Getting Suspicious Book Returns?

Beware of Companies that Guarantee to Get Your Book on Bookstore Shelves

by Angela Hoy

We’ve seen lots of marketing ploys and blatant sp*m from so-called PR and book marketing firms that say they guarantee to get your book on bookstore shelves. Authors should be very, very wary of these claims. In most cases, the author will pay much more to the “PR” or “marketing” firm than they’ll ever get back in book sales. And, they just might end up with a pile of returns from the bookstores.

We’ve heard rumors of late about one company in particular that was charging authors for this service. The problem is, long after this firm had cashed the authors’ checks, books started coming back to authors from the bookstores. The returns were puzzling to the authors because they were told the bookstores specifically ordered these books. It appears that a common scam was being run by this firm. I’m not going to publish here how the scam works because I don’t want to give anyone any ideas, but the scam is highly illegal and can result in jail-time.

Needless to say, this person did get books into bookstores for authors, but the books weren’t put on shelves. The bookstores realized they’d been scammed and the books are now being returned, at each author’s expense.

We’re currently helping to investigate this particular individual and we’re very happy to help other authors who feel they’ve been a victim of this type of scam.

So, if any of you are tempted by one of these “too good to be true” marketing ploys, remember that getting your book on store shelves is very difficult for even traditional publishers and almost impossible for everyone else (especially marketing companies that don’t pay bookstores for that shelf space!). And, even having your book on those shelves doesn’t guarantee sales. To read more about this topic, read my recent article, Marketing to Bookstores – A Waste of Time?, here: