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January 25, 2018

Army of Clones: Author Solutions Spawns a Legion of Copycats

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I don't think there's much dispute that the many "imprints" under the Author Solutions umbrella are among the most negatively regarded of all the author services companies.

From the predatory business practices that gave rise to two class action lawsuits, to the huge number of customer complaints, to the relentless sales calls and deceptive recruitment methods, to the dubious and overpriced "marketing" services that are one of the company's main profit sources, AS's poor reputation is widely known. Along with other factors, such as the competition from free and low-cost self-publishing platforms, this has pushed AS in recent years into steady decline.

Unfortunately, whatever gap AS's contraction has created has been filled by a slew of imitators. Why not, when hoodwinking authors is as easy as setting up a website and opening an account with Ingram? In some cases, the imitators have first-hand experience: they've been founded and/or staffed by former employees of AS's call centers in the Philippines (as well as ex-employees of other disreputable companies with operations in the Philippines, such as Tate Publishing and BookWhirl.)

Like AS, the clones rely on misleading hype, hard-sell sales tactics, a lucrative catalog of junk marketing services, and outright lies. Even if authors actually receive the services they've paid for (and judging by the complaints I've gotten, there's no guarantee of that), they are getting stiffed. These are not businesses operating in good faith, but greedy opportunists seeking to profit from writers' inexperience, ignorance, and hunger for recognition. They are exploitative, dishonest, and predatory.


The clones share a distinctive cluster of characteristics that can help you identify them. If the company that has contacted you exhibits three or more of the characteristics below, be extremely wary: it is likely a scam.

1. Solicitation. Like the Author Solutions imprints, the clones are big on out-of-the-blue phone calls and emails hawking their services. Often they'll claim your book has been recommended to them, or was discovered by one of their book scouts. Sometimes they'll claim to be literary agents looking to transition you to a traditional publishing contract, or represent you to Hollywood. Their phone solicitors frequently have foreign accents (most are based in the Philippines). Email solicitors use a recurring set of job titles: Book Scout, Executive Literary Agent, Senior Literary Agent, Senior Marketing & Publishing Consultant (or Senior Publishing & Marketing Consultant), Executive Marketing Consultant, Marketing Professional, Marketing Supervisor.

Solicitation is the number one sign of a scam. Real literary agents, publishers, and marketers do not typically reach out to authors they don't already represent. For scammers, on the other hand, it's their main mode of recruitment. Any out-of-the-blue solicitation, no matter what it's for or who it's from, should be treated with caution.

2. Offers to re-publish authors' books. A big focus for the clones is poaching authors who are already published or self-published (often with Author Solutions imprints). They claim they can do a better job, or provide greater credibility, or even get authors in front of traditional publishers. Often, re-publishing is presented as a pre-requisite for pitching a book to traditional publishers or film studios.

3. Elaborate claims of skills and experience that don't check out. A clone may say it's been in business since 2006 or 2008, even though its domain name was registered only last year. It may claim to be staffed by publishing and marketing experts with years or even decades of "combined experience", but provide no names or bios to enable you to verify this. A hallmark of the clones' "About Us" pages is a serious lack of "about."

4. Poor or tortured English. The clones have US addresses, and purport to be US-based companies. Many have US business registrations. Yet their emails and websites frequently contain numerous (and sometimes laughable) grammar and syntax errors (see below for examples). Their phone solicitors appear to be calling from US numbers, but commonly have foreign accents, and may get authors' names or book titles wrong.

5. Junk marketing.  Press releases. Paid book review packages. Book fair exhibits. Ingram catalog listings. Hollywood book-to-screen packages. These and more are junk marketing--PR services of dubious value and effectiveness that are cheap to provide but can be sold at a huge profit. It's an insanely lucrative aspect of the author-fleecing biz, not just because of the enormous markup, but because while you can only sell a publishing package once, you can sell marketing multiple times.

This is a page right out of the Author Solutions playbook. AS basically invented junk book marketing, and most of the marketing services offered by the clones were pioneered by AS. If you follow the links below, you'll see the same ones over and over, and if you hop on over to an AS imprint marketing section, you'll see them there, too.

Authors are often serially targeted by the clones. For instance, I heard from an iUniverse-published author who bought an expensive re-publication package from Book-Art Press Solutions, and shortly afterward was solicited for marketing services by Stratton Press (fortunately she contacted me before she wrote a check). Another author bought a publishing package from BookVenture, plus extra marketing from Window Press Club--both as a result of solicitation phone calls.

UPDATE, 2021: When I first put this post online, publishing and marketing services were the main pitch for these scams. Over the years, however, they've shifted focus in an attempt to evade warnings about their tactics, and also to keep up with the changing realities of the day, including the pandemic. While they still solicit potential victims with marketing and re-publishing offers, they're currently just as likely to pose as "literary agencies" that can transition writers to traditional contracts, or market books to major film studios and streaming services.


Below are the clones I've identified to date (several of which I found in the process of researching this post--I actually had to stop following links or I'd never have gotten this written). The list includes a few that, based on their websites and other public information, I suspect are clones but haven't yet been able to document with complaints or solicitation materials.

One thing you'll notice if you follow the links is how similar the clones' websites are. It's not just the characteristics mentioned above: the same terminology, menus, and products appear over and over again, as do distinctive English-language errors (many of the clones urge authors to "avail" of services, for instance). Also, of  the 13 companies I looked at, ten are less than two years old, and seven started up in the past year. It really made me wonder, especially after I discovered that two apparently separate clones are in fact the same outfit, and two others appear to be connected.

I have no doubt there are many more clones out there. If you've encountered any I haven't listed below--or if you've had an experience with the ones featured in this post--please post a comment.
  • LitFire Publishing, also d.b.a. Amelia Book Company, Amelia Publishing, and GoToPublish
  • Legaia Books
  • Stratton Press
  • ReadersMagnet
  • Toplink Publishing
  • Book-Art Press Solutions
  • Window Press Club
  • Westwood Books Publishing (formerly Greenberry Publishing), also d.b.a. Authors Press, Book Vine Press
  • BookVenture Publishing
  • Okir Publishing d.b.a. ADbook Press and Coffee Press
  • Zeta Publishing
  • Everlastale Publishing 
UPDATE, 2021: There are definitely more clones out there. See my followup blog post for the full list of those I've discovered--more than 100 to date. The list also appears in the sidebar to the right.


LitFire Publishing is the first Author Solutions clone I ever encountered, and the one that alerted me to the phenomenon. My 2014 blog post takes a detailed look at its false or unverifiable claims, its illiterate solicitation emails, its plagiarism (it's still doing that), and its Philippine/Author Solutions origins (its phone solicitors sometimes claim AS imprints are "sister companies"). See the comments for many reports of solicitation phone calls.

LitFire is a good deal more sophisticated now than it was in 2014, with a flashy website from which the English-language errors that marred it in the beginning have largely (though not entirely; its blog posts could use some help) been culled. But it's still a solicitation monster, and its Author Solutions-style publishing and marketing services are still a major ripoff. Take a look at its insanely marked-up Kirkus Indie review package (you can buy reviews directly from Kirkus for less than half the price).

In 2018, perhaps to escape mounting complaints or maybe just to establish new revenue streams, LitFire started doing business under several new names: Amelia Book Company and Amelia Publishing, and GoToPublish.

LitFire claims it's headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and it is actually registered with the Georgia Corporations Division. Possibly to get ahead of negative discussion, it has admitted--partially--its Philippines connections. It's also aware of my warnings about it, and has responded with some fairly incompetent trolling.

LitFire employees celebrate hitting their latest sales target


Legaia Books is also a solicitation monster. It heavily targeted authors of Tate Publishing right after that disgraced vanity publisher collapsed.

Legaia offers publishing packages, but its main schtick is Paperclips Magazine, an online rag that consists primarily of ads, reviews, and interviews sold to authors at gobsmackingly enormous prices, interspersed with plagiarized general interest articles and illiterate feature pieces written by Legaia's English-challenged staff. Legaia's website is full of howlingly funny (or cringingly awful, depending on your perspective) English-language mistakes. Keeping to its penchant for plagiarism, and incidentally acknowledging its roots, it has copied much of its FAQ from Author Solutions.

My blog post on Legaia goes into much more detail.

Like other members of clone club, Legaia claims to be headquartered in the USA, with a street address in Raleigh, North Carolina. But there's no trace of any North Carolina business registration. When the Better Business Bureau attempted to contact it by paper mail, the mail was returned by the post office.


Stratton Press claims to offer "an experience that is one of a kind for both novice and veteran authors". Oddly, it doesn't display its publishing packages on its website; you have to go to its Facebook page to see them. Named after famous writers, they start at $1,800 and go all the way up to $10,500.

The website is replete with vague claims ("our team's eight-year experience in the publishing industry), shaky English ("Since every book is unique and every story is special, it is just but right to have a team of experts behind your back."), and plagiarism (here's "How to Write a Novel" by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest. Here's "How to Write a Novel" by "Chuck Subchino" of Stratton).

Stratton is the one of the only clones I found that doesn't actively try to conceal its Philippine/Author Solutions roots. A Cebu City address also appears on its Contact page; and per his LinkedIn page, Stratton's co-owner, Aaron Dancel, worked for three years as a Sales Supervisor for Author Solutions' Cebu call center.

Stratton claims to be located in Wyoming, where it has a business registration as an LLC with an initial filing date of November 2016. It has an A rating at the BBB, but there's also a number of complaints from unhappy authors, as well as this:

UPDATE 12/14/18: Stratton seems to be having some trouble paying taxes on time.

UPDATE 1/17/19: Stratton Press LLC has been administratively dissolved in Wyoming for tax delinquency. Not to worry: planning ahead, Stratton Press Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in June 2018, and has switched its US address to Wilmington, DE.

UPDATE 10/14/19: Stratton has overhauled its website, so much of what's described above is gone (there's still no verifiable info about the supposedly expert staff, though, or any mentioned prices). It also has a new Facebook page, and a new page at the BBB. The old BBB page is gone, and with it that pesky Alert.


ReadersMagnet describes itself as "a team of self-publishing and digital marketing experts with more than 10 years of combined experience". Its motto: "Your Success is Our Delight!" So is your money.

