Butterfly Briefs

Butterfly Brief # 7 PUBLISHING SCAMS
7/23/2018 3:44:00 PM by: Leona Choy


Emerging Writers Beware! There are “birds of prey” business entrepreneurs a.k.a. pseudo-publishers ready to pounce on us whether we are beginner stage “caterpillar” writers or slumbering in our “chrysalis” writers, or unsuspecting “butterfly” writers.

We are all vulnerable and need protection.

Of course we want people to read what we write. Writing without having a reader is counter-productive. We may be writing but not communicating with anyone.

So we want to be published, whatever it takes! To see our byline on an article, story, poem, newspaper column or dramatic production is heady stuff, especially for the not-yet-published scribe. To be called the author of a book with one's name on the cover and perhaps a self-photo on the back cover is a delicious feeling.

We dream of having a book signing, being interviewed, asked for our autograph, invited to speak about our book. The temptation is more than overpowering when someone promises, “So why wait? Follow your dream. We are ready to publish your book. Just send us your manuscript. We even offer installment terms to make it easy. You'll have your book in just a few months—as soon as you've paid us in full.”

“Well yes, they are asking for a lot of money. I don't understand all the small print, but I keep thinking how wonderful it will be to have a real book in hand with my name on it as the author. It will surely be worth whatever they are asking. Somehow I'll try to come up with the money. I’ll make money back by selling my books! After all, I saw their ad in a reputable magazine.”

And we've talked ourselves into it! Back up—don’t take the bait!

Soberly please read this most helpful article below:


We shouldn't confuse the pseudo-publishers “birds of prey” with legitimate self-publishing arrangements which provide good service for what they offer. From them you actually get what you pay for. However, we need to arm ourselves with research and cost comparison and talk with happy campers, people who have successfully gone the self-publishing route.

If you'd like another pair of eyes to look over a publishing contract offered to you, I'm not a legal expert, but I'd be willing to look it over and alert you to any caution flags I might see.

Yes, there are a lot of predators working in the publishing field, but don't lose sleep over them. Keep your eyes open and your brain alert. Don't fall for their honey-baited traps preying on your honest dreams, your call to write and your vulnerability. You can navigate successfully around the sharks in this writing business and be a published author.


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