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How To Avoid Publishing Scams

You’ve finished that manuscript and you’ve worked hard to get it polished and ready. Now you are sure it will sell and be loved by many. The problem is…how do you publish it? 

If you’ve heard of the “indie” world and think you want to hire a professional, that is not a bad idea BUT that professional should NOT be a publisher but an agent. If a publishing company wants to help you with your book, make sure that they are not taking money from you to do so. Books by independent or “indie” authors without an agent should be print on demand, meaning you print and buy only how many you need with a minimal cost per book. Beware of a publishing company that wants any money to publish your book. Publishing should be free.

If you need copies of your book, this should be the only cost involved. I recommend using companies like Kindle Publishing (Amazon’s company) to create and publish your ebook for free and then continue to create the book in print through Createspace. They will guide you the entire way through the process, although Amazon does have some financial issues to contend with on profits if you decide to offer the book other places directly, like your website. Other places can also do the same service and they are not as controlling on the distribution; but keep in mind, Amazon is huge and they serve many countries and will distribute through other places for you, like Barnes and Noble, etc.

In order to obtain an agent, you must query them via the contact information available on their websites. This process is longer, but you can keep selling your book in any way that you choose. This subject is for another article.

For now, make sure you are not being charged for anything! I have known many people who were scammed out of thousands of dollars to publish a book. Remember, publishing is free and there are no fees, unless you wish to purchase you own ISBN, but even these are provided for free through the publishing company you choose.

Be wary of any company that calls and bothers you incessantly to use them. This is usually a sign that they want your money. An agent will navigate the process of getting your book a larger distribution and can be very valuable in this process. Getting an agent is very difficult for first-time authors, but I do recommend trying to do so if you are sure your book is ready. Get some “Beta reviews”, which means have people you don’t know give an honest review to you directly so that you can make sure your book is ready. Never use family or friends for this process unless they are professional reviewers and will be honest. You need that gritty, honest feedback about your work in order to improve your work. 

Remember, it is a very simple process to publish…selling is another matter and for another article.


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Beth Green