You can pay as much as $29,999 for a Premium Color Adult Book publishing package. On the junk marketing side, you can shell out $6,299 for an Online Brand Publicity campaign, or $2,799 for a Premium Dynamic Website, or $4,999 for a 90-second Cinematic Deluxe video book trailer.

In true clone style, ReadersMagnet is a tireless and prolific phone solicitor (hence the many complaints that can be found about it online). I've heard from many authors who have been repeatedly called and/or emailed by this outfit; one author told me that she got so annoyed that she blocked the caller's New York number, only to be contacted a couple of days later by another ReadersMagnet solicitor, this time with a California number.

Writers have also told me that callers have foreign accents and Spanish surnames. A search on LinkedIn turns up two Philippines-based ReadersMagnet staffers. Oh, and ReadersMagnet apparently had a lovely Christmas party last Cebu.

ReadersMagnet's current website reads okay, with occasional lapses. But its original website, which came online in mid-2016, was full of howlers. Compare this early version of its About Us page (courtesy of the Internet Archive) with the current iteration, which isn't high literature but at least is more or less grammatical.

The company hasn't worked as hard to clean up its correspondence. Here's a snippet from a recent solicitation email--it's really kind of a masterpiece.

ReadersMagnet originally claimed a New York address. Now it says it's located in California. As far as I can tell, it has no business registration in either state.

UPDATE 12/6/19: I'm a little miffed that this essay from ReadersMagnet protesting that it is not a scam names two people who've apparently posted negative comments about the company, but doesn't mention me. What's a girl got to do to get called out by a scammer? (Among other feeble attempts to prove legitimacy: "ReadersMagnet is a business listed in various business listings online.")


Toplink Publishing bills itself as "the global leader in accessible and strategic publishing and marketing solutions". It boasts every one of the warning signs identified above: SolicitationRe-publishing offersUnverifiable claims about staff and experienceTortured English. Lots and lots of marketing.

Toplink's publishing packages are categorized a la Author Solutions (black and white, full color, children's book, etc.), and neither they nor the marketing packages provide any prices; you have to call to find out. Hard-sell sales tactics work better on the phone.

Also, no prices on an author services company's website is nearly always a giant clue that they're super-expensive. Here's the marketing proposal one author received--note how Toplink wants the author to believe that the ridiculous amount of money he's being asked to pay for his "compensation share" is more than matched by Toplink's "investment" (a classic vanity publisher ploy).

Toplink claims addresses in North Carolina and Nevada, but there are no business registrations for it in either state. A number of complaints about it can be found online, including at its Facebook page. It also has an F rating from the BBB, based on its failure to respond to consumer complaints.

UPDATE 4/5/19: Toplink's website appears to be gone, possibly as a result of proliferating complaints at the BBB and elsewhere. Its Facebook page is still extant, but that doesn't mean much--there've been no posts for nearly a year.

UPDATE 10/14/19: Toplink has a new website, although most of the content is the same. Its Facebook page has vanished. It now has an F rating at the BBB.


Book-Art Press Solutions (not to be confused with the graphic design company of the same name, or with Book Arts Press) and Window Press Club present as different companies, but in fact they're two faces of the same ripoff.

My recent blog post about this two-headed beast goes into more detail, including the identical website content that gives them away.

Book-Art Press employs an exceptionally deceptive approach to authors, portraying itself not as a self-publishing provider but as a group of "literary agents" who want to re-publish authors' books in order to give them the "credibility" needed to "endorse" them to traditional publishers. The cost? Only $3,500! Authors are encouraged to believe is all they'll have to pay. In fact, as with all the clones, the initial fee is just a way to open the door to more selling.

BAP/WPC is a pretty recent venture, with domain names registered just last year. BAP claims it's in New York City, although its business registration is in Delaware. WPC doesn't provide a mailing address, but its domain is registered to Paul Jorge Ponce in Cebu, Philippines.

Here's one of BAP's solicitation emails, reproduced in its entirety. It really tells you everything you need to know.


Westwood Books Publishing, which claims a Los Angeles location, registered its domain name in March 2018.

If you're wondering how I could predict an event in March while writing this post in January, that's because I've updated this section to reflect the fact Westwood Books Publishing is a brand-new name; the company, which started up last August, was originally called Greenberry Publishing. (Hmm. Could they have seen this post? Or maybe they just wanted to ditch their F BBB rating.)

To confuse matters further, Westwood/Greenberry also does business as Authors Press. A few examples of the links between these three entities: a book listed as both Greenberry and Westwood; a book listed with all three companies; also, as of this writing, nearly every book listed at Authors Press shows on Amazon as published by Greenberry.

Greenberry/Westwood/Authors Press's M.O. is clone-standard. Out-of-the-blue solicitations (also see the comments, below). No names, vague claims. Shaky English ("ideal for manuscripts that needs more work on sentences structure and grammar"). Re-publishing offers (see the Greenberry solicitation below, which I'm reproducing because I think it's so funny; what genius, looking for an enticing photo of a published book, thought it was a good idea to pick one in Cyrillic?). Budget-busting junk marketing.

Greenberry's business registration shows a Pittsburg CA address, and lists its owners as Maribelle Birao and Aaron Gochuico. Birao and Gochuico now appear to reside in California but are originally from Cebu. Westwood's business registration, filed in April 2018, claims a Los Angeles address and does not list owners' names. Authors Press doesn't appear to have filed a registration, but according to its website, it's located in--surprise!--Pittsburg CA, and its BBB listing shows Maribelle Birao as CEO/Owner.

There's some evidence that yet another company is running under the same roof: Book Vine Press. Testimonials on Book Vine's website extol the wonderfulness of the authors' publishing experience--but on further investigation, the authors turn out to be published not by Book Vine, but by Greenberry. And Book Vine's book fair display packages are identical to those offered by Authors Press.

UPDATE: In solicitation emails, Authors Press touts its "physical bookstore":

Local business records confirm the address:

There's even a website! As you can see from these photos and also these, it's mostly a school and parties supply store in a strip mall, but there is a rack of books.

Like some other clones, Authors Press also publishes its own "magazine", called Authorial, which it claims to distribute at book fairs. Such magazines have no independent existence outside of the fairs, and are merely another way for the clones to make money by selling hugely expensive ad packages to writers.

UPDATE 8/21/19: Westwood Books Publishing is now claiming a Florida address, and has a Florida business registration filed in May 2019. Its California business registration is still in effect.


BookVenture started up around the same time as LitFire, in 2014. It's got all the identifying characteristics of a clone: phone solicitations, no meaningful information about the company or its staff, a range of Author Solutions-style publishing packages with goofy names, a dizzying array of marketing, publicity, and add-on services.

Equally predictably, these are seriously overpriced: $2,399 for a Kirkus Indie review, which would cost a mere $575 if you bought it from Kirkus; $199 for US copyright registration ($35 if you DIY); $4,199 for a half-page magazine ad that actually costs $1,400. See also this angry blog post from Self-Publishing Review, which discovered in 2016 that BookVenture was offering its review services without permission and at steeply inflated prices.

BV's website doesn't display the same level of English-language lapses that are a giveaway for other clones--but someone should have done a better job of vetting its Publishing Guide.

Or this editorial services pitch:

Like other clones, BV claims a US location--Michigan, to be precise--but a search on LinkedIn turns up a lot of Philippines-based staff (who in some cases are Author Solutions alumni/ae). Although BV doesn't acknowledge its parentage, I've gathered enough breadcrumbs to be certain that it is owned by eFox Solutions Inc. (formerly Yen Chen Support Corporation), which is registered in Wisconsin (where it's listed as "delinquent), but is actually based in Mandaue City, Philippines.

eFox also owns notorious book marketing spammer BookWhirl, which in terms of hard-sell solicitation tactics and overpriced junk marketing services has been giving Author Solutions a run for its money since at least 2008.

BV has racked up quite a number of complaints about quality, timeliness, and customer service. The one complaint I've received about this company is very similar. I've also received reports of telephone solicitations (BookWhirl is infamous for phone soliciting).

Check out BV's referral program--you can earn $150! Also its several Author Solutions-style shill sites, which pretend to be independent but are actually author recruiting tools.

If you're a glutton for punishment, you can read one of BookVenture's extremely deceptive (not to mention wordy) sales pitches here.


Okir Publishing says it started out as "a marketing services provider" in 2006, and transitioned to book publishing later--but according to its Wyoming incorporation data, its initial filing was just last September, and its domain was registered in October 2017 (to add to the confusion, its Terms of Service are governed by California laws).

Okir has overhauled its website since I started researching this post, and has scrubbed it of most of the English-language lapses, but clonesign still abounds: phone solicitation by "literary scouts" with re-publishing offers, an About Us page with, basically, no "about", a large number of junk marketing services (check out the eye-poppingly costly "social media account management" program). As with so many clones, there are verifiable Philippine connections. There's also this, from the BBB:

UPDATE 1/18/19: Okir is accumulating complaints. There are several at the BBB, and more at PissedConsumer.

UPDATE 8/14/19: Okir's website is still online, but it hasn't been updated since 2018 and Amazon shows no published books since October 2018. My guess is that it's defunct.

UPDATE 12/7/19: Okir's website is gone.

"Are your [sic] ready to publish your book?" asks ADbook Press. "Grab this once in a lifetime oppurtunity [sic] and get yourself started by availing of the package and service that is a bang for your buck." Registered in Nevada but claiming to be based in California, ADbook sports all the clone signs and signals. Its publishing packages carry no prices (and you know what that means). It offers a full complement of junk marketing, including the Author Solutions favorite, the Hollywood Book to Screen package. In fact, ADbook's Hollywood package is an exact duplicate of Author Solutions'.

UPDATE 10/25/18: ADbook Press's URL appears to be dead, and it hasn't published anything since September (hence the archived links above).

UPDATE 8/14/19: ADbook is back online at a new URL. Its most recent pub date for a title is May 2019.

"Let's Get Brewing Today" says Coffee Press. Purportedly located in New York, Coffee Press has its English pretty much under control, but other clonesigns tell the story: solicitation, unverifiable experience claims ("visionaries with over a decade of publishing expertise"), and the usual menu of junk marketing "starting at $2,499."

