After spending two years researching and writing my book, I was anxious to find a publisher willing to print and distribute my manuscript. Of course, I hoped to find a “match made in heaven,” but instead I ended up “shaking hands with the devil.” No information on sales! Low to negligible royalties! I learned my lesson and I want to share some information I have discovered to help you avoid my experience.
Some publishers fail to pay authors on time or in full or are non-responsive to authors’ requests. There is a growing number of publishers that have been not paying authors their royalties. There are many lawsuits currently in the works that seek to get compensation, but it’s a long and dark road.
The Authors Guild – Publishers That Have Failed To Pay Authors On Time
The Authors Guild – Reported Publishing Scams
The Authors Guild – Avoiding Publishing Scams
Red Alert Checklist
Here are some guidelines before you leap into a contract that becomes a nightmare:
- If the publisher asks for money for any reason – run
- If the publisher asks you to sign a contract that is more than two pages – run
- If the publisher pressures you to provide a manuscript, biography, and/or picture – run
- If the publisher is listed on any list of worse publishers – run
- If the publisher approaches you – run
- If the publisher has bad reviews – run
Undoubtedly there are other red flags.
The Authors Guild – Avoiding Publishing Scams has some tips to avoid publishing scams.
The Authors Guild – Things Every Writer Should Know Before Signing a Book Contract presents some ideas about what to do before saying “I do.”
Lists of “Best” and “Worst” Publishers
I found these sites which list the “best” and “worst” self-publishing companies. I particularly like the information provided by the Alliance of Independent Authors.