You’re writing, planning to publish? If so, check this out.
There are a number of companies out there who claim that they’re publishers, but they’re not—they are in the business of fleecing writers. They might throw something out there to make themselves look good, but the chances of your book ever actually appearing in print are slim. The chances of you being charged thousands of dollars for nothing in return, on the other hand, are very good indeed.
A point to note: Real publishers don’t charge. For anything. They get paid the same way, at the same time, that you do—from sales of your book, once it’s out there. If a “publisher” says anything about you paying money up front, clamp both hands round your wallet and keep their hands in sight as you back away.
I follow the Writer Beware Blogs on Facebook; their blog is invaluable to anyone looking to publish, and I recommend checking them out. This blog post was spurred by their latest post, in fact; you can (and should) read it by clicking here.
Fake publishers are a cancer right now, fed by the changes in publishing and hoping to catch new writers who aren’t familiar with the territory. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that “big” names are safe—Penguin associated themselves with Author Solutions, one of the worst offenders out there. If you’re about to go with a publisher, check them out first; check that blog, and also find out what other people are saying about them. We all know that the Internet can be a minefield; Internet publishing is no different. Be safe.