Book Publishers To Avoid And New Author Scams

Book publishers to avoid and author scams

For new authors, beware of vanity publishers and publishing services that offer you an easy way to publish your book. These are often book publishers to avoid because it can often lead to making an expensive mistake.

Have you received an email or social media message from an agent or publisher offering to publish your book?

If you are an author, you may have received many of them. On average, I get at least one per week.

Most new authors are active on social media, making it easy for these publishers to obtain their online contact details. That’s why so many new authors receive unsolicited, too-good-to-be-true publishing offers.

The warning signs of a scam publisher

Watch out for publishing companies that make you an offer that includes the word free. It is a signal that you should be very suspicious.

Offering free manuscript appraisal, a free handbook, free book marketing, or free editing is common. These are the inducement offers for an author to buy an expensive publishing package.

It is a classic approach of vanity presses that try to lure you into expensive contracts promising to produce quality books.

Sadly, in today’s publishing world, many new authors fall prey. I receive messages frequently from authors who have been published by a vanity publisher and have regrets.

Some of these publishing houses call themselves self-publishers. This description is simply not correct.

Self-publishing is a free service available to all new authors.

You can use Amazon KDP, Apple, Nook, Smashwords, and Draft2Digital, to name a few of the many reputable self-publishing services.

With these companies, you can publish a book with only a minimal investment in preparing your book.

But unfortunately, some new authors continue to fall for the same old traps.

If your goal is to become a published author, beware of publishers trying to sell you dreams. They can so quickly turn into nightmares.


Writers beware! Author Solutions has a reputation

By far, the most commonly mentioned vanity publisher is Author Solutions.

It trades under a long list of names, including AuthorHouse, AuthorHouse UK, AuthorHive, iUniverse, Palibrio, Partridge Publishing, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris.

All of these names should raise red flags for authors.

These two short quotes from a page on The Alliance of Independent Authors explain the vanity business model very well.

And also AuthorSolutions’ defense in a class-action lawsuit.

“Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so by selling books back to its authors, not to a general readership, and by selling its authors expensive publishing, editing, and marketing services that are effectively worthless.”

“Author Solutions preys upon the dreams of authors by selling them expensive services that sound exciting but do not actually sell any books. Their defense: They aren’t being deceptive because they aren’t trying to sell books. Of course, for nearly 200,000 authors who have paid thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars to buy expensive services that promised to promote their books, Author Solutions’s (sic) indifference to book sales comes as more than a bit of a surprise.”

Other problematic publishers

There are a lot of vanity book publishers and publishing businesses that operate in a similar manner.

They usually offer to publish trade books and be a one-stop shop for publishing.

But they never mention anything about selling your books to readers.

A lot has been written about possible Page Publishing scams. Is it a legitimate company or not? Judging by this advisory on BBB, it is one company that could cause you concern.

These are book publishers to avoid.

If your dream is to be a published author, there are better and far more cost-efficient ways to do so.

Vanity presses only want to sell books to authors, not to readers.


The latest book scam. The Editor in Thief

It takes a long time for you to write a book.

But new Kindle Unlimited charlatans have found a shortcut. They pose as an editor. But once you send your manuscript, they publish your months of years of hard work for themselves.

So not only do you lose your money, but you also lose your book.

I was only made aware of this awful scam by an author who fell for the trap.

After sending the Word document for editing, it took only two days for the book to appear on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. The scammers didn’t even change the title, only the author’s name.

Authors need editors, so how can you avoid this new trap?

First, check if the editor has a website. It should list price estimations for a variety of editing services. You can ask an editor if they have a website, or you can do a Google search.

Next, check the email address. If it has the site name, for example, and [email protected], you can proceed with reasonable assurance.

Be careful if there is no website, and the email address is Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail with a non-descript name.

Scammers hide behind these types of email accounts with addresses that often consist of a jumble of letters and numbers—for example, [email protected].

Hiring any service online should be approached with caution. Do your research, ask for referrals or references, and proceed slowly.

Then, use a secure and safe means to send your manuscript file.


The self-publishing services scam

Anyone can publish a paperback or an ebook for free using self-publishing services such as AmazonKDP and Draft2Digital.

So why would anyone pay someone to do it for them?

Perhaps some new authors are not all that confident in the computer skills they need for the publishing process. They may also not know about all the options available to them.

So naturally, they look for help. If fortunate, they will find a friend or relative who can help them do everything for free.

However, new, inexperienced authors can potentially become victims when they place their trust in someone online that they don’t know.

The cost for assisted self-publishing can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Most of these services deliver on their promises. But some can be outrageously expensive for such a simple service.

However, be aware that there are also scammers who ask for payment upfront and then take your money and run.

Once again, like checking an editor, look at the website and email address, and definitely ask for at least two or three referrals from previous clients.


Taking the traditional route

By far, the best way to get your book published is to find a literary agent to represent you.

It is not easy to succeed, but an agent will work for you to have your book published.

Usually, it will be with a traditional publishing house such as Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, or one of the many subsidiaries or imprints of these reputable publishers.

By taking this route, you may be fortunate enough to receive an advance. However, they are not as generous as in years past.

Traditional publishers incur all the costs involved in book publishing. This includes editing, book cover design, marketing, and print production.

They will publish and distribute your book to brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as online retailers.

When you sign a book contract with a publisher who produces, distributes, and markets your book, it allows you to concentrate on being an author.

A lot of authors nowadays skip this opportunity, believing that it is impossible. But publishers always need fresh new talent, so the door is certainly not closed at all.

But you will need to knock very loudly. It’s a tough road, but it’s definitely worth a try before rushing into self-publishing.

You never know your luck.


Self-publishing means, doing it yourself

If you decide to self-publish, you are the boss. For many authors, it is an enjoyable and profitable choice.

You will need to do everything yourself and pay for what you can’t do. You will probably need to pay for a book cover, an editor, negligible print book costs, and book promotion.

But your royalties will be much higher than if you were traditionally published. You can get up to 70% royalty for every copy you sell if you use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

You can also use other publishing platforms and book distributors.

These are often called aggregators, such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital. In this way, you can sell your books on many different book and ebook retailers.

With both, you can make your ebooks available on Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, along with many other outlets, including libraries. Their royalty rate is around 60% on average for ebook distribution.

With basic computer skills, you can have a book online and for sale within 24 hours in many cases. The publishing services of Amazon and aggregators are totally free. It is, of course, the main attraction.

But, it must be said that book sales can be difficult to attract if you are a new author.

Self-publishing is not an easy way to succeed, but it is a safe way to publish if you stay with the three services I mentioned above.


Assisted self-publishing

Another alternative is to use an assisted self-publishing service.

Some of the most reputable companies include Blurb, Lulu, and BookBaby.

If you are not confident you can do everything to self-publish your book, it is a good option.

You can publish a high-quality trade paperback in a choice of book sizes and also publish an ebook version.

These companies usually distribute to Amazon and other online book retailers.



In today’s publishing industry, there are two ways to publish and be sure you will not be scammed.

Take the traditional route or self-publish and do everything yourself.

Avoid becoming tempted by offers from people and book publishers that you don’t know. It might seem like a wonderful opportunity, but it is rarely the case.

It is hard work to write and publish a book, and it’s a gamble. It’s a fact that very few books sell well.

Handing over a huge amount of money to someone you don’t know will never make it any easier or guarantee success.

But if you are considering an offer, always carefully check the reputation of a book publisher.

Don’t let sharks and publishing scams take advantage of your dream.



Best and Worst Self-Publishing Services Reviewed & Rated by the Alliance of Independent Authors (Alli)

Check Alli’s vetted list for publishers clearly marked in red with a history of problems. These are definitely ones to avoid.

You will find alerts for problematic book publishers, such as AuthorHouse, Dog Ear Publishing, Dorrance Publishing, and Page Publishing, just to name a few.

You can also find more information about problems with publishers on the Writer Beware Blog.


Related Reading: Paying A Vanity Press To Publish Your Book – Be Very Wary

229 thoughts on “Book Publishers To Avoid And New Author Scams”

  1. It is such a shame, that in this day and age when you develop a wonderful novel, there are so many greedy vultures, lurking ready to take your hard earned banknotes from you. I was going to ask why?, but we already know the answer, they want to steal your money. It’s that straight forward, ruddy villains. All I wish to do is publish my first master piece.

  2. I have been writing books and using self-publishers for over9 years. I have been using IngramSpark. I have 8 books published by them. They are a very good service, with the largest worldwide distribution of any of the self publishers, they claim, with facilities in Australia and Europe. They distribute through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and even Walmart. Prices are VERY affordable; my last book cost $49 to upload and print.
    The only problem with publishing through Amazon is that all the other retail distributors won’t sell your books, I understand, so you are limited to only one distributor.

  3. I just inquire Kbook Publishing (‘’), it seems to have a reputable company for self-publishers, does nay one knows about it

  4. I have just inquired with a company, Writers Tree. Does anyone know anything about them?
    The reviews I have read have not been from authors, only things written from their description of what they do. I can not seem to find any legal information on them.

    1. Avatar for Mickey J Ridings, JD
      Mickey J Ridings, JD

      I am in email correspondence with Ben White, The Writers Tree, I do not know anything yet. Did you ever contract with them?

      1. My experience with the writers tree was really good, maybe i just got lucky I was working with Ben White and he had my manuscript, illustrations and book cover ready as soon as i could imagine and I was even offered a good marketing package which I just bought from them this week, and im quite sure they will not disappoint!

    2. Avatar for patti G collins
      patti G collins

      We got.scammed out of 700.00. They do nothing but say what theyre gonna do, ask for more money and produce no results.

  5. I have been dealing with a company called “Book Writing Founders” and I have already sent them 1,200. I am so far somewhat satisfied with what they have done, but, they have done and said some things that concern me. Has anyone had any experiences with them? Thank you.

  6. Wow, over twenty years later and I find out iUniverse is a scam. Over $400 out of pocket and never returned, nor any marketing and distribution services were done. My first published book was from them. Wonder if I can sue?

  7. I received an email from Penguin Classic Writers is this an legit publisher? Because they do charge a lot also, but I won’t have to do anything.

    1. Avatar for Raymond Fenech Gonzi
      Raymond Fenech Gonzi

      You should know that those who advise authors to find a literary agent are living in La La land or must like me be over their sixties and think literary agents today would consider new clients. Literary agents today make a choice depending on who you are, a VIP, a singer, a queen or a prince and even what these people have written is not worth the paper, they will accept them as clients. Today, no matter what you do, expect to pay money.

