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