First Time Authors Wanted. You write the check, we cash the check!

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I joined a “social network” called “Published Authors” and discovered that the vast majority of folks in the network have payed through the nose for some scam artist to “make their dreams come true.”  Yes, aspiring authors are still getting taken for a ride by printing companies that represent themselves as publishers of books.  If you “self-publish” a non-fiction book, that can be a wise idea. Lot’s of lecturers do it and sell the books at their lectures or workshops…you know, How to Decoupage a Cat. 1000 Things You can do with a Wood Chipper, Recipes my Mother Ruined, etc.

PLEASE don’t pay to have your novel printed up as if it were a book. Take the money and buy drugs and hookers, or use it to gamble at the race track or in Vegas. Any of those choices would be less humiliating than tossing it at some BS artist who claims you will be a “published author” if you pay them money.
How can you tell if you are about to be scammed?  EASY.  Dave Kuzminski knows all the tricks and warns people constantly of what to look for. I’m so impressed with Dave that he will be joining us LIVE this Saturday on my TRUE CRIME AND ,… Internet broadcast.

Now, just in case you can’t wait till Saturday, or don’t enjoy hearing people talk, here is a list Dave put together on DANGER SIGNS that you MAY be facing a scam.  There is more from Dave and even more warnings and wise advice on the Editors and Prededitors Web Site.

Some General Rules for Spotting a Scam Publisher

  • Openly advertises for writers in print or online publications or both.

  • The publisher claims that it’s seeking to publish first-time authors.

  • Openly claims that it’s not a vanity or subsidy publisher.

  • Claims that it has a new business model that will bring
    success, but never explains why successful publishers aren’t utilizing

  • Claims that the established publishers and published writers are trying to block new writers from being published..

  • The publisher gives no or very low advances for books it
    buys. When it claims to have given higher advances, it never reveals
    the names of the authors who received those higher advances so the
    publisher’s claim can be verified.

  • The publisher’s books are rarely in any bookstores,
    particularly the large chain stores that carry books from just about
    all reputable commercial publishers.

  • The publisher’s books have never been seen on a bestseller
    list published by a reputable source such as the New York Times,
    especially when said publisher claims to be large.

  • The publisher’s books rarely sell more than 5,000 books to
    readers in individual purchases and more often fail to reach that
    number with most of their books in the double-digits or low triple
    digits in sales.

  • The publisher refuses to release even approximate sales figures for its own bestsellers.

  • When confronted with very low or non-existent sales, the publisher refuses to release the book from contract.

  • Books it claims to have published were actually published by another publisher, now defunct, that used the same business name.

  • Its contracts contain provisions that prohibit complaints by its authors about its service and product.

  • Postings in online forums never seem to include anyone who was rejected.

  • Online forum criticism is frequently immediately responded to by a defender of that publisher.

  • Acceptances usually take place in less than a month. Even less than a week is not unusual.

  • Acceptance letters tend to be identical when compared with what other authors received.

  • Contract provisions are specific as to how termination can
    be invoked, but the publisher disdains using anything other than some
    other method of communication.

  • Communications from the publisher are frequently unsigned
    by any individual using a department address so that no one can be
    pinned down as responsible for any comments made to the author.

  • The publisher never gives a direct answer to any direct
    questions. Instead, the publisher points to others who are satisfied
    with policy, procedures, contract, or sales as proof that everything is

  • The publisher has a no return policy on its products.

  • The publisher regularly offers special discounts to its
    authors so they can self-purchase their own books in bulk quantities to
    resell but fails to offer regular discounts to the buying public.

  • The publisher threatens to blacklist its authors within the industry should they mention leaving.

Some General Rules for Spotting a Scam Literary Agency

  • Openly advertises for writers in print or online publications or both.

  • The agency claims that it’s open or seeking first-time authors for representation.

  • Claims that it has new methodology for gaining access or
    acceptance with book publishers, but never explains why successful
    agencies aren’t utilizing it.

  • Does not list any sales or refuses to divulge the titles of sales for confidentiality reasons.

  • Claims it performs reading and gives recommendations to
    agencies but does not list any sales or refuses to divulge the agency
    names for confidentiality reasons.

  • The only sales it lists are for vanity or subsidy
    publishers or the sales it lists were made by the author before the
    author signed with the agent, often years before representation.

  • Sales it claims to have made cannot be found listed in any reference lists of books that were printed by the supposed publisher.

  • Sales it made were mostly to a publishing house wholly or partially owned by the agency.

  • Requires an upfront payment for administration or for a web display or for later postage and copying.

  • Online forum postings never include anyone who was rejected.

  • Online forum criticism is frequently responded to by a defender of that agency.

  • Representation is usually granted in less than a month or even less than a week.

  • Representation acceptances are usually worded identically.

  • The agency name has changed, but the same personnel still
    work at the same address and there was no conflict with another agency
    with the same or a similar name and no merger to warrant a change.

  • The agency never provides original comments from publishers that manuscripts were allegedly submitted to.

  • The agency never provides original invoices or receipts
    for postage or copying expenses it claims were made on behalf of the

  • The agency suggests that it will grant representation if
    the manuscript is first given professional editing. Frequently, it will
    suggest who should do the editing or offer to make its own in-house
    editing service available for a discount price.

  • The agency threatens to blacklist its authors within the industry should they mention leaving.

P&E recommends that writers keep in mind that these rules are
based upon the known behavior of scams, but that some legitimate
businesses occasionally skirt on some of these rules in their own
normal activities. Writers should keep in mind that most scams will
follow or break more than a few of the rules we recommend for spotting
them. Legitimate businesses rarely break more than two.

Also joining us this Saturday, 2pm PDT, is Corey Mitchell, best selling true crime author. His new book, PURE MURDER, comes out next week!  Set your alarm clock, and listen live this Saturday.

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