Desperate Writers Can Become Publishers’ Victims

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:

  1. If the publisher asks for money for any reason – run
  2. If the publisher asks you to sign a contract that is more than two pages – run
  3. If the publisher pressures you to provide a manuscript, biography, and/or picture – run
  4. If the publisher is listed on any list of worse publishers – run
  5. If the publisher approaches you – run
  6. 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.

About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written six books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", Preparing for Disunion, and Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy. He taught classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and given presentations at Civil War Roundtables.
This entry was posted in Scratch Pad. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s