Is This Publisher / Editor / Literary Agent Legit? NOPE!

Dear Angela,

Thank you so much for replying and being so encouraging. I was dismayed to receive an email from a publisher this morning that made me wonder if he ACTUALLY read (my manuscript) at all! All of the issues he raised were covered and solved in the writing, so he is either extremely unintelligent or has simply browsed through the book.

I wondered what you think might be the motive behind his comments? After receiving some amazing reviews from both professionals and readers alike, I was aghast reading his comments.


First, it’s never a good idea to fully believe a relative’s praise about your book. Most people who love us wouldn’t say or write anything negative about our book(s) because they don’t want to hurt our feelings. Even if you beg a loved one to give you an honest opinion, they aren’t likely to do so, or they will sugarcoat their comments to the extent that they don’t help us improve at all.

You should only trust a critique from someone who is not close to you.

On the flipside, if you send your manuscript to a fee-based publisher, you can’t always trust what they say, either. Many POD publishers have sales reps who lavish praise on authors in an attempt to get them to sign a contract and fork over money. Commission-based sales people will often say or do just about anything to land a sale, even lying about the quality or salability of a book. Authors should be very wary about sales people dishing out an abundance of praise. That’s usually a sign you’re about to be taken for an expensive ride.

Other fee-based publishing service firms will criticize a book just to convince you to pay for their expensive (and sometimes very bad) editing services.

That appears to be the motive behind this so-called publisher you contacted. I researched the name of his company and the very first link that popped up was for his editing services. Even if your book contained no errors and was perfect in every way (of course, no book is perfect), he has no incentive to tell you that because he’s trying to get money from you.

This guy claims not only to be a publisher and an editor, but also a literary agent. That’s the funniest part of all. Real literary agents (the respectable ones anyway) don’t charge authors to edit books and, in fact, don’t edit books at all, nor charge authors for any fees beyond perhaps some minor photocopying fees for sending manuscripts out to publishers. Real literary agents receive a percentage of the author’s advance and royalties for contracts they helped secure. The editors at publishing houses do the editing AFTER a contract is given to the author and after the advance has been paid.

Any “literary agent” who is also a publisher has absolutely zero incentive to market your book to traditional publishers. Never, ever sign with a literary agent that is also a publisher. And, watch out for literary agents that refer authors to POD publishers. There’s a good chance they either own that publishing company or they’re getting a commission for the referral.



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