Part 2 – Author Beware of Scams !!!

11 Mar
Random House

Random House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In a blog article from last fall we wrote: 10 Signs, Showing You Vanity Publishing TRAPS

We stated: “Reputable trade and independent publishers don’t ask the author for money, ever”. Random House’s imprint ALIBI doesn’t do this. However, what they do is to take away all the worldwide rights to the book in any form from the author. And: they will deduct all their book production and business costs including possible legal fees, from whatever royalty the author can expect in the future. If any at all. They will not reveal these costs or being open and accountable BEFORE – and certainly likely not after – signing the contract.

John Scalzi  wrote another blog about Random House’s imprint ALIBI


“… preying on the writers, most at risk for being preyed upon, the new and the desperate. I’m wondering in what world I would think, paying authors no advances and shoving publishing expenses onto them, is somehow a reasonable business model.”

“Right here on the first page, the contract notes that ALIBI takes the exclusive right to print, publish, sell and license the contracted work, in every possible format, in whole or in part, in every language, in the entire world, for the full term of copyright ” (which is 70 years after the death of the author).

Another of John Scalzi’s points: … “transfers the cost of these services onto the most ignorant partner in the contract — which is to say, the AUTHOR. Yes, authors, I know. You are smart. But — can you tell me what “plant costs” mean? What about “conversion fees?” Can you give me a sum that you know with certainty what those costs and fees should be? Do you know how much it costs to print and bind a book? Is ALIBI printing them individually or in one large print run? How will that affect unit cost? What’s a reasonable sum for warehousing? You better know because the contract won’t tell you…”

Read John Scalzi’s article where he goes through all parts of this exploitative publishing contract and explains the disadvantages for authors in detail. 

There are more “Scam News”:
Class Action Suit for Penguin and Author Solutions?

Emily Suess, author and editor, compiled a whole index of Author House (iUniverse) complaints in her blog.  Litreactor Magazine reported last week: “Penguin’s self-publishing service, Author Solutions, is headed for the courts after it was revealed that New York law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart is investigating claims that the company hasn’t been meeting it’s obligations, or worse. The company’s questionable practices have been going on for some time: a Google search turns up loads of negative experiences with the company and its subsidiaries. Described by one blog poster as “a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen” and he gave plenty evidence to support this.

Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP is currently investigating the practices of Author Solutions and all of its brands: AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris, Inkubook, and Wordclay. Authors using Author Solutions have complained of deceptive practices, including enticing authors to purchase promotional services that are not provided or are worthless, failing to pay royalties, and spamming authors and publishing blogs/sites with promotional material.”

XLibris “publishing” contract outrageous!
A few days ago I got to see a contract from Xlibris, shown to me by an aspiring writer. Unbelievable what “services” they listed to justify their $3.700 plus contract, stating for example as one of their “services” the “Look Inside” function at Amazon and B&N websites! They are provided for free by these online retailers, and XLibris could be sued by Amazon and B&N for charging authors for that. We wrote and warned about Penguin’s and Simon&Schuster’s acquisition of these firms here on this blog. Now there might be a class action suit looming. If you have a case, contact the law firm here.

Be aware when you see these company names showing up somewhere: Argus, Aberdeen Bay, Algora, All Craft Media, Amereon Press, AmErica House, American Book Publishing, Anchor, Angel Press, Appaloose Press, Author Solutions, Author House, Balboa, Bookwise, Brighton, Brookline, Brundage, Cambridge House, Capri, Capricorn, Century, Challenger, Cobblestone Press, Collegiate Press, Dandelion Books, Deep River, Dorchester Publishing Dorrance, 1st Book, iUniverse, Tafford, West Bow, Xlibris…. even so some change their companies name frequently.  Ask for referrals by other writers and use the internet to do your research.

Hopefully every writer learns to prevent traps, shares these blog posts with writer friends and colleagues and gets a lawyers’ opinion before signing any of their rights away – or better: decides to author-publish. It is relatively easy to publish books, distribute and market them on your own.
Did you know that until the 1920’s authors self-published and publishing houses were a rarity? Only during the last 90 years, publishing houses established and grew bigger and bigger. Now we have a reverse of this trend and more and more books and e-books will be author-published.

Just get help with all these publishing steps and coordinate your own enterprise. We offer 3-month publishing / marketing consulting for a very small fee and will explain you in detail every step on your way to author-publishing.




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Hyper Smash



Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Marketing


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2 responses to “Part 2 – Author Beware of Scams !!!

  1. jorobinson176

    March 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Reblogged this on africolonialstories and commented:
    I’ll stick to being an indie writer I think. Amazing too that until the 1920’s authors mainly self-published.

  2. Arlene

    March 13, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I have used one of these Publishers. I won’t say which, but I have had no problems to speak of. Two editors went through my book. I love the cover and back cover and It was published and available everywhere in less than 3 months. Will have to wait and see what happens with payments.


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