From the Philippines, Not With Love: A Plague of Publishing, Marketing, and Fake Literary Agency Scams


I’ve been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishers, marketers, and “literary agencies” that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.

Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US or Canadian addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and preying primarily on the elderly and on writers who’ve self-published (particularly with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit authors with relentless–and highly deceptive–phone and email solicitations.

The scams’ focus has shifted over the years. When I first discovered them in 2014, they were primarily selling publishing and marketing services, but currently they’re more likely to approach potential victims by posing as literary agencies that can transition authors to traditional contracts, or companies that can market books to major film studios and streaming services. They may also impersonate real, reputable agents, editors. and publishers, or falsely use the logos of major publishers and publishing industry groups like the Authors Guild.

Some of the scams do provide at least some of the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices and often of poor quality. Others just take the money and run. I’ve heard from writers who’ve paid thousands, or even tens of thousands, to one–or, in some cases, more than one–of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it.

The scams share a cluster of characteristics that make them reasonably easy to identify. If a company exhibits three or more of these characteristics–especially if it has contacted you out of the blue–be extremely skeptical.

– Cold-call solicitations by phone and email (this is the number one sign of a scam: real literary agents and publishers do not typically reach out to authors they don’t represent, while for scammers it’s their main mode of recruitment).

– Re-publishing offers (since most of their targets are self-published authors). Re-publishing already-published books–often at a reasonably attractive price–is a way for scammers to get authors in the door so they can be pressured to buy more expensive services, or targeted for more serious fraud, such as fake traditional publishing or movie offers involving large fees.

– Claims of expertise that can’t be verified, since staff names and biographies are not provided, or can be easily refuted (for instance if they claim years of experience but their web domain was only registered a few months ago).

– English-language errors on websites and in emails, and telemarketers with foreign accents (since the scams are owned and staffed primarily by people for whom English is a second language).

– A catalog of junk marketing services (services of dubious value that are cheap to provide and can be sold at a huge markup, including press releases, email blasts, book trailers, social media posts, paid reviews and radio interviews, and the like).

A few of my posts about the scams–where they come from, how they work, and how to recognize them:

Army of Clones: Author Solutions Spawns a Legion of Copycats

Army of Clones Part 2: Twenty-One (More) Publishing and Marketing “Services” to Beware Of

– A New “Beware”: Scammers Impersonating Reputable Literary Agents

– Alert: Scammers Impersonating Major Publishing Houses

Alert: Scammers Impersonating Major Motion Picture Studios

Scammers Taking Big 5 Publishers’ Names in Vain: A Growing Trend

Scam Alert: Paper Bytes Marketing Solutions, Blueprint Press, and Their Stable of Imaginary Literary Agents

Junk Book Marketing: Pay-to-Play Magazines

Vanity Radio: Why You Should Think Twice Before Paying For an Interview

Below is a list of the scams themselves–at least, the more than 150 I’ve identified so far. You’ll note that a number of them operate under more than one name–I suspect the interconnection is much greater than this, but I’ve only indicated additional names where I’ve been able to reliably document them.

Some have perished since I began the list–I’ve noted this, but left their names for the sake of authors who may have been scammed while they were operational.

#

– 3+ Creative Media

A

– Access Media Group (aka Quill Space Media) (Quill Space Media is defunct)
– Ace Media Creative Publication / Ace Media International / APM Media Production (aka Pearson Media Group) (defunct under the Ace name, still doing business as Pearson Media)
– Adaptations Tide
– ADBooks Press (aka Coffee Press / Okir Publishing) (all three names are defunct)
– Adventure Time Narratives
– Adverters, The (aka Sherlock Press)
– Alliance Literary Firm, The (aka Bethel Media House NYC)
– Alpha Books Solutions
– Alpha Books United
– Amelia Book Company (defunct) (aka Amelia Publishing / Litfire Publishing / GoToPublish)
– Amelia Publishing (aka Amelia Book Company / LitFire Publishing / GoToPublish)
– AnalytIQ (defunct)
– Ascribed LLC (defunct)
– Aspire Literary Agency (see Bridgebooks)
– Aspire Publishing Hub (see Bridgebooks)
– Atheneum Literary
– Atria Press (aka Trident Media Partners)
– Author Aide
– Author Codex (aka BookSpine Press) (BookSpine Press is defunct)
– Author Media Express (aka Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– Author Pro Creatives and Marketing (aka Matchstick Literary) (Author Pro Creatives is defunct)
– Author Queries
– Author Reputation Press
– Author Shack (defunct)
– Author University
– AuthorCentrix (formerly BookBlastPro) (defunct)
– AuthorLair
– AuthorUnit
– Authors Avenue Media Group
– Authors’ Breakthrough Solutions
– Authors’ Fortune Press and Media
– Authors Legacy (defunct)
– Authors Note 360 (website still online, but mostly nonfunctional)
– Authors Press (aka Westwood Books Publishing [formerly Greenberry] / Creative Books)
– Authors’ Tranquility Press