Coffee Press's Terms of Service are identical to those of Okir Publishing. Both companies are using a generic template that appears on many other websites, so that's not really a smoking gun. What is: a telltale typo reproduced on both sites:

And that's not all to suggest that Okir Publishing and Coffee Press--and ADbook Press as well--are good buddies. Check out the logos in the background of the photo below. I strongly suspect that many other clones are similarly interrelated.


Zeta Publishing is incorporated in Florida. English-language errors are apparent throughout its website, and the About Us page includes the usual non-information. There's a full raft of Author Solutions-style marketing and add-on services, all insanely marked up. You can get your copyright registered for $189 (or do it yourself online for $35). You can pay $4,150 for a half-page ad in Bookmarks Magazine (or you can contact Bookmarks yourself and buy the ad for $1,400). You can also buy a 10-minute radio interview with internet radio personality Stu Taylor, who just happens to be Author Solutions' favorite radio talk show host.


Clonesign is there as well at Everlastale Publishing: no concrete info about the company or staff, whimsically-named Author Solutions-style publishing packages, the familiar range of overpriced junk marketing services. Everlastale's President, Don Harold, is an alumnus of BookVenture/BookWhirl, and Everlastale's publishing agreement has been substantially copied from BookVenture's. It's a revealing demonstration of how these predatory companies seed imitators.

UPDATE 6/14/18: Everlastale is now defunct.

UPDATE 1/26/18: As noted above, LitFire Publishing is miffed at what I've written about it, and has been persistently (if infrequently and not very competently) trolling me. Here's its latest English-challenged salvo, posted today in the comments section of my original article about it. Bad blogs, bad blogs, whatcha gonna do...

UPDATE 12/31/18: I've identified more than 20 additional clones. See my followup post: Army of Clones, Part 2: Twenty-One (More) Publishing and Marketing "Services" to Beware Of.

UPDATE 8/16/19: Since first putting this post online, I've identified well over 100 Author Solutions clones. My most recent blog post provides a roundup of the posts I've written about these scams, as well as a constantly-updated list of the scams I've discovered to date. I've also added a complete list to the sidebar of this blog.


Kanoy said...

One way to tell if someone is from the Philippines, try to have the person say the words journey, journal, or country. If the pronunciation is "joor-ney, joor-nal or cowntry", your suspicions are confirmed.

Desertphile said...

The writers I meet are overwhelmingly intelligent--- more than average, from my perspective. That reduces to being more easily scammed: intelligent people tend to believe, falsely, that they are too intelligent to be defrauded; scammed; robbed. The best defense against being defrauded is to know you most likely can be.

Victoria Strauss said...

Agreed--being forewarned is good defense. But companies like this do primarily prey on ignorance and inexperience, and everything they do is geared to that, including their apparent assumption that broken English on a publisher's website or in its emails won't be a tipoff.

Ernie J. Zelinski said...

I met with an author in Vancouver who is using Friesen Press (which I used many years ago just for printing purposes) that now has a self-publishing division. I asked my Canadian book distributor about Friesen's self-publishing division. This was her reply:

Re: Freisen Press – they’re essentially a production house for self published books, but, like Trafford and Tellwell and the myriad of others who sprang up to get on the self pub money wagon – they also put their ISBN and Freisen Press imprint on the book to make it look like it’s been published by a commercial publisher. I have to give Freisen’s more credit for their quality and knowing what they’re doing, but it still is nothing more than a production house, or worse, a vanity press like the others. After all, the publisher is paying for everything, but someone else is claiming ownership by putting an imprint and an ISBN not the author’s on the book. I always feel it’s as though you are building a house on a piece of land, hire an architect, pay all the subtrades etc, but when the house is finished, the architect’s name shows up on the Land Title and Deed.

Unknown said...

I've been solicited to submit twice now by Z Publishing House. I asked how they found out about me and the recruiter said she saw a story I got published in Belletrist Literary Magazine last year. I did indeed get a short story published in Belletrist last year, but there was something shady about this interaction, especially the pressure to submit (it was to their "Best of Washington Writers" anthology). I still can't tell if they're legit or not but some of the descriptions might fit Z Publishing (I found one of the people who contacted me on LinkedIn, I think, and she is based in the Philippines).

Has anyone else had experience with them?

Victoria Strauss said...

I've gotten a couple of questions about Z Publishing House. I did look at it for this article, but it doesn't quite fit the template (though that's interesting about the Philippine phone solicitor). It seems more like one of the old vanity anthology publishers like the International Library of Poetry, where people either pay to be included in the anthology or are pressured to buy it. According to the small print on their submission form, Z Publishing has an "optional author affiliate program" that is "commission based"--authors can shill the anthologies and get a percentage of sales. Likely the only people who ever buy the anthologies are the authors and whoever else they can personally persuade to make a purchase.

I agree that Z is a seriously dodgy outfit, but I don't think it's a clone.

Desertphile said...

Just looking at the web page for "Z Publishing House" it appears to be a vanity press where writers are the commodity and not books. The "business" states they have no actual office space, and they "accept" what they call "almost anything." They also target poets, claiming they will "accept" poetry even though that market has been dead for decades (which is likely why they target poets). I would avoid that person ("two dozen employees) for the same reason I avoid street gangs.

SpannSR said...

Has anyone heard of 'Author Bridge?' I was recently advised to seek their assistance for my online magazine, but they seem to work with books not magazines. I thought it was slightly suspicious because the person who advised me to use their services (she told me twice in two separate messages) is someone I approached as a potential subject for an article for the magazine. The website and reviews sounded 'too good to be true' and had a hint of the hard sell tactics I've encountered when dealing with Author Solutions. I probably won't use this service because it doesn't appear to be applicable to me, but I want to check it out in the event they try to solicit me on their own. Thanks in advance.

SpannSR said...

My apologies: I didn't have the profile set up when I posted that last message for 'unknown' at 8:09 pm on 1/26/18.

This should indicate (now) that I am SpannSR and am in California.

Thank you.

Desertphile said...

I looked at the "Author Bridge" web site, and it set off "all of the usual alarms." When the very first sentence one sees is "Raise your credibility with a book" one knows the web site is not for writers. In fact they appear to sell manuscripts to "want to be" writers who cannot and/or will not write--- the site is for stroking the ego and vanity of lazy people. The web site praises Sarah Palin: that's all one needs to know about the "services" being sold.

SpannSR said...

I suspected as much. I was suspicious when someone I wanted to interview for an article tried to push me into contacting the site. It felt as though I won't get the article if I don't subscribe to the services. That's OK, too. I have enough other resources for articles. Thank you, 'Desertphile.' (P.S. I am writing a book, but I won't go through the vanity publishing companies.)

Desertphile said...

The saddest part is that these people appear to be supplying a demand; I would love to see every writer educated on the subject of fraud directed at them, and see these "businesses" shut down. Damn shame there are people who believe spending US$6,000+ on "services" for a manuscript that might sell two or three copies in ten years.

Victoria Strauss said...

I checked out Author Bridge, and I agree it has a scammy vibe. Also, even the most reputable-seeming service of this type deserves a deep dive into research, and may not be worth the money even if everything checks out. Plus, if such services work at all, they work best for non-fiction and business books by people who use the books as adjuncts to an existing business. Standalone nonfiction titles and fiction, not so much.

However, Author Bridge names its staff and lists the books it has worked on--not something you find on scam sites (and the testimonials match the titles, also something you may not find on a scam site). The staff have real credentials (I checked them out).

Again, whether buying these kinds of services is a good idea is an open question and probably, in most cases, the answer will be no. But I don't see obvious scamsign or clonesign at Author Bridge.

SpannSR said...

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate everyone taking the time to look into this.

I think, considering the fact that I am currently writing a magazine and not a book, this would not be an option for me. As with many things, it may be better to take this on a case-by-case standing.

Rachel said...

It seems the fake presses are monitoring the federal copyright register. The last two copyrights I filed were followed a few weeks later by unsolicited phone calls from vanity presses. It is the new trick, I guess. I'm about to file another copyright so it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the sharks to smell fresh blood.

Victoria Strauss said...

Mining copyright registration lists is a classic vanity publisher ploy. Dorrance Publishing was notorious for this, back when it was still a print-only vanity (and it's still doing it). Subscription lists for writers' magazines are also a target.

James Gibson said...

Just was called by someone from OKIR publishing. After years of having Indian recruiters trying to get my Linked-in group list with fake job postings, whenever someone with a pigeon english accent calls out of the blue I rarely let them even talk. I wouldn't have been surprised if she thought the book was a novel: my book was US History so I wasn't expecting a large number of buyers.

Cordelia said...

A family member has been trying to publish a book of letters with commentary. He had a bad experience with Xlibris, cut his losses and now I hear his book is being published again, this time by Okir and he with be traveling to New York to go to Book Expo. This all sounds familiar from his first experience so I started digging and eventually found this blog. Thank you for being here. Family member is now in the process of trying to cut his connection with Okir.

In my digging, I found that the same publicity company, Lavidge, is used by Xlibris and Okir. There are connections. I am not sure how my family member became involved with Okir, he says he contacted them, but I have my doubts. Xlibris is owned or a clone of Author Solutions. Ahhhh, I fear all these scam publishing companies are related to each other. I’m sure this could be a plot for some dystopian sci fi thriller.

Victoria Strauss said...


I am very interested in the Lavidge connection. Would you please share how you connected it with Okir? My email is beware [at] All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. Thank you!

Mallory Oconnor said...

Does anyone know anything about Westwood Publishing in California/ I think they may have been called GreenberryPublishing, but changed their name.

Victoria Strauss said...


There are at least two publishers called Westwood; I'm not sure which one you mean, but neither seems to be connected to Greenberry.

Anonymous said...

I (unfortunately) published through iUniverse when I was 19. Today, *19 years later* a "Westwood Publishing" in Hawthorne California called my mother's house to ask about my short story collection. I don't know how they got that number, and it seems INCREDIBLY shady.

Unknown said...

I am trying to get an email address or phone number for Neilson Book Scanning, and hope somebody can help me. I need to get the information on how many books were sold of A Desperate Journey by D.H.Clark. I have one month of documentation from Neilson's but it is from 2010. I would appreciate any information.
Thanking you
Jacqueline Greeno

Victoria Strauss said...