      In case, some have the total misconception that I am a rookie in this field, I am not. I have a BA, MA and PhD in creative writing and used to warn students not to turn to self-publishing because it’s another name for vanity publishing. An author should learn how to walk first before trying to compete in a marathon. So, the first step is choose or decide what are your favourite subjects, and if you know little or nothing about the chosen field start reading books, apply for courses and make sure you have the knowledge and eventually the authority to write about this field. Accumulate as many publication credits as possible because today, publishers only publish mostly well-known authors, people who write about subjects that in their opinion would sell or people who happen to have an enormous following on social media.
      I have both self-published in my younger days and after winning some writing contests, I was nominated for The Pushcart Prize twice within four months. As a result, I was awarded two traditional publishing contracts so I have an idea how that works too.
      Speaking about traditional publishers, please do note that today, reading books is no longer that popular because state of the art technology has taken the focus from books to social media. Hence why publishers struggle to sell books and trust me not only those few that are written by new authors but also big names. I have man poet laureates and prize-winning authors including a best-selling novelist and poet in Canada who complains how little books her publishers manage to sell. Of course she is in her nineties and remembers times when she used to have to reprint a particular book as it would sell out. Now, Penguin Books, Wipf & Stock and even Harper & Collins, top publishers have introduced subsidiary companies which offer self-publishing services. Can it get any worse than that? I doubt it. I am sure that this decision was taken because they have not been selling books in the same amounts they used to sell way back, say in the eighties.
      So, those advising all self-publishing companies are vanity if they charge small fees to design, layout, distribute your book world-wide, create an author’s web site, edit the MS, issue press releases and send books to relevant reviewers, they have not been very busy trying to market any books recently.
      About a year ago, I wrote to a literary agent who supports writers who write supernatural and paranormal fields. I wrote to at least another 24 agents in the same period and to date, even for courtesy’s sake NONE of these have written back to tell me they already have too much on their plates.
      Submitting to traditional publishers is very much the same. You read the guidelines of most of them and it really sounds these have been written with no other purpose but to discourage new authors. If you are lucky to find one that will at least answer your query, or to say something about your book synopsis, you can consider this as if you have won the lottery. What comes after is a marathon. For a reply expect to wait three to six months. Some will take a year, and many do not answer unless they recognize the book as one written by Ernest Heminway, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Bernard Cornwell. some even have the audacity to say this on their guidelines: unless the MS interests them they won’t even reply so after say six months, if you get no answer, consider your MS rejected. Time for publishers has become immaterial, even forgetting that some authors are walking into the sunset of their careers and have serious health issues, so time is of essence. Who cares, if the author has come up with a great book based on the University of Life from where he obtained some incredible experiences that would surely interest people. No and No, they have to be 400% sure they will publish ONLY BOOKS that will line up their pockets and make them as rich as the late Queen of England.
      Recently, I was lucky to arrive to the stage when a big publisher asked me for a synopsis of my book, and after six months, he asked me for sample chapters. Then, for the full MS. Another six months wait and the editor writes back what I thought was an acceptance email, saying the MS is “fascinating”! He added he was forwarding to a special board of theologians, since the book was on a religious theme and after a month, they rejected it on the basis that it was not in line with Roman Catholic theology.
      In the meantime, the monk, one of the Pope top ten exorcists passed away. I had been working on this book for over five years. He was a friend of mine and being a monk he had taken a vow of poverty so he owned nothing, no property, no money and no wealth. I could have asked for a fee but being a very close friend, and a monk supported by the fact he was always there for me, I wouldn’t have charged him a cent even if he was filthy rich.
      I submitted the book to dozens of other publishers, including the three big names I mentioned and all three accepted the MS. However, when I spent two days filling forms with the requested information about the book, they all did the same thing – present me with the production costs!
      There are self-publishing companies that are very good and if they are BBB members, authors can always have the option to resort to make any complaints to them, hence why sharks or scam companies won’t be members of the BBB because they know legal action will be taken and their name will son become known for what it is, a scam!
      One last thing I wanted to say is that not all authors, specially my age are so computer literate they can publish and design their books themselves. You need quite a few special computer programmes to be able to do this such as a PDF because all Word Document files have to be converted to PDF before you can upload on Amazon or any other online book publisher of your choice. I publish a literary magazine available on amazon. I can only say I had to hire the services of an experienced company that can fix your publication in a way so that it sells, it is advertised on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media available. All this takes a lot of time even for the professionals, never mind for a person who was not born with a computer in his lap. Writers would do well to spend their time doing what they know how to do best WRITE!
      There are authors today who offer free emails if you subscribe which will send you a whole list of legitimate self-publishing companies that will charge you a fair amount of money and do all the work I mentioned above. In the meantime, you can spend your time writing and publishing instead of wasting your time trying to find literary agents or traditional publishers. Publishers are not time-conscious and if you want to spend your time hoping to hit the jack pot, trust me it’s easier to win the national lottery than to find a publisher. Oh, sure everybody can win the lottery or find a publisher, but is it worth wasting half your life trying, if not all of it and living your life frustrated and even angry? Perhaps someone should tell literary agents and publishers, human life is short even if they live up to 100 years. Unfortunately some succumb much earlier as we all know.
      Many publishers who self-published produced Best-Sellers, so why not give it a try?

  8. has anyone had experience with writers value? I self published as a new author with I-Universe. It was a good experience and they did what was called for in the contract. The book called “Surviving a Takeover; The Human Factor” has continued to received rave reviews, but has not sold well. I receive many calls from companies wanting me to pay various amounts so that they can re-market or republish the book.
    Recently I was approached by a person saying he was from Simon & Schuster, and that the book has passed initial screening and they wanted to pay big dollars to publish the book internationaly. They want me to use a literary agent from Writers Value. I have looked up scam alerts on Writer’s Value but did not find much. They want no money and are offering enough to believe it is too good to be true. Anyone have ideas or suggestions as to any dealings with them?


    1. Richard, I’m in discussions with Writer’s Value and a supposed Acquisition Editor, a Sean Manning from Simon & Schuster. They haven’s asked for money yet and are making large $ offers should my book ‘make the final cut.’ I keep wondering: if S/S wanted my novel, why don’t they just get in touch with me?
      Doesn’t feel right. My first contact person with Writers Value suddenly ‘went on leave.’ None of these people speak like native English speakers. Unfortunately, I have already sent them a copy of the ms of my novel ‘Beth’s Book.’ I fear I’ve screwed myself (and hope I’m wrong).

    2. The same thing happened to me. I received a call out of the blue and what you describe is what happened to me. Did you find out anything? I asked the hybrid publishers I have been working with and they were strangely quiet. They said enough to make me dismissive of Writer’s Value but they didn’t want to come right out and say it was a scam. Like part of a secret society. I suppose the name says it all.

  9. Avatar for Christine K Calabrese
    Christine K Calabrese

    BEFORE you decide to write your “Best Seller” remember, that your book must hit a niche market, Amazon is crowded now. You must market your book yourself. And you must learn all the tech behind the marketing.
    Author Central
    A+ Content
    Look Inside

    You CAN do this, there are videos GALORE on YOUTUBE teaching you to do this, you need to invest TIME, NOT money. DO NOT FALL prey to these scammers. And do not fall prey to the idea that you will have a best seller! That would be wonderful but you must work hard, there are so many authors now. Also produce an EXCELLENT product, do not skimp on your writing. Get it edited again and again and do it over and over. Remember you can always change your cover and even your PDF on Amazon. I use Amazon and Ingram Spark. I do it ALL myself with my illustrator as I write Children’s Books. This is a HOBBY not a money maker!

    1. Avatar for Raymond Fenech Gonzi
      Raymond Fenech Gonzi

      Yes, when you are still an aspiring author, time is not of the essence as it is when you have been working over five years on a book, tried to publish with two traditional publishers who despite they are two of the best, still screwed me. And thank God the publishing contract of the second expired.

      Between contacting these two and getting the contract another two years elapsed! Now, I’m looking again but most certainly I cannot afford to wait another three years, maybe I win the national lottery. Literary agents are a myth – forget they will even bother to answer your message as simple courtesy. Unless you are a VIP or a millionaire etc etc.

      Trying to self-publish – sure that is one hell of a way out of all this waiting and hoping, BUT you need to either be very much acquainted with computers and publishing gadgets, and most importantly have the time to do it or to learn. So, this does not apply to everybody because there are authors like me walking into the sunset of their career. time is of the essence.

      Traditional publishers were the ones who wasted three years of my life for nothing and that’s just the two which both let me down: one changed his mind to publish the book, and the other let the publishing contract expire, so he could (that’s what he thought) re-design another contract and force me to decimate half the book.

      The book was a book of memoirs by one of the Pope’s top exorcist monks. Well it suffices to say that the monk passed away in the meantime and will never see his book in print.

      There are many a good self-publishing company – look them up and see the reviews. Most that are trustworthy are members of the BBB and trust pilot will confirm this. Traditional publishers today do not pay upfront sums of money, most will tell you they will publish book but you will never see a cent from your royalties until they recoup the production expense. Or else, just like they did to me, they allowed the six-month contract to expire because most desperate authors would have allowed them to write whatever conditions they wanted on the new contract and do what they want with their MS. So, no upfront fees: $40,000 for a 365 page MS is fair; no royalties until they recoup the production fees which they already got paid for by not paying you a cent for the book and then as if that is not enough, they let your contract run out and hope you ask for an extension so they have total control of your work.

      Basically, if you did not get paid the upfront fee and will not be getting royalties for the book until (and when is that going to be) they recoup the production fees, you already paid for in the first place, you might as well pay for self-publishing services, get at least 70 to 100% royalties immediately as the book is set up and ready online to start selling.

      One more thing: Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books, Wipf & Stock and Harper & Collins have all set up self-publishing subsidiary services under other names. Guys, I’ve been all around and seen it all and done it all. Fact is, today, we are living in a world where nobody is going to give you ANYTHING for free – not unless they are sure they will become millionaires at your expense.

      Have you ever observed the audacity by which big publishers and now even small ones tell you the same thing on their submission guidelines? “Waiting time is six to 12 months” – if you do not hear from us by then, consider your work rejected!” Does that not sound like the editors have their heads deeply embedded up their asses, hence why they are so disrespectful to authors? So, they have email outlook and automated replies and these guys’ ego is so immense, it clouds their vision and they think that they can say what they like without consequences. To be honest, when I see sub guidelines like these, I never even bother to read the rest, never mind send them my work.

  10. I found Tellwell publishing to be a good company that lives up to it’s promises, I would recommend them to new authors-

  11. For the past 7 years Amazon has been selling my award-winning books, refuses to pay me the royalties they owe me, and has been sending me 1099 forms on which I have had to pay federal income tax. Every time I complain, Amazon USA sends my complaint to Amazon UK, who claims I never had an account with them. Amazon says that these violations are legal and refuses to work with me to clear them up.

    1. Avatar for Arthur Wiederhold
      Arthur Wiederhold

      i’m having same problems with amazon. Supposedly they send money to publishers and nothing ever gets to me. They blame each other. I think both Amazon and the publishers are crooks.

      1. Not sure if this the same as PrimeChamber, but this company is listed under Authorunit and, according to Writers Weekly, is a scam.

  12. Hi can anyone advice on L R publications , I have been contacted by them on a 50/50 split to publish. Has anyone dealt with this company. ?

    All thoughts/comments appreciated on this. I’m not closing down the offer yet, simply open to others thoughts or experiences.


        From our records it appears that you submitted your manuscript to us and it was ultimately unsuccessful and rejected.

        For context we receive between 300 – 400 submissions each month but we are only able to make a maximum of 5 publishing offers a month. So whilst we are sorry that we could not publish your book, we did try and provide you with constructive feedback so that you could make changes and hopefully have better luck with another publisher.

      2. At their expert coercion, you to send your entire MS to them, they then advise you their top editor has ‘Appraised it’ and feel it would sell, included with this response are their T&C’s amounting to you paying a vast amount for publication and so called management where they retain 50% of any future sales. When, in my case, BELAYEDLY and REGRETTABLY, you review the company via sites like this, you don’t know what you in for when you tell them you want to explore and consider other options, Back comes a response asking you to continue with your submission because IR Publications are your ONLY real option for success. When you politely refuse, back comes a whole A4 page of hysterical, almost childlike abuse from the editing manager. My first advice is do your initial reviews of ANY online publishing companies. My second is STAY AWAY – STAY AWAY – STAY AWAY from IR Publications. Finally, if you want to at least get your MS into print in several countries for absolutely no charge – consider Draft2Digital. I’ve been with them for years. You probably won’t make a fortune but you will have the joy of knowing your story is out there! Good luck and best wishes!

        1. Avatar for Response from company:
          Response from company:

          Dear Barrie,

          Thank you for your comment. As a traditional publisher it is our job is to publish books that have literary merit and sell them in book shops. From our records it appears that you contacted us and asked us to publish your book but unfortunately after careful appraisal it appeared that your book was not suitable for commercial publication. For this reason your submission was rejected. But please do not take this personally as our company received over 400 submissions each month and out of these on average only 2 – 3 submissions are accepted for publication. But our editor did provide you with some critical feedback so that you could make changes and resubmit your work to another publishing company.

    1. I had an AWFUL experience with this company. They offered me a contract some months back and when I turned them down because I got a better offer from a reputable publisher, sent a string of abusive emails. By the way, the so-called office is derelict and to the best of my knowledge is a PO Box address. Google maps depict it nicely.
      I hope that helps.