B

– Bantam Wings (see Get Started Books)
– Beacon Books Agency (aka Fact & Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency)
– Bennett Media & Marketing
– Best Books Media (see Czilk DC)
– Best Writers Publishing House (see Silver Ink Literary Agency)
– Bethel Media House NYC (aka The Alliance Literary Firm)
– Beyond Movies (see Bridgebooks)
– Black Lacquer Press & Marketing
– Blue Ink Scribble
– Blueprint Press / Blueprint Internationale (see Bridgebooks)
– BooConn Marketing
– Book Agency Plus (aka BookTrail Agency / Media Literary Excellence)
– Book Art Press Solutions (aka Author Media Express / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– Book Avenue Publishing (aka Nivra Press) (both are defunct)
– Book Bureau USA
– Book Chambers, The (aka LitHub, whch is defunct)
– Book Magnets (see Landaff Media)
– Book Masters, The
– Book Reads Publishing (defunct)
– Book to Films (see Landaff Media)
– Book Vine Press
– Books Scribe
– Bookjet Publicity (aka Optage Publishing, which is defunct)
– Bookside Press
– BookSpine Press (aka Author Codex) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Codex)
– Booktimes (aka Book Art Press Solutions / Book Art Press Solutions / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– BookTrail Agency (aka Book Agency Plus / Media Literary Excellence)
– BookVenture Publishing
– BookWhip (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– Box Office Media Creatives (aka Buzz Media Creatives) (Buzz Media Creatives is defunct)
– Braintree Interactive Media (aka Bright Lights Distribution) (Bright Lights Distribution is defunct)
– BrandingNemo
– BridgeBooks (aka Aspire Literary Agency / Aspire Publishing Hub / Beyond Movies / Blueprint Press / Fresh Pages Media and Advertising (defunct) / PaperBytes Marketing Solutions / TechBooks Media (defunct)) / Quantum Discovery)
– Bright Lights Distribution (defunct) (aka Braintree Interactive Media)
– Brilliant Books Literary (aka Golden Ink Media Services / Green Sage Agency / McNaughton Books / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy ) McNaughton is defunct
– Buzz Media Creatives (aka Box Office Media Creatives) (defunct under the Buzz name, still doing business as Box Office Media Creatives)

C

– Capstone Media Services (aka Stampa / Stampa Global) (defunct under the Capstone name, still doing business as Stampa)
– Carter Press (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / BookWhip / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, BookWhip, and Pearson Media Group)
– Chapters Media & Advertising (see BridgeBooks)
– China Publishing Group (see Landaff Media)
– Chrosan OPS (see Czilk DC)
– Clever Publication
– Coffee Press (aka Okir Publishing / ADBooks Press) (all three names are defunct)
– ConquerPress
– Courtside Media Press
– Creative Agency US
– Creative Books (aka Westwood Books Publishing / Authors Press)
– Creative Titles Media (aka TrueMedia Creatives) (both defunct)
– Creative Media Marketing
– Crest Media Distribution (defunct)
– Crown Books NYC (see Czilk DC)
– Czilk DC / Czilk Dream Catchers (formerly Chrosan OPS) (aka Crown Books NYC [formerly Best Books Media] / Gerlov Dream Catchers / Global Summit House / Marken Dream Catchers [aka Marken DC] / The Media Reviews / The Regency Publishers / The Universal Breakthrough)

D

– DC Media Creative
– Diamond Media Press
– Dream Books Distribution (website is dead)
– Dreamer’s Point

E

– EC Publishing
– eCom Rocket (see iConnect OPC)
– Editor’s Creative Media (defunct) (aka Best Writers Publishing House / Editor’s Press and Media / Silver Ink Literary Agency (defunct)/ Global Review Press) (Editors Press and Media, Silver Ink Literary Agency, and Global Review Press are all defunct)
– Editor’s Press and Media (defunct) (aka Best Writers Publishing House / Editor’s Creative Media / Silver Ink Literary Agency / Global Review Press) (Silver Ink Literary Agency, Editor’s Creative Media, and Global Review Press are all defunct)
– Ewings Publishing, The
– Experttell (see Innocentrix)