Nielsen BookScan is subscription-only, and won't provide sales numbers on request. If you've self-pubbed via Amazon, they have a feature that reports BookScan numbers (you can access it with your Author Central account), but other than that, individual authors really don't have access. Also, BookScan tracks print sales only.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 4/17,

When I responded to Mallory Oconnor's comment above, I did a websearch for Westwood Publishing, which turned up just the two publishers I mentioned in my response. But the actual name of the enterprise is Westwood Books Publishing, and I've confirmed that it is indeed the new name of Greenberry Publishing, which I've profiled above. Definitely shady. I appreciate your comment; I'm going to update my post to reflect the name change.

Anonymous said...


Tom said...


Made the first of three payments, after research, I cancelled the contract. In cancelling the contract, I followed the contract to the letter, but they are refusing to return my first payment.

I have published before, but decided to try someone else. Man was I mistaken. BEWARE OF OKIR PUBLISHING!!!!!!!

Desertphile said...


Looking over their facebook page's positive "reviews" it looks to me like the same person posted most of them under different names.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this very helpful blog. I self-published a book with "1st Books Library" back in 2002. It was a fairly straightforward self-publishing deal with only modest hard sell of marketing services which I declined, but it's clear that my contact information has been sold many times since. About once or twice a year I get calls from publishers who claim to be very excited about republishing my novel (I get this from their voice mail messages; I never actually take the call). The latest one was Okir, so I thought I would see who they are, just for fun. Now I know, thanks to you and those who wrote in comments. Thanks again, you provide a very good and useful service.

Anonymous said...

BEWARE OF " BOOKWHIP ". Dont fall into their traps giving you free publishing. There was a fraudulent charge in my card for $3599 and showed Bookwhip

Mark Sprague said...

I publish a book in 2013 using iuniverse which I know now was a mistake. A year later I cancelled everything without universe and self publish my book. I have not marketed my book for at least 2 years, but in the past three months I've been contacted by 4 of the companies you have listed in your blog post. I actually took the time to listen to one of them and they offered exactly what you said. Because they had a book fair comming up soon, they wanted me to make a payment that day without even seeing a contract. The price started at $3,500 but then they came down to $1,000. I never took the bait. These types of scams are ruining the publishing industry.

Peter weisz said...

I am having problems with a company called AUTHORS PRESS who claim to have taken over from GREENBERRY PUBLISHING . I paid $899 for a publishing package and now Greenberrys email addresses have been disabled. AUTHORS PRESS are now selling my book without any contract in place. They do not reply to my requests or demands to remove my book from online sites.WESTWOOD BOOKS are pestering me to continue with them. Is there anyone who can suggest how I can get legal help.

Evans and Rogers said...

I'm so glad to read this thread and know what's going on with these clones. Just FYI, moments ago I had a lovely chat with someone at Okir Publishing. Her name is Astrid and she was the one to mention Author House when I asked how she got my phone number and email. After my experience with Author House (I did get my money back) I'm wary of any of the "pay to play" publishing houses and I'm not even tempted, but I do my best to warn others. I prefer to do everything myself and self-publish through Create space for next to nothing. If I can't tempt a real publisher with what I write, I'll just keep on publishing it myself. I may not have a lot of readers for my work, but I know it's good and my audience wants more. That's all I need.

Iola said...

I've just looked up a random Stratton Press book, and the author thanks iUniverse for their work in publishing her book.

Iccowspots said...

I wrote and illustrated a children’s book and had it published with Author House. Friends and family have loved the book but I had to buy copies in bulk to get the price down to remotely affordable. I have sold them all and thankfully broke even but I would love to re-publish that book and a few others somewhere else so friends, family, and I can afford them. Any suggestions?

Dragonflower said...

Just got a call from out of the blue from ADpress stating what a good job they could do for my important book. The woman who called (Indian/Pakistani accent) sent me an email that said for only $799, I could keep all rights to my book and all proceeds from any sales. I was already scammed by America Star/Publish America. Do they think I'm stupid?

Anonymous said...

include Stonewall Press and Sherlock Press, too

they are located in JDN building mandaue city cebu phils under rucket-up international which is not registered at all

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 8/23,

I'm gathering material for a followup post in which I'll name a bunch more of these scams. I'd already come across Stonewall Press (formerly Uirtus Solutions), but Sherlock Press was a new one for me. Thanks!

Dad K said...

With so many scam companies out there, is the a comparable list of valid companies?

Dad K said...

Any comments about Urlink print and Media?

Victoria Strauss said...

Dad K,

URLink is another clone. I'm planning a followup post that will list it, along with the many additional clones I've identified.

A bad company or service is bad for all writers, while a good one is only good for some writers (since needs and goals, as well as the company's focus and offerings, vary so widely). That's why Writer Beware focuses on the bad guys, and doesn't provide "best" or "recommended" lists. However, if you're shopping for assisted self-publishing services, the Alliance of Independent Authors' reviews and ratings are a good place to start:

Unknown said...

I got an email from WestWood and the person working for them has also worked for Greenberry.

Desertphile said...

On one writer's Facebook group someone asked about "iuniverse," so of course I warned the person to stay away fr4om that "business." I looked over the terms of service, and the expenses, "iuniverse" posted on their web site, and I was horrified. For US$1,000 they will do for a writer what it costs about $125 via SMASHWORDS and one of hundreds of on-line cover designers. I am fundamentally at a loss to understand why someone would pay thousands of dollars for about 30 minutes of work.

Monika Müller said...

In 2009 I accepted the offer of AuthorHouse in the USA to self-publish my book. Their offer was a paperback and hardcover published at the same moment for a better price. I made the lay-out (with many illustrations) for both the 5x8 and 6x9 version. When getting the results, it turned out that they had just taken the lay-out of 5x8 for both versions, that way having had even a tremendous profit - what they had called a special offer. The hardcover 6x9 version looked of course strange.
Living in another country, I did not have any clue how dishonest such companies can be and got my book with AuthorHouse to two Book fair exhibits for quite a high amount of money compared what the service is. When 3rd time offered to me the agent had phrased so clearly that authors should think to get their hands into the pockets of people I woke up and understood that this is what that agent from AuthorHouse wants to do with me.
A few years later when AuthorHouse seemed somehow changed I followed their marketing service. Again I felt cheated finding out the way they had made the book trailer and the reviews, that they were completely unable to have a clue about my book.
The trailers shown as samples to me beforehand were 3 to 4 minutes of length, but my trailer ended up with 1 minute and even also published one only with 1/2 minute.
If I wouldn't have been abroad without the possibility to enter the USA (due to having once at the border Ecchinecea seeds in my bag what for they sent me immediately back to where I came from, and what for next time at the border being put into prison for getting me next day back to the country I came from) I would have fought this situation.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great information, and for keeping it updated. We are still trying to republish our books since Tate Publishing went out of business, where we spent big $$$. Not sure where they fit into the scheme of things??? We have seen contracts from 3 of the companies you list, and thankfully declined to sign. Thanks for the link for where to go to seek reputable help.

Desertphile said...

Here is some spam I received. I am utterly baffled how I can be a "best-selling author" by paying a complete stranger to write a book. I would require a complete satisfaction guarantee before paying. Sheeeish. Worse yet, people fall for this abuse. :-(

--- quote ---


We promise top-notch quality yet highly affordable book writing, editing and proofreading services to Creative writers worldwide.

- Trusted by 4M+ Authors Globally
- 86% of Customers Rehire Us
- 25k+ Writers and Editors

Ready To Get Your Book Written?
Our incredibly knowledgeable support team is available 24/7
Get in touch with us now
- We're eager to help you get things going!

Customer Loyalty Program

It's our way of saying thank you! The more words you order, the more discounts you can receive!

Let's Talk: (866) 814-3926 | Live Chat |
Insta Web Content All rights reserved Copyright 2018

Studioxcess | 1250 Oakmead Pkwy. S | Sunnyvale | CA | 94085

Anonymous said...

I recently been contacted by a new publishing company, URLink Print and Media, who aggressively have been trying to get me to sign up for their publishing services. They meet almost every criteria as mentioned in your article to classify them as a scam services, calling every single day, free republishing of my book, expensive advertising campaign, etc. Their address, taken from their website, is identical to the address for Stratton Press that is listed on this page. Also, the phone calls are coming from a number in San Diego, CA when the business is suppose to be in Cheyenne, Wy. As I haven't actually agreed to anything with them, nor am I likely, I cannot prove one way or the other that it is a scam company, but there are enough red flags to definitely make me wary.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonyous 9/25,

URLink is definitely another clone--I've gotten a number of reports, and have done some work to try and trace its connection to other clones (the fact that authors are solicited by multiple clones in sequence strongly suggests that they are interconnected; I've been able to prove this in some cases by by no means in all). My guess is that the phone calls are coming from the Philippines, and are being spoofed to look like US numbers.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that ADbook Press is a scam. My writer friend paid over a thousand dollars to get two titles published, the staff there were not contactable once the money was transferred, a few weeks back. A good lesson but the loss could've been easily prevented had he checked here first.

Desertphile said...

"My writer friend paid over a thousand dollars to get two titles published...."

I look at their web site, and I am wondering how anyone can do so and not see they are a scam. If one does not wish to do the simple tasks listed on that "business," one can hire a twelve-year-old to perform the tasks that "business" does, for $200 or less.

Anonymous said...

After mistakenly publishing my book through Abbott Press (which I suspect is another clone), I republished the book via CreateSpace a couple of years ago, and actually *just* published my second book. However, lately I have been contacted (either by phone or email), by 3 of the companies I see listed here: Okir (they pestered me for days), TopLink, and, most recently, Westwood. The email Westwood sent says they noticed I don't have a literary agent (which is true), and suggested I pick a time for them to call me so they can discuss what literary agent would work for me. I seriously don't know who to trust these days.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 9/28,

Abbott is an actual Author Solurions imprint, not a clone— but that probably explains how the clones got your contact info. Clearly the people who run the clones either took customer lists with them when they left Author Solutions, or are being fed info by current employees.

As a good rule of thumb, be wary of anyone who contacts you, unless you contacted them first.

