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

The word SCAM on a kaleidoscopic multicolord background (credit: Lars Poyansky /

I don’t think there’s much dispute that the many “imprints” under the Author Solutions umbrella are among the most negatively regarded of all the author services companies.

From the predatory business practices that gave rise to two class action lawsuits, to the huge number of customer complaints, to the relentless sales calls and deceptive recruitment methods, to the dubious and overpriced “marketing” services that are one of the company’s main profit sources, AS’s poor reputation is widely known. Along with other factors, such as the competition from free and low-cost self-publishing platforms, this has pushed AS in recent years into steady decline.

Unfortunately, whatever gap AS’s contraction has created has been filled by a slew of imitators. Why not, when hoodwinking authors is as easy as setting up a website and opening an account with Ingram Spark? In some cases, the imitators have first-hand experience: they’ve been founded and/or staffed by former employees of AS’s call centers in the Philippines (as well as ex-employees of other disreputable companies with operations in the Philippines, such as Tate Publishing and BookWhirl.)

The copycats employ spoofed phone numbers and fake addresses (virtual offices, PO Boxes, randomly-selected residential addresses) to convince authors that they are located in the USA or Canada. Their primary targets are self- and small press-published writers, whom they attempt to poach from whatever platform or press the authors are currently with; and the elderly.

The copycats’ approaches aren’t merely deceptive, but blatantly false: claiming writers’ books have been recommended by Amazon, or spotted by a literary scout, or discovered by a Big 5 publisher, or given a favorable review by a conveniently unnamed industry expert. Like Author Solutions, they hawk overpriced publishing packages and deceptively-described junk marketing services (services that cost little to provide and can be sold at an enormous markup). They also approach potential victims by posing as literary agencies and film companies. In a number of instances, they’ve impersonated well-known and reputable traditional publishers, literary agents, and production companies. Some have even gone as far as faking letters and contracts from Big 5 publishers and major movie studios.

Many of the services the copycats sell are completely fictional: for example, book insurance (there’s no such thing), an international book seal (ditto), or retrieving a book’s “license” so it can be re-published (again, no such thing). Nor do the scammers have any connections with Big 5 publishers or Hollywood producers: promises to “endorse” or represent are just window dressing to convince you to shell out money. Marketing services, such as book trailers or press releases, may be delivered, but are frequently of substandard quality.

Often the copycats simply take authors’ money and run. I’ve heard from writers who’ve spent thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars with these scams, in many cases for goods and services they never received.

I’ve written dozens of posts about these scams and their fraudulent operations, especially their brazen (yet curiously shoddy) efforts to impersonate reputable agents, publishers, and film producers. You can see them all here.

Fortunately, the scams share a set of reliably recurring markers that can help to identify them.

– Cold-call solicitations by phone and email. Like the Author Solutions imprints, the copycats are big on out-of-the-blue phone calls and emails hawking their services. Often they’ll claim your book has been recommended to them, or was discovered by one of their book scouts, or evaluated by a literary organization or traditional publisher. Sometimes they’ll claim to be literary agents looking to transition you to a traditional publishing contract or represent you to Hollywood, or film companies that have discovered your book and think it would be great on the silver screen.

Solicitation is the number one sign of a scam these days. Real literary agents, publishers, and production companies only rarely reach out to authors they don’t already represent. For scammers, on the other hand, it’s their main way of acquiring clients. Any out-of-the-blue solicitation related to publishing or movie rights, no matter what it’s for or who it appears to be from, should be treated with caution.

Copycat sales reps can be insanely persistent and aggressive (another page from the AS playbook). I’ve heard from authors who are being driven mad by incessant phone calls (that can’t be blocked because the callers’ numbers are spoofed) or repeated emails. Some copycats do business under multiple names, and will solicit authors separately under each name; or if they strike out under one name. will solicit again using another.

– Re-publishing offers. A big focus for the copycats is poaching authors who are already published or self-published (often with Author Solutions imprints–I’ve long suspected that AS sells customer information, and it’s pretty clear that copycats’ staff either maintain contacts with Author Solutions workers who feed them information, or, if they themselves formerly worked for AS, took customer information with them when they departed). They claim they can do a better job, or price the book better, or provide greater credibility.