F

– Fact & Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency (aka Beacon Books Agency)
– FilmHatch Media Productions
– Filmways Pictures Media / Filmways Pictures Agency
– Folio Avenue Publishing
– Fox Media Films (see Get Started Books)
– Fox Media Studios Agency (see Innocentrix)
– Fresh Pages Media and Advertising (defunct) (see Bridgebooks)

G

– Ganpi Media
– Gerlov Dream Catchers (see Czilk DC)
– Get Started Books (formerly Legaia Books) (aka Bantam Wings / Fox Media Films / Paradigm Talents / Right Choice Multimedia / Warner Media Talents / West Literary Agency) (Legaia Books and West Literary Agency are defunct)
– Glasslink Solutions (aka Harper Media /Harper Partners LLC)
– Global Review Press (defunct) (aka Best Writers Publishing House / Silver Ink Literary Agency / Editor’s Press and Media / Editors Creative Media) (Editors Press and Media, Editor’s Creative Media, and Silver Ink Literary Agency are all defunct)
– Global Summit House (see Czilk DC)
– Gold Touch Press
– Golden Ink Media Services (website has a “dangerous page” warning) (aka Brilliant Books Literary / Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / McNaughton Books / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy) McNaughton is defunct
– Goldman Agency
– Gotham Books
– GoToPublish (aka LitFire Publishing / Amelia Publishing / Amelia Book Company)
– Great Writers Media (aka Brilliant Books Literary / Golden Ink Media Services / Green Sage Agency / McNaughton Books / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy) McNaughton is defunct
– Green Sage Agency (aka Brilliant Books Literary / Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media /  McNaughton Books / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy) McNaughton is defunct

H

– Harper Literary (see Get Started Books)
– Happy Media Consulting (website is dead)
– Harper Media (aka Glasslink Solutions / Harper Partners LLC)
– Harper Partners LLC (aka Glasslink Solutions / Harper Media)
– Haynes Marketing Group
– Haystack Creatives (aka Rustik Haws) (Rustik Haws appears to be defunct)

I

– Icon Works Media
– iConnect OPC (aka Maple Leaf Publishing / eCom Rocket)
– Identiqa Solutions (aka Lime Press LLC)
– IdeoPage Press Solutions (aka The Writer Central) (defunct under both names)
– Impact Media Press and Publishing (aka Vellumme Innovations)
– InfusedMedia LLC
– Ingress Advertising
– Inkstone Literary
– Innocentrix (aka PageTurner Press and Media / Silver Fox Media / Fox Media Studios Agency / Orions Media Agency / Pioneer Media Productions / Experttell / The Metro Films / InkStone Literary Agency) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct))
– Inspirium Press and Media (aka Word Art Publishing)
– International Book Media
– Ivy Lit Press

J

– Jurnal Press

K

– Kilmer Press Solutions

L

– Landaff Media (aka Landaff Literary Media / Book Magnets / Book to Films / China Publishing Group)
– Leavitt Peak Press
– Legaia Books (defunct) (see Get Started Books)
– Lettra Press (aka Pen House LLC)
– Lime Press LLC (aka Identiqa Solutions)
– LitFire Publishing (website is mostly nonfunctional, except for a Bookstore page) (aka Amelia Publishing / Amelia Book Company / GoToPublish)
– LitHub (defunct) (aka The Book Chambers)
– LitPrime Solutions (aka Primix Publishing)

M

– Mainspring Books
– Maple Leaf Publishing (see iConnect OPC)
– Marken Dream Catchers / Marken DC (see Czilk DC)
– Mars Hill Ink
– Marshall and Macmillan
– Martin and Bowman
– MatchStick Literary (aka Author Pro Creatives and Marketing, which is defunct)
– McNaughton Books (aka Brilliant Books Literary/ Golden Ink Media Services / Green Sage Agency / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy) (McNaughton website is currently dead)
– Media Literary Excellence (see BookTrail Agency)
– Media Reviews, The (see Czilk DC)
– Meraki Media
– Metro Films, The (see Innocentrix)
– Mulberry Books, The

N

– Netsfilm & Media Press (defunct)
– New Age Literary Agency
– New Leaf Media LLC (aka TransMedia Agency)
– New Reader Media
– Nivra Press (aka Book Avenue Publishing) (both are defunct)

O

– Odyssey Media Press
– Okir Publishing (aka ADbooks Press / Coffee Press) (all three names are defunct)
– Optage Publishing (aka Bookjet Publicity) (Optage is defunct)
– Orions Media Agency (defunct) (see Innocentrix)
– Outstrip (defunct)

