I wish I had read the reviews before I wasted my money with this company.
I’ve spent $1500 and I still don’t have my book.
I gave this company $5000 and all I got was a single box of books.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard or read something like the statements above, I wouldn’t have to buy lottery tickets anymore. I hear it from the students who attend my self-publishing class; the admins here at IU get emails like this almost every day. It’s frustrating, not only for the writers involved, but for us here at IU because it’s so absolutely avoidable. Continue reading “Want to Get Published? Do Your Homework!”
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”
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”
Recently I’ve learned about a new (to me) term: catfishing. It means someone pretending to be what they are not. In terms of selling books on the Internet, this basically boils down to someone posing as an expert in a given field, then writing short, pithy eBooks using information easily and freely accessible on the Internet (think Wikipedia) and then passing it off as a definitive guide on Amazon.
The Washington Post recently ran a very thorough article on the phenomenon. The upshot is that (1) this is nothing new; there have always been people gaming every system ever devised and (2) most of these catfishers operate at least nominally within Amazon’s guidelines with the exception of paid reviews, the thing that Amazon is really cracking down on lately. Continue reading “Et tu, Catfish? Writing with Integrity”