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Book Publishing Scams: What Are They and How to Avoid Them

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book scams

Are you an author who would like to get a book published?  If you are, and if you are currently an unpublished author, you may do just about anything to see your book in print.  As good as it is to have goals and dreams, it is also important to have knowledge on your side.  If you do not proceed with caution, you may find yourself falling victim to some common book publishing scams.

Unless you decide to self-publish a book, you should never have to pay a publisher to put your book in print.  In fact, it should be the other way around.  Yes, most publishers will take a percentage of the money that you make, but that percentage isn’t even always talked about.  Most well-known publishers will either offer you a flat fee or an advance payment.  If royalty payments are decided on, a specific percentage will be agreed upon.

Individuals or companies who claim that you must pay to have your book published are likely just trying to scam you.  They are either after two things, your material or your money.  Chances are, your book may never even be published, but if you sign a contract, the individual or company in question may then own the words that you wrote.  For that reason, never, under any circumstances, should you pay a publisher to publish your book for you.

In addition to book publishing companies, it is also important to proceed with caution where literary agents and editors are concerned.  Editors are recommended, as they are likely to find grammar mistakes that you may have missed.  What you will want to do, however, is be cautious of who you do hire.  Never pay someone to read your book that you haven’t heard of before.  Since you may not know many editors or any for that matter, the proper amount of research should be done.  Look for editor reviews online or ask other published writers for recommendations.

In terms of literary agents, the same amount of research should be done.  Did you know that many publishing companies avoid working with certain literary agents?  Those who do not properly screen their books or those that misrepresent their books, develop a bad name for themselves.  The last thing that you want is your name and book attached to a literary agent with a bad reputation.  

As for the scams that are associated with literary agents, it is important to be cautious with pay.  A literary agent or agency that asks you to pay a fee upfront is a good sign of a scam.  This fee is often called a reading fee.  What you need to know though is that many literary agents take a percentage of the amount of money that you make when you sign a contract with a publisher.  In a way, this can serve as a guarantee that you will be receiving quality, guaranteed results.  Publishers who accept upfront fees may later choose to not accept you as a client or they may just take your money and run.

When looking to get a book published, the above mentioned scams are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind.  If an offer, a literary agent, or an editor sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

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