August 13, 2012

Q+A: If they ask for money, it's a scam

» Ask Me Anything!

Linneus asked: How do I know who to trust and who's ripping me off? (regarding agents and publishers) Do I pay to have my book published, or does someone else? How does it work?

(Off topic: I love your name for reasons I can't say publicly b/c of NWS-ness lol)

Research. Research, research, research. There are a lot of sites out there that list disreputable publishers/agents and give great advice on how to spot a scam.

But since you asked me, here's my simple answer: if they ask you for money, it's a scam.

A reputable agent would never require a reading fee. