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Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: What to Watch For

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Editing clauses are one of those publishing contract areas where there should be a balance between the publisher’s interests and the writer’s.

Publishers need a certain amount of latitude to edit a manuscript to prepare it for publication. They also need to have the right of final approval–they don’t want to be forced to publish a manuscript that the author can’t or won’t revise to their satisfaction.

Writers, on the other hand, need assurance that they will be a partner in the editing process, and that their work won’t be changed in major ways without their permission.

Guest Post: The Book Marketing Scam That Went the Extra Mile

Screenshot of fake response from "Martha Teichner" claiming to have worked with SBRC: "I got 3K sales and the reviews were brilliant"

In the super-crowded world of publishing, authors must fight for readership and exposure. That makes marketing and promotion a top concern--which makes for fertile ground for scammers.

PR scams are among the most common of the many solicitation scams that target writers. Often appearing to be reasonably priced, they promise services like social media posts, reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, blog posts and interviews, and similar low-cost-to-provide, low effort methods that sound impressive but in reality are next to useless for book promotion--even if the services are delivered, which often is not the case.

At best, this kind of "marketing" is a waste of money. At worst, the scammer will simply take the money and the scammer that's the subject of today's guest blog post from author Alina Adams. This scammer went the extra mile to cook up an appearance of authenticity...but as you'll see, Alina wasn't fooled.

Anatomy of a Fake Literary Agency Scam: Acquisitions NY / Bennett Media & Marketing

Header image: face in profile with long Pinocchio nose behind a trustworthy mask. Credit: Lightspring via

Among the most common scams targeting self-published and small press authors these days are fake literary agency scams.

These are slightly different from the agent/agency impersonation scams I've written a number of posts about, in that they don't appropriate the identities of real people (most of the time). But that doesn't mean they're not equally deceptive.

They work like this.

Rights vs. Copyright: Untangling the Confusion

Header image: pile of copyright symbols on multicolored Post-it notes (StepanPopov @

Copyright, literally, is “the right to copy.” It guarantees the authors of creative works–including books,  artworks, films, recordings, and photographs–the exclusive right to allow others to copy and distribute the work, by whatever means and in whatever media currently exist. It also prohibits copying and distributing without the author’s permission, and includes moral rights: the right of attribution (the right to be named as the creator of the work) and the right of integrity (the right to control changes to the work).

In countries that are signatory to the Berne Convention,, the international source for copyright law (including the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, and  many other countries), you own copyright, automatically, as soon your work is fixed in tangible form–i.e., the minute you write the words. Your ownership extends beyond your death--between 50 and 70 years, depending on which country you're in.

Contained within copyright is the entire bundle of rights that authors can grant to others or utilize themselves. For book authors, that includes primary rights (the right to publish in print and digital formats) and subsidiary rights (the right to make translations and audio recordings and films, to create serializations or abridgements or derivative works…the list goes on, and continues to expand as technology makes different forms of publication and distribution possible).

Alert: Scammers Impersonating Video Streaming Services With Fake Job Offers

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About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about a job offer scam in which fraudsters impersonated Acorn TV.

The scammers' M.O.: they messaged writers on Twitter and Instagram, claiming to offer an opportunity to write stories for Acorn TV and earn an improbably large amount of money. If writers expressed interest (and why wouldn't they), a two-part "texting interview" on Telegram followed, at the end of which the writer was offered a job agreement and description. Although I never heard from anyone who accepted, the presumed goal was to steal personal details, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information.

The same scammers are at it again. This time, they're impersonating Minno, a Christian streaming service for kids.

One Week, Two Fakes: American Booksellers Federation and The Acquisitions Guild

Header image: "Real" label being scratched away to reveal "Fake" underneath

As you'll know if you're a regular reader of this blog (and from your own experience if you've ever self-published), we are currently in the midst of a tsunami of scam companies that aggressively solicit authors with out-of-the-blue emails and phone calls touting phony services--"endorsement" to Big 5 publishers or major film studios, "nominations" for representation at book fairs or other costly-but-useless PR strategies, and more.

These ripoff artists often seek to boost their credibility--and stroke writers' egos--by naming some made-up organization or group that has recommended or otherwise validated the author's book. The Guild of Literary Agents, Book Acquisitions Guild of America, Book Acquisition Society, The Literary Arts Organization, Affiliation of Creator Agents, Hollywood Database, Literary Review of Books...I could go on, but you get the picture. Despite the official-sounding names, none of these so-called organizations (which I've seen referenced in multiple scam solicitations) exist--as even a cursory websearch will confirm.

Scammers, of course, are counting on writers not to check. But writers have become much more savvy about solicitation scams than they used to be--partly because there are now so many of them, and partly because there are so many warnings about them. This has caused some predators to up their game, attempting to create credibility for their made-up endorsement organizations by giving them actual websites.