Indie Authors, Don’t Get Scammed

scammers are looking for authorsMost 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”

How to Avoid Book Marketing Scams

Sabrina ZbasnikGuest Post
by S.E. Zbasnik

“No man is an island” wrote John Donne before getting ripped off by Simon & Garfunkle. Never is that more true than when an author is trying to get his or her book to market. It is impossible to do it all on your own from the cover, editing, proofing, formatting, and marketing. These things take not only time but also a skill set not everyone is proficient in, making them a breeding ground for scammers.

While a plethora of predatory publishers and editors exist within the pre-publishing stages, there are also a slew of scammers when it comes to marketing. What’s an author to do? You need to get the word out to drum up attention that hopefully leads to sales, and these shiny websites are offering their services to help – often for staggering fees. Requesting thousands of dollars has to mean they’re guaranteed to get results, right? Continue reading “How to Avoid Book Marketing Scams”

iUniverse – My “Assisted” Self-Publishing Experience

Predatory Publisher Month at Indies UnlimitedIn keeping with our theme for March, “What To Do When Your Publisher Scams You”, let me share my experience with iUniverse. I have singled out iUniverse because that is where my story happened. iUniverse is a subsidiary of AuthorSolutions, an umbrella company with many others under its wing, all equally out to fleece unwitting authors.

In 2008 I did what I thought was good research on the internet to see how self-publishers, or assisted self-publishers as some call themselves, were rated. I also checked out which ones offered the services I felt I needed at the time, and what the costs would be for those services. I did my homework – I thought. At the time I had no contact with other writers or authors and did not know where to find them. I think many new writers finds themselves in similar positions. Continue reading “iUniverse – My “Assisted” Self-Publishing Experience”

March Madness: What To Do When Your Publisher Scams You

Predatory Publisher Month at Indies UnlimitedWelcome to March. This month we’re doing something a little bit different – we’re having a theme month. Spearheaded by the lovely Lynne Cantwell, we’re going to feature articles from minions and guests alike about being scammed by publishers. We want those who have fallen victim to these publishing predators to know they’re not alone.

Since March is a huge sports month, we’ve tied that into the theme, with our great referee-type dude throwing the penalty flag at those bad eggs, and we’ve registered the hashtag #PublishingFoul.

Lynne will be kicking off the month (get it – another sports pun!) on Thursday and will give you all an idea of the great features she has in store for you. Meanwhile, if you have a story you’d like to share, please drop us a line through the contact form. We want to spread the word so that these types of things won’t happen to anyone else.