For years, an old survey has been bandied about the publishing industry claiming that “over 80% of Americans want to write a book.”
With the advent of self-publishing technology, such as Amazon KDP, it’s never been easier to write a book. And, millions of people are pursuing their author dreams.
That’s the good news.
But, there’s a dark side to publishing.
When millions of people want to do something, such as write a book, dozens of con artists eventually crop up and try to prey upon unsuspecting authors.
How do I know?
For over 13 years, I’ve coached over 800 authors and heard numerous horror stories. I’ve lost track of how many people told me with tears in their eyes…
- “I paid over $10,000 for a publishing package and never got my books.”
- “I signed a contract with a small press and never received any royalties.”
- “I lost over $25,000 after getting suckered by a publishing con artist.”
These are real stories. And, it breaks my heart to hear the pain these authors have endured.
Fortunately, the dark side of publishing can be avoided.
Before you decide to publish a book or hire a promotional services company, make sure they are running an ethical business.
A great tool to identify potential scams has been created by the Watchdog Advisory Group from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). They have built a free online database that is searchable and color-coded to identify companies you should avoid and distinguish the companies that you can trust.
In order for a company to earn a recommended rating in the database, that organization must meet ALLi’s Code of Standards.
I highly suggest that you review this online database before making any decision to self-publish a book or hire a promotional services company.
And, just in case you tend to be gullible, here are some examples of when you need to keep up your guard:
If you visit a website that guarantees to make your book a bestseller, run away as fast as possible. It’s a scam.
If you visit a website that doesn’t display any testimonials from legitimate authors, then yell “Stranger danger!” and tell another adult. It’s usually a ruse.
If you visit a website that doesn’t display any pricing and urges you to call a toll-free number, then yell “Bad Man!” and blow a whistle. You’re about to get hustled.
Writing a book takes a lot of time, creativity, and emotional effort. Don’t let all of your work get wasted by scammers preying on your author dreams.
Stay safe, avoid publishing’s dark side, and make sure your book has a happy ending.