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Predatory #SelfPublishing Outfits and #LiteraryAgents

November 26, 2014 6 comments

Three different things caught my attention this past month.

First, I get a message from someone (who shall remain nameless and genderless) that Person has found a great literary agent, a go-getter. Totally worth the Rs. 20,000 ($324) the literary agent demanded as ‘assessment fee’. Anyway, Person is not worried because the agent has promised to get Person’s money back when (not if) they sign up with a publisher. The contract also states that once Person signs on, Person may not approach publishers directly. Person states – “The Literary Agent said she will recover the money from the publisher and we agreed that every transaction will be above board hereon. Of course she insists that the practice is a done-thing in the Publishing world.”

Two things here:

1. It is unethical for literary agents to demand money. Honest literary agents make money after they secure a deal for you. That’s what the lifetime cut in royalties the agent gets (from your book royalties) is for.

2. Secondly, this practice is NOT a done thing in the publishing world. The literary agent alludes to it herself when she says that every transaction will be above board hereon, implying that the current transaction is not.

I wish the publishing industry were as with-the-times as the scamming industry.

Secondly – The amazing David Gaughran steps up to the plate with yet another must-read article for anyone considering self-publishing. He warns Indies against blindly trusting self-publishing outfits just because they happen to be aligned with known traditional publishing houses. Do yourself a favour and READ this article.

Last, but not least, Joe Konrath tells you why you should NEVER pay anyone to help you self-publish. Click here to read the article.