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A friend of mine sent me an excited email about getting an acceptance from a small publisher about her non-fiction book. She sent me some of the terms of her contract and a number of red flags hit me right away. Here are the two biggest ones:
1- Editing: For $260 they'll do the full editing and bring the manuscript to perfection, ready for printing and publication.
2 - Royalties: For the first 300 book sales the Publisher gets 100% and the Author gets 0% (That's supposedly to cover the expenses of marketing, promoting, getting reviews, etc.).
My friend is smart and she knew this didn't sound right - but her agent was thrilled and suggested she go ahead and work with this publisher. Another red flag! With a little more digging, I found the agency is owned by the publisher - in fact the person who owns them has a number of agencies and publishers with all different names and all of questionable reputation.
Now - I don't want to name names (so I'm not sued for libel), but you should know by now, I've been telling you through my advice series to avoid this type of scam. The thing is…it was really hard not to trust these people! I read my friend's emails from her agent and publisher and they sounded SO legitimate, and they have snazzy websites and very convincing language. But PLEASE do your homework and research before signing anything! PLEASE!
I'll mention it again. Here are some websites to check for scammers:
Predators and Editors
Agent Query Beware Scammers