P

– P One Media Marketing Consultancy (aka Brilliant Books Literary / Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / McNaughton Books / Pen Culture Solutions) McNaughton is defunct
– PR Media Solutions LLC (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, BookWhip, and Pearson Media Group)
– Pacific Books Publishing (defunct)
– PageClapp Media (defunct)
– Page Turner, Press and Media (see Innocentrix)
– Paper Bytes Marketing Solutions (see Bridgebooks)
– PaperChase Solution (defunct)
– Parchment Global Publishing (aka Word Dominion International, which is defunct)
– Paradigm Print (no longer has a website)
– Paradigm Talents (see Get Started Books)
– Paramount Books Media (website is dead)
– Pearson Media Group (aka Ace Media Creative Publication / Ace Media International / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– Pearson’s Media and Consultancy
– Pen Culture Solutions (aka Brilliant Books Literary / Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / McNaughton Books / P One Media Marketing Consultancy) McNaughton is defunct
– Pen House LLC (aka Lettra Press)
– Picador Media Works
– Pioneer Media Productions (defunct) (see Innocentrix)
– Pixar Film Agency
– Polaris Interstellar
– Press To Impress Publishing (defunct)
– Primeway Media Services (website is dead)
– Primix Publishing (aka LitPrime Solutions)
– Pubkits.com

Q

– Quantum Discovery (see Bridgebooks)
– Quill Space Media (aka Access Media Group) (defunct, but still doing business as Access Media Group)

R

– Rainbow Experts
– Rare Books Media
– Readers Magnet
– Regency Publishers, The (see Czilk DC)
– Renaissance Publishing House
– Right Choice Multimedia (see Get Started Books)
– Royale House (defunct)
– Rushmore Press
– Rustik Haws (aka Haystack Creatives) (Rustik Haws website is dead; Haystack Creatives still in business)

S

– Scriptor House (see Silver Ink Literary Agency)
– Sherlock Press (aka The Adverters) (Sherlock is defunct, Adverters still in business)
– Silver Fox Media (see Innocentrix)
– Silver Ink Literary Agency (defunct) (aka Best Writers Publishing House / Editors Press and Media / Editor’s Creative Media / Global Review Press / Scriptor House) (Editors Press and Media, Editor’s Creative Media, and Global Review Press are all defunct)
– SPARK Literary and Media
– Spine Media Creatives
– Stampa Global (formerly Capstone Media Services)
– Stellar Literary Press and Media
– Stephenson and Queen (aka BookWhip / Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
– Stonewall Press (aka Uirtus Solutions) (both defunct)
– Storium Press
– Stratton Press
– Supreme Media Corp

T

– Techbooks Media (defunct) (see Bridgebooks)
– TelePub LLC
– Three Plus Creative Media (aka 3+ Creative Media)
– Toplink Publishing
– TransMedia Agency (aka New Leaf Media)
– Trident Media Partners (aka Atria Press)
– TrueMedia Creatives (aka Creative Titles Media) (both defunct)
– Truman Publishing

U

– Uirtus Solutions (aka Stonewall Press) (both defunct)
– Universal Book Solutions (website is dead)
– Universal Breakthrough, The (see Czilk DC)
– Universal Pages, The (aka The Universal Breakthrough)
– URLink Print and Media

V

– VHawk Solutions
– Vellume Innovations (aka Impact Media Press and Publishing)
– Vertical Liberty
– Vivlio Hill Publishing (aka Vivlio Solutions / Vivlio Marketing Solutions)

W

– Warner Media Talents (see Get Started Books)
– West Literary Agency (website is down) (see Get Started Books)
– WestPoint Print and Media
– Westwood Books Publishing (formerly Greenberry) (aka Authors Press / Creative Books)
– Window Press Club (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, Bookwhip / Carter Press, PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, and BookWhip)
– Word Dominion International (defunct) (aka Parchment Global Publishing)
– Word Art Publishing (aka Inspirium Press and Media)
– WordHouse
– WorkBook Press
– The Writer Central (aka IdeoPage Press Solutions, which is defunct)
– Writers Apex
– Writers Book Advertising Services (aka Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Desks LLC / Writers Republic)
– Writers Book Publishing House (aka Writers Desks LLC / Writers Book Advertising Services / Writers Republic)
– Writers’ Branding
– Writers Desire Innovation Agency
– Writers Desks LLC (aka Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Book Advertising Services)
– The Writers Gallery (website is dead)
– Writers Republic (aka Writers Desks/ Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Book Advertising Services)
– WritersMade / Writers Made

Y

– YMO Editions
– Yallabooks
– YourOnlinePublicist (aka YOP)

Z

– Zeta Publishing

(I’m continuously updating this list–adding new companies as I discover them, noting the ones that disappear.)