      1. OMG thankyou for this. I had exactly the same treatment from (name removed my moderator)
        was asked for 3 pages. (My work is aimed at kids 0-8 with no illustrations as yet.) They then said they ” felt strongly” wanted to see the whole manuscript. Apparent interest it seemed. They did not ask for illustrations, just a synopsis and background info on me. I was suspicious though. Instincts at fear of letting go of my work. Their 2 websites are awful. 1 dominated by pics of main guy (
        Anyhow since I had only seen….the cheaper looking website, I responded that before sending my full manuscript could I get some more info etc. No response. I called and asked again. No response. Called again and told the receptionist ( not based within their offices) I wouldnt leave another message but that Id email instead. Apparently that was rude of me because I received an utterly arrogant email, telling me that ” it was very, very simple”…all I had to do was send in my whole manuscript ( yes, he used the word very twice). Patronising twat. So I apologised and said there must have been a misunderstanding. Then I sent another email thanking them, but that I was closing my application. Following that……, I received the Mother of all abusive emails from him ” rejecting my manuscript”. He told me my 3 pages were worse than the submission hed received from an 8 year old. . He said he was incredulous -“beyond him” – that I would not attach illustrations with a childrens book, ( patently false since trad. publishers offer design services), that it was the “worst submission” hed ever seen, and that since my input was ” worthless”, they were rejecting… ;-). Seriously no joke. Be warned. Highly unprofessional at best. Abusive at worst.


        From our records it appears that you submitted your manuscript to us and it was ultimately unsuccessful and rejected because it was poorly edited.

        For context we receive between 300 – 400 submissions each month but we are only able to make a maximum of 5 publishing offers a month. So whilst we are sorry that we could not publish your book, we did try and provide you with constructive feedback so that you could make changes and hopefully have better luck with another publisher.

        It is a shame that rather than take our advice and well intentioned feedback positively, you have decided to leave negative comments. Hopefully one day you will take our advice so that you can get your book successfully published.

        In regards to your other comments any author who is successful and actually offered a publishing contract with us is able to visit us at our offices in Bloomsbury or in East London.

          1. REPLY FROM COMPANY:

            We have two offices, one in Bloomsbury and one in East London. These are physical offices that our authors can and do visit us at any time.

      3. Avatar for Response from company:
        Response from company:

        Dear Lila

        Thank you for your comment. As a traditional publisher it is our job is to publish books that have literary merit and sell them in book shops. From our records it appears that you contacted us and asked us to publish your book but unfortunately after careful appraisal it appeared that your book was not suitable for commercial publication. For this reason your submission was rejected. If you were successful then you would have been invited to visit our office in Bloomsbury or in East London which are real offices where we meet our successful authors on a weekly basis.
        We are happy to hear that your book was accepted by another publisher and we wish you the best of luck with them.

    2. HI

      i have just had the same experience with LR price publications, having waited 2 years for my manuscript to be returned and approved, i challenged them only to get a solicitor letter threatening me….so silence since….how did i fall for these awful people….with £1240 lost, and never to be returned, i am now re-writing my book, they can keep that manuscript..lesson learnt,,,,may they reap the karma they have put out there for people just trying to spread positivity….

      1. I’ve seen that legal threat! Google the name of their “solicitor” and look up their registered address and their finances in Companies House. Termination due to breach of contract leaves them with indefinite non-exclusive publishing rights to your book, also. Lesson learned WAY too late here too.


          This comment is anonymous so we cannot reply on specifics, however if we the publisher has paid money to your book then we would own some rights to the book.

          This is explained very clearly at the time of signing the publishing contract and very similar to how a traditional publishing contract works. If you prefer to keep all of the rights to the book yourself then you would have also be given this option at the time of the contract.

          If we pay money to publish your book and then we pay for a print run and then send the book to distributors and retailers then of course we need non-exclusive rights to publish and sell your book if you changed your mind and terminated the contract, otherwise every book store in the country who has bought your book would need to send the books back to us, which would be ridiculous and would mean all distributors cancelling their contracts with us.

          In regards to any legal threats it would appear that you probably threatened us with legal action and our legal office replied and explained the situation to you in regards to non exclusive rights. You are welcome to seek legal advice yourself.


        From our records it appears that your contract prevents us from publishing your book without your permission. Therefore you should request an amendment to the contract so that your book can be published. Alternatively you can request changes to be made via your edtior.

      3. REPLY FROM COMPANY:- From our records you asked us to publish your book and we agreed to we paid over £2000 to publish your book which means we have effectively purchased some limited rights to your book. This is similar to a traditional publishing contract.

        Accordingly we are entitled to make sure that it is published to a high standard prior to it being distributed, otherwise book shops will refuse to take it and we will lose money in sales.

        Unfortunately when this was explained to you – you threatened us with legal action and told us you were going to take us to court, whilst it appears that this was an empty threat we do need to take all threats of legal action seriously.

        All our legal officer did was respond to your legal threat and remind you again that we had in effect purchased some of the rights to your book and that any legal case would only likely confirm this.

      4. Avatar for REPLY FROM COMPANY:-


        This comment is anonymous so we can’t comment on specifics. But its would very unusual for us to issue a legal threat to an author (it literally makes no sense and has never happened) but what has happened on only two occasions in eleven years is that an author may make a threat of legal action against us as a company and then this threat is then passed to our legal department who have to deal with it.

        1. You say only twice in eleven years has an author made a legal threat against LR Price but in the above comments alone you accuse at least five people of having made legal threats? I’ve also never seen a company reply to comments quite so aggressively in my life – not just here but on Reddit and Google and elsewhere. I appreciate it must be difficult for a small company in a challenging industry to field negative publicity but surely the professional response would be to open a channel to address the authors’ concerns and move forward? Your public responses are red flags enough.

          1. Avatar for Reply from company:
            Reply from company:

            Dear Angela PPP

            Thank you for your comment.

            We can only comment specifically about a case from an author in a public forum if that author has given us permission to, because most of our authors have confidentiality clauses so we can have open dialogue about specific cases in this forum. However each author who contacts us is given a dedicated assistant editor whose only job is to communicate with them and provide them with updates.

      5. Avatar for Reply from company:
        Reply from company:

        Dear Maree Gee

        Thank you for your comment. We are not aware of you as being one of our authors as we have no record of an author by that name and we are not aware of any author to whom we have sent a solicitor letter. We are also not aware of any book like this which is outstanding for publication.

        If you are an author then please contact your assigned assistant editor by email and they will be happy to assist you.

    3. Avatar for Assistant Editor
      Assistant Editor

      Dear Alan

      I work for that company as an assistant editor and would like to inform you that if you can contact you editor at any time by email and they will send you an update.

      Kind regards,

    4. Avatar for Assistant Edtior
      Assistant Edtior

      Dear Richard

      I work for that company as an assistant editor and would like to inform you that it sounds like under the terms of your contract they are not legally allowed to publish your book unless you give them permission to do so. Therefore I would suggest contacting your editor to request the most recent edits or if you would like your contract amended you should contact their legal department and ask for the contract to be amended.

      S. Gregory.
      Assistant Editor

    5. Avatar for Stephen Pollard
      Stephen Pollard

      I’ve had no problems with the company. They helped me take my manuscript to the next level and provided artwork. Publishing is not a quick process, so be prepared for it to take some time.

      Regarding the 50/50 split, they offer different options based on how much they put in (how much risk is shared between you and them) so choose the option that suits you best.

  13. Does anyone know anything about HMD Publishing? They’ve reached out to me via social media and I’m getting weird vibes from them.

    1. Why can’t the law makers go after these wolf publishers. AuthorHouse took my $14,000 and never gave me a dime. What should I do?

  14. I wouldn’t call Page Publishing a scam. Yes, I paid their fees. paying on a 10-month plan made it possible to do, but they did everything they said they would do. The major drawback for me is the “Print on demand” delivery system. I’ve been fighting Barnes&Noble to get my book on their shelves locally. They won’t stock “print on demand” books. I offered to supply them with the ones I had, but I still had to go through their corporate red tape. They stopped replying to my emails, so I guess I know their final answer. The other issue is their weak marketing plans. I do have to do a lot of self-promoting and marketing. For an introvert, I can’t tell you just how much fun that is. I would not use them again, but they did do everything they said they would, and my publication coordinator was excellent throughout the whole process. My book’s been published for seven months now, and I can still email her with questions. I am struggling with sales, however, so I will probably use a literary agent next to see what my options are.

    1. This year alone I have been contacted via text, email, or by phone by over 100 so called agents for Simon & Schulster, Gotham, and a few other publishers. My first question is;”Who are the editors that will actually work on my manuscript”? They will offer you a name, so put off the call until you speak with the company and ask for the editor by name as you may have been told. Then call for the companies security department and offer them the name and phone number to who called you. I called back the person on one call after doing so called B.S. on her. A day later the phone number was non-existent. I have received between 3 and 10 calls a week the past year, all their numbers Re blocked!

    2. I also went through Page Publishing, and yes, they did everything they agreed to, but it was expensive. I also had to participate in the editing process and make a number of corrections in the manuscript. The biggest problem is that because I incurred all of the costs of publishing, (in spite of them telling me they do an email blast) there really is no incentive for them to ACTUALLY actively market your book. Lesson learned when it comes to vanity publishers. I am now pursuing lit agents. And if you choose that road, also know you should expect 50-60 rejections, so have thick skin. It’s a very subjective audience.

  15. Hi there, I sent my manuscript to AutobookBots, and I feel like I have been scammed. It’s been months with almost no results. Does anyone have any feedback for this company? They say they have been here for a while but there is almost no information on them.

  16. Avatar for Michael Fitzpatrick
    Michael Fitzpatrick

    Anything about Pen Culture Solutions out of Los Angeles, CA? Email includes a note to be an “independent” book company. It is not listed on self-publishing site at least not with this name. Thanks.

    1. There are so many new publishers popping up every day, Michael. But I can’t find any reliable information about Pen Culture Solutions. My only advice is that if you received an unsolicited email offering to publish your book, it’s usually a good hint that it’s a scam.

  17. I tried to publish, didn’t mind using a paid service because I’m computer illiterate and it has been so frustrating. There are at least 6 or 7 “ghostwriting” publishers. Please be warned, they have no scruples and literally all of the cheap ghostwriting publishers are scams. ‘’ promises $399, but the book cover isn’t included.
    ‘’ is horrible and a total scam. They even beef up their ads on Fridays because it’s payday. All of the scam publishers do it. ‘’ is horrible and a scam. Lincoln Writes and Gatekeeper Press is a scam, Palmetto publishing. Manhattan publishing, Fulton Books Publishing, Page Publishing, Outskirts Press, Author Solutions, are all scams charging thousands of dollars for crappy service. I’d rather try to do it myself with no skill than use any of these crooks. What a waste of time.

  18. Dear all,
    I knew nothing about self-publishing and found a London company called Publish Nation, they said they could self-publish my book with a plain cover for £175 which I paid, after sending my manuscript to them via email they returned it showing how it would look on kindle, I honestly saw no difference, they said that it had been formatted. I was then told to go to Amazon kdp and upload my manuscript which was my original one on my p.c. After they sent me an IBN number and a lot of hassle entering bank details they said, that my book would appear on Amazon within 72 hours which it did, the long and short of this is I could have done all this myself. As far as the cover was concerned it was no more than a piece of A4 paper with the title of my book After I went to Amazon create your own cover and I did this for free and it uploaded no problem. A scam that I could have avoided.

    1. On The Best Self-Publishing Services. (And the Worst). Rated by ALLi list, there is a caution rating for Scriptor House. It notes concerns with marketing, transparency, quality, value, and Legal.