Often, re-publishing is presented as a pre-requisite to representing writers’ books to traditional publishers; traditional publishers, the scammers claim, scorn self-published books, and your book needs to be re-published to remove the stigma. Beyond the fact that the “self-publishing stigma” no longer exists, re-publishing an already-published book so it can be published a third time makes absolutely no sense, and is not how the legitimate publishing business works.

For most copycats, re-publishing is a gateway to the writer’s bank account. By demonstrating that they’re willing to pay, writers make themselves fair game for escalating sales pressure to buy more services, and/or fraudulent publishing and movie rights offers involving large upfront fees. Writer Beware has heard from writers who’ve lost enormous amounts to these schemes. We also regularly get complaints from writers who bought a re-publishing package and have never received royalty reports or payments. When writers get suspicious, start asking too many questions, or the copycat judges that they’re tapped out, the copycat cuts off contact, leaving authors high and dry.

– Claims of expertise that can’t be verified (in the absence of staff and owner names), or that can be easily refuted (for example, if the scammer claims years of experience but their web domain was only registered a few months ago). Some scammers include fake staff on their websites, using stock or AI-generated photos and made-up biographies. Always make sure you can independently verify any claims of accomplishments or success. If you can’t, or if the company’s website makes it impossible to do so because it provides no specifics, move on.

– English-language errors on websites and in emails. The scams are owned and staffed primarily by people for whom English is a second language. Although the advent of ChatGPT and other AI-assisted writing tools is making grammar and colloquial errors much less common on websites and in written text than they used to be, this is still an important marker that too many writers are willing to overlook.

– Phone solicitors with foreign accents. Callers are in the Philippines, and speak fluent but accented English.

– A catalog of junk marketing services, and heavy pressure to buy. Not all the copycats offer publishing services, but most offer “marketing”: press releases. Paid book review packages. Book fair exhibits. Ingram catalog listings. Hollywood book-to-screen packages. Vanity radio and TV interviews. These and more are junk marketing: PR services of dubious value and effectiveness that are cheap to provide and can be sold at a huge markup.

It’s an insanely lucrative aspect of the author-fleecing biz, not just because of its enormous profitability, but because while you can only sell a publishing package once, you can sell marketing multiple times. The copycats’ marketing services are right out of the Author Solutions playbook: AS basically invented junk book marketing, and most of the marketing services offered by the copycats were pioneered by AS. AS also pioneered the high-pressure sales tactics the copycats use.

Are you looking for the list of 200+ copycat scammers that used to be here?

Now you can find it here.

Given how often I have to update the list–several times a week on average–it was just too time-consuming to maintain it in two places.

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.


  1. Aspire Publishing Hub and Aspire Literary Agency. I thought it was odd that they swooned over my book and said several publishers wanted it in their unsolicited first email to me. And then they asked me for the title. LMAO. First red flag. Second red flag went up after I asked to see their contract, and they sent me a boilerplate I found verbatim on the web. Third red flag was after I told them I was not going to pay anything up front, and a few email exchanges later they are wanting $900 to “republish” the book that I had self-published on XLibris 20 years ago. I was still trying to figure out what the foreign accent was when I stumbled upon your web site, Victoria, and yes it is Filipino after I think about it. Nice legit looking web site, with lots of book covers, and not a single one lists the publisher. The Internet is a double-edged sword. Lots of great information and lots of criminals trying to relieve us of our hard-earned money. Once you’ve been scammed, you develop a spidey-sense for something being “not quite right”. We gotta listen to it.

    1. Hi, Andrea! Welcome to Writer Beware. The link on your name,, indicates that you work for WordTalk Press, which is just 23 days old according to its domain registration. Given that you’ve been around for less than a month, I’m a bit puzzled how you can already be “known for launching authors’ careers” or be “associated with dozens of bestsellers and award winning projects”, let alone have “negotiated hundreds of major Film, Television, Stage, and Podcast adaptation deals for our clients’ work”.

      Could it be, though, that you’re maybe not quite so new? You might want to correct a little booboo on your Services page, where whoever ported content over to your new website neglected to replace “Writers Value” with “WordTalk Press”. You might also want to think about varying the verbiage a bit, so it isn’t so obvious that it’s been lifted from the Writers Value website.

      Writers Value is already on my scam list. Thanks for helping me expand it!

      1. I feel sorry for you, Victoria. It seems like you are a very unhappy and isolated individual, perhaps due to past trauma. It’s not right to make baseless accusations against publishers, without any evidence to back it up. You shouldn’t be taking advantage of authors in order to gain their admiration.