******

I know my warnings are having an effect, not just because I’m hearing from writers who’ve found my posts or my list and have been able to avoid being ripped off, but because some of the scams are getting…a little defensive. Book-Art Press now includes this in its solicitation emails:

The links are to anti-Writer Beware screeds from people WB has exposed.

The grievance is definitely on display in this one, from MatchStick Literary (it also showcases the scams’ trademark fractured English):

See ya at Writer Beware, scammers!

UPDATE 12/10/19: I want to highlight this recent comment, which illustrates how ubiquitous and persistent these scams are. Bottom line: if you self-publish, you can pretty much count on being solicited. Be on your guard. (By “GoTo”, I’m assuming the commenter means GoToPublish.)

UPDATE 11/13/20: The latest scammer love note, left as a comment here. Good to know I’m still hitting a nerve!

 UPDATE 12/30/20: They still love me! I didn’t let these comments through, but I did memorialize them.

233 Comments

  1. I’ve had a steady stream of calls ever since I self-published my memoir two years ago. The frequency picked up once I started winning awards in book contests. All the calls start with the “Your book/you was/were referred to us…blah blah blah.” They always want to send an email with details and usually the emails read like they were written by someone whose native language isn’t English (that’s not a jab at people who speak other languages). The latest is Book Vine Press from someone named Zach who is the Senior Publicist and Marketing Consultant. Here’s his response when I called him out as being listed as a scam:

    “I appreciate this email. I agree that those publishing companies that he mentioned on his website are all existing. However, it is very questionable why Westbow Press, Xlibris, Balboa Press and so other branches held by their mother company "AuthorSolutions" are not on his list. So maybe he is one of our competitors trying to destroy the reputation of a certain publishing company and is being paid to create bad blogs.

    We are stepping on somebody's toes and these are big toes. Most authors from AuthorSolution are in our business enjoying and satisfied with the services that they have from us. We totally understand why they came to us since their publishing company has the most expensive services.

    Now of course it will be up to you if you're going to believe that. As long as we know from our own selves and our authors that we are doing our best to fulfill every service that they purchase from us.”

    The writing is better than most but still has odd syntax.

    I self-published with BookBaby. They are legitimate and not a vanity press. They did everything they said they would and have always been reachable. My only problem with them is their in-house POD but that’s getting off topic.

    Some of these companies sound so convincing. But why would I pay to re-publish a book I’ve already self-published?

  2. Lewis Kempfer,

    That's one of their stock responses: that I'm a rival publisher badmouthing competitors, hence my "bad blogs". They never offer my supposed publishing company's name, though.

    FYI, I've written plenty about the problems with Author Solutions–you can see all those posts by plugging "Author Solutions" into the search box.

  3. I too have been slammed with messages left on my machine since publishing my first novel in 2015, and they all have accents. They say they live in San Francisco or New York or San Diego yet do not know of any streets or landmarks.

    They don't stop until you change your phone number which I don't want to do. They will send emails pretending to be a movie producer. So I write "Prove to me you are who you say you are." Crickets.

    I have changed my message machine to say "unless you are a traditional publishing company, please do not leave a message." Some still do.

    I agree. Why would I want to republish with a new cover etc. if I am pleased with the old cover? Stupid waste of money.

    Rosanna Brand

  4. Recently I was contacted by Ali Stewart of Silver Literary Agency , Reno NV 89501 USA.
    Subsequently I was sent a fraudulent copy of a letter of intent to acquire the rights to my book by Pengiun Random house. They confirmed it was a scam. posted by Ian McKay Nunn

  5. Ian McKay Nunn,

    Would you share the fake letter of intent with me, along with any emails Silver sent you? You can forward it to beware@sfwa.org. Thank you!

    "Silver Literary Agency" in Reno is actually Silver Ink Literary Agency, about which there are a number of online warnings (including mine).

  6. Thank you, Victoria, You have identified several scam companies that I am personally and unfortunately aware of in my publishing efforts.
    Can you comment on the following company apparently based out of Louisiana: The Ewings Publishing? They are offering an email campaign to help me with "marketing and sales campaign" to develop book sales and reviews for a "portfolio" to be presented to traditional publisher acquisition agents.
    Thank you for your efforts, attention and time.

