How to Steer Clear of Book Publishing Scams

You’ve poured your heart into a manuscript that you love. Now all you want is for it to be published. Before you start your search for a publisher, though, you should know that there are “publishing companies” out there looking to scam you. These companies often appear promising, but the truth is that these places simply want to take your money. Tread the water with caution and take heed of the warnings here. You’ll be able to keep your manuscript safe and in the right hands with a bit of forward thinking. 

Read about publishers that can scam you. Subscribe to Angela Hoy’s newsletter entitled Writer’s Weekly. Bewares and Background Check Forums Board on Absolute Write can provide additional insight into scams. 
Also, check out the Writer Beware Blogs for more in depth information. This blog is written by famous authors A.C. Crispin, Richard White and Victoria Strauss. It is considered the writer’s bible when it comes to avoiding scams. See our Resources section for more information.
Use basic common sense strategies to determine if a “publisher” is trying to scam you. Real publishers do not ask for money. A legitimate published will never harass you or request that you buy books to sell to your own friends and family. A publisher should not ask you to buy editing and illustration services from the company.
Always get a contract. Professional companies always use contracts for book deals. If you find one that wants to publish your book without a contract, don’t do it.
Have a qualified lawyer look over the contract. Legal speak is hard for anyone to figure out, so it is important to get qualified help.
Look for publishers that offer real royalties or no royalties. Companies that offer $1 royalties are usually scam operations. The dollar check is used to draw people in and to make their contact more binding in the court of law.
Call the number listed on the publisher’s website to see if it is a real company. Don’t be afraid to back out of a deal if you feel uncomfortable. Go with your gut.

Resources

Writer’s Weekly
Bewares and Background Check Forums Board
Writer Beware Blogs
How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book

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