      1. Hi Derek – Thanks for your article and your research. I too have been contacted by an incredible number of “publishers”, and was most recently contacted by Scriptor House. I’ve told the agent who contacted me, that I’m concerned it’s a scam, and she sent me all their bank information, to reassure me it’s not a scam. I told her any business can set up bank accounts. She has escalated it to one of the executives to set up an appointment to talk with me. Your reply to Corne Bezuidenhout was illuminating. I will look up The Best Self-Publishing Services. (And the Worst). Rated by ALLi list. Derek, given their caution for Scriptor House, would you recommend blocking them? Also, would you have any suggestions for publishing houses that I could contact myself to get my book republished. It is in the genre of Psychology/Spirituality/Self-Improvement. I just want to republish it to get one of the cover quotes off my cover, by an author who has gone rogue politically. It would also be helpful to have someone else do the marketing and social media, which is so important to get the book picked up by a traditional publisher. Any guidance would be so appreciated, since you seem to know so much about this crazy world of publishing.
        Thank you for what you do. It is saving so many of us time and money, and these scams are rampant and really an injustice in our world today.

    1. I am an author with LR Price Publications UK and I can confirm they are a very genuine and very good publishing company. They have helped me so much over the last two years and continue to do so. I have even been in the local newspaper and had my books sold in Waterstones. I have spoken to some of their authors who have even been on TV. I will be going to their next book launch at the British Library in London in August. xxx

      1. Hi Hayley. Need some advice. Sent manuscript to L&R Price and they are asking for half the cost. Didn’t need that for my 1st one, different company. Just checking it’s safe Kind Regards Jo

        1. Hi Josephine. I got offered two different publishing contracts, so you have to choose the one that is best for you. xxx

    2. Disaster. Don’t work with this is my advice. I have published my book with them and it was a big loss of money, times. The contract is just points in paper! They never respect their work, the authors and the business. By the way, they have deleted my comments everywhere and it seems they use different names to give 5-star feedback. Their horrible website is enough to show how they are a publisher like no other publisher.

      1. This must be a fake comment because the real Ammar Al Thuwaini had his book published with LR Price Publications and it is currently in stock and being sold at Waterstones. Most likely this is some author who got his manuscript rejected and is jealous. BTW I am a freelance editor at LR Price so I know the person who worked on this manuscript.

        1. No dear. I am Ammar Al Thuwaini and LR Price is threatening me. Where is the Ebook publication which is part of the contract? Where is the award nomination which is closed now though Russell promised to nominate it to International Booker Award. Where is the marketing he has done even one post while there are dozens of items? Can you show me one marketing item they did for my book instead of monitoring the web and asking people to write good feedback? By the way many authors are suffering from LR Price and I bet you if you can show sales. I have emails from Russell which show how harsh and impolite he is. I wish I had not worked with such a publisher that asks for money and doesn’t work unless fully paid which traditional publishers do not do

          1. It is true! many authors have been contributing to Russell’s coffers aided by his merry inept gang. Russell told a friend that there is one born every minute. I don’t blame him for using flattery to provide his income I guess it is buyer beware.

        2. Just want to say that I can unfortunately confirm some of the comments here. My book is overdue by more than a year, but I wasn’t even complaining. I was inquiring respectfully about the status, no reply. At first they were doing something, made a cover, made minimal edits in the text, but ok. And then silence, Russell Spencer not replying any of my emails. I cannot reach anyone. Unbelievable. Of course, the money I will never see.

          1. Avatar for Reply from company:
            Reply from company:

            Each author is given a specific editor to contact in relation to their book. So it does appear that you may be contacting the wrong staff member if you are having trouble receiving a response. If you can provide your contact details we can ask your editor to contact you directly.

      2. I am a freelance editor with LR Price Publications I know the editor who worked on this author’s book and can confirm that it was published in the UK and is being sold in bookshops throughout the UK including Waterstones. All you need to do is go onto the Waterstones website and search “Thesiger’s Mashhuf” and you will see that the book is in stock and being sold. You can also walk into any Waterstones store in London and buy a copy. It’s quite clear this is a fake review and not by the real Ammar who is actually a really good author. I can only guess that this is a fake review written by a different author who had their books rejected for publication as I know the company’s appraisal standards are very high and they do issue lots of rejections.

    3. Don’t use them. I had terrible experience. They got my money and almost did nothing. They now never respond to my email.

      1. Well this is insulting if you are really Ammar. I think you owe me an apology. I am literally the editor who worked on your book along with one of the senior editors and we were working on your book for months and now you say that work was fake? I remember it was sent to you and you requested more changes via our senior editor. So are you saying that all the work I done was fake? Or is that a lie as well?
        Also what about your book cover? You had two teams work on that for several months. Is that fake as well? I have passed your comments onto my manager for them to discuss with you.

    1. what about this world house publishing company the say they want 3500.00 to pay them and they say it could they would pay you 25,000.00 to buy the rights but it to true to beleive

      1. The only record I can find is this. Influence World House Publishing – incorporated in Karu, Nigeria. Its current status is unknown.

        Pay us 3,500, and we will pay you 25,000?

        Forget it. It’s a scam.

  19. LR Price Publications ltd
    Regards the fantastic review of LR Price Publications ltd in the ‘Word of Mouth Magazine Ltd’s’ website stating that they are highly respected in the publishing world. The piece showing a phot of Waterstone’s shop front.


    Imagine my surprise to see that the company Secretary for Word of Mouth happens also to be the company Secretary for LR Price Publications. His name is Russell Spencer and this is information in the public domain (Companies House) but tales a little searching.

    At the very least a conflict of interests, definitely unreliable and possibly misleading. I have asked the company to list the review as an advert and they kindly deleted my comments from their site. They refuse any explanation.

    You decide would you can infer from the review and the subterfuge and the refusal to explain.

    1. The editor of WOM is the same as the managing publisher of LR Price, Russell Spencer (this is conflict of interest) as I heard and he is the same person who contacted me and threatened to take out my comment. So if I said they are great does he do the same? So does he allow people to write negative comments about him? Further what is the fantastic job or 5 star feedback for someone he gets paid in advance and publishes a book by Amazon’s ready printer? A fantastic job is to show sales and author’s popularity and how you help them get well known; otherwise KDP is much better, faster and saves writers a lot of money and headache.

      1. I am currently awaiting receipt of my manuscript for me to review, and after reading these comments and receiving what was, at the very least, a snarky and unprofessional email from Russell I’m very concerned. If things improve I will comment again but I’m not hopeful having seen these comments. If only I’d have known to check forums like this beforehand.

        1. I totally understand you, the same for me. They pretended (or not, doesn’t matter) to like the manuscript, they asked for money, unfortunately I payed. For a while there was some activity, like the cover design, and some edits in the text. The interesting thing was the formatting, where they made errors so obviously on purpose because i can’t imagine anyone being that sloppy and amateur, probably to gain time. But even that stopped after several rounds, and now nobody is answering my emails. Not even a rude email from Russell Spencer, but better for him because I have good lawyers behind me.


      From our records it appears that you submitted your manuscript to us and it was ultimately unsuccessful and rejected.

      For context we receive between 300 – 400 submissions each month but we are only able to make a maximum of 5 publishing offers a month. So whilst we are sorry that we could not publish your book, we did try and provide you with constructive feedback so that you could make changes and hopefully have better luck with another publisher.

      In regards to your comment regarding the article, is not unusual for experience board members in the publishing industry to take positions in other companies to offer their expertise. There is no conflict of interest or anything unusual in this at all.

  20. Avatar for Andrea L Berman
    Andrea L Berman

    I recently was contacted by a Book Agent claiming to work for Paradigm Talent Agency. I went on vacation and a week later the book agents phone became disconnected or out of service and the film directors website became unable to be reachable either. I think I have been scammed. anyone ever hear of Paradigm Talent Agency? I did pay out some money for services which now I am afraid I am going to need some help. Any suggestions.
    Andrea Berman, Author

  21. I was stung by pen culture solutions their high marketing guru Kate Johnson talk me into $1,400 au to publish my book which they did then they got $1,700 USD for placement which never happened soon as they got that last money they begin ignoring me and they have done for six months no replies to telephone or emails Max Lucas clay Hodges Cassie Miller and the rest extremely crummy everyone is selling my book online and I get no royalties no acknowledgement and no reply these are the worst of the worst I have tried emailing them to stop them publishing my book but they blatantly keep on doing it this crowd has a hide thicker than elephants hide absolutely the pits to deal with unbelievable crummy crowd to deal with completely arrogant
    1 very unhappy Australian author with author solutions XLibris and pen culture solutions absolute rubbish crowds
    These two publishers should be banned by law from ringing innocent people up and tying them up into tens of thousands of dollars to publish their books and they get nothing out of it except expense and lies and give them no royalties rotten crowd don’t deal with them under any circumstances they should be banned their licence removed 3 years ago I had $500 in my authors corner with
    XLibris when I sacked them 12 months ago they sent me a poultry $140 au even got in and robbed my authors corner account can you believe that they claimed I only sold 80 books in 6 years that’s funny I bought 200 of my own books doesn’t that bring it up to a neat 280 books rotten to the core this pair comes under the Yul Brynner famous statement about smoking with a difference whatever you do don’t deal with these pair of robbers and time wasters
    Very very unhappy with American publishers absolute rotten this pair

  22. Hi. Hope you don’t mind me jumping in even though it is a little late in the discussion. I’ve been in various occupations within the publishing and book selling world since the early 1990s.I’ve worked at digital-first publishers for over the last twenty years, though I’m not currently working in the industry. Some of the amazing authors I’ve worked with have topped various best-seller lists, and I’m thrilled for every one of them. I’ve also been published in the romance and fantasy genres through various-sized presses throughout the years. Some of those experiences have been good, and some could use improvement, even though the presses were reputable at the time.

    I just mention that to give you an idea of my background, and also, to let you know I have no business benefit from my comments here. I do hope to one day be working back in the industry, but it won’t be particularly soon.

    As I read the posts here, my heart broke again and again. I’m so sorry that so many of you have been taken advantage of. I’m so sorry your work wasn’t valued, and I’m appalled at the unprofessional response of some of the “professional” publishing entities here.

    Money always flows TO the author. Not to the publisher. Any “publisher” who wants to sell you a package or quotes “fees” to get your book ready for publication is an entity you want to check out at length. There is no reason a publisher sells a “package” to an author to benefit the author.

    If they quote fees for cover art or editorial, you are more than well within your rights to ask for testimonials that you can verify, as well as work experience.

    Please check out places like Writer Beware, A.C. Crispin/Victoria Strauss’s, which can be found on Twitter, before you consider a contract with any of these people. Ask on Twitter or Instagram. Check out the professional networks for authors of your genre. Never be afraid to ask for help or info or clarification from your fellow writers. Nobody reputable wants to see you being taken advantage of, or your work stolen.

    If you are being “cold contacted” by a publishing company or agent, don’t hesitate to ask them why they contacted you in specific. Publishers have a great number of books to publish, and agents’ schedules are more busy by the day. While in some cases, a reputable agent or publisher may contact an author to declare their interest, it is usually when an author has a backlist and multiple books sold, or is very highly placed in their day job.

    Please don’t ever send money to a publishing entity before receiving, reviewing, and being perfectly comfortable with a contract. Some companies may try to pressure you, quoting impossible timelines to try to get you to sign a document hurriedly. Some less than honest companies may try to take all the rights (print, ebook, audiobook, foreign translation, movie option). Don’t give away any more rights than you feel comfortable with. There is always room for discussion of contract terms and items for negotiation. That doesn’t mean any publisher will negotiate any specific clause, but there will be an open discussion, at the very least.

    Any publisher that says your book is perfect as is isn’t telling you the truth. Authors get blind to mistakes after they’ve read and reread their work dozens of times. I’ve edited nearly a thousand books, and even the ones I thought (and still think!) are some of the most elegantly and beautifully worded books require changes. That extra set of eyes is most necessary through all phases of editing.

    Content and developmental editing matters, as does line editing, formatting, book and cover design and proofreading. There are ways to lose the reader before you ever had them. A low resolution cover, a blurb that doesn’t compel or “tells” rather than”shows,” or an excerpted part of your book that has grammar and spelling issues, be it on your website or on a retailer such as Amazon.

    When that reader buys your story, the pacing or the breakdown of chapters and topics can pull a reader in and keep them invested, or not hold their attention. Someone who has worked on these sorts of releases has the knowledge to impart and will be happy to be part of a dedicated team. An editor is there to help make your work shine.