Anita Everett said...

Anita Everett, B.C., Canada - I have published ten children's books which are not selling as they are price too high with Amazon and Barnes and Noble so three months ago I signed with Westwood republishing for $800.00 CDN. I am getting no info, etc. and smell a rat. Please say I have not been taken... but.....I am a senior and can ill afford this to say nothing of a damaged ego. Is there any action I can take?

Victoria Strauss said...

Anita, I'm sorry to tell you that Westwood is a scam (as described in my blog post above). At best, their services are overpriced and of dubious value. At worst, they won't fulfill the services you paid them for.

I'd first counsel you not to give them any more money. I'd also suggest, if you paid by credit card, that you file a dispute with your credit card company--they will take it seriously and investigate. Last but not least, if you want to get out of your agreement with Westwood, go through the agreement and see if there's a provision for termination by the author. Many (though not all) agreements from companies like Westwood do contain them.

Also feel free to contact me by email if you'd like to talk further:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post - I found it because I received an “unexpected” email from Westwood Books - I decided to Google the name and came across your excellent article. I had originally self-published with Trafford after having zero success at submitting to mainstream publishers (honestly, what a waste of time and money that was - do the big boys at Bantam-Dell and Random House actually realize how much it costs to send a three chapter sample - of which you never ever get any sort of acknowledgement of them having recieved said package?).Anyhoo- thought I would copy and paste the actual email I recieved for your readers benefit. Be advised that it does not even contain the title of my book that they are so excited about. Here is the email:
Good Day!
Hope this email reaches you at a perfect time. My name is Chris Cole a Senior Consultant from Westwood Books. We wanted to let you know that we have received a recommendation from one of our partners Ingram. We’d like to know if you’re interested in having a better opportunity for your book and have a Professional Book Agent to work closely with you.
 “If you think your story has the capacity to inspire someone, go ahead and publish it! The world needs more of that.”
Westwood Books Publishing offers all of the professional services you would expect from a traditional publishing house: editorial, design, distribution, and marketing. Our foundation of excellence starts with the industry veterans who develop and manage our services.
Book Agents have a wide network of contacts and relationships with different Publishing Firms and Hollywood Producers. They also work directly with Bookstore owners.
Advantage of Securing a Publishing Package: (we do not set any deadlines on submitting your Manuscript)
1.We can provide you a professional illustrator who can make your dreams to reality. Our illustrator can provide a better Book Cover to catch the attention of the book readers.
2.You can make necessary changes on the content of your book  if you think it would help polish your Book.
3.You will have a team of professionals who will be guiding you and provide best recommendations on what to do.
4.Your Professional Book Agent will also function as your adviser and provide you Professional Help.
5.You will have 100% royalties for all Book Sales for a better opportunity to have the return of investment
6.You will have the Authority to change your own price for your Book.
7.It would be easier for your Professional Book Agent to represent your Book to Big Publishing firms if your Book would reach its highest potential.
8. It would be easier for your Professional Book Agent to endorse your Book to Book Store owners if your book is published under Westwood Books.
9. Your Book would reach a bigger market for Book Orders since we do extensive marketing.
10.Your Book Agent will dedicate his time to work closely with you and your Book, The Book Agent will answer inquiries about authors book in behalf of the Author.
Let me know your thoughts on above. For any questions and clarifications, please do not hesitate to reach out by replying to this email or you may phone me at 424 209 4118 or toll free number, 888 420 8640 Ext 6719. I am available from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Time, Mondays to Friday
Thank you very much!
Best Regards,
Chris Cole
Publishing and Marketing Consultant
Westwood Books Publishing
Phone Number: 1-424-209-4418 Ext: 6720
10389 Almayo Ave, Suite 103
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Unknown said...

I received a phone solicitation from Zeta. At my request they emailed me a statement. It was so poorly written that I knew they were not legitimate. Beware.

Victoria Strauss said...

Hal Ballew, would you please forward me the email statement you received? . Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I received a call from AuthorCentrix, what do you think of this company? Thank you.

Victoria Strauss said...

AuthorCentrix (which used to be called BookBlastPro) is another clone; it's got all the markers. It's on my growing list, which I will post at some point in a followup article.

Anonymous said...

Do you know of any complaints or anything dishonest about Dorrance? Thank You, Shelia

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 10/26,

Dorrance is a long-time print vanity publisher that has re-tooled itself to look more like a digital self-publishing operation. However, its prices are still extremely high, and it's notorious for soliciting authors from copyright registration lists. You can see a sample solicitation here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the owner of this blog, Victoria Strauss would ask these indigent authors to contact her by email. Something just smells fishy. Could it be that she will recommend authors to transfer from their current publishing company to hers? From what she is doing, defaming other self-publishing companies, won't other authors think that she's just slandering these companies? instead of minding her own business? or maybe she's trying the hardest way to become the next Joanne Rowling? Piece of advise, V. Focus on what you have now instead of maligning others.

I bet this comment will not be approved by the Admin. Of course it can damage Victoria's infamous conduct.

Victoria Strauss said...

I always know I'm doing something right when I get comments such as the one above. (I also don't think this commenter knows what "indigent" means.)

Desertphile said...

"I wonder why the owner of this blog, Victoria Strauss would ask these indigent authors to contact her by email."

That's right, all of you indigent authors! Stop writing to Ms. Strauss! An anonymous clown on the Internet objects when you do that, so gosh, stop it immediately!

Oy vey.

Dad K said...

What have you heard about Page Turner? They want to rebrand my book and present to 7 Traditional Publishers who have shown interest in the book. In addition they say they will advertise my book in the NY Times Magazine.
New York Times Media Marketing includes:
A single slot advertisement – features your book cover, book details and a 30-word description
One free print copy of the NYT issue in which your book’s listing appears.
One free digital proof
Press Release ( 250 premium media outlets)

all for only $6k! Sounds like a scam to me.

Victoria Strauss said...

Dad K,

Page Turner is another of the Philippine copycat scams. I've gotten a number of reports of "rebranding" offers like this one. Avoid!

Ari said...

Beware Black Lacquer Press & Marketing Inc. "Gabby Garcia" recently did a mass mailing (with all the recipients' email addresses visible, no less!) with all the usual scam offerings. The address listed is similar to that of AdBook press, whose 1-year business license expired 30 Oct:
Black Lacquer Press & Marketing Inc.
Tel. # +1-855-505-5640 ext. 204
3225 McLeod Drive
Suite 100
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121

Victoria Strauss said...

Sigh. Another one. Thanks for the heads-up, Ari.

Would you please forward me the email from "Gabby"? Thanks again.

Mallory Oconnor said...

Has anyone done business with Universal Books Media? They called and wanted to do a book trailer and film promo. I can't find anything about them.

Desertphile said...

Has anyone done business with Universal Books Media? They called and wanted to do a book trailer and film promo. I can't find anything about them.

Yeah, it's a scam. Look at the stock image they used on their "about us" page. Note also they do not list prices for their dubious "services." Notice their complete lack of *ANY* names on their web pages. Note that their domain name registration information is hidden on WHOIS databases. The fact that they called you is also evidence it is a scam.

Note also that most of the "services" they provide are services writers can perform themselves in a few minutes, for free.

Mallory Oconnor said...

Thanks for the heads up. Confirmed what I suspected.

L.C. Frenzel said...

Many years ago, we (Lydia and Charles Frenzel) , writing as L.C. Frenzel, used "Author House" to publish a autobiographical account of my travels as one of the first 25 female Rotary District Governors. We were satisfied with what we paid and what we received, as self publishing, or small press publishing, was not so straight-forward at that time. We received 60 copies of the book both in hardback and paperback as they were having a special to send the number of copies based on the age of the author; We didn't publicize "Governor Lydia." Since then, we have written and self-published 15-21 novels both as ebooks and paperbacks. This year, we have received about 3 phone calls or emails a week from various companies- ie see the above posts- and then some more, from people who want to make "Governor Lydia" into a bestseller.
There are more scams than can be imagined.

I thought that we were being targeted because we used Author House when we first started. I have decided to use one company- which had a modest fee- to place our latest novel (to be released in March, 2019) at the Los Angeles book fair in APril, 2019). Just a single action at a price which seems reasonable. It is greater than a recognized publicity company, but not so out-of-line for something which will be done once.

Since that time, the rate of calls have doubled from "scam" publishers for the oldest original biography. Yes- authors can do all the details now. Ask yourself the question ?Do you want to spend the time doing this, or writing creatively? "

Mupi said...

Sigh. Another one. Thanks for the heads-up, Ari. ??
There are more scams than can be imagined.

Quahog Press said...

I inherited a $900 publishing package for Authorhouse and used it. Since the book's final sales price was high and I was asked to pay another $250 to correct a mistake, I canceled the project and published on Createspace and KDP. Right after that, I found a Word doc of my book on the site Ebooks4free. I cannot prove any connection, however. After getting many soliciting calls from Bookwhip and declining to do business with them, I have been passed on to URLink Print & Media. They leave messages such as, "We've been playing phone tag," when in fact I've never called them.

Anonymous said...

In the Philadelphia area radio market, there is a company called Page Publishing that advertises frequently - they have the same line - we can get your book published, marketed, into book stores, etc, etc. They don't have much "about" in their "about" page - one of the caveats I read about here - but plug their own radio show where they showcase their authors. Not hard to do in the age of the podcast.
Its so easy these days to make a web site look polished and professional.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 12/21,

Page Publishing charges about $4,000 to publish (that amount buys a service that's basically the same as what you might get from any of the Author Solutions imprints). It does mention on its website that there's an "investment," but not how much money is involved, and the mentions are so discreet that many authors may miss them, and mistake Page for a genuine publisher.

However, Page is not a clone--it's 100% American-made. It's much slicker than the clones, and much smarter, too, because it knows that the key to long-term survival and profitability is to give people something for their money (even if the service is overpriced).

Similar operations are Newman Springs Publishing and Christian Faith Publishing. All of these operate on a similar business model, charge similar prices, and do a lot of online and TV advertising.

Desertphile said...

