Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Help! I’ve Been Scammed!!

scam It appears that, just as big banking can get away with anything they do, so can big publishing.

Consider this answer to a comment on David Gaughran‘s blog [bolding by me]:

“…Author Solutions has proved to be an expert at creating a veneer of legitimacy. Appearing at literary festivals…is just one small aspect of that grand plan (and it really doesn’t help when they are invited to speak onstage at events like BEA either).

“Think about that (faux) legitimacy for a second. They are owned by the largest publisher in the world – Penguin Random House. They have partnerships with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Writers Digest, Hay House, Sony, Overdrive and Lulu – all respected companies. For example, if you go to the Sony Ebookstore and look for information on how you can publish there, you are sent to Author Solutions…and it’s the same with Overdrive.

“On top of that, they run a number of fake websites, purporting to be independent publishing information sites, that only recommend Author Solutions companies.

“The people they target aren’t experienced writers/self-publishers. They target those *without* experience (and the knowledge and instincts that come with experience). These people look at the companies partnering with them, look at the company that owns them, see the festivals they appear at, see their ads in places like the New York Times and the Bookseller and they think ‘these guys must be okay.’”

That rather lengthy quote was just one of the 38 comments on David Gaughran’s post, Author Solutions Takes Signing Scam To Miami Book Fair.

I’m glad I was poor when I got serious about getting published.

I didn’t have the thousands of dollars unsuspecting writers pay to companies like this

Some of David’s commenters claim that anyone spending thousands without investigating a deal deserves it; yet, Gaughran responds, “I really don’t blame anyone for falling for it.”

From the body of that blog post is revealed the sickening fact that Author Solutions made half a million dollars at the Miami Book Fair in 2012.

And, guess what? You can get scammed this year, too. Unless you heed the warnings, calm your fevered author’s heart, and do the hard work book promotion demands


Penguin Random House owns Author Solutions yet they have other operations like the $9,600 dollar scam offered through Simon & Schuster in that image.

And, they have a few other aliases they work under: AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, and Palibrio.

A couple of David’s commentors mentioned that an author could spend only $1,000 and have their own booth for the book fair.

Do you feel outrage at these companies or do you feel anyone paying them deserves what happens?

I published my latest book for $300 and I’m using my Sweat Equity to, slowly, encourage folks to read it—long haul promotion

There’s another good place to get info on author scams and I certainly hope my readers will share this kind of information, as widely as possible
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One response to “Help! I’ve Been Scammed!!

  1. Pingback: Would a Traditional Publisher Scam an Aspiring Writer? | Notes from An Alien

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