Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency (SBPRA) is the tip of a fee-charging agenting/editing/publishing iceberg created by Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Florida. Since 2001, it has employed a veritable carousel of changing names (more than 40 to date), and Writer Beware has received hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints from authors who’ve cited abuses such as fees for literary agency services, fees for publishing, fees for editing, fees for marketing services, referrals to other branches of the business without revealing the connection, and more.
Fletcher’s operation has long been the subject of an Alert at Writer Beware.*
In 2009, as a result of a public consumer-related investigation, the Florida Attorney General filed suit against Fletcher, his businesses, and several staff members under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Delays and legal maneuverings drew the case out for several years–but now, at last, there’s a resolution.
According to documents obtained by Writer Beware via a public records request, Fletcher and his co-defendants (Leslie Williams, Lynn Eddy, and Mark Bredt, plus various corporate defendants**) have signed a Stipulated Settlement Agreement with the Florida Attorney General that, if certain provisions are fulfilled, will result in dismissal of the lawsuit. (The Settlement Agreement can be seen here.)
Via hate blog The Write Agenda (which over the past few years has been attempting–without much success–to discredit Writer Beware and other anti-scam activists), Fletcher has issued a triumphal-sounding statement declaring the Settlement “a victory.”
“Anytime a business settles litigation with a government agency with no admission of guilt and no violation of the law, it can be considered a victory,” said Robert Fletcher, the CEO of a group of companies that have been dealing with government litigation for over six years.
“Unfortunately, most consumers believe that litigation equals guilt, but that simply isn’t true. This suit should never have been filed,” Mr. Fletcher continued. “If the litigation had any merit, they would have pushed it harder and not taken six years to deal with it.[“]
Well…it’s a bit more complicated than that.
It’s true that Fletcher et al. have entered into the Settlement Agreement “without any admission either of guilt or that [they] have violated the law” (though if a court later finds that any of them have breached the Settlement’s non-monetary provisions, the breach “shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act”). However, the Settlement does impose a number of conditions directly relating to Fletcher’s alleged business practices at the time the suit was filed (for a look at some of those practices, see this article by a former Fletcher employee). And it requires him to pay a substantial sum in restitution to authors.
Among other conditions, Fletcher et al. must:
- Agree to the permanent dissolution of the Corporate Defendants as well as “any related fictitious names”.
- Use their real names when communicating with clients. (In the course of the investigation, Fletcher admitted to employing multiple aliases.***)
- Disclose their relationship with other entities when making referrals. (At the time of the lawsuit, authors were led to believe that the editing branch of the company–to which they were referred for critiques–was an unrelated enterprise, and that Strategic Book Publishing and Eloquent Books, Fletcher’s vanity imprints, were also separate.)
- Create and maintain clear royalty reporting and payment systems. (For instance, authors shouldn’t have to request their royalties in order to be paid.)
- Disclose in contracts “the exact services which are to be provided,” and provide “a separate statement” to inform authors that “there may be additional fees which are not included…and to direct them to a price list of standard, more common fees which are associated with additional services.”
- Disclose in any documents relating to purported mergers and acquisitions whether the merger or acquisition was made by a corporate entity associated with Fletcher or other defendants. (Historically, one of Fletcher’s strategies for evading bad press online has been to claim that a new company name had just acquired the old company name[s].)
- Make available to the Attorney General records and documents pertaining to the implementation of the Settlement, for a period of two years.
- Hire–and pay for–an Independent Compliance Monitor, who for a period of one year will monitor and report on their compliance with the Settlement conditions.
- Pay $10,000 in court costs and attorneys’ fees, and provide author restitution of $125,000 (and they cannot file for bankruptcy prior to payment). Only when payment is fully made will the Attorney General close the investigation and file for dismissal of the original lawsuit.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a problem with this final stipulation.
The terms of the Settlement Agreement require payment of the full monetary amount on signing. But while the $10,000 in court costs was paid timely–on February 14, 2014, when the final signature was obtained–the $125,000 in author restitution was not provided, nor did it appear after March 7, when the Attorney General’s Office sent a courtesy reminder to Fletcher’s lawyer.
