How to Know if A Self-Publisher is Scamming You

More Authors are Using Self-Publishing

  According to one study, the growth of self-publishing in 2017 for authors was between 12% – 33%. With this increase, it becomes more vital to discuss how to know if a self-publisher is legitimate or if they are scamming you.

   More people are trying to be successful authors and some of them have prevailed. A study by Browker estimates out of the 786,935 books published in 2017, 20% of the authors were self-published. This article discusses self-publishers that offer deals to individuals eager to publishe their books. Are these authors making money and receiving credible self-publishing deals?

Traditional Press? Self-Publishing? Where is The Income?

    An estimated 1% of authors made over $100,000 in self-publishing. (2014, 2015) What about the other 99%? According to one study in 2017, 25% of the remaining authors received no income from their publication.

     If you are weary of self-publishing or don’t want to take the risk, maybe a traditional press is an appropriate choice. While they might be able to offer a fruitful avenue for your book, authors working with conventional media are seeing less profit each year. One reason for this result is that publishers are not offering as much money for a signing bonus. In 2018 the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society reported that professional authors have experienced a 42% decrease in profits over the last ten years. This would set the median annual income at slightly above $10,000. It is also noteworthy that while this is on the decline, according to the Authors’ Guild, individuals that self-publish still make an estimated 58% less than traditional publishers. Despite these facts, it can be very challenging for a first-time author, or for that matter, any author, to get a contract.

     Are there only two choices? Can you risk working with a self-publisher that requires payment while trusting they will do a good job or publish with the traditional presses that offer declining revenue? You can self-publish; many established authors market their material so that they can guarantee full control. This can be very difficult, and it leads many authors to wonder how to pick a publisher that charges and provides good offers. 

Looking At Watchdog Companies

    How can you recognize a scam? To begin, it is essential that you research the publisher with watchdog companies that can provide information about the press. Do not pick a random website before researching. It is easy to fall victim to publishers’ dazzling website designs and promised results.

      One reason it is important to do your research is that new evidence shows a troubling sign from the Philippines. Foreign countries will sometimes create websites that look authentic and accept payment without providing any effort to help propel customers’ books. That is just a fraction of the problem. What about the self-publishing companies offering deals without giving anything?

Self-Publishing Company Investigated

     With the self-publishing industry growing 28% in 2017, according to ProQuest Affiliate Browker, it is understandable that people want data on self-publishers. After looking through different details extensively, I could not find any data that credibly verifies the functionality of companies who charge for editing, marketing services, and offer additional perks. Many prominent groups that support authors state that statistics regarding self-publishing companies must be investigated. I agree.

   There are no definitive answers in my research, and I decided to evaluate one self-publisher through three different data collection agencies. A lot of conclusions were reached but if you follow my blog, you know that I want verified data! I did discover that the publisher was targeting first-time authors and spending advertisement on Google Adwords.

Their beginning self-publishing plan is 3,299 dollar and the only advertisement is with Facebook and Twitter. There are no details on whether they place the book on their own feeds or spend money to gain customers. In addition, the author only receives 60% of the royalties. The items provided were elevated in price for what they provided. Further, I looked at 5 random books in their bookstore. Not one of them had a single rating. 4/5 were on Amazon with one book having 2 ratings, and one having 7. The rest had no reviews. 

When picking a self-publisher that promises to help you achieve your goals, it is important to research the company and validate their credibility. If you cannot find any material stating good experiences or bad, don’t risk it. You should also be weary of posted customer reviews on the publishing websites. Just because they’re posted doesn’t make them real. Good luck to all of you! Contact me for further details.


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