  2. Attention all authors!!

    It has come to my attention that Victoria Strauss is currently enticing writers to enroll in her subscription service, promising insightful articles without providing any substantial evidence or proof. I urge you to exercise caution and consider the credibility of such offerings before committing your resources. It is essential to conduct thorough research and seek reliable sources when making decisions regarding your writing career.
    Stay informed and make choices based on verified information.


    Clean your shit and look to the mirror . Your life is too cheap , you no longer provides information ,instead showing to the public that you really have a psychological disorder. I thought that you are well with your schizophrenia and stage 2 brain cancer ? . I hope you are doing well to hell. Don’t worry your fans who don’t have brain to analyze on what your doing are still here , they are your angels to hell. Rest in Peace soon . Your just a 50 bucks.

    1. I hold a different perspective from Victoria, and it is disheartening for me to witness individuals applauding her actions. I have reached out to her, requesting evidence pertaining to the 150 scam companies she listed; however, regrettably, no response has been received thus far.

  4. Compound Media company says, they got my information from SFWA. Either they are lying, but how could they have my email? Did you sell my information to them or anyone from your company in cahoots with them? I don’t mind getting emails from compound media but I didn’t sign up with them and it’s only you who got my email. I have a feeling someone from your company is selling out our information.

    1. Since you’re not a SFWA member (SFWA members are the only ones who’ve gotten the Compound Media spam), and you don’t subscribe to this blog (I checked), and this is the FIRST time you’ve ever left a comment here (i.e., it’s the first time I’ve ever seen your email address), I have a feeling you’re fibbing, “Steve”. Plus, no one who has read down this far will have the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Nice troll, though (and thanks for confirming you’re a fan of my Twitter feed).

      1. Please don’t bite me Victoria. You’re quick to jump the gun. I was only asking and I am a member, but confidence is not that high anymore. I can show SFWA credit charges, if called upon. This is not the first time it happened, I have these scumbags tailing me after sharing my info here. Now, it’s the compound media corp. Don’t infantantize anyone who questions you. Why not ask me for their explanation? Is it an admission of your guilt or ignorance?

        1. Hi Steve. SFWA’s Executive Director confirmed that you’re not in the membership directory. This is clearly a terrible oversight, and I’m eager to put it right. So please do forward those SFWA credit charges! I will pass them on right away so you can claim your rightful place as a fully paid-up SFWA member.

          Seriously, dude. You and your scammer buddies are just sad with this shit.

          1. How on earth did you arrive at the conclusion that I am not a member? Just because you’re unfamiliar with my email, you’d say, ‘oh, you’re not a member.’ Taking the easy way out? Take the high road and admit your mistake! Integrity is easy to preach. Act what you’re preaching. You could have asked for my wife’s books, her name, our membership details, the email we used, etc. But instead, you rant. Is that your way of handling things? You even have the gall to switch to the offensive. Are you not interested in knowing what Compound media has to say? When my wife mentioned how much she spent on her book here on your show, your cohorts went ballistic and called us night and day. My wife only used that email here! Can you explain that? What a shame, Vic! Do you still have your faculties straight and sane, Vic?

            Yes, I’ll do that exactly and you return the fees!

          2. You’re funny, Victoria. You list all companies as a scam company and/or vanity company. Look who’s asking for payments now? haha

  5. This is a futile exercise with this group. In submitting a reply, they would either censor or block. We tried replying to several of their posts, and they wouldn’t post our reply that contains helpful information. They own this forum, so their rules. So be it.

    I’ll try it here. Contact Please email Ray for any legal inquiries at

  6. Hi Victoria. My name’s Fay Peters, from Writers Press. It seems like you know these publishers personally. Do you have proof that they are scammers? Maybe you are just trying to pull these publishers down to sell your own services. Or maybe you used to work with these publishing companies. Show us how good Victoria Strauss is, and create your own blog by showing the real you.

  7. Help me understand the below statement ( from the website of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association ) Updated March 2022. It reads;

    Full member dues are US$100 annually.