Accordingly, on March 20, the Attorney General filed a motion for enforcement of the Settlement Agreement, and for entry of a final default judgment against Fletcher and the other defendants, including a $10,000 penalty. The motion was granted by the court on April 15 (the signed order can be seen here).
Information I’ve obtained indicates that as of Friday, May 9, the money was still outstanding.
Over the six years of the suit, Fletcher has phased out most of the corporate names included in the original complaint (though some remain, and there are a few legacy URLs–such as www.theliteraryagencygroup.com–that default to current websites, although their interior pages haven’t been removed). At the moment, he’s doing business (and charging fees) primarily as Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency [SBPRA] and Publish On Demand Global [PODG].
He hasn’t lost his penchant for multiple business names, however. Other corporate names in use as of this writing include Best Selling Book Rights Agency, Literary & Rights Agency, Professional Publishing Press, ePubCo, Rapid Illustrations, Author Services International, Author Marketing Ideas, and Author Success Stories.
I have a hunch that the story isn’t over yet. Stay tuned.
* In 2008, Fletcher filed a retaliatory lawsuit against Ann Crispin, James D. Macdonald, and myself, alleging defamation, loss of business, and emotional distress, and claiming that he was losing $25,000 per month due to our warnings about his business practices.
In March 2009, Fletcher’s suit against Ann and myself was dismissed with prejudice by the Massachussetts Superior Court, due to Fletcher’s failure to respond to discovery or otherwise prosecute the lawsuit. Subsequently, through counsel, we filed a motion seeking recovery of our legal fees and expenses.That motion was granted in July 2009. The full ruling can be seen here, but here’s the salient portion:
The plaintiffs have exhibited extreme bad faith in bringing this frivolous lawsuit for the sole purpose of causing great expense and harassment to Crispin and Strauss. Fletcher expressly states that it was his purpose in his emails. The Court concludes and finds that this case was brought in bad faith by the plaintiffs for the mere purpose of causing great inconvenience and financial costs to Crispin and Strauss (as set out in Fletcher’s pre-lawsuit emails to the defendants). This case is frivolous and this Court finds so, finds that the two plaintiffs and their lawyer, Jerrold G. Neeff, knew it was frivolous before it was even commenced. This Court rules that the defendants, Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss, are entitled to have all their legal fees and expenses incurred paid to them by the plaintiffs, Robert Fletcher and The Literary Agency Group.
This Court finds the claims asserted by the plaintiffs to be wholly insubstantial, frivolous, and not advanced in good faith.
** Corporate Defendants included in the suit: The Literary Agency Group Inc., Writers Literary & Publishing Services, New York Literary Agency, The Children’s Literary Agency, Poets’ Literary Agency, The Christian Literary Agency, Writers Literary Screenplay Agency, Rapid Publishing-Screenwriter911 Inc., Rapid Publishing Inc., The Global Book Agency, American Enterprises Group LLC, The Writer’s Literary & Publishing Company, American Enterprises Group Inc., AEG Publishing Group, Eloquent Books, Strategic Book Publishing, Strategic Book Marketing, Group AEG, and ST Literary Agency.
*** Fletcher aliases mentioned in the suit: Robert West, Robert Williams, Bill Williams, Beth Stormes, Georgina Orr, Mary Bluestone, and Hil Mallory. There are many more. In a 2009 sworn statement (obtained by Writer Beware via a public records request), Fletcher admitted to using as many as 75 different email addresses.
Author Aide is a scam–one of a large number of publishing and marketing scams operating out of the Philippines (despite their US phone numbers and addresses). See my blog post: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2019/08/from-philippines-not-with-love-plague.html
Author Aide – reliable, connected with Amazon?
Don't see review.