  7. Dchap222,

    I haven't heard of The Ewings Publishing, but that's not too surprising, considering that its LLC wasn't registered until just last May (contrary to its claim to have been in business for five years).

    The business is registered to a Honeylyn Ewing, at a Metairie address where other Ewings appear to live. Which would suggest that it's a business owned by a real US person (Philippine scammers sometimes use US persons as beards to hide their foreign origin, but the names of the beards doesn't usually match the name of the scam). However, given the scam markers evident on the website–faulty English, lack of verifiable info about the company or staff, the lie about the amount of time in business, the array of junk marketing services, and the solicitation–I suspect that the work of building the website and providing the services has been outsourced to the Philippines

    Regardless, the services that are offered are ineffective (vanity radio and TV, book trailers, press releases) and hugely overpriced (for instance, they're selling Kirkus Indie reviews, which will cost you around $500 if you buy one yourself, for nearly $2,000).

  8. Apparently scams from the Philippines also extend to contacting blog owners. I've gotten many feedback messages on my blog from people who want their links on my blog, and claim to be this or that person at a company or school in the US, but Statcounter tells me they're in the Philippines. I've gotten so many, in fact, that for a while I blocked anyone from the Philippines from contacting me. When the plugin blocking them went defunct, I put a message on my contact form forbidding anybody from the Philippines. So far, it's made at least a couple of people think twice.

  9. Great Writers Media also gave me an 8.6 out of 10 Bruce told me he was not supposed to tell me but mentioned my book would be in 500 bookstores across the world and I would only have to pay £1000 in two instalments.
    They seem to have two addresses with different numbers. When he was asking for a payment today then a payment next week and that they just want to get the book out there and there is no time to wait it made me curious. Plus when he spoke to me about how they promote the book they would be no way in China to make their money. I asked so what do you get out of it? He told me Great Writers Media will get recognition, we build our name and make money that way. I'm like huh?

  10. I've been writing books and getting scammed by these Filipino companies for 14 months now. First it was Xlibris who sold me every fake marketing package imaginable and eventually ran off with about $120,000. meanwhile Book Magnets approached me with a deal, book translation into Spanish and Chinese. I paid $10,000 and only got 2 covers. I finally woke up to Xlibris and out of nowhere came Book Trail Agency who pretended to rescue me from the other scammers. They sweet-talking me into writing more books and buying more packages. I lost another $50,000. I will only work with mainstream companies directly in future. I have lost so much time and money to these Filipino Mafia-like scammers but wont give up getting my books recognised and sold world-wide. A friend also got scammed by Balboa Print – avoid them too.

  11. In 2009, I went to a vanity press to buy 20 copies of the novel I wrote while deployed to Iraq. I never even considered sending the book to agents or publishing houses, because who was I? The books I bought were overpriced, but I wanted the copies to give to family and friends, and they delivered as promised.

    Later on, I heard about self-publishing, and I tentatively put my toes in the waters. To my utter surprise, people started buying my books.

    But I think having bought from a vanity press, I am on some sort of suckers list. I get constant calls from eveyone who tells me they can make a a success. At first, I would tell them that I am moderately successful, making six figures a year as a hybrid writer, and they'd pause, then tell me they can get me up to seven figures a year.

    Now, I just tell them to take me off their call list and then hang up.

  12. Len Wilson here again. 18 months ago I wrote a book "Dear Mr Len" – gave it to Xlibris to publish and got scammed $70,000. They lied about everything and sold me every manner of package you could ever think of (Book to film, audio book, book reviews, New York Times supplement, Readers Digest advert). Then a guy called Baste Gomez from Book Magnets came out of space and I paid him $10,000 to translate my book into Spanish and Chinese – I got 2 covers. Then I woke up and took my business to Book Trail Agency. They are smart Filipinos and have an American guy called Scythe Adams front their operation. They were so convincing and I I ended up losing another $77,000 to these fraudsters. They relaunched "Dear Mr Len" and published my second book "'Solly' Mr Len". Adams phoned each night and urged me on to write more books – children's books, school books. I did as told and ended up writing 9 books. Then no royalties and packages paid for like maps for children's books not honoured. They dropped me from a great height and stole my royalties. Don't get so excited about being interviewed on Kate Delaney show Angela Chester TV show. It's all a scam and those two celebrities have no idea what is going on behind their backs. So my advice is stay away from fake Filipino publishing companies and don't pay them anything. Only deal with established mainstream publishers. There are at least 125 fake Cebu based publishing companies on the web. Be warmed, stay away from this mafia outfit.

