Should Authors Risk Doing Business with Overseas “Publishers?”

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I saw an ad online for a company claiming to give authors a “great opportunity.” They’re hiring people to write textbooks. Have you heard of these guys?

I investigated the ad you sent to me.

It looks like (the individual who placed the ad) is located in India. However, when I Googled the name of the company he claims to represent, I found an identical company name in the U.S. It’s a large firm and I strongly suspect they are not related. I can’t imagine this large, quality publisher running a “get rick quick writing” ad like this one appears to be…or an ad for authors at all. I imagine their slush pile is quite full and that authors are clamoring for contracts with them.

I caution all writers to avoid doing business overseas unless you are paid a portion (or all) of your money up front. If they shaft you, is will be impossible to collect. Getting them to pay a portion up front is also almost impossible but it can’t hurt to ask. And, never begin work until/unless the check/payment has cleared! This advice applies to authors outside the U.S., too! Unfortunately, some scammers (including some located in the U.S.) purposely hire contractors in other countries because it’s so difficult for people to sue across the border.

I would also avoid doing business with someone who uses the name of another well-known company, even if it is overseas. It’s unethical, and searching for a company name in a search engine first can be done by anyone, just about anywhere. I’m certain that (name removed) is well aware of the large publisher’s existence. I also suspect he is using their name maliciously. I did report him to the publisher in question.