CAN WE GET A STRONG CLASS ACTION AGAINST THIS MAN ROBERT FLETCHER AND SUE THE PANTS OFF HIM. I PROMISED 80% OF ALL MY MONIES TO HELP REAL NEEDY CHILDREN, SO HE HAS NOT JUST ROBBED ME, HE HAS ROBBED CHILDREN FROM THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE, WHILE THESE TYPE OF MEN LIVE IN LUXURY WITH THE BEST OF EVERY THING ( AT THE EXPENSE OF AUTHORS AND CHILDREN HE LIVES IN LUXURY. FOLKS SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS AWFUL SAGA ASAP. ANY HELPERS? ANY SUGGESTIONS? MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS email@example.com.
Hi, Raymond Dale here again, and the years just keep rolling along and absolutely nothing is done about this fraudster, My book " Thank God I'm Here has been with SBPRA for 4 years and I have not heard one word from him and SBPRA, not one statement, 4 years ago I saw a royalty form and I am certain within the first month it had 21 sales on it, but nothing much since then, I have had my book Amazon for 6 years, something was not right with them, so I went to SBPRA, when they finally put it on the market, I told Robert Fletcher it is already with Amazon, he still put it on Amazon any way, but I have not heard a word from them also. Between them they have had my book for 10 years, I have not heard from them between them booth for 8 years. yet my book is still advertised for $10-00, someone is in the hunt to make dollars out of my book, and not a thing is done about this EVIL from both these crooked publishers. Why, this is a an absolute disgrace from these 2 crooked systems. IS THIS THE REASON THEY ARE MULTI-MULTI- Multi Billionaires, ripping authors off, some 100% of there entitled royalty dues. ..How long is this nauseating corrupt business going to go on. When can every author that has been RIPPED OFF BY THESE CORRUPT DOGS GOING TO GET SUED? When-How can we get a real body of men and women and GET CLASS ACTION AGAINST tTHIS TYPE OF RIP OFF MERCHANTS. These men are criminals in the highest degree. Ray Dale
I cannot believe that the conman, Robert M. fletcher, is still in operation.
He ripped me off for $300.00 in 2003; live and learn.
I gave up writing, but I see fletcher is still stealing, now in Virginia.
I think I will make him my hobby…
Dear Sir/Ms, Can anyone tell me just what is going on with this scammer Robert Fletcher & SBPRA. I am getting all sorts of messages that tells me this man can flee a state like Florida and he is safe, if he came back to Florida he would be arrested. Who is in control, the scammer or the law system? Can any one enlighten me with this issue? ……Can we take class action against Robert Fletcher?
The easiest way to check is by typing this: SBPRA scam into your search program (probably Google) and look at the results.
If you're willing to pay to get your ms published, there are legit pay-for-it publishers.
If you're not willing to pay, that's a tough, tough way to go since you're competing with millions and millions of aspiring writers.
The SBPRA scam, like others (and there are others), and like all scammers tell you what you want to hear, that it's really, really easy to get published, just give us yo money!
Good luck you all.
These comments make me nervous. I have been communicating with SBPRA while I consider my options.
Amazon has ripped me off too, I have documented proof they have lied to me and cheated me with my book in regards to sales. Long story., but who do authors trust today? with. Judgement Day must come upon them soon. " What we sow we reap." There is so much dishonesty out there within big business.
I totaly agree, I am sick to my eye teeth with these people they should be prosecuted. Authorhouse is another scammer no different from sbpra I spent over two thousand pound on them and got nothing not even one sale but constantly hassled me for more money.
I like you have been tageted by Tom at sbpra I am so glad I have not signed or sent anything to them. You would definitely be better to go to create a space or amazon. Good luck.
Hi, my name is Raymond Dale, I know I have been conned by this selfish callous greedy man, It has cost me about $1200 to publish my book, with many many hundreds more paid for advertising in a US newspaper, I never saw that advert by the way, did it exist? paying for book stalls in London US ext and much more, then they wanted me to pay them $850 to put my book on the market free, just to give away as a promotion to sell more books later, this would have cost me the earth and Fletcher would make heaps from me. >>>> Question I ask is how is this saga going to go on for before this crook is finally brought to justice. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Can any one shed light on this question. Yes God does chastises the ones he loves. This man Fletcher has not only robbed me but little children, he will have to answer to God for that, unless he repents and turns from his selfish evil road he is on. Thank you Vapsadf
Sorry to hear that Raymond.
They're in / or have been in all sorts of legal trouble which doesn't seem to phase them at all. US taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth from the law in this regard, and hell (sry, but it's an appropriate word), rope and bullets aren't that expensive.
I'm still getting their spam after many years. I guess I inquired of them, but thankfully checked their creds first. Glancing at their latest spam it has less bold red capital letters so they're slowly working on presentation.
Check the posts above for links (and names to google) and check AboluteWrite WaterCooler (where I'm sure I first began check, they have a fraud section).
Good luck and remember, "God only chastises the one's he loves," fwiw to you.
Hi, my name is Raymond Dale, I am the author of a book titled THANK GOD I'M HERE this book has cost me about $2,000 plus and 2 years or more I have still not received one dollar from this shady lot. I have invested many more 100s of dollars to promote my book, and not a cent. I promised God I would 80% 0f all monies to needy children, they are not just robbing me but children in need. They are robbers, Yes I would be involved in class action against this crowd, can you advise me. Please help if you can. Thank you Ray Dale
I did. I spent 1200 on at least getting the option and they screwed me on everything else. I'm a disabled veteran from 911. No BS. I'm pissed they could have been decent and turned me down. Now I'm hunting. Wouldn't even take my calls any more. Good thing I record all my calls. I went to my parents and they seem excited. I'm gonna take everything they have and lock them up, Good willing.
Thank you for all your comments. Unfortunately I am having similar experiences.
Please let me know if you had a similar experience as mine:
I published with them in 2011 (The Gypsy Saw Two Lives) Soon after publishing I discovered the hard way most of the scams you discovered.
The NEW element is that a couple years ago I discovered my book offered online by Playster as part of a subscription to read thousands of books for about &9.99 a month! I wrote Strategic, they denied having a contract with Playster behind my back. Myraculously, when I tried to get to the link again, it was broken!
Last year, I discovered Scribd was offering my book in PDF format although the book was published in eformat as well. I called Strategic and they denied any knowledge of it! However presently on Scribd there is a notice that the book is not currently available!
What TOPPED it all was today I googled the title and it is offered in CHINA!!! I couldn’t understand the subtext but took a screen shot. I have not received any royalties last year and now I understand why, since they list on Amazon under different ISBNs!!! But to sell to China and online subscriptions companies without paying me royalties????
In other words we all are being robbed!
Also I don’t understand WHY the book is listed at astronomical prices on Amazon???
If anyone could relate to similar experiences and your book is being sold as mine was/is without your knowledge, please contact me. It looks like we must put an end to this scam and power is in numbers. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have experienced anything similar and/ or would like to further discuss actively doing something about this scam. Thank you.
thanks to all the writers and im so sorry for all of your bad luck with this company however after reading all of the reviews im going to self publish…
AH well… I sent an inquiry after receiving an email. Let's see how this plays out!
Writer's Beware! SBPRA is not a reputable company. They continue to scam me in 2017 even though I terminated my contract with them in 2011. They are presenting offering "New" copies of my book for sale on Amazon from a penny up to $75 each with a different ISBN number than what was originally assigned to my book. They continue to profit from my efforts even though our agreement was terminated. I've received nothing but bad publicity as they continue to promote and profit from an outdated version that requires editing and changes.
In 2011 after terminating my contract with them I self-published on Create Space with a new edition of Farewell to Freedom. SBPRA has no legal right to continue to profit by advertising new and used versions of my original/outdated version on Amazon. It's impossible to get Amazon to drop the book once you have it listed for sale on their site. The best solution they could offer was to post on the older version of the book that a "newer version was available and post the new ISBN number". Dealing with SBPRA has been a headache from the get go! DO NOT believe their promises to promote you world-wide, show your books at book shows, publish press releases, etc. They are scammers who will use and abuse writers from the get go and continue to profit from you workers for years to come. They should be prosecuted for their criminal acts.
