What?! New Authors Are Being Solicited by “Free” Publishers? How to Avoid This Common Scam…

What?! New Authors Are Being Solicited by “Free” Publishers? How to Avoid This Common Scam…

I received the following email last week:


I have received two phone calls from someone at (a vanity publisher) offering to republish my book. A quick internet search revealed that the firm’s reputation is not too good (to put it mildly!). Reviews said “scam” and “don’t touch this company”. As you can guess, I hung up!

I receive emails like this all the time from our authors. This is a growing problem in the industry. Some vanity publishers who are having a hard time attracting authors use Amazon and Google to find newly published authors. They can then easily find the author’s phone number and/or email address online, and contact them with a “too good to be true” offer.

Many of these bottom feeders lead the author to believe there will be no up-front cost to them. They state they can do a better job at publishing, printing, and marketing the book. But, there’s a very high cost involved that the author usually only learns about after it’s too late. 

With this company in particular, there’s a complaint on the Better Business Bureau stating that the firm contacted her through a relative’s phone number. That’s a hallmark sign of a bottom feeder. If they can’t find your phone number, they’ll find someone you’re related to. There are lots of “public information” websites online that list your name, along with several of your relatives. They’ll grab the first phone number they can find, and implore your relatives to give them your number because your book is so awesome, has great “potential,” and they can republish a better version of your book, help you make tons of money, etc., etc.

Using Google (like they do), authors can easily search for the company’s name with the word “complaints” and/or “scam” to see what’s really happening. Unfortunately, some of these companies repeatedly change their names in order to avoid their previous bad reputation so authors need to be vigilant in their research. The firm that’s the subject of this article has, indeed, gone by different names.

In the Better Business Bureau complaint about the company, the author asked them if she had to pay any money. The answer she received was “vague.” The salesperson finally admitted the author’s investment would be $3,000.


To see MUCH more affordable ways to get your book published, CLICK HERE.

The author’s book was already on the market. She’d already invested money in it. It was already selling. Why in the world would she need to start all over again?

Sadly, some authors are initially led to believe they won’t need to pay anything. Here’s where the scam part of the operation begins. At the urging of the bottom feeder, they’ll cancel their existing contact, sign the contract with the bottom feeder, which may even be exclusive, and then get hit with a big invoice. By that time, the initial version of the book is “out of print/unavailable” and they’re stuck doing business with the scammer.

Some scammers tout big marketing plans for the book (at a very hefty price!) but it’s unlikely the author will then earn anything close to the amount in book sales that might be generated from those marketing services. The book sales just won’t be there. Press releases and book review solicitations aren’t going to earn your thousands of dollars back. You’ll likely sell far more books marketing directly to your customers online. Check out 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online (http://booklocker.com/books/5948.html) for free ways to promote your book long-term.

If any firm contacts you after your book is published, wanting you to re-do the entire process, beware. If it’s truly a traditional publisher, it might be a good deal. But, traditional publishers don’t go searching for authors online. Their desks are already buried in slush piles.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.

ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE


BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy

Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!

BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.


One Response to "What?! New Authors Are Being Solicited by “Free” Publishers? How to Avoid This Common Scam…"

  1. pamelaallegretto  March 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Cheers to BookLocker. I am grateful every day to be with the best!