If you’ve completed a book and are looking for a publisher, you might think it makes sense to turn to Google. You aren’t alone. “How to get published,” “how to find a publisher,” and “how to get a book published for the first time” are all popular internet search phrases.
This is not a great idea.
While such searches turn up excellent resources (such as Jane Friedman’s Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published), a lot of what you’ll see on the first couple of pages (which is as far as most people look), is useless or worse.
For instance, ads from vanity publishers, like Dorrance and Austin Macauley, and predatory author services companies, like Bookwhip and Readers Magnet.
A good rule of thumb: real publishers don’t buy Google ads.
Another trap: listings for faux consumer guides like TopConsumerReviews.com, where overpriced author services companies like Xlibris and Outskirts Press pay for advertising, and misleading “Top 10” lists like this one or this one, which are really just a bunch of pay-per-click affiliate links. (There’s a reason why so many of these sites list the same companies.) Be skeptical in general of any resource that claims to list the Top Anything–at best, this will be subjective and incomplete–or that presents itself as a consumer resource (unless you can verify that it is, in fact, a consumer resource).
Most insidious are the websites that purport to match you with appropriate publishers in exchange for information about yourself and your book. To name just a few: SearchForPublishers.com (“Designed specifically for budding authors”), NeedPublishingHelp.com (“We work to connect authors with the right people”), DiscoverPublishers.com (“Have publishers compete for your new book!”), and FindPublishingHelp.com and its UK cousin (“A free service that delivers the best publishing matches to writers and prospective authors”).
The true purpose of these sites isn’t to provide helpful guidance to writers, but to generate leads for author services companies and vanity publishers, which either pay for listings or buy the information gathered through the forms writers fill out. (FindPublishingHelp.com discloses this fact, kind of, but none of the others do.) That’s why they want your phone number and mailing address, and why many of them ask how much you’re willing to pay for publication. If you go through the process of filling out the forms, you’ll either be promised direct contact from “interested publishers” (read: relentless phone solicitations from author services companies), or given a list of “personalized” recommendations–all of which are pay-to-play.
For instance, here’s what you get from DiscoverPublishers.com:
And here are some familiar names, courtesy of FindPublishingHelp.com:
Many of these sites neglect to say who sponsors them, and have anonymized domain registrations. Some can be traced back to lead generation or affiliate marketing companies, such as JAG Offers, but figuring out their provenance can be very difficult.
Unless they’re owned by the granddaddy of author services companies, Author Solutions.
Author Solutions is by far the largest sponsor of fake publisher matching sites, all designed to steer writers into the clutches of AS’s many “imprints”. Here are the ones I’ve found (so far):
- ChooseYourPublisher.com (“Your book is your passion…find the publisher that best suits your personal publishing goals”)
- FindYourPublisher.com and its UK clone (“You’ve poured your heart and soul into writing your book; and you’ve long dreamt of the day when you will finally see your words in print”)
- Findingapublisher.com (“Based on a few pieces of information, we help you find the most suitable publisher for your manuscript”)
- Bookpublishing-companies.com (“Now that you’ve finished writing your book, it’s time to take your literary career to the next level”)
- NewWriterPublisher.com (“We’re here to make sure you have access to book publishing options that make the publishing process smooth and straightforward”)
- Poetry-Publishers.com (“Enjoy a 100% hassle-free poetry publishing experience you’ll love”)
- Childrens-Book-Publishing.com (“Children are waiting to hear YOUR story!”)
- Childrensbook-publishing.com (yes, this is a different website)
- E-BooksPublishing.com (“Use the power of ebooks–get published today!)
AS does identify itself in tiny print at the bottom of the sites, or in the sites’ privacy policies. But these mild disclosures can easily be missed by eager writers, who in any case may not be familiar with AS’s reputation for high prices, aggressive solicitation, poor customer service, and junk marketing. (And seriously, who reads privacy policies?)
The internet is an invaluable resource. But it’s also a tsunami of misinformation and a shark pit of scammers and opportunists. To avoid falling victim to schemes and scams, you need to already know something about what you’re looking for. That’s why, if you’re completely new to the publishing world, I suggest that you start with an old-fashioned book, and hold off on internet searches until you have enough basic knowledge to filter what you find.
For more suggestions for getting safely started on the publication search, see my updated blog post, Learning the Ropes.
discoverpublishers.com is a scam site. They spammed my spam trap trying to get me to publish with them when I already published 26 books. They are so desperate for money, they have to spam. That’s not good by any means. In fact, it’s scary.
I am sitting on a contract with Austin Macauley and trying to do my due diligence. Searching the internet is challenging and I feel I am going in circles. I self-published my first children’s book, and it was a difficult task but I did it! I just finished my second children’s book and wanted to go with a hybrid approach. Any thoughts on going with Austin Macauley although they seem to be on the bad vanity press list. They will charge be $3900 for hardcover, paperback and eBook.