So sad to read all of the above comments. I signed with SBPRA in 2009 for my novel Farewell to Freedom. Every time I turned around they were asking for more money. They are criminals and should be prosecuted. I terminated my contract with them in 2011 and self-published a revised edition of my book Farewell to Freedom on Create Space. SBPRA did not follow through with any of their "promises"… Last evening a friend contacted me to say that copies of the original title published with SBPRA in 2009 is now being offered for sale on Amazon for a penny plus handling fees… and a New copy is offered at $75…. There should be no New copies of that original writing as SBPRA should not be producing any of my books and/or offering them for sale anywhere. I played their game and signed up for overseas sales, book shows, press releases, etc. for over two years before I got wise. They are total scammers. Writers beware. Do not fall for their lies. Anita Waggoner
My experiences with SBPRA match those described in the previous posts. I only wish I had seen them prior to signing with them for my second book. Editing was poor to sloppy, the website they were to create was simplistic and full of errors, and I was never given a password that would enable its correction or deletion. SBPRA did not follow through on its promise of distributing a press release. Tom Wallace (who is mentioned in several posts above) has a nice manner on the phone but does not deliver on any of his promises. I am now to the point at which they are not even responding to my emails, including requests for help with the website. Has anyone considered initiating a class action suit against these people?
Stay away from this company they take your money and that is it. You pay for your books and there is no other compensation for sales or royalties. If you want to be published it is better to do it yourself if you have no agents or helpers or if you just can't afford the hoops they put you through financially, or emotionally. Just stay away from these people who are exploiting writers for profit. Fred L Smith
I just regrettably published with these people. Tom Wallace in the beginning sold me a very different reality of what is taking place. I am furious with them and feel foolish for not doing some research before I committed. After paying what I thought was all inclusive including marketing, I now understand was just the beginning of the fees. I was just told to convert the book to an ebook would be an additional $599 dollars. What a joke! This company is horrible and you should tell everyone you know to stay far away.
Outfits like these are the literary equivalent of an insect predator that mimics the pheromones of its prey. The hopeful moth comes spiraling down, thinking to fulfill its destiny, and finds only a set of mandibles and an endless appetite.
The people who operate confidence scams are generally psychopaths, lacking any sense of empathy or fellow-feeling for their victims. They look upon us the way lions look upon antelopes: free food for the taking. They lie and cheat and walk away smiling.
As a rule of thumb, if the business wants money from an author –for publishing, agenting, promotion, marketing, and even editing — chances are good it's a scam. There are editors and manuscript evaluators who give value for money (I'm one myself) but you have to make sure they're legit, by finding out whom they've worked for and making inquiries as to the quality of the work.
Same experience here. The twenty or so books I sold of my poetry book was totally because of my efforts. I was charged 995 us dollars and that is a huge amount in Indian currency. Further, 3 years down the lane, they asked for USD 100 paymemt for them to keep the online store listings of the book and I terminated my contract with them. They did nothing to help the promotion of book and I have a better website than their cheap webpage made for the book. And the cover page they made for the book was stupid. And when I expressed I needed change, they said it would cost more. A huge con of a publisher they are. I closed the contract and went onto publish an ebook of it on Smashwords. Which is better to reach readers. Even if for free, that is a better option than paying these predators.
I published my first novel with these guys also and paid over a grand for nothing to come from it, now I am trying to terminate my agreement with them but have no idea how to get in touch with them to do so …. any help??
I've just had an approach via my website by Tom Wallace of the IBlibrary.com, offering to sell my children's ebooks into China and international schools. I was suspicious since it looked like a form letter and did not mention any specific titles so thought I'd do some digging and found the IBlibrary on your list of people who work with this crowd. I'm a UK children's author (traditionally published and currently republishing my reverted backlist as ebooks) and had not heard of this company before, so thanks for the warning! I'll pass this on to the Society of Authors.