  13. I wish to report a scam perpetrated by
    BookTtail Agency
    We are busy publishing our wildlife book, we received a mail from a sean davids at book trail agency
    We were advised that we would be interviewed on America Tonight radio station and have our interview recorded on 210 radio stations
    All we had to do was pay 1000$ to them
    The account they gave us was a 16 digit credit card number belonging to dexter …
    We googled up the Kansas city head office
    8838 sleepy hollow the head office is a shabby house
    Apparently housing teams of marketing staff,teams of financial staff ect ect
    When we asked for an invoice from booktrail agency with the company bank account
    All they did was fraudulently change the name of the account holder using the same 16 digit credit card number

  14. I have been contacted by a company called Bookjet Publicity Enterprise in Arizona trying to sell me book marketing services. Has anyone heard of these folks?

  15. I have documentation indicating that Bookjet Publicity is the successor to Optage Publishing (which is defunct, as far as I know). So it's a scam like the rest. I've added it to the list.

  16. Hi Victor,

    Good day!

    I understand that you have decided to postpone your plans in upgrading your website.
    I am hoping that you would consider this …because the investment is only USD1500.00 for your Website Upgrade and maintenance for a year. This will be fulfilled with my own marketing firm. This will be a good present for the holidays. Renaissance Publishing House.

    Sebastian Lopez
    Publicist / Managing Consultant
    Renaissance Publishing House
    2231 Shattuck Ave. Rm 227, Berkeley CA., 94704 USA
    Toll free: (888)335-0630
    Phone: (510) 345-3880

  17. Just received a voicemail, text, and email from a"Vincent Mayfield" at BookTrail Agency. (Booktrail-agency.com) with differing office locations depending on the link you click doing due diligence on google. It was immediately evident this person was in the Philippines on the voicemail. Additionally, this agency had no LinkedIn profile or results for their name including a picture, nor any name directly tied to the ownership of their website or social media accounts. Keep an eye out everyone, Booktrail Agency is still an active ongoing scam!

  18. This guy had called me too. Another person called me from this agency using a fake Anglo name but had a heavy accent.

    1. Hi, Dorothy,

      That’s a new name for me, but the solicitation is strong sign of a scam: reputable literary agents don’t solicit and they don’t charge fees. I also see plenty of warning signs at the website: no verifiable information on the company or staff, Author Solutions-style publishing packages, junk marketing offerings, and no prices (which suggests that it’s expensive).

      Additionally, domain registration information indicates that the website is less than five months old, which belies their claim to be “best in our field” and to have established lots of “incredible relationships” with clients. Plus there’s their claimed location in Cheyenne, Wyoming–which is actually the address of MyCompanyWorks, the registered agent that filed the business organization papers. Many Philippines-based scammers use MyCompanyWorks.

      Again, reputable individuals and companies don’t solicit in the way you describe; these days, that’s an almost sure sign of a scam.

  19. I found a teen online who (with the help of her supportive but naive parents) paid a company called Mascot Books over ten thousand dollars to publish her book. A lengthy comment conversation later she still can’t (or appears not to) admit that she was scammed. I hate this is happening to her. Is this the right place to mention the name, so it can be added to your list, or is there somewhere else I should find?

    1. Hi, Leiana,

      I’ve gotten a number of reports of Mascot’s enormous fees, as well as some complaints about slow or incomplete royalty payment and reporting. However, while I do consider it a vanity publisher and provide a warning about that to writers who contact me to ask about its reputation, it is a US company–not one of the Philippines-based scams that are the subject of this post.

      In this case, the parents are victims as much as the teen is–a price often paid (literally) by those who pursue publishing without taking the time to learn about the industry.

      The Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Check forum of the Absolute Write Water Cooler is a good place to report–and research–problem publishers, agents, and others. You have to register in order to post, but it’s free.

  20. Courtside Media Press reached out to me by phone today, saying they operate out of LA in California.
    They offered self-publishing for $800 and what she called marketing via story galea for $4000. Hmmm!

  21. I have a new one to share! I was approached by Pioneer Media Productions about turning my novel “Stars in the Deep: Destiny” into a movie. Since they did not ask for money up front, I pursued their help. I then found out that I should send payments to Silver Fox Media LLC to get my novel turned into a screenplay. I was a little leery, but I agreed to the need. They also wanted a Video Trailer so that was another chunk of change. I felt it was OK because it wasn’t Pioneer Media asking for the money. I secured an entertainment attorney since I was in deep water and not yet sure about swimming. Together, we found out that both Pioneer Media Productions, and Silver Fox Media LLC are actually ‘AKA’s for Innocentrix, a company located in the Phillippines. I was sending money to the same company with two names. I’m probably out 12,000 because I missed this little pitfall!