    A candidate shall be eligible for Full Membership if:

    Their catalog of paid work in science fiction, fantasy, or related genres equals or exceeds an industry standard set by the board. (US$1000)

    Please address/answer other questions

  8. Thank you for pointing the direction.
    I noticed that they only have a P.O. BOX.
    Does the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association have a physical office? When you mention sponsorship, does that refer to financial support for your blogging service, or is it limited to using their resources, such as their servers or hosting services?
    Do you get financial aid from them or their affiliates?
    I’d also like to know if the association gives you assignments on what to write or if you have complete autonomy in choosing the topics you discuss and write about. Who stores the information of your ‘sources?’ Is it the association or you? Do you maintain a shared server? Or do you keep the information on shared hosting?
    Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association has a tiered fee-based membership, $1,000 for full membership. What is your membership role, and what is your relationship with them?

  9. You never labeled my client a ‘scammer,’ Victoria.
    Your post was purely ‘narrative of views’ however, to an investigative spirit, in my opinion, it’s off tangent.
    My client is not named in this column; as mentioned previously, you never called my client a scammer but floated/offered the idea.
    I’ll do further research to see if the assumption is correct. There is one post which you collectively called a list of links ‘scammers’ and in that list, my client was incorrectly and unfairly referenced. You placed my client in the wrong category. It could be an error or by intention.
    On the other hand, sadly, your co-bloggers were not as intelligent as you are, Victoria. In their carelessness, or maybe the absence of the basic understanding of the legal defamation/libel laws, physically, in written form, called my client a scammer, which you never did.
    Their actions benefited them in a way; increased site traffic and sales of their books.
    I tried looking for your (business) physical mailing address but couldn’t find your mailing address anywhere on your website. Please email it to me.
    In reaching out to you, I hope to offer information that may save you, your followers, and your co-bloggers the legal burden and for everyone in this column to understand our freedom of speech and what FOS covers.
    As reported, defamation cases involving bloggers are on the rise.

    It’s important to understand that freedom of speech is not absolute and is subject to certain limitations, such as laws related to defamation and libel.
    These laws exist to protect individuals and organizations from false and damaging statements that could harm their reputations.
    These laws exist to protect you, similarly, my client, as well as everyone.
    When creating content or making statements about individuals or organizations, it’s important to be mindful of these legal considerations and accurately represent the facts.
    Most bloggers are tempted to tweak banner headlines to improve site traffic with the intent to benefit from it.
    Suppose you have concerns about the accuracy of the information that has been published about my client; in that case, it may be appropriate to reach out to me or your source of information to request a correction or clarification.
    Additionally, seeking the advice of a legal professional can help you understand your rights and obligations in these situations.
    Please forward your mailing address to me; if I have fully satisfied the legal requirements to proceed, our office may officially start to correspond with you.
    You may remedy any future legal proceedings by removing my client from the said list of links you labeled collectively as scam. Accusations need to be proven first prior to publication, especially if the information is unverifiable and unsubstantiated.

  10. Thank you for your response, Victoria.
    ‘ posted here under two different names’ is an inaccurate description, especially to the uninitiated reader. Sharon Brown and Sharon Brown-Ehrenberg are clearly one and the same, and it’s my only name. In this forum, there is no need to explain the hyphenating of last names; for the curious, it is for professional reasons. For example, my clients, past and present, will be able to identify me.
    The creative domain/blogging space has practices open to litigation; let’s take the example of you asking me to publish my client’s name in a public forum, which is an absolute disrespect to our client privileges.
    The link to our website has been referenced in your submission forms. It should never be published in this forum.
    Yes, you are correct; legal notices are served by legal teams/offices; mine is not a legal notice and should never be viewed as such.
    It is to inform you and this blogging space of the legal responsibilities. It is a legal requirement that needs to be satisfied, a step that needs to be taken prior to any proceedings.
    No one should feel intimidated, especially if we only speak the truth. In courts, we need to prove what we believe as the truth. Our information should be verifiable; it should be substantiated.
    My role here is to inform and fully satisfy the legal requirement.

    While the First Amendment protects freedom of speech and the press, it is not an absolute right. Defamation, libel, and slander are considered forms of speech that are not covered. Online platforms have become the target of many lawsuits as they are seen as the primary means of disseminating false or harmful information.