Four thousand dollars? Argh. Most self publishers pay fifty or sixty dollars. If utterly baffles my writing friends and I how these predators get customers.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you for the work you are doing here to help keep unsuspecting authors aware. I've been contacted by a company called Bookwhip. Have you heard of this company and is it reputable?

Victoria Strauss said...

Bookwhip is the same kind of scam. See my followup post:

Anonymous said...

Ia there any class-action legal action available to stop and refund?

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 1/13,

If you paid by credit card or PayPal and are within the dispute window, you can file a dispute with these companies, citing fraud. These companies take disputes seriously and will investigate. PayPal has a 180 calendar day window, which isn't a lot, but credit card companies often give you longer.

Quahog Press said...

The latest cold call comes from "Bookthoughts" (although the caller did not pronounce the "s"). Website looked profession. I've never heard of them. They offer publishing promotional "packages," etc.

Victoria Strauss said...

Quahog Press,

Did the caller have an accent? I checked out the website (it's Book Thoughts Publishing) and it looks like a clone to me. The English on the site is better than many of the clones', but there are some telltale lapses, and everything else, including solicitation, the publishing and marketing packages, and the lack of any verifiable information about the company or its staff, look to be clone-standard.

Quahog Press said...

Yes, the caller had an accent. She sounded Filipino, like other callers. I spent 2 months in the Philippines where placing calls for a company is one of the sought-after jobs.

Desertphile said...

Book Thoughts Publishing

Yikes. Please folks DO NOT go to the web site; their ActiveX code tried to install software onto my computer under the pretense of "upgrading Firefox browser." The site is riddled with malware.

Victoria Strauss said...

What Desertphile said. It's a malicious site. I had the same experience.

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you for posting this information. I just had an unsolicited call from one of the outfits you describe, and will not respond to them. Forewarned is forearmed!

Quahog Press said...

Latest cold call is from what sounded like "Rushmore Prose." Caller said his name was "Galen Haze" or something like that. He said it was a literary agency. I called back to try to identify the agency more clearly. The answering system stated "Rush Hour Print."

Anonymous said...

The website of Toplink publishing is no longer existing starting April 2019. Are they permanently closed? Or are they just creating a new company just to get away from numerous complaints and refunds from their authors?

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 4/05,

Thanks for the tip--I've updated my post. Toplink may be run by the same people who run several other clones, so they may just be getting rid of one business name to get ahead of complaints. I'll keep an eye out for more information.

Anonymous said...


A certain John Miller and Emily Harper called me and scammed me for $8,000!!!! They harass you to death until you say yes! I was a fool that I've even believed them! Trust me, add them to your block list and never work with their AWFUL team of employees who can't even speak clear English. I will consult with my attorney on how I can get a FULL REFUND since when I did a research on them they're based in the Philippines! How in the world would I get my money back! What a shame!

Their dubious website says it all.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 4/17:

File a dispute with your credit card company. Since this outfit only started operating in January (based on their domain registration info), you should still be inside the dispute window.

I tried to visit the website, but got a security message, so I didn't go farther.

Anonymous said...

I receive a phone call from this people They wanted me to market my books with them for a hollywood deal. It sound too good for me and pay for it.

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for adding another one to my list, Anonymous 5/08. Author Reputation Press ticks all the clone boxes: solicitation, re-publishing offers, terrible (or hilarious, depending on your point of view) English-language errors on its website, no verifiable information about the company or staff, and a major emphasis on junk marketing (the lack of price information on the website suggests big bucks). This is clearly a clone.

Desertphile said...

I receive a phone call from this people They wanted me to market my books with them for a hollywood deal. It sound too good for me and pay for it.

Looking over the web site, it appears these people are illiterate; the grammar is atrocious, and most of the front page sentences make no sense at all (and their web site does not mention any names of who they are): "Author Reputation Press uncloses the books’ better scale and landscape than typical self-publishing business models." Good gods. The web site shows a poor grasp of English.

US$6,800 for a "children's color book" with no guarantee the book will sell, in a market when such books do not earn more than about $1,100 for the lifetime of the book.

Desertphile said...

"... no verifiable information about the company or staff...."

Indeed, the images used are stock photo images. ROTFL! Yeah, that's a business I want to send my money to!

Victoria Strauss said...

Author Reputation Press reads my blog! Just got this from them. Womp womp.

"Please leave us alone and mind your own business

Author reputation press LLC |"

Bobbie Suzanne said...

I was contacted by Book Vine Press. They raved about my children's book and wanted me to be in their Asian Book Fair in Manilla in September. My cost is $550. I asked them to send me an invoice to pay but was told they could not do that. They would take my payment over the phone and then send me a receipt. Does anyone know of any scams by Book Vine Press? Thank you!

Victoria Strauss said...

Bobbie, I've responded to you in email. Yes, Book Vine Press is a scam--see my blog post, above, for details.

Divine Consciousness Series said...

I was contacted by re: marketing services, based in London and Atlanta, Georgia. Please advise as to legitimacy.

Victoria Strauss said...

Divine Consciousness Series,

Gotopublish is a scam like the ones described in my post. It's included in the list in the sidebar of this blog.

Divine Consciousness Series said...

Thank you very much, Victoria, for your swift reply. It sounded so good, and certainly appeals to my current needs, but now I will not take this service. Have you any further details about them to enlighten. Many Thanks!

Desertphile said...

Have you any further details about them to enlighten.

I am not Ms. Strauss....

Never reply to any email from a "publisher" or "agent" or "service" (of any kind) that was unsolicited by you.

Never do business with anyone who does not provide names in the "about us" page, or anywhere else.

Never pay anyone who has a motel room as a business address (6065 Roswell Road, #450 Atlanta, GA 30328-4011).

Never do business with someone who has a web site that does not list services, prices for those services, nor the names of the people providing those services.

Lolita said...

I just got an email offering me hollywood package from Dream Books Distribution. This is so unreal. What do you think?

Thank you for time today! As I stated on the phone, here is the email proposal for this project. As per your request here is one of the author that was successful and her book was adapted into film adaptation. Anna Todd a first time author was a part of the 2017 submission, she is the author of the book "AFTER" that made it with Paramount Pictures into a Film Adaptation.

It’s no secret that Hollywood is desperate for brilliant ideas. Nothing gets producers and Hollywood executives more excited than seeing the next great idea that can be turned into a Hollywood movie or TV show. That’s where we come in. As discussed over the phone. We can help you get your book a notch higher and put your one foot on the door to fame. Dream Books Distribution submits ideas to all major production companies(e.g. Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Columbia Pictures).

The competitive world of book publishing calls for a creative and entertaining way of catching buyer's attention. Professionally crafted visuals have been proven to not only be entertaining and captivating. But, also leaves a lasting mark on the potential film producer's mind and be remembered.

Dream Books Distribution considers self-published authors for non-fiction, fiction, children's books, young adult, how-to, spiritual literature books worthy of further consideration by the talent-hungry pipeline of the entertainment industry. Other than targeting the Entertainment world this would also entice Major Publishing houses to consider your craft to be traditionally published.

Why have a Book Video Trailer

The success of your self-published book will ultimately be determined by your ability to rise above the competition and the attention of your potential buyers. And let's face it - with all the books currently on the market, there are a lot of titles competing for your reader's attention. To stand out from the crowd, media savvy authors are using book trailers to entice book buyers and build sales. Some writers may wonder if using video to sell the written word makes sense. Think of it this way: You've most likely experienced the effectiveness of movie trailers. A well crafted movie preview creates buzz and convinces you to buy a ticket. In the same way, a professional book trailer will help you engage your audience and generate more interest in your book.

Senior Marketing Officer

Direct line: 213 279 2244 TOLL FREE: 888 857 6657 ext: 104
ADDRESS:10866 Wilshire Blvd. 4th Floor Los Angeles CA 90024

Victoria Strauss said...


I've gotten several complaints over the years about a Steven Grey, who sells similar types of services--but looking at Dream Books Distribution's website, I think the name is a coincidence. Dream Books is definitely a clone (and therefore a scam). It has all the markers--solicitation, poor English, junk marketing services, and no verifiable info on company or staff. You'll be charged an enormous fee for services that will at best be substandard, and at worst nonexistent.

More generally, selling a book to Hollywood is one of the unlikeliest outcomes of publishing a book. Even most very popular, successful books never sell or option movie rights. When they do, it's via an agent, not a marketing company.

P. Barnes said... is a scam, promise me a future in holiwood but nothing happen.
Hollywood Book Campaign
In the film industry, the path to getting a book turned into a movie is not so “standard” or typical. There are many different inroads into the movie industry—not all of which are familiar to someone whose main business is putting words onto a page.

If you want to turn your book into a movie, whether you’ve written a novel or a memoir, here is what we can do for you:

Pitch to Hollywood Executives/Companies for Film or TV consideration
• Professionally Crafted Pitch Letter
• GUARANTEED Responses from the Executives/Companies

Unknown said...

I've been pitched by a new one, Book Avenue Publishing,that claimed their book scouts found me and want to exhibit me at the Frankfurt and Beijing Book Fairs. They also want a PDF of my manuscript although my book is already published. Cannot find anything on them by a Google Search, although they do have a website with grammar issues. Thank you for the warning. Dr. Tom Norris

Desertphile said...

"Book Avenue Publishing"

The scam sells book reviews.

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 7/15,

I haven't written about Book Avenue Publishing specifically, but I have gotten questions about it and it is included in my list of Philippines-based publishing and marketing scams (in the sidebar). The "book scouts recommended your book to us and we want to take it to book fairs" pitch is a common one used by these scams, as is "we want to represent you to traditional publishers."

JJ said...

Hey Ms. Strauss.

I was hoping you could shed some more light on Newmansprings. I've been published through them since March of this year.



Victoria Strauss said...


Please see my latest post, which discusses Newman Springs, along with several other vanity publishers:

I'd be interested to know what your experience is. Feel free to email me:

Darrell Delamaide said...

Just got a solicitation from Elmer Jones Westwood Book Publishing that my self-published novel, The Grand Mirage, has been selected to take part in the Decatur Book Festival Aug. 30-Sep. 1. I'll pass.

Desertphile said...

