Book Publishers To Avoid And Nasty New Author Scams

Author Scams

New authors, beware of vanity publishers and experts, making you offers that are too good to be true.

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 a lot of them. On average, I get at least one per week.

Indie authors are active on social media. So it is easy for a predatory publisher to get your contact details. Then come the offers for their publishing services.

The warning signs of a scam publisher

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

Free manuscript appraisal, a free handbook, free book marketing, or free editing are common. These are 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 get a lot of messages 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 authors. You can use Amazon KDP, Apple, Nook, Smashwords, and Draft2Digital, to name a few of the many reputable self-publishing services.

You can publish a book with these companies with only a minimal investment in preparing your book.

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

 

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. These include 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 explains 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.”

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 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 the 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, www.firstclassediting.com 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. Make sure you do your research, ask for referrals, and proceeded slowly.

 

The self-publishing services scam

Anyone can publish a paperback or an ebook for free using self-publishing companies such as Amazon and Apple. 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. Also, they may 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.

But these authors often become victims when they place their trust in someone online that they don’t know.

The cost can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Most of these assisted self-publishing services deliver on their promises, although it is outrageously expensive.

However, there are some who ask for payment upfront and then take the money and run.

Once again, like checking an editor, look at the website and email address, and definitely ask for referrals from 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, but if you can, an agent will work for you to have your book published. Usually with a traditional publishing house such as Random House, HarperCollins Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster. Or one of the many subsidiaries of these publishers.

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

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

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

When you sign 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 certainly worth a try before rushing into self-publishing.

You never know your luck.

 

Self-publishing definitely means do it all yourself

If you decide to self-publish, you are the boss. For many authors, it has been 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% for every book sold 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 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 easy street, 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. One of the most reputable companies is Blurb.

If you are not confident you can do everything to self-publish your book, it is a good option. With Blurb, you can publish in high-quality trade paperback in a choice of book sizes. You can also publish an ebook version.

Blurb also distributes to Amazon and many other book retailers.

 

Summary

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 publishers that you don’t know. It might seem like a wonderful opportunity, but it is rarely the case.

It is very hard work to publish a book and 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.

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

 

References: 

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

Check Alli’s vetted list for publishers with a history of problems that are clearly marked in red. You will find alerts for companies such as AuthorHouse, Dog Ear Publishing, Dorrance Publishing, and Page Publishing, just to name a few.

Thumbs Down Publishers List by SFWA.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

69 thoughts on “Book Publishers To Avoid And Nasty New Author Scams

  • September 16, 2020 at 11:18 pm
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    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

    Reply
    • September 16, 2020 at 11:20 pm
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      Wait, Derek, you have a WP blog. Maybe I can just Reblog it then?
      Sherrie

      Reply
    • September 17, 2020 at 9:22 am
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      You can share any content from our site. But I would appreciate a source backlink, of course.

      Reply
      • September 24, 2020 at 2:11 am
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        Have you heard of a hybrid publisher named Heart and Goldman or James Amstell?

        Reply
  • August 27, 2020 at 11:03 am
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    Can someone tell me if BOOCONN in NY is legit ? They approached me out of the blue

    Reply
  • August 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm
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    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…

    Reply
  • August 5, 2020 at 11:32 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • July 10, 2020 at 2:30 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 4:55 am
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    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?

    Reply
  • June 29, 2020 at 11:01 pm
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    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!

    Reply
  • June 25, 2020 at 9:46 pm
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    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

    Reply
  • May 16, 2020 at 12:07 am
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    How about ‘Tablo.io’? 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.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2020 at 3:49 pm
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    I was wondering about publishing advantage group and if it is a scam?

    Reply
  • April 25, 2020 at 9:55 pm
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    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?

    Reply
    • April 25, 2020 at 10:22 pm
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      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.

      Reply
      • July 22, 2020 at 12:05 pm
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        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.

        Reply
        • July 22, 2020 at 12:08 pm
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          Sorry, should read as –
          *I just want to check if they’re legit.

          Reply
    • May 4, 2020 at 7:14 am
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      I would like to know if ‘booconn.com’ is legitimate please. They are the latest company to approach me

      Reply
  • April 24, 2020 at 4:42 am
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    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

    Reply
    • May 2, 2020 at 11:06 am
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      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.

      Ariyah

      Reply
    • June 27, 2020 at 11:45 pm
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      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.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 5:30 pm
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    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.

    Reply
    • August 15, 2020 at 5:30 pm
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      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…..

      Reply
  • April 11, 2020 at 2:42 am
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    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. (See https://selfpublishingadvice.org/dog-ear-publishing-alert/)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!

    Reply
    • April 11, 2020 at 10:18 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • January 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm
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    Thank you for the list of Scammers. I am publishing with Christian Faith Publishers. What is your recommendation for the future?

    Reply
  • January 17, 2020 at 1:03 am
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    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 ?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2020 at 10:56 pm
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      No upfront fees please, biggest mistake I ever made.

      Reply
  • January 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm
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    I am wondering about Rushmore press out of Las Vegas, NV. Is it legit

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 7:09 pm
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      I am wondering about Rushmore Press in Las Vegas and Mulberry Books Publishing.

      Reply
    • April 15, 2020 at 8:37 pm
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      Anything about Pen It Publications?

      Reply
  • January 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • January 1, 2020 at 11:41 am
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    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?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • January 1, 2020 at 11:45 am
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      I meant that I have ‘NEVER’ reached out to them.

      Reply
      • January 1, 2020 at 11:55 am
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        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.

        Reply
  • December 11, 2019 at 5:44 am
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    What about Lulu? How do they compare to the services mentioned in this article, and why aren’t they mentioned in this article?

    Reply
  • November 6, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    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?

    Reply
    • November 6, 2019 at 6:57 pm
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      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 regards to quality, value and marketing practices.

      Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 2:00 am
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    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.

    Reply
    • October 16, 2019 at 9:16 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    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.

    BEWARE!

    Reply
    • September 19, 2019 at 4:45 am
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      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.

      You can go to the official government website by clicking this link below, and see for your self.
      >>> website link below
      https://www.sos.ca.gov

      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.
      >>> website link below
      https://oag.ca.gov/home

      I hope this would help you….

      Reply
      • July 4, 2020 at 1:12 am
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        I was originally contacted by:
        Bob Sanders
        BN Payment Center

        and paid $1,093 in installments

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

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

        Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 6:37 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • May 22, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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    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 .

    Reply
  • May 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm
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    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…!

    Reply
  • May 1, 2019 at 1:13 am
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    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

    Reply
    • August 21, 2019 at 2:35 am
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      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.

      Reply
      • August 21, 2019 at 7:50 am
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        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.

        Reply
  • April 23, 2019 at 1:27 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 9:47 am
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    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??.)..in 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

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  • March 29, 2019 at 8:26 am
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    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

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    • March 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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      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.

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      • June 12, 2020 at 7:52 pm
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        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.

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      • June 12, 2020 at 8:06 pm
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        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.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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    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?

    Thanks.

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    • February 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm
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      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

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    • June 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm
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      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.

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    • June 30, 2020 at 12:22 pm
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      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.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 9:57 pm
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    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.

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    • May 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm
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      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.

      Reply
  • March 5, 2019 at 3:31 am
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    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!

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  • January 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    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

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  • December 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm
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    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

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  • September 26, 2018 at 6:36 pm
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    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.

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  • August 31, 2018 at 9:33 pm
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    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!

    Reply

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