A question to consider: If a publisher is willing to use deceptive Google ads to recruit writers, how honest do you think they are in the rest of their operations?
Writer Beware considers Austin Macauley to be a vanity publisher, not a “hybrid” as it claims. I’ve written more than one post about Austin Macauley–click the name in the Tag wordcloud on the front page of the blog to see them all. Especially have a look at this one: https://writerbeware.blog/2019/07/12/seven-prolific-vanity-publishers-austin-macauley-publishers-pegasus-elliot-mackenzie-olympia-publishers-morgan-james-publishing-page-publishing-christian-faith-publishing-newman-springs-publish/. It summarizes some of the issues I’ve documented, and also traces the connections between AM and two other UK-based vanity publishers, with which AM shares documents and has shared staff.
Olympia Publishers is the kingpin of all such rackets who catch prey in all countries.I lost 1800 Pounds and two years..
Access Media Group (which also does business as Quill Space Media) is listed in the sidebar as one of the scam publishing and marketing companies preying on authors. I'm guessing they're offering you an internet radio interview with Kate Delaney, Al Cole, or Ric Bratton? The catch is that you'd need to pay a large sum of money. Reputable journalists don't charge for interviews.
Anyone know about Access Media Group in PA? They emailed me asking for an interview. Apparently I'm one of the "lucky" ones they handpicked for an interview. Sounds fishy.
Late September 2020 a call from the New Reader guy: wants $7500. Thanks for this blog and all the posts. I liked the sales pitch which made sense until he ruined it all by asking for the money. As an attorney I have long used Createspace/KDP for my twenty titles available on Amazon. KDP is not nearly what CS was, but for ten years I have kept my titles available and I retain all rights. One day the marketing and selling aspect of writing might appeal to me, but the days of Max Perkins are past. The NYC publishing world just dries the spit in my mouth.
I too have been a porched by 2 companies. Novum publishing and by page publishing. I have not signed anything. It didn't sit well with me to pay to have a book published. I have sent it in to a couple of different publishing companies. I had a couple of these companies tell me I did not need a copyright and that didn't sit well with me either. So before sending it to anyone I did a copyright. Please tell me I did the right thing in following my gut..
Glad I ran into this site. I had a call from New Reader International today, sounded too good to be true, but I’m ever hopeful. They (she, a Filipino accented gal named Kelly Smith) said they wanted to invest in my book, which is already on the market, published by Fulton Books (which could be another story). Then she assured me they would submit it for film and Netflix. After an hour’s priming, she said I needed to invest $9,000 which they would match with their $9,000 to better market and to lobby the book with Hollywood types.
Who doesn’t like to be flattered? Sounds great, even my savvy real estate daughter said I should jump at this chance for stardom, but I’ve been checking it out & thank the gods, found you ‘all.
Everyone is saying nothing when it comes to a newby trying to get his book on the street. If I were to say writing the book is A, than B to Z I am that person scammers are waiting for. I need a reliable doctor who is willing to assist my ignorance problem
Writer Beware's mission is tracking and exposing scams (and other dangers to writers), so reading this blog might certainly give the impression that most publishers are scammers…but that's really not true. It's just what we focus on here.
For self-publishing, I usually suggest that authors start by investigating the free or low-cost services with good reputations in the self-pub community: Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark if they want to do both print and ebooks, and Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Kobo Writing Life if they want to do an ebook only.
All of these are DIY-style services. If you'd prefer a less hands-on, more soup-to-nuts service, BookLocker and BookBaby are worth checking out.
I generally advise authors to avoid the Author Solutions self-publishing services (iUnverse, Xlibris, Trafford, AuthorHouse, BookTango, and the self-pub services Author Solutions runs for major publishers, including Thomas Nelson's WestBow Press and Hay House's Balboa Press), since I've received many complaints about quality, price, and high-pressure sales tactics. There are also many copycat services that are even worse and that are actively soliciting authors; there's a full list of these in the sidebar.
Some self-publishing services claim to specialize in particular genres (such as self-help) or markets (such as the Christian market). This really isn't meaningful Self-pub services do no targeted marketing (unless you buy it a la carte), and they all use the same distribution channels.
For information to help you comparison shop, a rundown on the benefits and challenges of self-publishing, and links to helpful resources, see the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware (there's a link at the top of the sidebar).
Hi Victoria, I'm reading the reviews on this article and seems every publishing company is a scam. Can you direct me to a good self publishing company as I am not a long term writer. I just want to publish my autobiography & get the marketing help. Thank you
“I saw your review on this company as that have been blowing me up via email. I have not worked with them and don't plan too. Thank you for your review as it saved me from a nightmare situation! I will continue looking for a legit company to help with my fictional book.
Thanks again David!”
Some times it works.
Just contacted by them. They want $6,000 to get on board…. suspicious!
Global Summit House is on my Big List of Scams, in the sidebar. Also see this post, where I discuss it directly: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2018/12/army-of-clones-part-2-twenty-one.html.
Grammatical and general English-language errors are one of the markers of this kind of scam, as is the cold-calling. They focus especially on authors who've published with one of the Author Solutions imprints.
This is quit a fine blog for someone new to book publishing scammers. Good information is hard to come by so, I am somewhat impressed by this blog.
Might someone know something about Global Summit House by any chance? They have Cold-Called me, and emailed me, about my two books I published with Xlibris in the summer of 2014. I chose Xlibris over FriesenPress because of price and I fear that was a mistake.
The poor grammar in the Global Summit House email is worrisome to me.
Disillusionment runs so deep in my soul that I immediately delete emails concerning my book and phone numbers of those who call are permanently blocked.
This woman has spent enough through self-publishing with iUniverse and the company they recommended for promotion, Lavidge, who truly didn't accomplish a thing with their promotion tactics. Wouldn't be surprised to learn of kickbacks and the likes. So much money wasted, and I for one refuse to put another nickle in anyone's pocket.
Also, iUniverse priced my book out of the market. Yes, it's 500 plus pages, but in paperback and in this age of digital, I don't understand their refusal to be more reasonable. Few have sold, but the factor there derives from mostly friends and family.
My book took 3 years to see to fruition, and at least I can say I wrote a book, though it drained me heart and soul, and then cold hard cash. Yippie!
There is only one answer to (deleted) who demand money to publish your work.
It is an old Anglo-Saxon phrase, putting it politely it means go away.
Anonymous 1/10, thanks so much for your comment. I'm working on a post that will include a warning about New Reader Media, so I appreciate the extra ammunition.
Christopher Paolini has a post on his website at https://www.paolini.net/2019/12/31/fraud-alert/ that mentions New Reader Media, New Reader International. Another author sent him a letter saying that New Reader contacted him about their services and promoting his books with a screenplay deal. They wanted $10,000 for a purported $120,000 return. And get this, they had a "Christopher Paolini" talk to this author to say Paolini used New Reader to get his Eragon book made into the 2006 Eragon movie. Paolini reports that this was not him. He never met or used New Reader's services. He calls New Reader Media a scam and has the FBI and attorneys going after them for this fraudulent activity.
Access Media Group, a.k.a. Quill Space Media, is a scam (I've received a number of reports). See my list in the sidebar, or my blog post: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2019/08/from-philippines-not-with-love-plague.html.
Has anyone had any dealings with "Access Media Group?" They have contacted me twice now but I can't find much on them.
Do you mean Christian Faith Publishing? If so, I've written about them here: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2017/12/alert-blue-deco-publishing-christian.html.
I've gotten a number of questions about Covenant, which in addition to running TV ads appears to be actively soliciting writers (always a red flag). What they're offering isn't traditional publishing, as their website information encourages authors to believe, but rather a form of assisted self-publishing similar to what's provided by Author Solutions imprints such as iUniverse or AuthorHouse. Covenant provides nothing in terms of editing (by which they mean copy editing, not line or developmental editing), formatting, order fulfillment, or promotion that you can't get through many other, similar services, and it charges, in my opinion, a very inflated price.
I haven't heard anything to suggest that there are quality or fulfillment issues, but if you're looking for a traditional publishing arrangement, this isn't that; and if you want to self-publish, I'd strongly urge you to comparison shop for better prices (see the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware for resources).
Is anyone familiar with the track record of Faith Publishing or Covenant Publishimg?
Thanks for the article. I just got off the phone with a woman from BookWhip who sounded like a conehead ("we're from France") – like a robotic Martian who assured me they could republish my book and produce a marketing program that would improve sales. My book is a large format coffee table book that sold the entire first printing of 3,000 copies in 3 years and we reprinted last year. I have a warehouse full of books, so clearly not interested reprinting a fine art coffee table book with anyone at this point.
While on the phone I started Googling them and found this thread. I was suspicious from the beginning when the caller thought I was the author of a different book altogether. I'm really easy to find, having a unique name and so this seemed like trouble from the get-go.
They are calling back tomorrow. I will tell them I'm not interested.
Thanks again for the valuable information.
"I stupidly published my book through Xlibris and after many dramas that are too long to detail my return after production etc was $38 NZ"
Xlibris is part of the Author Solutions LLC "business," and known to be… well… "The "Donald tRump' of vanity self-publishing." The Class Action Law Suit against the scam email address used to be Hellhathnofury_1@aol.com
See YELP's list of reviews.