    As a result, and you may be aware of this, many websites now have policies to address these issues, such as procedures for removing or moderating potentially defamatory content. Platforms are also taking steps to protect themselves from legal liability, such as the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which provides immunity for online providers and users for third-party content.
    However, these protections are not absolute and can be challenged in court. As such, it’s crucial for individuals to be mindful of the potential consequences of their online actions and to understand the laws that govern speech and communication on the internet.
    While blogging has provided a platform for millions of people to express themselves, it’s important to be mindful of the potential consequences of our online actions and to understand the legal boundaries that govern speech and communication on the internet.

    For your co-bloggers who have reposted with the intent to gain publicity, sell their books, or monetize their websites, it may serve them well to reconsider. Your co-bloggers, as mentioned previously, carelessly called my client a scam, disregarding what the original blog/source was about. If your ‘information’ can’t prove it, or can’t substantiate the claim, best not to publish it. If you trust your source of information, please, by all means, continue. My role here is only to inform.

  11. People have yet to learn of their liability when they publish something online. You can post blogs about anything now, but try understanding the legal dangers you could face.
    Some posts here and comments are on the threshold. Know your rights, know your limitations, and learn how we can be sued for posting something as mundane as ‘I think it’s their business to scam people.’
    If you post unverifiable, unsubstantiated, but damaging claims against persons or businesses, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities under defamation law. You are risking more than you know. I read some of the posts here for research purposes. As a legal researcher, I am reminding Victoria et al. of their rights and responsibilities and also to remind your guests. You should know your responsibilities under the law and, therefore, how to best protect yourself from litigation.
    A statement may be defamatory even if it is framed as an opinion. If a negative comment has a basis in truth, this is not defamation. However, liability is appropriate when the statement is untrue.
    Make sure you know your rights. We advise you to tread very carefully if you don’t have any proof or substantiate your claim.
    As a legal researcher, as ordered, I am only here to research, remind, and save you, us, and our client the time.
    Please continue if you are certain that your posts are genuine and accurate. However, If you don’t have any proof, basis or can’t substantiate, it would benefit you if you reconsider.
    Now, you’ve been fairly warned.

    1. Thank you for the warning, “legal researcher” Sharon Brown. Since I’m not posting any “unverifiable, unsubstantiated” information, I don’t have any concerns. (I always enjoy it when scammers show up with a new attempt to intimidate me.)

      1. Thank you for the attention given, Victoria. That is precisely the point; if you are confident that you have the proof and your data is verifiable and can be proven, by all means, please continue. You’re doing the writing community a service. As a legal researcher, my only job is to openly communicate the legal responsibilities and obligations to the group, including your followers, and co-bloggers. Let’s have your last statement as an example, ‘ I always enjoy it when scammers show up with a new attempt to intimidate me,’ A non-legal person may see the statement as wisely and creatively framed opinion or bubble thoughts that free up responsibilities, but no, courts look at whether a reasonable reader could understand the statement as asserting a statement of verifiable fact.
        Reposting or reblogging does not free up the website owner of legal responsibilities, significantly when banner headlines are modified to generate clicks or monetize their sites. My job is to inform, and this is done to satisfy the first legal requirement. You carefully did not call my client a scam, but your co-bloggers carelessly did, and that leads me here.

        Here’s an excerpt from our website
        One of our most treasured freedoms in this country is free speech. However, making false statements is different. The physical comment must be false, harm a person’s private life or business, or expose them to public hatred, ridicule, or contempt. Commonly filed lawsuits include news stories/blog posts alleging ( please take note: alleging, before you, published, prove it. )
        Crime or fraud
        Dishonorable conduct

        Sharon Brown-Ehrenberg

        1. You quoted from your website, but didn’t provide the name of the site or a link. You mentioned a client, but didn’t say who it is. You imply you’re working for a law firm or a lawyer, but don’t say who. You have posted here under two different names.

          Credible legal notices come from lawyers, not “legal researchers”. Forgive me if I remain skeptical that you’re anything but a shill for one of the scammers discussed here.

  12. Hi Victoria:
    Thank you for your blog. As a new and naive author I self-published one book with Xlibris. Received de minimis royalties. Saw the book available worldwide, sometimes for quite high prices. I am shocked that a major bookseller would be involved in such marketing without at least ascertaining that the author receive some kind of royalty. Now I am being drowned by ‘offers’ from scammers all listed on your blog. They all want to republish or rebrand. Some mention fabulous amounts I could supposedly earn. My book is under a pen name, but these folks know my full name, how? From my publisher with whom I refuse to do any more business? From what is said I suspect some of them may have worked for my publisher. Poorer and wiser, any more publishing for me requires an agent and a lawyer.

