Scam Publishers…Beware.

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

I’ve been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishing and marketing companies that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.

Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and focusing primarily on small press and self-published authors (particularly authors who’ve published with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit writers with relentless–and highly deceptive–phone and email solicitations. Some do provide the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices and often of poor quality. Others just take the money and run. I’m hearing from a growing number of writers who’ve paid five figures in fees to one–or, in some cases, more than one–of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it.

Given how fast the scams are proliferating (I learn about a new one every few weeks), I thought it would be helpful to gather all the information I’ve put together about them in one place.

My posts about the scams–where they come from, how they work, and how to recognize them:

– Army of Clones: Author Solutions Spawns a Legion of Copycats
– Army of Clones Part 2: Twenty-One (More) Publishing and Marketing “Services” to Beware Of
– Solicitation Alert: LitFire Publishing
– Amelia Publishing and Amelia Book Company: Sons of LitFire Publishing
– Solicitation Alert: Book-Art Press Solutions and Window Press Club
– Solicitation (and Plagiarism) Alert: Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine

Here’s a list of the scams themselves–at least, the more than 50 I’ve identified so far (the list is also posted in the sidebar of this blog). You’ll note that a number of them operate under more than one name. Some have perished since I began the list–I’ve noted this, but left their names, for the sake of authors who may have been scammed while they were operational.

– Access Media Group / Quill Space Media
– Ace Media Creative Publication / Ace Media International / APM Media Production / Pearson Media Groups
– Alpha Books Solutions
– Alpha Books United
– Ascribed LLC (defunct)
– Author Aide
– AuthorCentrix (formerly BookBlastPro)
– AuthorLair
– Author Reputation Press
– Author University
– Beacon Books Agency
– Black Lacquer Press & Marketing
– Book Art Press Solutions / Window Press Club / Booktimes
– Book Avenue Publishing (used to also do business as Nivra Press)
– Book Magnets
– Book Reads Publishing (defunct)
– BookSpine Press / Author Codex
– BookTrail Agency / Book Agency Plus
– Book Vine Press
– Books Scribe
– BookVenture Publishing
– BookWhip / Carter Press
– Box Office Media Creatives / Buzz Media Creatives
– Capstone Media Services (defunct)
– Creative Titles Media/TrueMedia Creatives
– Diamond Media Press
– Dream Books Distribution
– EC Publishing
– Editor’s Press and Media
– Global Summit House
– Gold Touch Press
– Goldman Agency
– Legaia Books
– Lettra Press
– LitFire Publishing / Amelia Publishing / Amelia Book Company / GoToPublish
– Maple Leaf Publishing
– MatchStick Literary / AuthorPro Creatives and Marketing (AuthorPro is defunct, but MatchStick lives on)
– McNaughton Books / McNaughton Publishing
– Netsfilm & Media Press
– New Leaf Media
– New Reader Media
– Okir Publishing (defunct) / ADbook Press / Coffee Press
– Outstrip (defunct)
– PageTurner Press and Media
– Parchment Global Publishing
– Paradigm Print
– Paramount Books Media
– Press To Impress Publishing
– Readers Magnet
– Royale House (defunct)
– Rushmore Press
– Sherlock Press (defunct)
– Silver Fox Media
– Stampa / Stampa Global (formerly Capstone Media Services)
– Stonewall Press / Uirtus Solutions (both defunct)
– Stratton Press
– Toplink Publishing
– Universal Book Solutions
– URLink Print and Media
– Vivlio, a.k.a. Vivlio Hill, Vivlio Hill Publishing, Vivlio Solutions, Vivlio Marketing Solutions
– WestPoint Print and Media
– Westwood Books Publishing / Authors Press / Creative Books
– WorkBook Press
– The Writer Central / IdeoPage Press Solutions
– YourOnlinePublicist
– Zeta Publishing

(I’m continuously updating this list–adding new companies as I discover them, deleting the ones that disappear.)



21 thoughts on “Scam Publishers…Beware.

  1. Tigerman says:

    My first book was published in print by Authors Solutions. When I querried the price they were going to charge, I said it was far to high. The saleslady said, no problem, You can change this. However, once I had sgned up, I was told I could not adjust the price. Therefre, take care and find out exactly what you are agreeing to before you sign a contract.