    Someone new to your work might see that Marcie lives in New Orleans in one chapter and Slidell, LA in another, and that you spelled her name Marci once and Marcie the rest of the time.

    Ultimately, you enter into a contract with a business. All of you on the team should be invested in the best product all of you can produce, together. Then, when that book is for sale, author, agent, publisher, etc. have a common goal–book sales, reviews, and so on.

    I’m so sorry for the negative experiences. This industry can be equal parts amazing and dispiriting. One of the most amazing parts is the community. Don’t ever hesitate to rely on that, be it on social media, friends who have had direct experience with a publisher, or an author who you respect.

    I hope this helped. Keep reading, keep writing, and, try to remember that the good people and businesses outweigh the bad.

  23. im in contact with this publishing company Called EBL Publishing has anyone ever heard of them so far they have been nice and everything they are a start up company im hoping to learn some things about them but im curious if anyone has ever heard of them cause they had started around 2019 around the time covid 19 started but they are owned by another publishing place called grupo planeta and lantia publishing im curious if anyone has heard of them

  24. I’ve been contacted by a publisher that I wasn’t familiar with. However, one of the founders did work for a publisher that I had looked into previously. They are asking for a fee, but it less than other vanity publishers like Page, etc. Everything I read tells me don’t go with a vanity publisher, but I write childrens’ book and do not draw, so need an illustrator. I’ve looked into freelance illustrators, and their fees would be almost as much to possibly more than this publisher is asking. They will also be helping me with marketing, distribution, getting listed in online stores, etc. I’m really stressing over this. I would appreciate any advice anyone can give. Thank you.

  25. Avatar for James Calderwood
    James Calderwood

    pen culture are very persistent I asked the guy what the building looked like in Los Angeles and i wanted photos of the door to the company with the logo He sent me dome photos of a market in the Philippines and some photos of evidently Philippine people. I asked what was on top of the building. I had street views of the building on Google earth. he did not know and then suggested a carpark. He was wrong there was a golf driving range on the upper part of the building. He still hounded me telling me he would have my four books in airporr and supermarkets world wide Another mob of thieves

  26. I received an email from someone representing The Book Walker. I published a memoir about grieving in 2015 and sales are very low. I like their idea of using email lists as a strategy, but not sure whether or not to finally trust someone to help me promote my book.

    Has anyone had experience with The Book Walker as a media manager?

      1. Hi Lauren Michelle Colletti, please let us know whom you are referring to? Who took your money and never fulfilled the services?

  27. GhostBookPublishers, those *(#(*#&$$$$!!!ers ripped me off and not many people have managed to do that. They insist on payment first and then you see the contract. My first publisher, who did my novel, aka my real publisher informed me after the fact that no, they can NOT publish an audiobook version because she has rights. Well surely they knew that. I didn’t know at the time. Even though I refused to sign the contract I made one of those extremely rare mistakes of paying them and now even if I don’t get my money back I will smear them until the days of infamy are nothing but scattered memories across the cosmos. *(#(*#*$erds. I did not and will not everrrr send them my manuscript.

  28. I have been ripped off by pen culture solutions publishing company have paid them to published the book which they have have paid 1700 USD for book distribution which I believe hasn’t taken place now they are completely ignoring my phone calls and emails am I entitled to ask for my money back I can’t ask them they are not replying where do I go in the USA to fix this and get my money back as they have not held up their end of the deal there are pack of crooks

    1. They’ve contacted me ref getting a book written to self-publish and I’ve been on one of their free to attend webinars. They seem very nice and make no promises about how long it might take to get a ROI, so I was also wondering if anyone had had good or bad experiences with them.


  29. I receive a call from this self-publishing company named Renaissance Publishing House.
    They offer to publish my book and also promote it using aggregators, hybrid publishing, and so on. It seems convincing talking to the sales agent and I think this company are scamming authors.

  30. Another self-publishing company scamming the authors. Typically they are operating somewhere in PHP. ‘’

  31. A timely article! I was just contacted by Great Writer’s Media. Of course, they offered me services to “fix” and republish a book that got 5 Amazon stars in 2002, but whose publisher is defunct. They asked if they could have/buy the rights to the title of that book with an eye to republishing. But I thought I should check them out before replying. I cannot find any actual facts by anyone about them or their services, except what was on their own website. The only published author they quoted wrote a 38 page kids book.

  32. Badgering a man constantly (to the point where it was apparent to people in the group who did not even know you) and then calling him out on social media because he’s not giving you the time you so obviously think you deserve is not a good look. I especially like the part where you think him not answering you due to his mom’s death was an ‘excuse.’ Perhaps sending him messages during a period of grief was not the best idea? Book publishers don’t owe you anything, especially without a contract. If you waited around for two years for an answer you weren’t getting, that’s on you for not pursuing other avenues. As you yourself said, Nick is a one man show (and perhaps he takes on more responsibility than he can handle at times) but he has always tried to do his best. He’s not Scribner, he’s a man with a love of the genre trying to do his part as best as he can. I’ll stop now before I get accused of mansplaining, but take comfort in the fact that I chose not to use capitals for emphasis. Wishing you all the best…

  33. To help aspiring Horror, Thriller, and Science Fiction authors, I want to spread the word about Nicholas Grabowsky. He is the publisher and owner of Black Bed Sheet Books.

    For the last 2 years, I belonged to 2 of Nicholas’ Facebook groups, which are Black Bed Sheet Books and Horror Nation. Horror Nation is strictly meant for Horror fans sharing Horror-related content whereas Black Bed Sheet Books is mostly for Horror authors and fans.

    Last year, I talked to Nicholas on his Black Bed Sheet Books group page and he misled me about my work. I submitted at least 2 different versions of my story.

    He briefly explained to me last year about contracts and told me that my story would be published sometime this year.

    Because Nicholas Grabowsky appears to be a 1-man show, I was willing to have some of my friends help him with book cover illustrations and whatnot. When I offered, he wouldn’t respond.

    Nicholas asked other authors within the last few months to vote for him to make recommendations lists for Black Bed Sheet Books and we did.

    Every time I asked him a simple question about my book, he kept saying “I’ll PM you real soon” and “I’ll PM you later” with a winking emoji.

    Every time Nicholas Grabowsky said that to me, I sat and waited. He could NEVER answer a simple yes or no question or give any answer to my questions at all.

    It was not until June 25, 2021 that Nicholas FINALLY gave me an answer and it was only because I confronted him on his Facebook group page.

    Last Friday, I was mostly asking him about what I should do to advertise my book.

    Suddenly a random book publisher, who does NOT work for Black Bed Sheet Books at all felt compelled to interlope in our conversation with snide remarks, mansplaining, and patronized me about not getting my work published by Black Bed Sheet Books simply because I asked Nicholas Grabowsky about WHEN he would respond to me.

    Nicholas finally confessed to me that he “decided” that he disliked my story and “set it in a pile of other stories.”

    Never once did he explain WHY he disliked my story and wanted to use his own mother’s sudden death as an excuse for not answering my questions, when he KNEW about my story, since last year or 2 ago.

    I let Nicholas Grabowsky know publicly that he misled me into believing that he was working on my story, when he disliked it the whole time.

    Had Nicholas had been HONEST with me, I would’ve understood and could’ve looked for another publisher. Instead, he avoided me like a coward and used me as well as other authors to vote for he and his company to make lists for Horror publishers to use.

    What Nicholas Grabowsky did was awful, cowardly, juvenile, and highly unprofessional as a book publisher in the eyes of many people.

    This comment may sound like I am posting this with malicious intent, but if he has done this to me, I can only imagine who else Nicholas did this to in the past and present.

    With that being said, it would be beneficial for other Horror, Thriller, and Science Fiction authors to AVOID Black Bed Sheet Books like it is The Plague and like Covid-19 combined.

    Nicholas Grabowsky is disingenuous to new authors, who are inexperienced with the book publishing industry.

    Please add Black Bed Sheet Books to the list of book publishers to avoid and help spread the word to new and aspiring authors.

    1. Avatar for Nicholas Grabowsky
      Nicholas Grabowsky

      Why are you lying about me and my company? I never told her I was going to publish you, and I never had the time to look at your work. You kept implying in posts on Facebook that I agreed to anything, and I didn’t like that at all. We have a top notch reputation worldwide since 2008 and the horror industry and the publishing world greatly respects the achievements of my authors as well as myself and there’s nothing you can say to take that away from us. Just because I did not publish you doesn’t mean you have to be vindictive. I did not mislead you, I never said anything that wasn’t true, all I told you since last year was that I have yet to look at your stuff, and you’d write back telling me when you want your book to come out and I gave you a few ideas of my timeline “IF” I got around to reading and making a decision. And you are very cruel to mention my mom in this. I don’t see anyone ever publishing you at all, ever, and it takes a lot from me to say that to someone. While Black Bed Sheet keeps moving up in the world with our growing list of nearly 200 authors to date, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with you taking up any more of my time and always putting words in my mouth or, like now, outright lying about our conversations. No publisher ever wants to deal with that, but sometimes there are people like you that sadly exist :(

      1. Avatar for Fletcher Bailey
        Fletcher Bailey

        Hi Nicholas,

        I was sorry to read of your mother’s passing. I lost my mother to the big C back in 2015. I would give my left nut just to have a chance of being in a phone conversation with her, where I can’t get a word in, edgeways, just to hear her hearty voice again.

        Heal well.

    2. Wow! I find this post very disturbing not only for black bedsheet books, but also to you
      It seems to me as if you think you are the next great writer and you submitted a book that the publisher was not willing to invest his money into. A publisher gets a lot of submitions a day, and they have to decide what they want to invest in. You should be proud that this publisher even said okay I will look at it. To call him a coward, and said he ignored and used his mom’s death as an excuse not to talk to you…. Shame on you. I predict this future any publisher reading this and you submit your work to them, will not even give you a second look.

  34. Truman Publishing Claremont, CA took my $899 and ran. I asked for a refund because of their one-sided contract and John Taylor of Truman Pub said I would receive it in 20 days. Less than 30 seconds to take my money but 20 days to get it back. The 20 days passed; no refund. I cannot contact them. They only take phone messages and John never has called back. Don’t use them. It’s a scam. I only have me to blame.

  35. I am not one to leave bad reviews unless it’s really warranted. And Tablo was so terrible that I need to write this, in the hopes that it was save others from experiencing the grief that I did. The communication was like pulling teeth and there were more frustrations than I can even list – but this is a nutshell….

    Nov 24, ‘ 20 – Before signing on, I spoke with Georgia and asked if they had printers in Canada, as I didn’t want to pay duties/taxes. She assured me that they did. After asking her to double check, she discovered that the closest printer was in Seattle.

    Nov 25, ’20 – Georgia tells me that they’ve never experienced a delay on freight to Canada and there are never extra duty or custom fees (remember this for later).

    Nov 30, ’20 – I contacted Tablo saying I have my book ready to submit. I asked if they require bleed (a print term) and if I would be able to see a digital proof. Damien replied the same day saying that they don’t need bleed and I would get a digital proof before publishing.

    Dec 2, ’20 – I am told by Damien that they reviewed my PDF and there were no issues. They asked me to sign up for a plan. I chose the ‘hardcover’ plan as there was a promo on. I asked if the hardcovers take longer to produce, and I was told by Ash that it is 5 days for paperback and 7 for hardcover. At this point I paid $399 USD for an annual subscription. I also asked again if I would be getting a digital proof and Ash said yes.

    Dec 7, ’20 – I haven’t heard anything so I check in for an update. Ash then tells me that he has gone ahead and approved the files for publishing. However, I haven’t received my digital proof. Ash then sends it to me and I see major issues. Alignments, spacing and timelines are all off. This is because I didn’t submit a file with bleed (as per earlier instructions). I spent a long time revising my file after this. I removed the patterns from each page because I didn’t trust the alignment, and changed it from reader spreads to singles (again, mixed instructions).

