Most of my posts at Indies Unlimited are tutorials, how-tos on multiple aspects of publishing I hope to help both beginning and more experienced authors learn the tricky ropes of indie publishing.
This one is going to be different, because I’m seeing an increase in scam companies preying on uninformed and inexperienced authors. I’m an author, but I’m also a small (very small) publisher. My publishing company is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). After a year or two of membership, I was invited to apply for a position on their Membership Benefits Jury. This means every quarter I’m one of several who review and vet entities who want to be listed as an IBPA benefit. For example, members of IBPA get a discount with Bowker, the U.S. site for buying ISBNs. IBPA offers many such incentives, and companies are eager to partner up.
I’ve made it through two rounds of vetting now, and with the last one I emailed my contact and said, “How blunt can I be? Because I have some serious concerns.” Continue reading “Indie Authors, Don’t Get Scammed”
It’s a common dream among first-time authors: you walk into your favorite local bookstore and there’s Your Book, sitting on the shelf for everyone to see – and buy. Alas, it’s unlikely to happen if you’re an indie author. If it happens at all, it will require a lot of hard work and persuasive energy on your part, as well as a store manager who’s willing to take a chance on an unknown author.
Books-A-Million, the second-largest bookstore chain in the United States, has developed a route for indies to get their books onto store shelves – but there’s a catch. Continue reading “BAM! Publish: A Vanity Press?”
A couple of years ago, Lin Robinson told us about some shady activity on LinkedIn by one Korede Abayome, who runs Indie Writer Support and ParaDon Publishing , among other things.
According to his bio, Abayome was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in California. He goes by a number of different aliases, including Celina Marka (acquisitions editor for ParaDon), Judd Miller (ParaDon’s webmaster), and Artis Reed (which appears to be a pen name of Abayome’s). He sells publishing services to would-be writers, but his customers say he pockets the payments and never provides the services. One of these iffy services is a $250 “Elite Membership” to Indie Writers Support, which claims it has “raised a few authors to the NY Times best sellers list.” Of course, it doesn’t say which authors it has helped to get on the list. ParaDon also claims to have struck a deal recently with BookBub; as you might have guessed, BookBub says it has never done business with ParaDon. Continue reading “FOULED!: Update on Indie Writer Support”
It’s not just sketchy publishers and not-so-qualified editors who prey on unsuspecting indie authors. People who run writing contests can be less than legit, too.
Even poets can be targets. Maybe especially poets. Even traditionally-published poetry is a hard sell to most people who aren’t taking a college-level English class, so there isn’t a whole lot of it out there. Poets can self-publish, of course, just like any other indie author, and they have done so for years, by contracting with press owners to print chapbooks of their work. But they run up against the same problems fiction and non-fiction writers do, in terms of getting that work noticed. The traditional avenues of wider exposure for poets – other than handing out their chapbooks to random strangers on street corners – have pretty much been limited to submitting their work to contests and/or anthologies. Continue reading “FOULED!: Poetry Contest Scams”