"The Grand Mirage, has been selected to take part in the Decatur Book Festival"

Gosh, this is like a Nigerian prince selecting someone to receive US$250,000,000. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, URLink has an address in Cheyenne but they are mainly located in the Philippines.Visit them at 2nd Floor City Times Square, Mandaue City Cebu under the name Centexus Global.

Production and marketing are fulfilled in the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

hancock press. i've been doin' some research bout 'em and their address looks really shady. it's a residential just like all the other clones that have been mentioned here. kindly include hancock press as part of your list ms strauss.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 8/13,

Thanks for the tip. Despite some similarities, I'm not convinced Hancock Press is a clone. For one thing, it's been in operation since 2011, which is a couple of years before the clone explosion. Its pitch has changed some over the years--it started out as a "literary agency" that purported to find traditional book contracts for authors--but looking at the various versions of its website on the Wayback Machine, a good deal of the old content is identical to what's on its current website.

Also, its domain is registered to a named individual, Wayne Hancock, which is not typical of the clones--nor is the fact that he can be traced online. His website is gone now, but here's how it looked in 2016:

So...suspicious, yeah. I wouldn't advise anyone to get involved with this outfit. But not a clone.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Strauss, I feel that your explanation about Hancock Press is so shady and backed up with personal interest. I am starting to have thoughts that you are affiliated with Hancock Press. I have spoken to more than one authors under the same company that I published my book with and there is a very weird similarity on how Hancock Press introduced themselves.

First they will ask you about your book and tells you that It's good that you have already someone taking care of your publishing need and then will tell you that it's still always better to re- consider your options. They will confirm your email address and a few days later they will send you the link of guess what? the link that they always send is "Writers Beware". This people from Hancock Press are similar from the publishing company that you have listed in your blogs. Victoria Straus I dare you to be transparent and hear out the voice of not one but 2 authors who've had the same experience with Hancock Press. If your goal is genuine to help out authors you should include Hancock Press on the list. If you don't then I will conclude your affiliation with Hancock Press and your only goal for this blog is to monopolize the publishing business. This blog is nothing but an outlet being used by a company that capitalizes in bad mouthing competition that has the same business practice as the competition that they are criticizing about. All for the sake of keeping the business all to themselves. You should be ashamed of yourself.

PS: I am keeping a screenshot of this content and if the blog owner does not allow this comment on this thread, then I will get a confirmation that I am correct. Will make sure to post this online to warn authors about you!

Victoria Strauss said...

Periodically a troll shows up from one or another of the clones and posts something like the comment above (a recurring theme is that I'm somehow in the publishing business and trying to stifle the "competition").

For real, though: Mr. or Ms. Troll, I would love to hear the experiences of Hancock Press authors or authors who've been solicited by it. Please send them here, or share my email address. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

Desertphile said...

" I am keeping a screenshot of this content and if the blog owner does not allow this comment on this thread, then I will get a confirmation that I am correct.

Let me guess: you are six years old?

Anonymous said...

Victoria, I have been contacted by Authors Reputation Press. I asked for an author who used their printing (reprinting)to contact me. A Michael Kravitz called me this morning sounding pretty straight forward and answered some of my off the wall questions about the company. He sounded legit. Then my wife, who is a real doubter-skeptic, told me to hold my horses before I signed the contract. Then she investigated/discovered your blog about clone companies and their disreputable practices. May I thank you from the bottom of my almost defrauded heart and wallet. I got nearly swindled. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And I owe my wife a big apology for not trusting her doubts about these kinds of unscrupulous companies.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 8/28,

I'm very glad your wife found my post! I'm glad you found it useful.

As for Michael Kravitz...he does appear on Author Reputation Press's website as an author. But he also seems to have a rather larger role in the company.

Based on ARP's corporate filings, I'm questioning whether it is in fact one of the Filipino scams. It's definitely a major ripoff and an Author Solutions copycat (and dishonest about its history: it claims to have been doing business for "two decades" despite having only filed a Certificate of Organization in 2018), but I think it may be a domestic endeavor helmed by Mr. Kravitz, who does appear to live in Massachusetts. (For instance, he had to file an amended Certificate of Organization because he mis-spelled his company's name--the original certificate was for "Aurthor Reputation Press LLC".)

Quahog Press said...

Latest cold call (8/30/19) is from AuthorCapital. The website was down due to "security enhancements."

Desertphile said...

egistrant Name: IT Administrator
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 932 N State Street STE 2
Registrant City: Orem
Registrant State/Province: Utah
Registrant Postal Code: 84057-3193
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.8018214072
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:

Desertphile said...

Have you ever heard of Franz Ross at Vivlio Solutions? They are in Edmonton, Canada. I've had an email from them (in good English) offering radio, TV and book store advertising - all for approximately $3,000.00. Are they a scam or clone?

The "Vivlio Solutions" web site's "who we are" page does not state who they are. LOL! That's classic scam behavior. For C$6,000 they will cheerfully do for you what you can do yourself for about C$200.

Please note that the average sale count for a popular book is less than 300 copies its first year, and may sell around 1,000 copies in a decade--- that's for a well-written book. (Most self-published books are utter crap and may sell less than a dozen copies. The odds are excellent that your manuscript is utter crap.) That means the odds of you recovering the expense of Vivlio Solutions "services" and making any profit at all is close to 0:1 against.

The scammer's least-expensive "service" is C$800 and you will have to sell (average indie cost per book) at least 110 copies to break even--- and that is only if you work very hard to market / "flog" your book and if your book is well-written.

I spent about US$120 to produce and publish my self-published book, and it has sold over 550 copies in 11 months 3 weeks --- this is considered a successful book sale count. If I had paid someone to produce my book I would die before I see a profit.

A writer needs to understand the market. A writer needs to understand how the market has changed and is changing. A self-publishing writer needs to learn how to format a book (print and electronic). Just throwing money at a vanity press is *NOT* going to make your manuscript into a book worth reading, let alone a book worth buying.

Victoria Strauss said...

In my opinion Vivlio, which interchangeably calls itself Vivlio Hill, Vivlio Hill Publishing, Vivlio Solutions, and Vivlio Marketing Solutions, is another Philippines-based copycat scam. Any services offered are overpriced junk.

Anonymous said...

I am a living testimony that Litfire/Amelia and gotopublish is just one company. They have created gotopublish because they want to take down litfire publishing. I believe any author who has done business with litfire can attest that customer service is hard to reach or worst, cannot be reached at all. They created gotopublish so that business will go on. They are located in Cebu Philippines same building, same office as Litfire Publishing. On the other hand, Amelia started before publishing. They are only using Amelia for billing and charging purposes because litfire no longer have the merchant account due to refunds and chargebacks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to let everyone know this guy(photos below). The guy's real name is Seigfried Hernandez Taveros, but goes by the name "Friday", he was Friday West during his time with AuthorHouse but changes his last name every time he moves to a different company (been terminated mostly because of fraudulent activities). He's been moving from one company[PUBLISHING] to another if he doesn't get what he want. This Miguel Guzman wannabe is a notorious solicitor and will suck your finances dry, please beware. You'll be amazed by how he talks and presents his products but don't fall for it. If you remember how Lex Luthor got rich again in Superman Returns, that's kinda how he'll latch himself to you, a sweet but poisonous talker. Again, if anyone calls you that goes by the name "Friday", just don't entertain him. Please let everyone know about this and post this anywhere you could.

Desertphile said...

"Please let everyone know about this and post this anywhere you could."

No. I will need evidence to tentatively accept your claims.

Toby Pritchard said...

As a first time author who is about to begin the submission process, i am deeply grateful that this website exists, especially the hard work and dedication of Victoria Strauss. Not only is this information invaluable in the jungle-like world of publishing but i don't feel alone in this enormous endeavour. Thank you so much!

Quahog Press said...

December 11. Ralph Louis at offers an interview with Al Cole from CBS Radio "People of Distinction." "Over 23 million listeners who will be able to hear your story and details of your book. 15-20 minutes interview with Al Cole himself. It airs on Apple’s iTunes Radio Network (Professional News/Talk) featuring CBS Radio, Fox News, NPR, & C-Span. All professional, miscellaneous, and registration fees was waived by Parchment Global and you just have to collaborate with his assistant about the Air-time fee of the talk show."

Not sure how this offer originated. I did not reply.

Victoria Strauss said...

Quahog Press,

I recently wrote a blog post about these vanity radio offers from the clones. Al Cole is one of the hosts they most frequently use.

Would you please share that email with me, for my files? . All info shared with WB is held in confidence. Thanks.

Quahog Press said...

Just took a call from Sofia at "Rustic House"(813-467-7864 Tampa), saying she could not locate my book while searching the Authorhouse database. (I cancelled that contract a few years ago, as I explained.) She offered to get my book in the NY Book Expo America at the Javit Center for $499 per book. I asked for the website so I could research her company. She spelled the website as "" I have not yet tried to open that website. She requested my email address, but I did not give it to her.

Desertphile said...

She offered to get my book in the NY Book Expo America at the Javit Center for $499 per book.

Wow. Five hundred dollars to leave someone's book on a table.

Victoria Strauss said...

They do usually have booths at BEA and other book fairs (unless they're just re-selling services by the Combined Book Exhibit, which some of them do, at a crazy markup). It's really lucrative, because for $500 or more (sometimes lots more, depending on which scam it is) per book, they can display dozens or scores of books and make money on each one--even more, if authors buy extras like press releases or ad space in company magazines. Services vary from clone to clone, but nearly every one offers this book fair "service."

Rustik Haws is on my list. I've gotten a number of reports of its solicitations.

Unknown said...

I would add Paramount aka Paramount Publishing aka Paramount Books. They have contacted me several times claiming they learned of my novel The Romanov Stone via their "scouts". All these outfits seem to have the same routine, all use poor grammar and seem to have the same foreign-sounding accents.

Desertphile said...

"I would add Paramount aka Paramount Publishing aka Paramount Books."

Their "about us" page says absolutely nothing about them. From the web site:

"Paramount Books Media can help make your book available to agents, producers, directors, writers and actors...."

Yeah, uh, THAT AIN'T HOW IT WORKS! Good gods, how I detest people who prey on ignorance.

Victoria Strauss said...

Paramount Books and Media is on my list. See the sidebar. And yes--the clones do all operate in a very similar way--most notably, with lies.

Desertphile said...