I just received an email from Tom/VIP Acquisitions, and he asked me to send my book…blah blah blah…The thing is, I had sent them a query almost a year ago and now they are just getting back to me. However, I went to reviews on Writers Beware, and I am glad I did. Thank you all for the reviews and keeping desperate writers like me from making a bad and costly mistake. I have been trying to get published for over three years. I also search on Predators and Editors; an excellent site for editors. It just takes a while to do the work involved because some of the publishers are defunct; but all in all, a good site.
Contractors: Don't work for these guys. Interesting business model: not! I signed on for contract work in editorial despite all the complaints and lawsuits, thinking I'd see for myself how they operate. Read your contract. There's a reason why the payment schedule is not mentioned. Every payment due me for work previously completed was late.
But what's "late"? When I politely queried payroll, I got no answer. When I traveled up the chain of command, I got 5 different answers. The final one was net 30 days: "and we strive to make that every time." Well, yeah! We make our deadlines; you pay your contractors when it's due. It's called an agreement. Not so: as I found out, this was false, too. The reality is that they offer a payment plan to clients who prep their books for pub through the agency. Then they don't pay contractors until those checks come through. There's no way to know who is on a payment plan, what it is, or when you will get paid for work that you've already done.
In essence, they are offering clients credit on the backs of their contractors. The company either doesn't have the cash on hand to pay for work for which it has contracted, or staff choose not to pay that out to meet their obligations on time. The pay rate is already low; the interaction with staff is unpleasant; and you cannot count on payment in order to meet your own obligations. When I asked about these issues, I was lied to and then silently canned.
I am the author of "The Edge of Leadership: A Leader's Handbook for Success."
Do not choose this company as your publisher. My contract was $1595 but for the layout phase they said if it goes over 4 hours I would have to pay them an extra $200. I had over 75 images they said adding each would be an extra cost. Then the royalties 50% for what?
Then they keep switching you to another department. I felt as if I was just going around in circles.
They always had some hidden costs. They benefited $500 for me and that was it.
I ended up self publishing within a month. I paid a freelancer on UPWORK there to edit, cover photo and book design and layout. The freelancers there are skilled, efficient and very professional.
My book is in colour and only costs $29.99. SBPRA said in colour the cost of the book would have to be $45.
Don't feel you have no other choices. There are many choices. Choosing a publisher is like a marriage relationship. Choose wisely.
My experience with this company began when I submitted work to an agent named Georgina Orr. I've since learned that this is an alias used by the owner of this company. "Georgina" told me that she was listing my work in a data base for publishers. A week or so later she told me a publisher was interested. Eventually I was convinced that my initial investment would be worthwhile to get my book published and my "agent" assured me that this was a good offer. Well, it was great to see my book in print, and I liked the cover art, but that is the only good thing I can say about my experience. My book had many errors, even though I thought my final galley preview was clear. The book was printed without any of my scene breaks, so some scenes changed jarringly into others. There was no publicity unless I paid for a chance to have my book displayed at conventions, etc. All I got was a list of suggestions for contacting local media. I was given instructions to a website that would show sales, but my password never worked. The book was overpriced at 35 dollars and I profitted about $1.25 per book. I couldn't afford to purchase many copies of my own book. I did receive a single check, probably from family member purchases, but I never heard anything else. A few years later another book was published with my title. When I discovered that my agent didn't really excist, I was really humiliated at being duped. The worst thing is that I've been reading that though this company assures you that you retain your rights to your book, you actually have to buy out the remainder of your contracted amount of books before you have the rights back. In my case it's close to 5000 books, at 35 dollars a book. Do NOT submit any work to this company!
I have book 2 ready to go and cos of all the aggro i'm getting with my first book have held it back and asked for contract to be terminated.
I thought that SBPRA was a reasonable shot in the dark (I work in Construction and Demolition) considering I just don't have the time to do much else. I know that my book has been selling but getting accurate figures is a total nightmare and am considering legal proceedings to sort it out a good friend of mine pointed me to this site
this place seems to me to be the only place where you can get accurate info about your book. It also seems that SBPRA's "marketing" is non existent beyond a single post on facebook, pinterest and twitter.
I do my own marketing cos i post new stuff around for people to comment on but like the others above i had expected far more than what i got
I'm so glad that i came in here and read this 🙂
just wondering has anyone had a good experience with SBPRA ?