    At this point I also asked Ash for pricing for author copies. He gave me the breakdown and said shipping is a flat $29. I realize a few hours later that this doesn’t account for me being in Canada. Ash suggests that we actually print in the UK and ship from there, saying that printing would be 10% cheaper and printing/shipping time would be the same. I confirm that this won’t create a delay and Ash tells me that shipping would actually be FASTER.

    I then get a new digital proof and approve it for distribution.

    Dec 9, ’20 – I as Ash to revise the pricing for distribution and I order 100 paperback and 30 hardcover books. I ask if there are any fees on top of shipping and the cost of the books. I get a reply saying the pricing is being adjusted and no, there are no additional fees. Ash send me the price for my order. Fortunately I realize he had forgotten our conversation about printing in the UK and shipping to Canada and he revises the quote.

    I confirm again that there won’t be any additional shipping fees and Ash say no, this is the final fee.

    I catch that the retailers are still showing an old file for the preview of the book (before I made adjustments). This is because they approved it without showing me a proof. Ash says he will fix it.

    Dec 12, ’20 – I see that the retailer prices are all wrong. Barnes and Noble and Amazon had very different prices listed. On Amazon my hardcover was listed as $40 when I requested the pricing to be $19.99. Also, the book isn’t available via Amazon Prime which I rely on for sales.

    At this point I am frustrated. I ask Ash to cancel my plan and send me a refund. It has been less than a week since I signed up. I get a wish washy response about how these things take time and Prime will happen but not sure when and it takes times for prices to settle. I reply and say I’d still like to withdraw.

    Dec 14, ’20 – Ash tells me that they can’t give me a refund but they can mark it as ‘out of print’ and remove it from the distribution network. Ash says that this would prompt bookstores to de-list the book and would take 1-2 weeks to update and remove the listing. Ash also confirms that he did change the pricing and will look into it further. I realize that Amazon is STILL pulling the old file for the preview.

    Dec 19, ’20 – Pricing and preview of book are still wrong.

    Dec 30, ’20 – No reply and I have not received the books that I was expecting before Christmas. Ash tells me he’ll look into it.

    Ash then tells me that when TRIED to update the pricing before, it didn’t work and he neglected to let me know. He also tells me that the books were bring printed on the 15th and I should receive them shortly. All Ash can tell me is that he knows they have let me down.

    Jan 8, ’21 – The books that I was supposed to receive BEFORE Christmas finally arrive. I am charged customs/duty. Fortunately Tablo reimbursed this. BUT the hardcover books are missing. Damien says he’ll look into it.

    Feb 14, ’21 – STILL no hardcover books. I tell them that this is a scam and I want a refund.

    Feb 18, ’21 – I get a reply saying that my books are at the Richmond UPS warehouse and I should call them to follow up. I call and UPS tells me that books never made it to Canada. That Tablo cancelled the order before they got shipped out. Obviously furious, I again demand a refund.

    Feb 24, ’21 – Miracle: the hardcover books arrive (I have to pay duty/customs which did get reimbursed). Almost 3 months late.

    Now, on top of all this, before I cancelled my account some books did sell through distributors. I’m supposed to receive royalties for these sales. I’ve asked many times and no one can tell me where those royalties are. I will be very surprised if I ever see that money.

    Also, the Tablo books are STILL showing on retailers websites but as unavailable. I’ve asked to pull these listings down and they won’t. After some research, I see that many people have had the same issue and are actually looking to sue for their intellectual property. As a reminder, Ash said that it would take 1-2 weeks to be removed.

    I’ve since republished with KDP and the process has been like night and day. Long story short: stay away from Tablo!

    1. I have to agree with your last sentence, Amy. I really sympathize with you and the problems you’ve had with your publisher. But in the end, you send a clear message to new authors. Self-publish and stay in control. It might take a short learning curve, but you can avoid so many problems by doing so.

  36. Avatar for MARIA G. ONYEGBULE

    I have also been contacted by Stef Harris of the Silver Ink literary agency. Does anyone know anything about them, are they genuine? or is this just another scam.

    M, G.

    1. How are you going with your book? Are you taking this offer from Silver Ink. Need to know please, my daughter has also been contacted. They seem legit

  37. Any thoughts on Iflow Creatives? I know a friend or two whom went with them, got a big package that covers editing, formatting, publishing etc. We think they are neat, but wanted to make sure it was legit.

  38. In March 2020 I fell victim to a scam publishing house, I thought I was publishing my book with a reliable self publishing company named Alpha Book Solutions I sent them a check for a thousand dollars after a lengthy e-mail correspondence; culminating in my docu signed marketing agreement in which they promised to print and publish my book “Dead Reckoning” and to have the book on the shelves of Barnes N Noble, and available on Amazon as well as a hundred or more book stores nation wide, Well to make a sad story short they no longer return my e-mails and I cannot reach them by phone.

  39. I signed a contract with Author Reputation Press and their scouts said this book have potential of being a number one book which it should be for its the only book in the world and medical evidence they wanted me to send them my manuscript from Authorhouse and when I went to post office to send a copy of my book to them the post office said that wasn’t the correct address and they found the correct one for me and sent it to them and they charge $1000.00 for a literary agent in three installments and then a employee call me for a $360.00 payment with same credit card and I couldn’t find my password for credit card company then a woman called and asked the same thing I told her a man just called and said same thing she said she would check and the same man called me back for the money I am going to cancel this contract with them and they said to sent a copy of this book since they coudn’t get the manscript from authorhouse and they said it would cost over $500.00 to do this and earlier she had said they located the e-book of google for S4.99 now she is saying she couldn’t locate it on Authorhouse they are to call me back Monday and said the book I sent them had arrived she has been misleading I am going to cancel then and I had made one payment of around $400.00 etc?

  40. Hello,
    Would it be alright to repost this on my WordPress blog? With all bylines, etc., of course.
    If not, no worries. Just trying to help writers not get screwed.
    Sherrie Miranda

        1. Please stay away from Rushmore press publisher they scammers. My husband has been scammed. They basically take his book and published on Amazon and NEVER give him a $. So, stay away!!
          If anyone can help with a advice how take it book back.? Or any good suggestions.

    1. Definitely not legit. Chase Smith of BooConn actually made up a Barnes & Noble purchase of my book. I had suspicions so I wrote directly to B&N who confirmed it was a fraud.

  41. Can any tell me if RUSHMORE PRESS is a legit company? They claim to have done editorial reviews on my manuscripts. They say they will cover all publishing and production costs, but are asking $2250.00 for marketing. It just feels odd…

    1. I have a friend that actually published with Rushmore Press and is actually doing pretty well. Not familiar with how Rushmore Press works or choose their titles; however, they seem to be doing everything they promised.

    2. Me and my friend also saw this link; however, they’re just listed there. It doesn’t really have any detail about them being a scam or whatnot. I just think some of these links are black propagandas. It could be just one of their competitors listing all the names of the publishers they can list with no solid proof. I’m saying this because my friend that published with Rushmore Press and is actually doing pretty well. They’ve done everything they promised and has helped my friend’s book climb up the ranks organically. So with that being said, if Rushmore Press were a scam, my friend’s situation with them shouldn’t be the case.

      1. Rushmore press is a SCAM!

        Well your “Friend” just got scammed by an idiot from a scam company, from fake non existent Las Vegas office (scam office) which is just actually hiding in a small apartment in Punta Princesa, Cebu City Philippines.

        Scam office, scam address, from a scam company. Look it up.

    3. I had a email, then phone calls asking for the same amount, did you use Rushmore press? If so are they ok, and is it worth me paying?

      1. NO DO NOT! RUSHMORE PRESS is a SCAM company. That Las Vegas address is actually a fake non existent office, and is actually being ran and hiding in a small apartment in Cebu Philippines.

        Don’t be fooled.

  42. Hello,

    I received a contract from Solstice Publishing. Are they a reputable company? Should I publish with them or would I be better off self-publishing?

    Thanks for your attention to this matter.

  43. Avatar for Phillipa Nefri Clark
    Phillipa Nefri Clark

    Getting a traditional publishing deal does not mean you get to sit back and write without spending any more money or worrying about marketing. More and more authors are actively marketing their Big 5 published books in order to make any kind of income. The biggest advantage is the reach of traditional houses to expose your book to a wide audience.

    True self-publishing doesn’t have to cost a lot. My biggest expenses are my editor and cover designers. Marketing comes next. And spending a bit of time learning.

    Very pleased overall to see this warning against the many scams out there.

  44. Thank you for your comments. I am seeking advise and, want to expose Xlibris. They are the most crooked, nasty people ever to work with. They are full of promises until they get your money. They signed me up to a contract that had a 12 months expiry date last August. First they started insisting that I couldn’t go straight to a screen play script with my book ( we already had LuLu edit and publish, this book earlier..)We had to start over again before they would put a script writer over my work. These are some of things that happened. The book ended up with 38 spelling errors after their edit. I made them go back, then it came with nine. When we got through all of this we came to the script writer. He isn’t known or registered, and his work is just as bad. I wasn’t allowed to talk to him, and have any in put in his work. I originally wanted to use my script that I had written, but they said I had to use theirs for $14.000or as the movie world wouldn’t except mine. In their book publishing side of things I paid $6.000. Out of this fee was $4.000 for the development of a 2 minute movie on my novel.. It has never been made and it is nearly 12 months. When I ask for my money back for this section, they say it is too late, for a refund, even though the movie has never been made. I feel they waiting for the 12 months to expire, then I will not be able to claim. What can I do?

  45. Rushmore Press is listed in an article on the Writer Beware website.
    AUGUST 16, 2019

  46. Does anyone know about Atmosphere Press? They are a partnership publisher. I haven’t agreed to anything yet, but I have a phone meeting with the editor and founder in less than a week.
    Thank you for any input!

  47. Avatar for Donna Bauerschlag
    Donna Bauerschlag

    Has anyone had any experience with Stratton Press? My husband wants to lower the price of his book and have them provide Marketing. He originally published with Xlibris. That was our first mistake. They did a good job with the book and cover, but we paid them lots of dollars for Marketing, which never benefited us. I’m afraid that we may have some of the same issues with Stratton Press. Any information would be helpful. Thanks

  48. How about ‘’? Any info on this company. particularly any firsthand experiences, will be greatly appreciated. I really should have looked before I leaped, so to speak, before using this publisher.

  49. Avatar for Stephanie Butcher
    Stephanie Butcher

    What about the company Notebook Publishing in the U.K.? They have several packages you can choose from for publishing but no price. They have very good reviews online but how do I know those reviews are legitimate?

    1. There is no way of knowing if online reviews are totally legitimate unless you try to contact the reviewers. I don’t know of the company, but your mention of no prices on its website is a concern. As I advise for all authors now, tread carefully with publishers you do not know.

      1. Hi everyone, I‘be been approached by Booconn marketing and I just want you to check they’re legit.
        I have been scammed in the past and for all the authors out there, don’t self publish with Balboa Press. They’re unprofessional and unreliable. I cut ties with them over two years ago and they still call me, offering me deals and wanting money.

        1. Yes they are everything you said and then some. I republished with belboa and they’ve given away my contact info. I receive on average two calls a day and two emails a week. Nonstop. They are scam artists. I’ve lost control over my book and have only received around 20 dollars in three years. I know people who bought my book and I never received the money.

      2. My daughter has always wanted to an author since age of 4 shes been asking every year but I didn’t take her seriously. At age of 8 she asked specially to publish her book for her 9th birthday present, then we thought we’d give it a try, we contacted Xlibrix and sent 3 manuscripts at once, they published the first book which is “Looking for Mother Chicken” and there were thousands of dollar paid, we also paid marketing fee which they promised to market her book and her royalties would go toward publishing her two other books. My daughter was so excited she continued to write books after books and started on a chapter book. we hear nothing from Xlibrix about her two other books and no royalty, I’ve enquired and was told that she only has $7 since my daughter published her book when she was 8turning 9 she’s now 15. My daughter is really discouraged by Xlibrix she’s now been contacted by Silver Ink. What would you say about this

        1. Avatar for Thomas Swafford
          Thomas Swafford

          From what I have read, they are another scam. Do a web search on their name and scam and see what you find.

