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Head’s Up for Dishonest Publishers

Keep your emotions under control. Be careful not to be in a rush to have your first novel or book published. Before you sign, choose carefully. Look for these head’s up traits, and listen to your gut not your emotions:

  • Long friendly chats may groom you to like/trust the publisher, appeal to your emotions
  • In initial conversation, publisher repeatedly says he/she doesn’t skim off authors
  • First contract seems straight forward and fair, too good to be true
  • Everything sounds perfect in chats, even the royalties— “Just send in MS upon agreeing.”
  • A second unexpected contract from same publisher negatively affects royalties
  • Publisher says they’re like traditional, yet you pay all book production, printing, delivery
  • You notice inconsistencies from one communication to another
  • Your questions are evaded

Watch for these signs of trouble:

  • Doesn’t tell you Amazon and IngramSpark accounts, though the author pays to open, will be locked up tight under that publisher’s name
  • Encourages you to buy print books for private sales; takes 100% of Amazon royalties book for book as a result—and you have no idea what your sales are on Amazon
  • Insists he/she needs authors to help pay into advertising to build his/her company
  • You notice inconsistencies from one communicate to another
  • Publisher doesn’t ask for signed contract, just send in MS as signature
  • Insults your writing, discourages you rather than encouraging and building confidence in your project
  • Has a manipulative personality in the way of becoming angry if you disagree with him/her
  • Used only Facebook to communicate and send edits, never uses e-mail
  • Gives no invoices or receipts, operates from PayPal
  • Announces online he is unable to pay his bills; accepts pooled funds money from authors

Check with Writer Beware, Independent Author’s Association, Better Business Bureau, and other writer’s associations before making a final decision on having your MS published. The wrong publisher is about as nasty as divorce, choose carefully.

Thanks for reading.

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