I'm going to use Create Space and amazon – I'm going to re-do Poetic Art add more content and a new title and put it out there with book 2 thinking that it'll be the only way to get it right.
I had no ideas about the book industry at all – I write poetry and have done for many years but no publishing house wanted to know so I went down this route of buying a contract and then at least my book was put out there. The costs involved – nothing in life is free everything has it's price – people do work, then they get paid — I got no issues with it.
I have a current SBPRA contract for publishing and marketing (I've still got all e-mail communications)of my book Poetic Art by Little Miss Peppermint pre and post release — I know that my book is out there cos I've done signings and things.
My first and possibly book Poetic Art by Little Miss Peppermint was released into general circulation on 27th July 2015.
Tom Wallace seemed good answered my questions in detail and I never had any bad dealings with him 🙂 Deanna my editor – all round nice person good to talk to and good a really good job 🙂 Hari who did my cover was really good to work with fast and efficient 🙂 the guys who did the electronic edition of Poetic Art were spot on and I got no complaints. The only people in the mix that really made it a bad experience were the so called "client care" manager and the contracts manager Lynn Eddy – she forgot who the customer was and basically told me that i was wrong for asking questions.
The contract I have cost $1595 – the editing price for Poetic Art was $132 (82 pages) the AIM marketing contract would have been $400 if I'd chosen to take up the offer and the e-book version of Poetic Art by Little Miss Peppermint was $475.
On the piece above it says that royalties should never be asked but paid – well sorry to say but my SBPRA page states that royalties must be requested and that payment can only be made at the end of each quarter — so that's a breach of terms and conditions then.
also of note is that when I've tried to get information from SBPRA – like my webpage updated so I can see if it's performing or not then I get stone walled.
Getting poetry published is a nightmare cos it's not deemed to be "sexy" enough for most book publishers and not enough books get sold to justify publishers taking on poets. Companies like SBPRA that give poets a chance ought to be welcomed providing that certain criteria are met. We poets need these firms – they are really our only chance of ever getting a book out there and seeing it on a shelf.
if anyone wants to e-mail me with regards to the piece about the royalties in this text then please do and I'll work with them. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paying, and not paying are two entirely different matters.
I want to be paid for my writing, whereas Tom Wallace wants me to him for my writing.
I have published one poetry book with this company. I found Tom Wallace to be solicitous of my interests and even in price for me on electronic advertizing. The company has efficient, helpful workers,and I found its t cover editor was marvellous, the book designer efficient and artistic. Very little stress in correcting the few poems I found had been set oddly (poems are by their nature a puzzlement) –unlike prose. The book has just been published, so I do no know how much or how little I will be paid for it. On the other hand, I want you to contact me in 6 months to see if my initial positive reactions (the book is out less than a month) are justified. I intend to sign on for a second poetry book tomorrow.. The cost of the contracct was only $900. for a book of 146 pages. The title of this book (you may see it at the sbpra webpage or on Amazon is: Art, Passion, Poetry. I am Barbara Sher Tinsley. Please email me your comments at email@example.com.
They're still at it.
I live in the U.K. I can't remember when I or if I ever had any communication with these people. The spam has been arriving for several years now. With spam I never choose the 'opt out' option which often only confirms my receipt.
Spam to me, Sept 9 2015:
Tom – Acquisitions Team Leader firstname.lastname@example.org via smtp.com
Tom Acquisitions Team Leader
Strategic Book Publishing & Right Agency, LLC (SBPRA)
1-888-808-6190; Int’l. 1-667-308-8086
Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency
14493 San Padre Island Drive Suite A #317
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
Welcome to SBPRA, a publisher who stands behind its offer with an iron clad guarantee…
and blah, blah.
It's in bold blues, reds and underlines which boggle the brain, pretty much confirming the sender has some kind of issue, so the email looks like spam anyway.
Thanks to Writer Beware, and everyone else for keeping us safer.
Anonymous 8/27, I think you've answered your own question. If you had a bad experience with a publisher, why would you send it another book?
