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This is a supplement to the ‘All is Vanity’ blog.

We have mentioned scamming before in relation to authors, and sometimes the approaches of scammers can be quite subtle. The most important part of this blog is the link to ‘writer beware’ which has a whole page of advice on avoiding a range of modern scams.

I have also added below a few questions and answers that may be useful.

Why do people scam?

They want something. As far as authors are concerned, that is usually money but can also be your identity.

How do they go about this?

They prey on your vanity (hence the term vanity publishing). They will persuade you that you are (or are going to be) a successful published author. They will convince you that they are publishers and that your money will result in you being a published author.

How is that a scam?

First, some are simply not who they claim to be.

Others will offer you print books in return for your money, but that is usually as far as it goes. You will still have to do the marketing which for most of us is the most difficult part. There are many places you can get print books published at a reasonable cost.

How did they go about it?

They usually masquerade as a genuine publisher and say something like,

‘We are currently inviting submissions from authors’

in the same way that a genuine publisher would.

Some claim to be agents whilst others say that they are representatives from well-known publishing companies. It has even been known that some masquerade as celebrities recommending an offer.

How do I discern whether someone is scamming me?

As self-published authors, we know that there will be costs involved in the process (which could be: training courses, pitching ideas, research, grammar, and punctuation, editing, proof-reading, cover design, formatting, using templates, publishing, website design, marketing, interviews, book signing etc).

If they are really your ‘publisher’ they will be offering support with everything (sometimes not the marketing) and they will be giving you money. This is sometimes an upfront payment and subsequently royalties on sales. The general rule is that if you are being charged by a ‘publisher' it is the wrong way around except for ‘hybrid’ publishers who will share the costs.

Please spend time seeking information and advice before agreeing to any such deals.

Do you have any stories of scams or overcharging?

Scams and Scammers

58 views3 comments


Thank you for this warning.


Facebook author groups are RIFE with scammers. Not necessarily vanity publishers - although they have infiltrated some groups as well - mostly it's "marketers" or those impersonating genuine, bona fide authors in order to lull you into a false sense of security and awe. They ALWAYS, bar none, invite you to DM them, or they just go ahead and DM you, and they laud you with praise and heap wonderful prognostication accolades onto you. But they are all - every last one of them - wolves in sheep's clothing. Their hallmarks are the same, all those who are not actually impersonating a real author: uber-professional profile pic, odd names such as Blessings Glory or Gloria Bountiful, or oftentimes two-first-name com…


Sonia  Jones
Sonia Jones

Yesterday I was approached by somebody on the internet saying they would review my book on here and several other people.They had if I paid Em a small amount of money.I told them to get lost

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