February 19, 2013

Self publishing rip-offs

Self Publishing - don''t get ripped off


Trawling through the Amazon blogs, it appears that we are not the only ones warning authors about unscrupulous self publishing companies. I came across an excellent piece written by Maria Murnane, an award-winning author as well as publishing consultant, warning authors about the dangers of predators in the self publishing industry.
I'm a big fan of self-publishing because it gives anyone the opportunity to fulfil his or her dream of becoming an author. However, authors must watch out for the unscrupulous types who prey on unsuspecting writers who are so eager to see their work in print that they get, for lack of a more gentle term, ripped off.

Here are some of the types of predatory behaviour to watch out for when selecting a self publishing company to work with. Run for the hills if you encounter any of the following:
 
1. Promises of success: Any self-publishing company that guarantees it will make your book a bestseller is lying. No one can predict the future.

2. Purchase requirements: Many indie authors end up working with self-publishing companies that require them to buy thousands of copies of their own work.

3. Exclusivity: Before choosing a company to help you publish your book, make sure that if someone were to call you tomorrow and offer you another publishing opportunity, you have the option to accept it and walk away cleanly. Don’t sign away your rights, especially your electronic rights.

4. Lastly, before committing to anything, type the company name into a search engine and see what others around the web are saying. You can usually tell if they have a good reputation or are out to rip you off.
- Maria Murnane 



10 comments:

  1. Joe Randall, Norwich21 February 2013 at 10:37

    This makes me so angry. I got suckered in by one of these companies promising me the Earth. They advertise all over Google so that you think they are reputable, then, once you're signed up and they've fleeced you, they make your book available as a POD title on their own website and Amazon.com. You then can't go anywhere else because they own your copyright because it's their isbn number. I am furious with myself for being taken in. It has made the whole book publishing experience a nightmare when it should have been fun.

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    1. I'm really sorry to hear about your bad experience Joe. You are right, publishing your book should be exciting and fun, not something to regret! We do hear far too many horror stories, some even worse than your own, to be honest. I would always recommend getting advice about reputable self publishing companies from one of the only truly independent advisors on the internet, Johnathon Clifford . He writes an excellent article for the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook too.

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  2. Come back stronger, take control of it all, buy the service you want, not sure they they own it because of the ISBN number, need to consult the oracle on that one, will do another comment with the answer.

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  3. YPS have done two books for me and I am delighted with the results. Very professionally done with an excellent finish with personal attention. How are these scam artists still getting away with it? I thought with all the adverse publicity they have been getting they would have faded away, three cheers for Jonathan Clifford, He's been doing a stirling job for many years and deserves a medal

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    1. You would have thought so Harry, but there seem to be more and more sharks out there every day and we hear some some really heart-breaking stories. I do agree with you - Johnathon Clifford deserved a medal! Perhaps we should start a campaign to get him an honour!

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    2. Wait until you get paid, then comment.

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  4. New to the self publishing world it has been a steep learning curve. I realise that you could have the best book in the world but if you can't get to a market then your sales will be restricted to those you know. I also realise how difficult it is to get noticed by the established market controllers and I have bumped into incredible prejudice against self publishers, One effect of largely London based literati's sneering jibes - which are really driven by increasing defensiveness and concern to maintain market dominance - is to steel the resolve!

    To hell with them - celebrate your creativity and get it out there!

    Best

    John

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    1. Thanks John I a have discovered much the same.
      My prob is getting artwork done timely and hopefully by other not so noticed talented people. Does anyone know anyone out there or an organisation that does artwork?

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    2. Hi. Yes, we can do text and cover layout and design at YPS. Please just use the contact form on the website - the 'About YPS' tab above. If you are after original artwork for a cover, we can certainly put you in touch with some talented freelance illustrators too.

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