I stupidly published my book through Xlibris and after many dramas that are too long to detail my return after production etc was $38 NZ. I should have learned my lesson but three years later Bookwhip made themselves aware to me and actually bullied me into passing on $750NZ to republish my book with many improvements etc. That was a year ago, after top staff members and a manager skipped off with manifests and client names I have not been able to have anyone deal with me. Ive emailed hundreds of times, called them with no success.They wont reply to my emails and now they have blocked my number. There is no way I can be in touch. My $750NZ is a huge amount for me and Im so angered that Ive lost it to criminals. Id like to be able to make others aware that they are a scam.
They are trying to get $10,000 from me.
Good gods. I looked at the web site and it is beyond rancor-inducing.
One has a vastly better chance of being struck by lightening than to interest a producer in a screen play enough for her or him to even consider it (if you live 80 years, 3,000 to 1 against).
I've gotten a number of questions and reports about New Reader Media and its astronomical fees (and there are many other reports of its out-of-the-blue solicitations that can be found online). In Writer Beware's opinion, it is a scam. New Reader can't provide evidence of success because it has none–it's all about taking money from writers for substandard services or services that are never delivered (and FYI, it is _way_ harder to sell a screenplay than a book manuscript.) I'd advise anyone dealing with New Reader Media to run away, fast.
Hi I am currently in 'discussions' with New Reader Media – and have been desperately trying to get them to actually produce some hard evidence of their success. They are trying to get $10,000 from me. I am based in the UK.
They even got a 'casting director' to call me yesterday. He sounded just like the guy who has been calling me constantly over the past week. Always ending with a 'Be Blessed'….
Are they some sort of religious cult? Does anyone know anything about them at all? I'd really appreciate any feedback!
… but I can’t understand how in the world the FBI hasn’t issued many arrest warrants and close them down for life."
USA Jurisprudence follows the "buyer be ware" mandate: adults are supposed to be educated and intelligent, and thus not fall for scams and frauds. (No: really. Argh!) It is hyper rare for the FBI to become involved in opposing crime unless a staggering amount of wealth is involved, or if a fabulously wealthy person is the victim, or if banking finance laws are violated "egregiously" (their word). For one example, the $cientology crime syndicate defrauded tens of millions of dollars from its victims since the mid-1970s, put a pipe bomb in Scott Mayer's car (he was scheduled to testify to the IRS about the mob's crimes), framed scores of people for crimes…. and the FBI only became interested when the $cientology mob burgled USA government offices for espionage purposes.
"Businesses" robbing writers will never worry the FBI any.
You honestly think that if New Reader Media, Magazine, International Consultancy, doesn’t deliver in landing film contracts after putting the time, finding investors, doing the job, taking clients money, and the end result is nothing, that act will completely bankrupt them, because absolutely no one will deal with them ever, not after telling everyone the results. At this point everything in the United States has become is joke, what happened to respectable companies, I say this because there are way to many stories about authors getting ripped off, federal authorities need to stop playing around and do their job, because trust issues are deteriorating badly, I truly don’t understand authors why don’t they report their dealings gone bad with the FBI, and see how things will change for the better.
If anyone believes in flying elephants then publish books with Xlibris Book Publishing Corporation, if you want pocket change for royalties, they do create good books, but I can’t understand how in the world the FBI hasn’t issued many arrest warrants and close them down for life. It is a complete joke that Xlibris Book Publishing Company is still in business, there’s a massive lawsuit with many well known authors that all say the same thing, they have proof from many friends that have brought their books, and they have received pocket change as royalties, stay the hell away from Xlibris Book Publishing Company, unless you want pocket change also.
Follow up time.
Times like this, I am thrilled to be a writer.
"You know I write the villain's thoughts too, right?"
My contact at New Reader Media/ New Reader Magazine/ New Reader International called today to discuss the contract.
They said I would not have to worry about my money being laundered as they do all transactions through PayPal. Oh, PHEW!!!
I thought you were asking for my soul!!!
I urged that they fly me out to NYC to meet with their team. I told them I would want to hand deliver the check in person.
As well as, I would need an itemized list and official contract for my entertainment lawyer to go over.
Man, I've been in the acting industry forever, so I know you don't just 'pay someone to read your script'.
You have to know people who know people who know people who care–
&& on top of that, your script best be gold.
This all being said, I actually appreciate NRM reaching out to me. Even though I know better than to take their scam offer, I appreciate the subtle wink from destiny, saying, "You're talents are valid to notice."
My 2nd book is in the editing stages right now, as before, I will self-publish via Completely Novel.
$11.99 per month and they list it on Amazon too.
