I’m re-blogging Stephen Bentley’s post today, as I expect many of us Indies have been duped at one time or another by bogus publishers – I know I have.  Here’s the link below to the original post if you want to check it out, and also some links if you want to find out more about Stephen:

The Publisher Will Do That For Me

Find my books at Books2ReadAmazon Author Page or All Author

Stephen’s Blog:

I detest seeing people duped. For reasons that are obvious, I will mention no names. I recently read a comment on Facebook from an author who said, “The publisher will do that for me.”

I’ve got news for that author. In this particular case concerning this “publisher” absolutely nothing will be done. They (the so-called publisher) do nothing that an individual indie cannot do for him or herself.

The above quote was the author’s response to a Facebook friend exhorting the author ‘not to forget the libraries.’ The reply was as above: “The publisher will do that for me.” The author in question is as high as a kite celebrating signing a contract with this “publisher” for all existing and future books.

But let me tell you this, in case you are wondering what the hell I’m on about: they (so-called publisher) use the free KDP ISBN’s. Effectively they take over your Amazon KDP catalog and switch them to their account. I’m not kidding. Here’s the rub and nice work if you can get it – the “publisher” gives the author 26% in royalties on a Kindle instead of the usual 70%. Similarly on paperbacks, the “publisher” keeps most of the Amazon royalties and gives the author a pittance.

This outfit also uses ACX royalty share if it creates an audiobook so once more, they are doing nothing that the individual could not do. And again, with that system the author receives a pittance. They also “brag” about translations but all they do is use Babelcube, again on a royalty share basis. They do nothing for an existing book. They also “brag” about being a BookBub Partner. So what? I am a BookBub Partner as a self-published author.

For future books, okay, they do edit and format, and produce covers at no expense to the author. But these are all things the savvy indie can do him/herself. The difference is in the latter DIY mode, the author keeps all royalties and doesn’t see them hived off by a leech. There is no con here. It’s the authors who are being gullible. If not gullible, then they are the type of snobbish person who can’t bear people to think he/she is one of those awful indie writers who self-publish.

Indeed, on that last point, the grand dame of this “publishers'” stable responded a few days ago in a Facebook group that she was no longer an indie. I have news for you. You still are even though you signed a contract with this “publisher.” Check your paperbacks on Amazon! Do you see the name of your publisher in the product details? No, you don’t. What you see is exactly the same as my paperbacks: “Independently Published.”

The difference is I am proud of being an indie, and rather pleased I escaped the clutches of this so-called publisher who did absolutely nothing for me except take a chunk of money they did nothing to deserve.

I also blame the grand dame for persuading the author in question to join the stable. She clearly has not been truthful otherwise he would not have said, “The publisher will do that for me.” This publisher will not especially with a KDP ISBN.

Why do I speak now? I checked their most recent incarnation. They are re-branding and developing a very sophisticated marketing strategy to make money at the expense of gullible or vain authors.

Be careful with any publisher calling themselves a “hybrid” or “Rapid Versatile Publisher.”

The truth is the days of any publisher doing anything for an author are long gone. Even the vast majority of traditionally published authors have to do their own marketing. The one exception is the “big five” will provide galley copies, often hardbacks, of new releases to the mainstream media. That is the one thing an indie will find impossible.

Wait! Just before I hit ‘publish.’ I found this on the Absolute Write forum about this publisher. I have edited some details out.

They are an “Amazon exclusive” publisher – meaning your book won’t be available anywhere else.

And then there’s this:

“XYZ operates on a revenue-based model, meaning that we deduct a percentage of book profits to cover our expenses. On average, our authors earn 30-50% of eBook list prices and 15-25% of the paperback list prices, depending on pricing, form of payment and place of sale.”

Covers range from pretty good to pretty awful. A glance at the reviews for a random couple of the titles on Amazon show complaints about both the writing and editing.

Followed by this reply to the OP:

  1. They approached you. Not to rain on parades or anything, but that usually doesn’t happen with strong, reputable publishers – unless you’ve won some major writing award or come to public notice, somehow.

      2. Their terms are less than desirable, to put it mildly.

Caveat Emptor, with this one. If I were judging between it and Kindle, I’d just publish directly through Amazon.

Wise words indeed!

This blog post first appeared on Author Stephen Bentley’s website

Stevie’s comment:

I checked out this particular publisher with the ‘Writer Beware‘ website who basically said very much the same thing, and they added a little plus… you can have a #1 bestseller in an obscure category on Amazon and still not have a good sales ranking.  Don’t be taken in by publishers who boast about their bestselling books!  Check any publisher out with Writer Beware first.