthly stipends! Consideration by literary agencies! What more could a contest offer, even if it does charge a $15 submission fee?


Imposter Syndrome: The Rise of Impersonation Scams

Header image: joke mask with glasses, fuzzy eyebrows, and a fake nose on a white background (credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer /

I'm blogging over at Writer Unboxed again today, with an overview of a type of scam that currently represents 50% or more of the questions and complaints I receive.

The current self-publishing industry has its roots in the mid-1990s, when three startups–Xlibris, Trafford, and AuthorHouse–began selling digital publishing services to individual authors.

(Bear with me: I’m getting to the subject of this post!)

Why Writer Beware Doesn’t Recommend or Endorse Agents or Publishers

Header image: computer keyboard with a green "thumbs up" button and a red "thumbs down" button (credit: Tatiana Popova /

"You warn about so many bad literary agents and publishers, why don't you ever tell us about the good ones?"

It's a question Writer Beware has been getting for almost as long as we've been around, from writers bewildered about where to go for reliable information, frustrated by the abundance of author-focused schemes and scams, or just exhausted by the work of finding a good home for their manuscripts.

I have a standard answer that I provide when people email me with this question or ask me on social media. But with writing scams more prevalent than ever, and writers more beleaguered by fraudulent solicitations than at any time in Writer Beware's history, I thought it would be helpful to offer a more detailed explanation of why we call out the bad guys but don't focus on the good guys.