I wanted to share with you an experience that I had last week, when a query letter I mailed out to a publishing company that came back almost immediately with an offer to publish my manuscript. At first my reaction was the normal excitement at the thought of having my novel published from what I had been advised was a reputable publishing company. They overnighted me a contract to go over, sign and return so that the wheels would be put in motion for the necessary things which needed to take place to get my manuscript published.
I left the bakery excited and eager to look over the contract with a finetooth comb, and to write down any questions and concerns I may have. I went through the contract, pretty satisified at what I was reading so far, when I came to Section 1, page 16 where I was informed that the publisher would be putting up $27,000.00 for the production, manufacturing, and printing of the Author's work. They also advised that they would absorb all costs of the services of the marketing representative and publicist assiged to the Author (me), for the life of the book and receive from the Author the required REFUNDABLE RETAINER OF $3,990.00, WHICH WOULD BE REFUNDABLE TO ME after the 1000th distribution sale of my work. RED FLAG.
It was all too mind boggling, so I decided to call the publishing company myself only to be given the silent treatment. No one could seem to answer my questions. RED FLAG!
In the end, I was able to talk to a young woman from a post on the Internet about this company, who was quick to advise me that she lost money believing all that she read and believing in this publishing company. Searching the Internet, I discovered lawsuits and complaints from people from all walks of life, who had the same problems with this publishing company. RED FLAG. The general consensus, along with several complaints from The Better Business Bureau, was that this company was not upright and fair in their business dealings.
Sisters, please beware that if it sounds too good to be true that 9 out of 10 times it is!!! The power lies with you to investigate and research before making a decision that could drain your bank account and hold you hostage.
I also checked with trusted contacts and friends in the publishing and entertainment industry including our new partner, David Straiton. They all were in agreement that no company who will represent you in the publishing or entertainment industries will ask for an upfront fee.
There is much about this particular publishing company on the Internet from people who are not pleased with the way they do business. We have decided as a company not to publish their name however let this post serve as a warning to you that if you get a similar contract as the image below shows, that you investigate carefully without the attached elated emotion these companies are hoping they can prey on, before you sign on the dotted line. This is not a typical Nigerian scam you may think it is as it stinks of Nigerian email scam, but an Amercian company owned and operated by American citizens.