    2. Avatar for Carole weave Lane
      Carole weave Lane

      I would like to know if ‘’ is legitimate please. They are the latest company to approach me

    3. I published in December with this company; would not recommend and I cannot work out how they get good reviews; just looking into a few things now…
      Do not waste your money

  50. I would like to know if Booconn is a fraudulent scam company, please? They have contacted me with regard to my book. Would love to hear form you
    Thank you Cindy

    1. Avatar for Jacque Pendleton
      Jacque Pendleton

      I’ve been with this company for 2 years and I never had any problems with them. In fact, they were helpful and did a lot of things for me so I don’t think they’re a a scam, Cindy.


      1. Thank you. I have now been contacted by Grovehouse Press with an invitation to have my book made into a film Netflix. Sounds fishy please advise if this is legit. Thank you – Cindy Gurr

    2. I’d say from my guess that it is a scam company that isn’t even in the US. Most likely The Philippines. If you read some of the literature on their website you will notice some VERY poor English. Run. Run.

  51. I’m reporting a fraudulent company called “Bright Lights Distribution LLC” that is cold calling authors, collecting financial information over the phone and the non-delivery of goods or services that have been paid for.

    They are based in CEBU CITY, PHILLIPINES disguised as an American marketing firm located in 16 Boxwood Lane Hicksville NY 11801 and 9422 Phillip Avenue Norfolk VA 23503.

    They are “highly trained scammers” and are led by the owner Raphael “Ralph” Mariño and goes by the phone name: “Darren Matthews” and is usually the one you get to talk with when you give out your credit card information. He also uses another phone name: “Zack Daley” when calling VIP LEADS to make a sale of his own.

    I hope that this can help you and many more others that may fall victim to these scammers.

    1. I just received phone calls from rick Gomez of bright lights distribution llc based in New York . That office open in february 2020. I have been told that the office in Virginia is behind the new movie « after » who really existe. The problem is that the office in Virginia started in 2019….. a movie takes more than one year to take form…..

  52. I went through the vanity publisher, Dog Ear Publishing LLC, (Dog Ear) and just became aware it’s no longer in business. Dog Ear did not send notices to its authors advising of the closure to give us a chance to gain access to our books on the distribution platforms to which they were uploaded by them e.g., Amazon. In fact, their website still appears fully functional with a few exceptions and invoices are still being generated. However, they do not respond to emails, no one answers their phone and their voice mail system is full and cannot accept messages. Therefore, I don’t have any control over the books’ images, description, categories or keywords on the Amazon landing/detail pages. I’ve contacted Amazon by phone and email and was directed by their KDP Support Team to submit a Report of Infringement which they then declined; then approved; then declined again so I’m a bit confused. I’ve re-contacted the KDP Support Team via email advising them of the sequence of events and have suggested the following solutions. 1) terminate their agreement with Dog Ear based on the circumstances and provide me and other authors upon request access to the landing/detail pages, or 2) simply unpublish the books, or 3) place a disclaimer on the pages stating books are unavailable through Dog Ear, and a solution is being formulated to resolve the problem. But so far…crickets. So, my question to you is what would you recommend in a situation like this? I was recently told that Dog Ear is owned by AuthorHouse, but I’ve been unable to verify that. Do you know how I might go about doing so? Perhaps they would be willing to assist? Or will my obtaining new ISBNs and uploading updated images, files and descriptions, and selecting categories and keywords through my own KDP account resolve the issue? I look forward to your response!

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your problem, Kim. The only advice I can give you is to check your contract or have a lawyer do it for you. I know that some authors in a similar situation have self-published their books with a change of title and new covers. But you need to be sure that you can do this under the terms of your contract. It is possible for a publisher to retain the rights to a book even though they are in the process of bankruptcy or liquidating. Unfortunately, there is no quick or easy solution.

  53. Thank you for the list of Scammers. I am publishing with Christian Faith Publishers. What is your recommendation for the future?

  54. Hello, I just read this article since I had a conversation with Christian Faith Publishing. Although my manuscript is not a religious book the person said they have a division that deals with more conventional topics. But if I submit my manuscript they reserve the right to reject it if it’s falls outside of their acceptable criteria. Speaking with them they sound reputable and explained, if things progress, upfront fees of around $3,000 and then a 50cent cut on sold copies. Are familiar with them ?

  55. Avatar for Marion L Stapleton Harley
    Marion L Stapleton Harley

    I received a phone call from the radio station re interview with Al Cole. I listened to the initial words of the person phoning me, then made it 100% clear that whilst I am happy to give interviews, I never pay anything for so doing. I cut the call. They immediately rang back. I emailed them my views about never paying anyone for publicity. They did not reply.

  56. I’ve been contacted by a publishing consultant at ‘Readers Magnet’ about one of my children’s books.
    The thing is that I’ve never heard of them and I ever reached out to them 1st. The call came out of the blue.
    The package sounds great. I would love to have my books reach a larger audience, being sold at major book stores, online and have a website selling my books exclusively.
    But, after being burned by Star Publishing that used to be under another name that I forgot, I am very wary of any site or TV commercial that’s willing to help authors.
    Can you tell me anything about Readers Magnet?

      1. My mistake.
        I didn’t mean Star Publishing.
        It was American Star Publishing.
        I was burned by them when they were known as PublishAmerica.
        They aren’t in business anymore.

  57. What about Lulu? How do they compare to the services mentioned in this article, and why aren’t they mentioned in this article?

  58. I am dealing with Page Publishing. I have seen a disturbing YouTube video and have read a few things about them. Have you heard anything about the company?
    I wrote to them and said that I was going to stop my payments, so I could catch up on other bills. They didn’t seem to mind. Which kind of struck me as odd. I have paid $1173.50 and I owe them $2212.50 more. Now, I am going to see what it will take to get out of my contract. There is no termination clause. I’m just not sure how to go about telling them. Do I ease into it, or let them know what I have found on them?

    1. I am sorry, Dana. I can’t advise you how to proceed. But according to ALLi, this publisher has an advisory notice of caution in regard to quality, value and marketing practices.

  59. I just received an email and follow up phone call from a representative of Parchment Global Publishing. He is offering me an opportunity to have a 15 t0 30 minute interview with Al Cole on Radio CBS People of Distinction. According to him. Al’s scouting team came across my novel KILLING TIME and found it worthy to be selected for his Monday and Tuesday interviews of authors and books. The interview will be broadcast to over 200 radio stations nationally and internationally for three consecutive days. All I have to do is pay for air time, $1500. All other costs will be covered by Al’s sponsors. Is this legitimate? Please answer ASAP.

    My thanks.

    1. I’m sorry, but I don’t know about this company. You’ll need to decide if you can recoup your investment with enough book sales. It would be a good idea to ask them if other authors have used their service and if you can contact them as a reference.

    2. This is not legit. There are several radio interview scams and all of them are with small companies that operate under the big scam publisher “Author Solutions.” These include: Author Reputation, Parchment Global Publishing, Book Vine Press, Lunar Lights Media and other. The radio personalities are: Kate Delaney, Al Cole and Ric Bratton. The interviews happen but they go nowhere. Readers Magnet is a larger one as well. I’m working on what has sadly turned out to be a very long trail of these companies who scammed my mother. Most are out of the Philippines and they close up shop as needed.

  60. I just want other people to know that a company called “BRANDING NEMO” has been contacting authors for an $8,000 “Hollywood Book-to-Screen” service. A guy named “Brian Watsons” has been pestering me for days now and I don’t think I’m the only one they’ve contacted about this.


    1. ATTN: AUTHORS WHO PURCHASED SERVICE FROM BRANDING NEMO – I am sharing this to help other authors

      I tried to verify the company BRANDING NEMO, if they are registered business in the State of California. And there is no BRANDING NEMO business registered in California Secretary of State – Business Entities (BE). I tried several times to search for the — Branding Nemo– company but no results found under business search in the California Secretary of State Website.

      BRANDING NEMO IS A FRAUDULENT COMPANY. if you have purchase any service from this company. contact your bank and inform them that you are a victim of fraudulent business operating in California with out business registration or license. My bank helped me when I file a charge back against BRANDING NEMO. since they are not a registered business in California, there office is not even a real office, its a virtual office.

      if you need further assistance. file complain. report a business, etc. You can visit the website of the “California Department Of Justice, Office of the Attorney General.

      I hope this would help you….

      1. Avatar for Nils-Mekkar Tjolmn
        Nils-Mekkar Tjolmn

        I was originally contacted by:
        Bob Sanders
        BN Payment Center

        and paid $1,093 in installments

        MAIN OFFICE: 201 East 5th St., Suite 1110 Sheridan, Wyoming 82801

        SATELLITE OFFICE: 950 Reserve Dr. Suite 160 Roseville, CA 95678

    2. I received numerous calls from him and never called him back. Thanks for sharing. Somebody is always trying to rip us off.

    3. Marcia M Publishing wants fees up Front. On one website multiple authors showing as currently unavailable. Makes promises which are unrealistic. Totally unprofessional. Upon repeated requests for Information no response the email address keeps changing. The website has been under construction for some months now. Avoid this company at all costs, there are good publishers out there in the UK.

  61. GBR Publishing in Ontario has scammed many women out of their royalties and cancelled contracts as “coauthors” remain unpaid once recruited under the guise of their lead authors.

    Incredibly disappointing experience and I hope more authors step forward to speak their truth.

  62. I have been contacted by phone regarding A publishing company called Author University regarding my book the rat Chronicles . I was wondering if anybody had an experience with them . They offer a package that would cost $599 USD to send my book to 200,000 email clients of which you typically get a 13% response rate. As I live in Canada that would come to around $810 Canadian. I haven’t made any commitments yet but my experience with Iuniverse and their marketing packages were somewhat very disappointing . I do not know who to trust when it comes to publishing my books, however I do have reservations about trusting Author University, with their claims regarding book scouts saying that my material is very good . I haven’t made any move to invest my hard earned money for them to represent my book yet . I have spent thousands of dollars with Iuniverse promoting my books and they have fallen short of my expectations . I may look at other options to promote my books .

  63. good luck getting it back!! I harassed balboa for a year, I went through hay house to get it back. there is a facebook group called – author house / balboa press survivors – you can share the pain there! – author house and balboa press are the same rip job, and now my email is being harassed with a new scam in town called author reputation press – BEWARE!! now they have your email address and they sell it onwards too… disgusting! can’t believe hay house allow such a corrupt thing to happen…!

  64. I published my first book through Authorhouse in 2017 after spending almost $14,000.00. This money was beyond human imagination to spend on one book. This company simply ripped me off to the extent that when other companies would call me to express their love of my book, and asked me how much I spent on the book. They could not believe how much it cost me to publish that single book. I was told that the book needs a new face lift and also reduce the price of the book from $29.95 to $19.95. Unfortunately, up till now since the book was published in April 2017, I have received only $5.00 in royalty. My story with AuthorHouse should be a big court case because I am not going to let go this company. My advice to the Authors out there, by-pass AuthorHouse

    1. I published my first book through Authorhouse almost 10 years ago. I spent thousands of dollars and have not sold many books. Can I pull my book from Authorhouse and use a different publisher? Is that even possible? I have received $44 in royalties in the last 3 years. I wish I had considered alternatives but at the time I believed them to be my only option.

      1. You would need to check your contract, Nelda. It depends if Authorhouse owns the book rights. If so, you would need to negotiate with Authorhouse before you could use another publisher.

      2. I pulled 3 of my books from Authorhouse. You have to ask them for a release form and they will send it. Make sure you ask for the original Word Doc back also. I re-named one of my books and kept the other 2 just changed the covers and re-published on Draft2Digital and they are still there. I got a separate print deal with another publisher for one of the books and that is just out last year. Covid hit the promotions that we planned but I still have all my rights.
        I’ve been approached by many scammers but am now in half a mind to let Rushmore loose.

      3. Beware of Marcia M Publishing in the UK, trademark scam with extreme lateness, high fees and poor or missing services. Posing as a professional publisher behind a small-scale operation from home. A friend learned too late that other authors had suffered a similar fate and had paid thousands. Look for a reputable publisher or self-publish.

