How Scam Publishers Take Advantage of Writers

by CJ McDaniel // May 26  

Authors, Beware of Scam Publishers!

After you finish writing your masterpiece, you have options. One of those options is typing “publishers” into Google and seeing what comes up. It’s every author’s dream to become traditionally published, but it’s extremely difficult to do.

Some companies know this and use that desperation against authors. They know they’re almost willing to do anything to get their book accepted and out there to the world. How do you spot a scam publisher? Is there a way to tell the difference between scams and legitimate publishers? Let’s take a look at several ways writers get scammed.

1) Getting Accepted by Scam Publishers Right Away

Let’s be honest for a second. It’s incredibly difficult to get your book published by a traditional publishing house. Even the most celebrated authors in the world were rejected numerous times. Also, the way the vast majority of them operate, they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. They require writers to go through a literary agent.

You may believe in your heart that you wrote the most magnificent manuscript on earth. You may well have. However, know there’s a process to these things. Scam publishers are looking to elicit great feelings of joy and take advantage of it. You finally made it to the ‘big times,’ and you’re willing to sign that contract, regardless of what it says.

2) They’ll Try to Sell You Your Own Books

One of the main strategies scam publishers use to make money is by using the author. They know they probably won’t have much success in selling your book. The reason isn’t that your book isn’t good enough. It’s because they set the price exceedingly high. A copy of your book may make it to Amazon for sale, but they set the price, and it can be as high as $40.

How Scam Publishers Take Advantage of Writers

Who is going to purchase a book from an unknown author for $40? That’s right, no one. You might get a few sales from family and friends, but otherwise, it won’t sell. They do this so they can convince the author to buy as many copies of their books as they can at a ‘discount.’

Scam publishers will give you a list of reasons why this is necessary. In reality, they do it to line their pockets. They’ll offer you packages, suggesting you buy in bulk. The more you buy, the cheaper it is. When you suggest that they lower the price on Amazon, the scam publisher will tell you they know more about the industry than you do.

3) Fees Everywhere

Here’s a great piece of advice for every aspiring author: you don’t have to pay money to get published. Now, this is entirely different if you purposely pay for editing services with a legitimate company. However, when it comes to a publisher, you don’t have to pay. Fees shouldn’t be on the table, but the scam publisher will milk authors of every dime they have.

The company might ask for a small ‘reading fee’ or a ‘printing fee.’ If you’re self-publishing, then yes, it will cost money to get these things done. However, legitimate publishers do not charge for their services. They get their money from book sales, which is why they have high standards. Don’t get lured into thinking you should have to pay anything to get published.

5 Self-Publishing Scams Authors Needs to Watch For

Important questions you need to answer before you sign on with any company to help you publish a book.


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About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!