Publishing Scams



We’re all well aware of the usual publishing scams. The editors, proofreaders, and others who attempt to make big bucks from those of us struggling to publish our books. I don’t mean the hardworking people in those fields, who provide an honest and exceptional service. I’m talking about those who take your money and never seem to have accomplished the task you hired them to do.

The anonymity of the internet makes it very easy for these people to operate, to ply their schemes on the unsuspecting author. Said author may have done their due diligence, but the complaints may not have been filed by those too embarrassed to admit they were scammed or the information may not have been caught by your search engine yet.

A couple of weeks ago, a fellow author asked me about a company that wanted to include one of her romance novels in a box set they would offer. This book has done well but has been available for a little over three years. Their theory was that she would make more money by including it in their box set than she was currently. They even quoted numbers based on what Amazon pays authors for their sales. Sounded too good to be true.

It was too good to be true.

Their quotes were for the sales of the full box set, the work of six authors. Since these books were available for sale already, there was no need for editing and proofreading on the “publisher’s” part. Nor did they have to provide cover art. All they were going to do was put the books up on Amazon as a box set and sell them.

To say my scam radar pinged firmly into the red is an understatement. First, the author in question had her book available through a publisher. This publisher’s contract had a clause about subsidiary rights, which the new publisher didn’t bother to address in their offer. In fact, from the tone of their offer, they weren’t even concerned with any contractual obligations. All they were interested in was getting this author to include her work in a box set and promising sales.

That’s another red ping into the scam radar. No one can guarantee sales. No matter how good a book is, unless you’re a Stephen King or a J.K. Rowling, a Tom Clancy or a Robert Jordan, or any of the other well known authors whose books sell well, you are going to have to work hard for your sales every day. We are all well aware of how difficult it is to attract readers and how much we have to work to keep them happy, yet this was another glossed over area in the offer.

I’m sure by now that you’re wondering just who this publisher is, so you can avoid the pitfall of succumbing to their offer. They are Premier Publishing & Events. (http://www.prempub.com/) and after going over their website, I was amazed to discover that most of their previous publishing experience was strictly in the magazine market. Not satisfied with the information found on the website, I did a bit more research, assisted by my author friend, and we discovered this article in London’s Daily Mirror. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/opinion/money-opinion/p-s-investigates/bogus-premier-publishing-is-behind-cancer-533124)

Turns out my author scam sensor was right on target. So was the scam sensor of my friend. It appears this company has a lot of problems, as indicated by the opening line of the article: “Dodgy “charity” ad boss…” Once both of us had read the article, we knew without a doubt that we’d discovered a new scam method (more than likely new to us, because I don’t think it hasn’t been tried before).

As always, whenever you’re looking for anything to assist you with promoting or publishing your book, you need to do your due diligence. Do the research. Don’t fall for the slick website with promises of instant fame or lots of money. Be wary of what sends tingles up your spine and talk to your friends, to see if they know anything about the place.

Another instance of Author Beware can be located if you are on alert.


Comments

Gaby Pratt said…
Having been burned before, I was interested in your blog. Thanks for the heads up.