BTW, services like Reader's Favorite are a ripoff. The reviews are often of poor quality (and you shouldn't have to pay for reviews anyway), and the (very expensive) awards program is about making money for Reader's Favorite, not about honoring authors.
I published one book with Strategic Books, paying over $1900 for editing which came back with over one hundred mistakes,$995 for publishing,and a whole lot for advertisements, book reviews, and sundry other services. My book received a four out of five from Readers' Favorite and a 4.5 overall. To date i received less than $63 in royalties. I told a friend that Strategic Books should be affiliated with dairy farmers, since they really know how to milk their authors. That was before I read your Writers' Beware. I have finished my second book, but I'm now leery of sending it to Strategic. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the warning. I was about to accept an offer to publish with TomW@sbpra with the publishing fee being $1495 and in Rand that is R18 762.25 which is about how much medical debt i am in. And he promosed a payment of $2500 after the first 1500 books were sold.
I'd urge you to read the Alert mentioned in my post, above (there's a link) and then consider carefully whether this is a company you want to work with.
Also, $1,995 is a steep price to pay for a service that's little different from self-publishing (which you can do for much less or even for free via CreateSpace and others)–especially since you will probably be solicited to spend more money for more services (such as taking your book to book fairs).
Regardless of their promises, publishers that require author payments do not routinely invest their own resources. It's likely that whatever fee you pay will cover not just the entire cost of publication, but the publisher's overhead and profit as well.
i'm so confused with all of this, i don't know because they sent me a joint-venture contract that i have to sign and give them $1995, i was ready to accept their offer until i come across this post. please advice
Oh dear; I was about to send them (Tom, SBPRA) my completed manuscript at their invitation. I had such high hopes – what hope is there, then, for an unknown to get published. Shall I just go to Create Space and try to do it myself?
Susan–thanks for the offer. I would very much like to see that email. beware [at] sfwa.org
Thanks for your great work. When I received an unsolicited email from SBPRA, I went to your website.
The subject of their email: "Straight Talk on Publishing Because You Have Published Before."
The email begins: "We are actively seeking* authors with publishing experience.
Why? Because their books tend to sell better.
Think about it, if you find an author you like, don’t you buy more of their books? Don’t you prefer to “try” an author with multiple books?
When I buy books, I know I do.
*Actively seeking means that we are willing to make exclusive deals with you to publish all of your books."
Let me know if you'd like me to forward the email to you. Again, thank you. Susan
Received an email from them 4 days ago. The subject heading is "SBPRA: Please send us a representative sample of your manuscript for publishing"
I've published a few books with them then I left due to the fact that they did nothing. So I went with Create Space and Amazon's e-book program.
I haven't published anything in over a year but I'm not going back to cons artists.
I published with Strategic Books also known as Sepra and this cost me nearly £1000 and all I have got for that money is one paperback book they published and sent to me as a proof and a webpage I could have done myself and advertising well putting my book for sale on Amazon which is free. They said the would advertise my book and help target sales etc but all I have ever had was them wanting me to take part them advertising my book in China or other Countries at an extra cost of $199. This company is disgusting as before I published with them I told them of how I have to Children with Health problems and I live on a very low income, but they assured me that what I had written would sell, and so I struggled and paid the installments in this big hope I had been offered of a good future for my Children, to this day I have not sold one Book, and all I get is e-mails from them which are automated to try and sell me advertising at a book stall in Baishing. I feel so angry at how they could con me and my Children when they knew our circumstances .
They are slime bags, for sure. We did some contract work for them several years ago. They still owe us about $8500.
What a mess! @Karen, I am not surprised… these guys can be very big advertisers, and of course, all online advertising these days tracks your interest. If you're googling anything to do with books or publishing, those sleazy ads WILL find you. The ones that come up on my writing kids' books site aren't so bad, but other places I go, they're horrible…
Interesting topic for future discussion:
I found it interesting that while I was reading the article by a former employee of Fletcher, there was a bold print ad directing me to publish with Stragetic. Very ironic.