  65. Avatar for Sheila Barrington
    Sheila Barrington

    Well I have written a book that was bless by God to write cause he knew I had a testament to share with others, I tried to correct my errows but something would not let me, I assume it was the spirit to assure me to let it stay as is, why I don’t know, but I looking for a publisher to re- read my book and let me know if I have chance, I had a neighbor to read it and she said it brought tears to her eyes, I use to start off writting a book pand never finished it, but the spirit alarm me that once you start this book you are going to finish it to the very end and that’s what I did, I hoping for a miracle cause I have kids and grandkids I want to bless by this book along with others, and you are right about trusting other people, I don’t want my book in the wrong hands cause it’s my pride and joy and it’s a blessing from God to write this book. I hope you can guide me to the right publisher that can be a blessing, I am disabled but I do have dreams to be fulfilled.

  66. Hello everyone and thankyou for your excellent page…i just wanted to say that i payed balboa 1500 dol( i live in the uk..but was speaking to the us the whole time??.) december, but then received the written offer, read the fine lines and didn t sign the agreement.. and cancelled it over the phone and via email, thankfully.. HOWEVER it s been 3 months ,i haven ‘t yet gotten my money back after 3 emails where i was told i would , and now my last email was not answered, i am not sure what to do, if anyone has any ideas ,i am listening :) i feel like balboa being linked to hay house is a fabulous smoke screen …and an unfair one, i think i will write to hay house ? Best Laure

  67. New scam company on the alert – (I think this was the old author solutions) because that company had my details (yep was scammed) and now I just received a new email after many years! They must be trying to change names.

    Senior Author Adviser – Publishing & Marketing
    Author Reputation Press, LLC

    1. Thanks very much, does this also apply to Book Guild Publishing? Their contract was much fairer than Austin Macualey (25% royalties) Book Guild (45% royalties.)
      Both are asking for £1900 contribution to a partnership. I have ruled out Austin Macauley (they offered me a second contract today for another book I sent in.)
      Any advice very much appreciated.

      1. I have just collected the unsold copies of my book from “the book guild” as our contract expired last Jan 2020. This is because they only contacted me about 3 weeks ago to collect them. My book was published in Jan 2019 and I paid the £1900 with 45% royalties and 75% subsidiary rights . I received £100 in July 2019 but absolutely nothing since then, no royalties, not even a statement nor any subsidiary rights etc at all. Up until my book was published there was regular contact from them but nothing as soon as the book got published. I asked them which book stores my book was in and they said they could not tell me ( ?? ) I was promised to be put onto their web page as one of their authors and to get TV, newspaper & radio interviews etc but got nothing. They basically took my money and just put my book on line and hope it sold. How can it sell if no one knows it exists? There was no marketing or promoting and I was even misled when I could have had a book signing at WHSmiths so it failed to happen. My advise is to avoid this publisher at all costs and to get a marketing and promoting company involved when you do publish as they’re not that expensive. The book guild, and their other parent companies should be avoided.

      2. I have just commented on THE BOOK GUILD so I hope you read it. Basically they take your money and just put your book online and hope it sells. How can a book sell if no one knows it exists? There’s no marketing or promoting of your book and you get practically nothing in royalties. Avoid THE BOOK GUILD at all costs.

  68. Hi,
    I have been offered partnership publishing for my first book by: Novum, Austin Macaualey and the Book Guild.
    Do you have any thoughts on the reliability of these companies re marketing and actually getting books onto book shop shelves?


    1. Pass on them. There all Vanity publishers they operate in the U.K. and advertise on Websites and Youtube. I checked them against a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook and they aren’t listed. They offer to publish 3 books I had written costing over £2000. Don’t trust them

    2. Also ,what they do not tell new authors is that they sell your book to stores, amazon etc at a reduced price so you will only get your 45% royalty on a lesser price as contracts usually say you’ll get 45% on “net sales”. Basically if your book had a £7.99 sale price you assume you’ll get 45% of £7.99 but if they sell your book to amazon for £3.99 you’ll only get 45% of £3.99 which drastically reduces your royalties. Not a lot of new authors know this and the publisher will not tell you this either.

      1. In my experience, I cannot confirm that Novum Publishing promises the authors something that is not kept. I can imagine that some authors have false expectations. However, the contracts with this publisher are well-designed. I generally advise you to check contracts carefully before signing them to know where you stand.

        Before I ended up with this publisher, I tried self-publishing. I researched and contacted various service providers such as editors and graphic designers. I was never satisfied and I didn’t really have the time for self-publishing. My manuscript therefore remained unpublished for several years. Until I decided on a different solution. It was the right decision for me.

    3. A friend of mine was offered to have her book translated into English. She had her first book published by novum publishing and it was a success. Now she is happy that the English market is also being focused on. I noticed how much she was looking for a publisher but the topic was too special for all publishers and nobody wanted to publish it. Unfortunately, she was also unable to publish her book via the university, because otherwise she would have had complications with her scholarship. Ultimately, she was very happy that she was able to publish her work and that the book was very well received. It definitely made sense to her. She is a scientist and knows how to write works, but she is not familiar with the book market. She was sent to readings and was also present at several book fairs. In my view, I would advise you to look at each case separately. There are cases where such a publication alternative makes sense.

  69. I self published my book, Cape Comedy, with First Edition Design Publishing. For the first few years I received my royalties upon book sales. However, about 2 1/2 years ago, without any notice from them, they set a royalty threshold where unless my sales exceeded that threshold, they would hold my royalties until they did. Well, to this day I haven’t received my royalties. I confronted them 12 months ago about it, and I received an email stating they would release my royalties to me the next quarter. That would have been 8 months ago.It’s now 12 months since I confronted them, and I still haven’t received my royalties. I’m writing you simply to warn anyone embarking on a self-publishing career and seeking publishers, that First Edition Design Publishing is a company to stay away from. They have proven to be dishonest and untruthful with me, and I regret the day I entered into a relationship with them.

    1. SAME THING happened to me. On top of that, they cancelled my contract to publish (so we had to pay someone new) and refused to respond to the BBB. These people dont have any conscience.

      1. Mrs. Ross was a challenging client, and we fought long and hard to find a family member to help her understand the process. Mrs. Ross was belligerent and lacked total disregard for all those that were trying to assist her. We invite all those that are interested in please read the full account on the BBB website. We were in the right 100%, we went above and beyond to try and appease her, however, and no business should have to put up the harassment that most of our staff had to endure. Her credit card company found us in the right, and the BBB closed the case after she repeatedly kept posting the same thing over and over, although she received a clear response. Her main complaint was she was upset that Amazon did not list her book as prime within the first week of posting her book, as well as the author names she provided us, as well as the author names she provided on the cover, were the names and the order we used to publish the book. After the book was published, she wanted them changed – which was fine; we were willing to change that for her – however, the book would have to be unpublished, and her cover that she provided was going to have to be recreated. She did not understand this process. We wished her the best of luck and asked her to please find a new publisher.

        1. *I do not know Deborah I haven’t looked up her site. I haven’t even go onto any of the websites to research her,.*

          Oh please! Deborah, have you no shame? No guilt? You grifted from these people and now you want to besmirch them? Seriously? I thought I’d seen it all but this is a new level entirely.

          I am so angry for these people who put money and faith In you, only for the disrespect toward them from you continues. Almost every publisher that went down in flames hid their faces for a good long time. And by that, I’m talking publishers who were once respected and ruined their reputations in the end.

          Your “business” is something else entirely. Were you a legitimate publisher, you would not be sharing confidential information, including sales data, in a pathetic attempt to confuse the issue and hurt people that you’ve already victimized.

          Keri and Marc, I wish you and your work every success. I’m so sorry for your situations.

    2. Mr. Weingarten’s book had minimal sales, which totaled less than $20.00. We did change our policy that consisted of FEDP retaining 4.5% of all publishers royalties to a policy that the author can retain 100% of their royalties; however, we had to put a minimum of when we would release royalties. We changed this policy for two main reasons: if an author were to receive royalties under the $20.00 accurate, they become discouraged and upset that their titles were not selling, also from a business point of view, it is very costly to send out royalties in the amounts that totaled under $20.00. We have thousands of authors, and to send out royalties that total $2.00 or $9.00 or $19.00 accrue a cost, yet in return, we are giving authors 100% of their royalties instead of charging a 4.5% fee for processing the royalties. All authors received this update via email 90days, 60 days, and 30 days before making the policy change.

  70. I was(key word-was)recently with a publisher, who on another website was accused of being an author mill. There were some disagreements to that, I for one will vouch for the person saying they were leaning more on the side of the author mill. I know other authors that that had left the same publisher for their own reasons, one of which was not being paid the proper amount for number of books sold. I suspect this as well as does another close author friend of mine. The reason I left them was the day of my book release, they misspelled part of the title wrong. When I emailed and told them, they did not completely fix the issue. Two more mistakes were found a couple of days later and by then I was livid. I emailed back and said basically “fix or give me back my contracts!” Both emails from them(one person specifically) was very unapologetic. There are so many things that could be said why not to go with Solstice Publishing(they had to change their names a few years back!), I caution every author to check all other options before choosing them!

    1. I paid pen culture solutions book publishing company a large sum of money to publish my book. 13 great mysteries of Australia under my pen name Lillian and Raymond W case
      For the last 6 months they have refused to reply to my emails and they are updating the amount of sellers of my book the Amazon Angus and Robinson they are actually promoting my book and getting these people to sell it and pocketing all the money because they have stolen the work and registered my pen name no doubt to themselves these are criminals do the right thing and spread the word don’t have your books published by these criminals you pay them the money they produce the book and then they ignore you no royalties no nothing will not reply from American head office or any of their smart operators clay Hodges Max Lucas Cassie Miller absolute criminals operating under false pretences pirating innocent people’s books and making big money out of them as with me and I get nothing how were these criminals allowed to operate as book publishers they should be in the lock up what in the world is going on with American book publishers isn’t there any standard of decency morals why have they turned out to be pirates operating under the guise of great book publishers no doubt there would be other people works would have been stolen by these criminals 9 months will not reply through the email or phone but they are selling my book and increasing their sellers numbers selling it from about 6 to over 20 now on Google
      I am an Australian author and one of their smart talking operatives Kate Johnson got me signed up to them now that criminal has cancelled her email not contactable surely there’s some government department that controls criminals like these in Australia we have the ACCC and anything we right in Australia is automatic copyright
      Surely this would rate me as a victim of crime I warned them repeatedly I would leave very bad feedback about them but they are so arrogant they think they’re out of reach.

  71. Thank you so much for the valuable info.that I’m vastly becoming to realize how easy it is to get scammed.By there’s so call vanity presses.I just had a bad experience with universe pulling company.So I pulled canceled the publishing package,I was involved.Due to the facts that a so called publishing consultant,literally told me no one at universe or any where else.Will edit my manuscript because it’s satuated with Ebonics and slang.I felt she was be ing biased/discriminatory towards me and my manuscript.So,I cancelled the publishing package I had with the company.I let a few of her superiors know what she said to me.Plus she wanted me to pay more money for editing.So now I’m even more careful,once again thank you so much for the informative articles.

    Stay blessed,

    Terence Banks

  72. Thanks soo much for your very interesting artcle, i almost commited to Balboa yesterday, i payed …but luckily i haven signed the agreement so i will gwt my money back…phew… ..i have just been reading horendous reviews on how they can really make u pay and pay … so mamy thanks for helping me take another route :) Best , laura

  73. Wise words but I must say that I used Matador for book 3 because of the time factor. They come highly recommended by Writer’s Workshop and others. I found them to be excellent – professional, savvy marketers as well as knowing their business. They aren’t vanity publishers at all.

  74. I have been repeating this to fellow ‘self published’ authors since the inception of time. Unfortunately some fall for these scams regardless of the countless warnings. Thank you for re-iterating the importance of research before jumping onto the paper mache’ flotilla of scam artists out there!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To prevent spam, all comments are moderated and will be published upon approval. Submit your comment only once, please.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top