I've gotten a number of other reports of New Reader Media's solicitations and fees (which include "offers" to write a screenplay and promote to film studios for thousands of dollars, despite zero evidence that New Reader has any Hollywood connections or successes). In my judgement, it's a scam. I'd advise anyone who is contacted by New Reader to run away, fast.
Thanks for the offer to report back–I'll be interested to know what you find out!
That is probably the "understatement of the year." 🙂 Mid-level established authors average US$6,080 a year from writing (Author's Guild survey); "New Reader Media" wants you to pony up US$10,000 with absolutely no guarantee the manuscript will earn out, *PLUS* the rights to your property. Good gods.
As for having one's book "present" at book conventions, that can (and does) mean anything from one's book being left in the toilet room, to one's book being dropped in a corner on the floor somewhere.
New Reader Media contacted me yesterday. I am self-published via Completely Novel (Great company by the way)
So New Reader Media wanted to purchase the rights to my book then help me promote into bookstores and big name retailers. They would feature a large photo of me next to a shelf of my books.
They said I could stop by their office in NYC, too bad I am conveniently in LA.
They said they have someone willing to invest in my work for 10K and I would put up the other 10K.
I am drawing more info out of them on our next phone conversation.
Sounds scammy, but I am going to get as much info to share with y'all as I can before moving on.
Also, how did they get my phone #?
The Politics of
Just to note: Author Learning Center, the website mentioned by the previous commenter, is run by Author Solutions, and is another tool for Author Solutions to steer writers toward its services and imprints.
Author solutions is not a scam. They provided proof, there's a fulfilment.. As an author you should be mindful of what are the services you are paying for, don't expect too much if it's not part of what you paid for…they have satellite office in the Philippines, because low cost labor, Filipinos are very efficient and professional.. You can always count on them.. They always make sure that they understand their authors.. I published my book at author house for only $700, no extravagant marketing platform but I'm satisfied, the quality was great and they deliver exactly what they promised… Be fair and biased..would you like to know more how the publishing industry works? http://www.authorlearningcenter.com, start to learn first before you judged
"She charged me $5000.00 along with a contract that included my own agent, free marketing and book representations at festivals and other book competitions. I was so happy that I was finally going to have my own agent. I never got to ask her who was going to pay for the agent. She also said that BookWhip was sponsoring me and my agent will definitely get me a good Hollywood Producer to develop my work."
This makes me hyper angry (well, on top of what the tRump Regime has done and is doing). Why is this predation legal?
Another (meta-) issue is, who do writers not automatically know this is a scam?
I think you find important and useful the list of predatory journals introduced by DHET (South Africa) in 2018
It is very good that national agencies are ready to fight against predatory journals.
At the same time, it is disappointing that some of these journals are added to DOAJ recently!
I haven't gotten any complaints about FriesenPress. It's a long-standing business, but I agree it is more expensive than average. I'd suggest you not pay for any extra marketing services–even from reputable companies, these are often overpriced and ineffective.
The telemarketers from these scam Philippines-based companies use fake Western-style names to disguise their origins. This is another technique they've copied from Author Solutions.
Hmm, Rachel Banks from BookWhip used to call me every day. Since I told her I want to see one of the books they offer for sale for a cheaper price for my self, She hasn't responded to my emails. And I haven't received the book I ordered. I also did not pay the $5.00 she said I could buy the book for from BookWhip. She sent me an Amazon link but it proved to be fake. I finally got the book on the regular Amazon page for $21.00. I told that to Rachel and she said they are going to contact Amazon to fix the problem. I hade already sent her my book and I received my rating of 8 because my book had no cover and I had some grammatical errors which she said they could fix. She charged me $5000.00 along with a contract that included my own agent, free marketing and book representations at festivals and other book competitions. I was so happy that I was finally going to have my own agent. I never got to ask her who was going to pay for the agent. She also said that BookWhip was sponsoring me and my agent will definitely get me a good Hollywood Producer to develop my work. She really wanted me to come to Hollywood but I declined for private reasons. I feel sorry for the retired woman they have portrayed on their website. I hope they didn't reap her off. I am so glad I never gave them any money nor did I sign the contract. She was too concerned about getting the money that's what alerted me. She knew nothing about my book which she first contacted me about. She wouldn't tell me who referred me nor how she got my email and phone number. I detected an Asian accent and she did confirm she was Philipino. I asked my Philipino friends if they knew or ever heard of Rachel Banks from The Philipines and no one knew. Her name just threw me off. Too Americanized and she made way too many mistakes emailing me back and forth. Looks like she did not know what she was doing. She sent me emails meant for other people. It was a mess!
I have recently published with FriesenPress and I love their expertise even though they are expensive. Everything is done professionally. Have you any report good or bad about them Victoria?
"Their offer sounds good but they are a young company."