  22. One of the worst experiences of my life. They have not delivered one thing they promised. 2 years in and no author website, no book signings and 65 calls before a call back. Not to mention no royalties remitted. It is a complete scam. Get word out and talk to a lawyer about getting out of copyright and sue.

    Their reply is comical. I have hundreds of emails detailing what they promised. I working with bloggers with 20 k plus followers to get these guys shut down. It’s a total scam. I’m going to invest as much as 100k of my own money to make sure they are out of business. It’s a sham company. Wait until you see the reviews all over the web next week, not by me, people in the industry you can trust. Thank you to the thousand out there that have supported me in getting this scam shut down and prosecuting these guys. I’ll tell you when to let the reviews rip. Love u guys. They did not even provide with my author hard covers. I moved from a very reputable publisher to these scammers all because of fake promises. I’ll share the emails I received from their staff over next couple of weeks. Let’s shut them down!!! Not one cent of royalty remittance. I have 57 other authors with same story.

    They screwed with the wrong guy. A corporate attorney, partner with a wide platform. They will not be in business next year. All the bloggers out there put them at the top of the scam list.

    I even taped the calls with their reps. It’s unbelievable. Total scam. I’m doing this to make sure they cease to exist. Just be careful they will probably rebrand, rename, and try to dupe you once again. Out of business 2023.

    They have not even had their legal rep contact me. Why. It’s a complete scam. My sister, attorney extradoinaire, will be filing suit in September. I’ll keep you up to date every few days. Let’s bring them down!!!!

    The good news is when the judge or jury hears the audiotapes and sees the emails they will cease to exist. Looking out for you guys
    Why no one do it anything about?
    Why people afraid to admit that they scamed. Let’s do something about!!

  23. I have been working with Word House for over a year. i have given them a LOT of money and they have gotten my books into a lot of outlets. Amazon, B & N books a million and others. I saw their name on your list and now I don’t know which way to turn. Tell me why they are on that list, please.

    1. Hi, Dick,

      Word House is on the list because it’s a scam. A typical offer from such scams (which comes out of the blue) is to re-publish already-published books. The scammers usually follow through on these promises, primarily because they’re a way to get writers in the door so they can be solicited for more expensive services, or targeted for fraud–such as claims to be printing and distributing large numbers of books. It’s no accident that these claims are unverifiable.

      I’ve gotten hundreds of reports and complaints about this type of scam, from authors who’ve lost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. I’m also hearing from writers who’ve been ghosted by their scam publishers, and are unable to either obtain royalties or cancel their contracts. Please don’t give these people any more money.

    2. Hi! This is to inform you that I was able to validate the legitimacy of Wordhouse BP and they’re legitimate. Please disregard my comment and make sure that Wordhouse Bp will not be affected by this. Also, if there’s a way to get this comment be deleted I can’t seem to find a way to do that. Thank you for your information Victoria!

  24. Hi Victoria. Thanks for your comments on Ewings Publishing! They talk a really good story about being a Hybrid Publisher, but after getting bitten twice by scammers, I was able to start my own research into their background. It simply amazes the ability to pose as a reputable publisher, display a very good website, and suck in the unwary. Reviews and even taped interviews with authors, but when I asked to talk to one of them, I was told their ‘privacy clause’ prevented them from giving me access.

    Usually, we are new authors and that was my downfall as I was completely unaware of the duplicity of the ‘vanity’ publishing (why this name?) industry. They are anything but vanity! They rape and plunder innocent victims based on our desire to have our dreams of becoming a successful author.

    My latest problem is that my last scam publisher is still in business and I am not receiving any royalties from Amazon! This is a disaster and after countless attempts to get in touch with Amazon’s legal team in Seattle, I am still getting screwed.

    Is there any lawyer who might be able to help me with the Amazon issue? I am out almost $20,000 from two scammers and one screenplay agent who promised a contract with a film producer for my true story of a kidnapping! All BS! Where can we find an honest publisher for new authors? Do they even exist?

    Victoria, I really appreciate your publicizing the list of scammers and downright crooks!
    Here is my contact information in case anyone wants to talk about my problem. I just want to have a resolution to my situation.

    Dave Rohee
    http://www.daveroheeauthor.com
    email: contact@daveroheeauthor.com

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