    • claire plaisted says:

      Totally agree. With my company I do Author Assist and Invoices go out after FINAL approval of work. This means you as the client get to see the work prior to paying. People say I should do a deposit, though so far I haven’t. I’ve also never hand anyone refuse to pay for work done. Though this would be mentioned in a contract.

    • mcguinty says:

      Dear Sir/ Madam.
      Thanks for the info, however, after receiving mountains of solicitations, I now have a new one… Please advise? Radio interview, invitation with America Tonight? Ella Jones, from Booktrail Agency, claiming, Kate Delaney, Emmy award, winning journalist, hosts, of The Kate Delaney Show and Forbes Book Radio, wants to interview me? The email claims, they received a press release, about my novel, ‘Kututu’. However, as far, as I’m aware, the last and only, press releases, on my novel, were, 2014…? Yes, I would be lovely, to promote my book on American radio, Ha ha… but why would, they solicit, an Australian author, out of the blue? If not a scam?
      kindest regards
      Olivia Osborn

      • claire plaisted says:

        You may like to get in touch with Writers Beware, which is where this article was shared from. I have no idea about radio interviews. I hope they may be able to assist you with this.

  2. Joy Toylo says:

    I’m reporting a fraudulent company called “Bright Lights Distribution LLC” that is cold calling authors, collecting financial information over the phone and the non-delivery of goods or services that have been paid for.

    Their website:

    They are based in CEBU CITY, PHILLIPINES disguised as an American marketing firm located in 16 Boxwood Lane Hicksville NY 11801 and 9422 Phillip Avenue Norfolk VA 23503.

    They are “highly trained scammers” and are led by the owner Raphael “Ralph” Mariño and goes by the phone name: “Darren Matthews” and is usually the one you get to talk with when you give out your credit card information. He also uses another phone name: “Zack Daley” when calling VIP LEADS to make a sale of his own.

    I hope that this can help you and many more others that may fall victim to these scammers.

  3. loretta creech says:

    I was scamed by author house. they have kept all my roalities. I would like to get from under them but don’t know who to get to help.

    • claire plaisted says:

      Hugs. I’m sorry this happened to you. First of all if you signed a contract with them, there is a get out clause…It’s usually something like 90 days. I suggest you read the paperwork. Once you find it, send them notice to end the contract and they should give you all your rights back. I’ve no idea about your royalties, it depends on your deal and how many books they’ve sold on your behalf. Once you have your rights back again depending on your contract, they will have to take your books down from any sales site they used. You can then self-publish. If you wish to know how, Give me a yell when you are ready. You will need to learn how to do things yourself or pay people for things like Editing, Book Covers and Formatting (Interior Design). Traditional Publishing is a bit different and a bit harder.

      Good Luck

      Claire x

  4. jowensauthor says:

    Reblogged this on Jeanne Owens, author and commented:
    I got a call and email the other day from Editors Press and Media, claiming they’d been contacted by HarperCollins because they were interested in one of my books. It all sounded suspicious to me, because I’d never heard of Editors Press and Media and it seemed funny that HarperCollins would contact them instead of me or the company that published my book (or that they’d solicit authors at all). So I did some searching and came upon this post that confirmed my suspicions that it was a scam. Be careful, everyone!

  5. Onyx says:

    I trusted LIfeRich Publishing to the tune of $4,000! They printed the copies I contracted for and sent them to me as promised. I bought an ebook copy and found they had left out complete sections of the manuscript! Their marketing of my 800 page, 420,000 word book was shadowy at best. It’s been 6 months since I released for publishing, and I have yet to see a royalty check, although I know people who have bought my book on Amazon. I ended my relationship with them and will never trust another publisher with my hard work.

    • claire plaisted says:

      Glad it helped. I see too much Vanity Press still and it saddens me when people get caught out. If you look at the things we pay for in life, we always pay after the work is done, not before…so why change for a so called publisher?

      I have a few other blogs you may be interested in, though they were aimed at FIVERR Business there are some great ones there if you do your research. Each post gives ideas and questions to ask.

      Meanwhile, good luck.

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