$3,600 for a "service" writers can complete themselves for under $100 is not an "offer" so much as an attempted robbery.
As I've repeatedly noted, Bookwhip is a scam. Please read the comments above, several of which relate to Bookwhip, including my own. Also see my recent blog post, which discusses Bookwhip specifically: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2018/12/army-of-clones-part-2-twenty-one.html.
I am also researching BookWhip. They want to reproduce my wife's books. Their offer sounds good but they are a young company .
Writer Beware's mission is to track, expose, and raise awareness of the prevalence of fraud and other questionable activities in and around the publishing industry. That's why this blog, as well as our website and Facebook page, has the focus that it does.
As part of the "raise awareness" part of our mission, we also try to provide writers with the tools they need to identify schemes and scams on their own. The more you know about how schemes and scams work to rip you off–like the schemes highlighted in this post–the easier it will be for you to avoid them. Our website in particular is a source of information on how to recognize and avoid scammers and other bad actors.
Last but not least, while a bad publisher is bad for all writers, a good publisher is only good for some writers (since publishers specialize in different markets or genres and have differing cultures). It's a lot more practical and valuable for us to identify the bad guys, and educate writers about the warning signs, than it is to provide lists of publishers that we deem to be "good", when "good" is not good for everyone.
By the way, I have started a new category for my REALITY FOR WRITERS blog: predatory businesses.
Victoria it seems your site is just "every publisher is a scam."
Gosh, because you cannot comprehend what you read, you will never be a writer.
Victoria it seems your site is just "every publisher is a scam." so how about pointing people to the ones that aren't scams?
Would you please share with me whatever correspondence you've received from Carter Press/Bookwhip? Or any of the other clones? All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. My email is email@example.com . Thanks!
Don't worry about having sent your books to Carter Press–these companies are not interested in your work, only in your money. They aren't going to steal your books.
I haven't seen a lot of publishing agreements from Bookwhip and others, but if they're like Author Solutions, you should be able to terminate at will. Once you've done that, I'd suggest checking out the free or low-cost self-publishing services with good reputations in the self-pub community: Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark if you want to do print and ebooks, and Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Kobo Writing Life if you want to do an ebook only. Or for less DIY-style services, BookLocker and BookBaby are worth investigating.
Some self-publishing services claim to specialize in particular genres (such as self-help) or markets (such as the Christian market). This really isn't meaningful Self-pub services do no targeted marketing (unless you buy it a la carte), and they all use the same distribution channels.
For information to help you comparison shop, a rundown on the benefits and challenges of self-publishing, and links to helpful resources, see the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware: http://www.writerbeware.com/.
Hello Ms. Strauss,
You are right on the money. I self-published a 4 book series with Xlibris/Author Solutions beginning in 2016. I give credit where credit is due. I received a very nice set of books for around $5000. It was a fight from start to finish on each of the books to get the Philippians company to do what I wanted. Too many communication issues. I also paid an additional $800 for the "Hollywood Promotion" package which turned out to be a single e-mail to 200 so-called radio and TV stations and Movie companies. (a 2 minute cut and paste list and CC me). SCAM
Not long thereafter the hard sell calls began to come in promote my books. Almost every time the person calling didn't know it was a 4 book series and knew nothing about the books that wasn't n the cover. And yet told me it was a wonderful book.
That has persisted right up until yesterday. GIVE US MORE MONEY TO DO NOTHING!!!
I have also been contacted by Carter Press / Bookwhip recently with the re-publish at a lower price scam. Now you can't even get the website to come up and I get failures in responding to their e-mails. Unfortunately, I did send Carter Press a Word version of my books before I realized it too was a Scam company.
Like others, I would like to know "who does one turn to that will accept a self-published book from one of these predator companies?"
Thank you for this information. Bookwhip has already contacted me by telephone and plans to follow up in a couple of days to see what I have decided. Thanks to what has been provided here I will tell my contact person, “thanks but no thanks.“
Do you mean BookWhip? If so, your instinct is sound. BookWhip is a scam.
"For a small fee of $4500 they offered to make my dreams come true."
Heh! Be sure to get that in writing, with a money-back guarantee. LOL. These people really are evil shits.
Bookshop solicited me recently and made me an offer that sounded too good to be true. What scared me away was their proposal. In it, they talked about helping me achieve my goals for the book when there had not been any discussion about what my goals were. For a small fee of $4500 they offered to make my dreams come true.