    Keep up the good work, without you we would be eaten raw by the sharks.

    1. I’ve heard from many, many authors who can’t figure out how a scammer got hold of their unlisted phone number or knew their real name (if they published under a pen name). I think it’s likely that Author Solutions sells its customers’ information, although it could also be stolen by people who work for Author Solutions in the Philippines. I honestly don’t know.

      Author Solutions is aware of the scammers; I’ve heard from several authors to whom it sent my scam list (without attributing it to me).

      1. How did you know that Xlibris is under the umbrella of Author Solutions? Unless, Author Solutions hired you to pin point its competitors. Because as what I’ve understand. Author Solutions Incorporated is the mother of all scammers in literary world.

  13. Another thing about these Philipino scammers is none of them conveniently seems to have a linkedin or any other social media presence.

  14. I have been contacted by LitPrime Solutions, Inc. and Book Vine Press. I found it peculiar that both of these companies so happen to have Filipinas working for them. They come across as very sweet and conveniently throw in things about being Christian. They are evasive with some of their answers to questions.

  15. Hi Please include Asute Literary Agency from the Philippines.

    They scam on creating fake emails pretending to be producer asking authors to pay for screenplay as it presents a guaranteed film contract. Guaranteed by the fake producer. I have heard that they are a product of a company who operates in the Philippines – Page Turner and Pearson Media.

  16. Thanks, Victoria, for your always spot-on warnings. To underscore your accuracy, I’ve received four publishing offers for this year. One came from my literary agent and is with Amsterdam Publishers, widely considered one of the finest publishers of Holocaust books in the world. Another I managed to acquire on my own from Gen Z Publishing for a sci-fi novel, which so far (in our fourth edit) looks better than I expected. The two that contacted me (New Age Literary & Ink Start Media) were odiferous from the start. After 2022, I’ve honed my ability to detect a Filipino accent. These scam artists have overrun the North American publishing milieu, aiming at novice authors who (God bless them) are ignorant about fraud in the publishing world. I’ve never before seen this depth of scam artists in action, making suckers out of countless new authors. Victoria, there are more scam actors at play now than ever before, and they prey upon novice authors who are expecting publishers to play by Robert’s Rules of Order. Today, for such authors, it’s learn quickly or be eaten for dinner by scammers. In other words, Victoria, your services are more in need today than ever before. Thanks for everything that you do!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! It sounds like your experience with GenZ is better than that of the authors I heard from last year (plug the name into the search box to see my post). It’d be great if they’d managed to clean up their act.

  17. I paid Online bookclub for reviews of my book in January 2022, they promised to post on amazon. I did get the reviews, they also reported any typos and mistakes, but they could not post the reviews on amazon because they pay foreign readers and amazon will not allow them to post. No one cares about online bookclub’s reviews so just a waste of money. Today I recieved a request from Goldman’s to pay $1000 for 100 reviews on Goodreads. I imagine it’s the same scam.

    1. Yes, it is. These kinds of “services” directly violate the guidelines of Amazon, Goodreads, etc.–plus the reviews are typically of low quality, so even if they get posted they’re not very likely to be of much help.

  18. Hello Victoria ,

    I like your way of marketing by putting shit to someone just to raise your own chair. I believed you are the loneliest person on earth. To be honest, you won’t be an INSPIRATION to the everyone. You have a lot of negative energy inside you . I’ve been working with some companies you’ve said which we need to avoid , but in fact the this companies are the one who helps me to where I am now as an author. My question is that , where are you now ? . Your name is still known in your own world. Keep spreading negative energy !

  19. Madam
    I would like to know the credentials of ‘ Writer’s Relief’ They are communicating with me about re-publishing my novel entitled “Aliens and Mafia Susegaad’ first self-published by Partridge.
    Anticipating a comment on this.
    With regards.
    TM konni

  20. 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

  21. 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!

      1. They are not. Besides the practices you mentioned, a quick google of their name results in dozens of links and references to their scam. May I ask what proof changed your mind?

  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 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

    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.

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

  27. Just received a voicemail, text, and email from a"Vincent Mayfield" at BookTrail Agency. ( 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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).

  38. 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.

  39. 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 Thank you!

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

  40. 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

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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?

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