Paramount Books and Media

Yesterday for shits and giggles I viewed one of the "business'" YouTube video wherein the presenter was hyper-careful to not outright lie, yet implied they can perform miracles for their victims.... er, I mean "their customers." As if everyone's book is a prime candidate for a feature film, television show, and/or Broadway play.

Brian S. Converse said...

Victoria, I just received a suspicious email from EC Publishing wanting to feature my self-published novel in their magazine at the London Book Fair.

Wondering if they are a scam or just bad at what they do. Person's name is Kenneth Lopez and his title is Senior Marketing and Publishing Consultant.

Thanks for everything that you do for us.


Desertphile said...

"Wondering if they are a scam or just bad at what they do."

The scam's web site would be amusing if they were not evil. Signs of a scam:

1) They mention nothing about who they/he are/is under the "About Us" page.

2) They use copyrighted images without paying for them, leaving the copyright mark on the image; The image is being used on other web sites that rob writers.

3) The physical address is a mail-drop between a used junk store and a used furniture store.

4) Victims are not told up front how much money they will be robbed.

5) The "service" uses the same tools offered by Kindle Direct Publishing, Lulu, Smashwords, and other web sites that let writers use for free.

6) Almost all of their "services" will not result in any book sales.

7) Past victims have complained.

I will add the "company" to my Reality For Writers blog.

Victoria Strauss said...

Brian S. Converse,

EC Publishing is indeed one of the copycat scams; it's in the list on the sidebar. I've also addressed the issue of these fake magazines in a recent blog post:

drPaula said...

I was first approached by AuthorsPress after I self-published with Kindle Direct Publishing. They were very insistent. I spoke with them on three separate occasions. I insisted that I did not want to pay for services I did not need such as editing and cover design. It did not matter to them. They had package prices and no other options. They did not seem to want to take "no thank you" as an answer.

Now, I get an email from Westwood that sounded identical to the initial AuthorsPress spiel. I became instantly suspicious when they claimed a phone number in a Pacific coast time zone, but had a Florida based company address. I wondered, "What's that about?"

Thank you for posting this blog. It came up following BBB complaints on the company. I read Westwood's response to the first complaint and was amazed at how illegible it was. It made little sense. Without your input many people may fall pray to these companies.

Foretsz said...

I've just had a voice conversation with a Marketing Executive from who informed me that his 'book scout' and 'publishing investor agents' had ID'd a book I published with Author House (AS) back in 2010. He was unaware that I had republished the book (due to text inconsistencies - which cost me an additional $575US at the time) in 2013. He stated that he has 'publishing company investors interested in investing in the marketing of your incredibly interesting book'.
I grew suspicious at this because I am unaware of any publishing company getting private publishers interested in investing $20,000 in a book so that "you don't have to fork out any money right now".
Since I know this is a clone, I'm curious to see what he'll offer me tomorrow when he calls back. Curious as well to see if the 'investor' chosen will be Philippino or have some other accent.
Gavin wanted to know more about me, hasn't even read my book, wanted me to give him my 'active' email so he could send me some quotes and his proposition.
Thanks to your blog, I now know what questions to ask him tomorrow....if he actually comes through. Any other suggestions? (I won't be signing anything or sending anything either, just throwing them a bone to keep them thinking they've got a gullible author on this end). I will refuse any help in the end.

Desertphile said...

"I grew suspicious at this because I am unaware of any publishing company getting private publishers interested in investing $20,000 in a book so that "you don't have to fork out any money right now"."

It would be awesome if you audio recorded any future telephone conversation. :-) Some states allow this if just one person in the conversation knows it is being recorded.

The average income for the life of a good book is less than US$7,000.

It would be *AWESOME* if you told the crooks (er, I mean "your new business partners") that as long as there are investors willing to put up US$20,000 in your book, you will sell the rights of your book to them for a discount of US$15,000. Then listen to the wailing, grunting, and excuses.

Quahog Press said...

Latest cold call came in the form of an email from an Author Consultant at Legaia Books Online, Inc. with an offer to join in a weekly podcast and tell all about my book (Tremulous Prism). Years ago this title did appear in paperback through Authorhouse, but a new self-published paperback version and an ebook.

I did not call back or visit the website.

desertphile said...

"Author Consultant at Legaia Books Online"

Their "about us" page lists no names of their "Editors." Gosh, the "developmental edit" for my book DESERT SOLILOQUY would only cost a mere $8,780.58 for the "service," and they do not even state who would do the editing. If it were not evil it would be f'ing HILARIOUS.

Quahog Press said...

Now another offer over the phone (just like Rhinestone Cowboy), this time from Bookvine Press. Dean Mendel called, yet he didn't have the title of my book (I have 5) and had to ask me. I offered no info. His spiel was so rough I felt sorry for him. He told me to check Bookvine out in Better Business Bureau. Instead of offering a few presentation tips, I had to hang up.

Unknown said...

I am thinking that Global Summit House in New York has just scammed me out of a few thousand dollars, even though they actually did have me do a podcast and built me a website. Ms. Strauss, do you have any information on this company? At least some y the people I speak with are Filipinos and someone or somebodies at the company keep trashing my manuscript before they send it back for my review and corrections before printing. The galley copy I just got had more errors, in spite of my having returned a perfect copy for printing to them.

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 6/15,

I'm afraid that Global Summit House is indeed a scam--it's on the list in the sidebar. It's among the first of these scams that I received complaints about, and wrote about--see my followup post to this one. My advice would be to not give them any more money and, if you paid by credit card and are still within the dispute window, to dispute the charges.

Unknown said...

Is there any scams reported with Tellwell Publishing in Victoria, B.C. Canada?Their company has moved me and my correspondence to the Philippines without my knowledge with terrible customer service, and I had a really poor editor for round one. They have been combative and reactive with the contacts in the Philippines, and I have contacted a lawyer and demanded a full refund. I am fascinating my seatbelts for round three as I am now raising this argument to stage 2 escalation phase.

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 10/17,

I haven't gotten any complaints (other than yours) about Tellwell, and it looks more professional (at least from its website) than many of these kinds of companies. It does seem very pricey, though, and I think it's likely that many similar services charge much less.

Lots of self-publishing service providers outsource to the Philippines, so that's not unusual or necessarily a strike against the company. But what you describe sounds pretty bad. Could you please let me know what happens with Round Three? email me at

Quahog Press said...

The latest cold call comes from VHawk (Alex 925-234-9611). At least she's calling about a different title than all the others. She references an eBook that I published in Jan. 2020. Says VHawk has an interest in the book.

John Andrew Egan said...

Received another email from Westpoint Print and Media. I get at least eight of these a year from a female contact calling herself... Melissa Gilbert. Warning! tried to open website link at bottom of email only to find it doesn't exist. Must've been taken down.
Also they may have recruited an English speaking individual as the email grammer has improved immensely. Be careful!

NumisRob said...

Received cold call from woman with American accent (spoke good English and didn't sound Filipino) last night around 8pm. She was calling from Westwood Book Publishing. Said my books were wonderful and offered to republish, make trailer on YouTube and promote at London Book Fair. (I published two books with Trafford in 2008, in the days when they were based in Victoria, BC and had an office in Oxford, England: I would NEVER have approached Trafford had they then been based in Atlanta and part of Author Solutions). From my questions to her, it was obvious that she had no idea what my books were about. As I hadn't got anything much to do, I kept her talking for 2 hours! (She did most of the talking: I said the odd word now and again). Eventually I told her I wasn't interested and terminated the call. She phoned again this evening at 8pm: I said I was watching a TV program that I wanted to see, and put the phone down.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon this, and just for fun decided to look at Stratton's website. On their 'Contact Us' page, I thought it was interesting that they have a New Hyde Park, NY listing (as this is quite close to where I live). Googling the address, it's a private house.

claire plaisted said...

I've just received an email from a client who was contacted by Westbook Books. It is a bit different from what you have. The address is Florida and they state they are an Ingram Literary Advisor. Below is the email. My client didn't publish on Ingram.

Dear Author,

Hope you are doing well.

Your published book has been forwarded to us by Ingram Distribution who is the distributor of your book across America. Having said that, they see some potentials on your book not just based on your credentials and credibility but because of the books quality. However, those interested in your book has some concerns about your book being expensive price wise making it difficult for bookstores to see benefits in buying and selling it. As per Ingrams book calculator, the printing of books would only cost 1/10th of the retail price. ( ) but it is sold at an expensive price.

With this in mind, as per Ingrams recommendation, we would like to let you know that we can get your book republished and printed at the price of your preference basing on it’s printing cost so you could sell your book around $5.99 - $9.99 which is way more competitive and affordable to your buyers without having to sacrifice everything that you have done for your book.

This demand and interest being shown to your book is now the effect of your efforts on continuously marketing your project.

Please let me know if you are going to take this opportunity while people are still interested and eager to have a copy of your book.


Anonymous said...

Greenberry’s solicitation is hilarious. That book in Cyrillic? It’s by Pushkin, as in, the renowned poet and writer who died in 1837 and is Russia’s number one classic. I wonder if the solicitation implies they republished and promoted him too…

Anonymous said...

I just got an email out of the blue from Westwood Books Publishing, and looked them up on Writer Beware immediately, and found this page. This was the text of the email:


My name is Raven Perez and I am your Publishing and Marketing Consultant in Westwood Books Publishing here in Florida. We work with aspiring and published authors around the US publishing a new book, republish an existing book and market the book to a bigger audience. I would like to discuss the opportunity of having your own competent production team once you take advantage of our services.

We have several packages, all of that information can be found here:

Our promotion for this month would depend on your publishing needs. You can take advantage of the 2-1 package deal wherein you can publish 2 books for the price of one publishing package. If you only have 1 manuscript to publish, you can take as much as 60% off for both Black and White and Full Colored packages.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, let me know and we can set up a time to speak or you can call me at +1 424 210 8472 extension: 6102. I am in the office from Monday - Friday, 10 am to 7 pm EST.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Raven Perez

Publishing and Marketing Specialist

Phone Number: 1-424-210-8472

Toll Free Number: 1-888-420-8640 Ext. 6102

Fax Number: 1-424-288-4921

11416 SW Aventino Drive

Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987



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