Re the Bookwhip information. I am an author of five novels, and have had some published by publishers, and some self-published. I have also re-published novels myself when their original contract had ended. I have not made a fortune, but a small amount each month which was regular and useful. last April I was contacted (by phone originally) by Bookwhip. After talking on the phone I asked them to put their proposal in writing, which they did. Basically, they told me my paperbacks were overpriced and they would re-publish a new edition with new cover and sell at a lower price for the mass market. Their main selling point was that they would include intensive marketing after publication, which was the main attraction for me. The marketing programme was listed, and included selling into mass chains, libraries etc. I agreed to try out 2 books and paid 1500 dollars. They DID produce the new editions and I was pleased with them, but there has been absolutely NO marketing whatsoever, I don't believe I have sold a single book, and it has hit the sales I previously had as I had to pull out of giving Amazon Kindle exclusive rights. My enquiries as to 'how is it going?' 'Why haven't I heard from the marketing exec as promised?' etc were at first answered by …'It's early days, no news yet but it's all going ahead.' Over a week ago I asked a group of factual questions and have had no reply at all. Their silence speaks volumes. I have been defrauded, as my main concern was to experience some real marketing. Incidentally, my books have superb reviews, none of which was used to even promote on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Bookwhip are liars and cheats, and they have not even given me any info on how royalties will be paid…(although of course there aren't any.!) I consider myself reasonably able to spot a scam, (there are loads out there! and I agree with what has been said about Authorhouse etc.) but Bookwhip were very believable.
The whole publishing industry needs a complete clean up. Helen Spring
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"What is your translation of helping authors?
Anonymous 10/8 and 19/9:
You are probably a troll, but I'm responding for the benefit of others who may be reading. Please see the post I linked to above. It explains the scam, and lists a number of characteristics that identify it. Bookwhip checks all the boxes: solicitation, re-publishing offers, claims of experience that can't be verified, bad English, and an emphasis on junk marketing (press releases, video trailers, and the like).
These scams have been around for a couple of years, but they really started to proliferate in 2018. I'm starting to get complaints now from authors who paid large amounts of money and never heard from the scammers again. Writer Beware.
What is your translation of helping authors? Concerning whether Bookwhip does or not, can you prove either way? Thank you. People are interested in this company.
"What if Bookwhip is a company striving to build a good reputation helping people to be published and you are wrong? "
There is zero evidence that your hypotheses is the case, and excellent evidence for the opposite. Just ponder their phrase "book agent" for 30 seconds and you will conclude the same.
I stand by my assessment. Bookwhip is not doing anything that could be described as helping authors.
What if Bookwhip is a company striving to build a good reputation helping people to be published and you are wrong? They have reputable authors who must believe in their efforts. Would you strike them down before they have a chance to help their authors?
Bookwhip is a scam, one of a large number of predatory Author Solutions-style publishing and "marketing" companies run out of the Philippines (they all have US addresses and phone numbers, but that's just a cover). They specialize in soliciting authors who've self-published or are small press-published, offering "re-publishing" or "re-selling" and marketing services that are enormously overpriced and, once you hand over the money, may not ever be performed.
For more information on these companies, see my recent blog post about them: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2018/01/army-of-clones-author-solutions-spawns.html. Bookwhip isn't one of the companies I mention in the post, but I'm planning a followup post that will list it and the many others I've discovered since putting the post online.
I got an email from bookwhip.com. They are telling me about their reselling program. I don't know anything, I just got my first book published. It is doing a good job considering the debut. However, I don't know what kind of people are bookwhip and whether they should be trusted or not. Also, what exactly is reselling? I'm an indie author. Createspace helped me to get published.
I have self published last month a book about my multiple sclerosis going into total remission after having MS for fifteen years. The book is "Multiple Sclerosis Mission Remission" and has received good reviews. I need a marketer as I think the book would do well if advertised more.
What kind of company are you looking for? A publisher? Self-publishing? Marketing?
I am looking for a company that does what they say. The problem is where to look. Can you point me in a direction to consider?
Do you mean New Reader Magazine? If so, it is ridiculously overpriced ($5,500 for an array of junk marketing services, such as an email marketing campaign), and provides none of the information you'd expect from a reputable PR service–such as staff biographies or examples of successful promotional campaigns–to enable you to judge its competence and success. My advice is to steer clear.
I was contacted by New Reader author service. Does anyone know if the are reputable?
Unfortunately P&E is not operational at the moment (although I have hopes it will be revived). What's the name of the company you mentioned? Would it be Christian Faith Publishing by any chance? Even if not, I'm betting that I've gotten complaints about it.
In the Philadelphia area radio market, there is a "publishing company" that runs adds on many of the popular local programs. They say that they will help if you have an "idea" for a book and will "potentially" help you get it published. I tried googling their site and they have a good looking web site, say they have their own radio show that profiles their authors. What you can't find on their site is information about the cost to the author – after doing a search, I found some of their authors said the investment was over $3000.
There used to be a site called Preditors and Editors that outed a lot of scams. I don't know if its still operational.
Both Austin Macauley and Dorrance charge four figures to publish. . . .?
ALL publishers I talked to charged four figures. Some charged well into the five figures.
OBTW: Archway Publishing is located in the SAME building with Author Solutions– Mailing Address
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
Simon & Shuster are in a partnership with Author Solutions. All Author Solutions subs/partners use the exact same contract.
Even Writer's Digest is in a partnership with Author Solutions.
Outskirts Press is not part of Author Solutions.
Both Austin Macauley and Dorrance charge four figures to publish. You can find out more about both by searching on them in the search box at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.
While this is a worthwhile article, I thought it was weak in its substance. You mention Xlibris and Outskirts Press, but fail to mention that BOTH ARE PART OF the Author Solutions family. Writers should Google Author Solutions and FIND OUT who their 'affliates' are. And also know that Xlibris, Outskirtes Press, iUniverse, Balboa Press and other Author House companies have the EXACT STREET ADDRESS that Author House has. But then, some don't.
I just wrote a long diatribe in a writer's facebook group about iUniverse, another Author House sub. They tried a 'bait and switch' tactic on me, but it didn't work. I made a down pmt but didn't sign the contract before I read it. I never did sign it. iUniverse didn't have any choice about refunding ALL OF MY MONY, but had to get PERMISSION from AUTHOR HOUSE before they could do it. When I inquired about my REFUND, iUniverse referred me to Author House. They were going to keep 20% but then realized THERE WAS NO CONTRACT.
I was going to look into Austin Macaully and Dorrance, both of which you mentioned, but weren't specific. I'm still going to look into them, and then proceed with caution.
Authors interested in self ublishing should seek advice from ALLi—The Alliance Of Independent Authors. I have to admit there aren't many left when they eliminate Author House and all its subs, and a few others. Check their website by searching on the long name.
I detest people who take advantage of ignorance, as ignorance is the default.
As for "… and why many of them ask how much you're willing to pay for publication," my answer is: THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS! I will not pay as much as one penny for publishing.
None of the companies you've listed are publishers.
KDP, Lulu, and IngramSpark are self-publishing platforms. CreateSpace, another reputable self-pub platform, advertises too.
CanamBooks is an author services company that provides publishing services for a fee. Based on the lack of prices on its website, I'm guessing that it's pretty costly.
Archway Publishing is Simon & Schuster's assisted self-publishing division. It's run for S&S by Author Solutions, which, as noted above, has a terrible reputation for quality and service. Archway is one of the most expensive of all the Author Solutions "imprints", and is the subject of complaints that can be found here on this blog and online.
And another one:
https://www.archwaypublishing.com/ (Simon & Schuster)
Victoria, I performed the following searches, and here is what I found. All are reputable.
online ebook publishing
create and publish your own book
publish book global distribution
Canambooks.com also came up in a search. I couldn't find any negative reviews about them. I'm sure there are many more.
All these sites use AdWords.
I'm always prepared to eat my words if I turn out to be mistaken. Can you provide me with examples of reputable publishers that buy Google ads? Screenshots would be helpful. Please post here in the comments, or email me: beware [at] sfwa.org.
Kathy, please provide examples of real publishers advertising for new authors. I've been writing for a long time. The only times I've been solicited by a publisher, they were predatory. Publishers might put out open calls, some have contests, but it's not a random Google ad.
I love the Jeff Herman Guide to Publishers and Agents because it's not just a glorified yellow pages but the publishers and agents actually contribute to their entries and in many cases offer lengthy commentary on what they personally do and no not want to look at.
Oh, Victoria, I don't agree with your remark that real publishers don't buy Google ads.
Just because a few blueberries in the basket are rotten doesn't mean you throw the whole lot into the compost. It's up to writers to determine who is reputable by following the other tips you mention in your article.
Does the old fashioned "Writer's Yearbook" have a website? I seem to remember that being a brilliant resource for potential sites for publication back when I was able to find it in print.
The Australian version is "The Australian Writer's Marketplace", which has a website at https://www.awmonline.com.au/ – very useful. Also produced by the Queensland Writer's Centre, so it's reasonably legit. Asks for a once-off subscription payment of about $25AU, which gets you access to the whole database – but that database provides comprehensive information about a wide range of outlets for publication.
This year, having been able to spend more time researching markets, I’ve come across a lot of these via market guides to which I subscribe. If the site says, “We want to read your book” or “authors wanted” or “we are passionate about new authors!” I steer clear. If it suggests that these days it’s important for authors to contribute money to see their work published, I go elsewhere. Publishers who actually pay don’t advertise for authors, unless there is an open call for an anthology or a new magazine and that’s usually small press and on their web sites, not in ads.
But if you’re new to this, you can be hooked in like a fish.
Sometimes the old way is the best way.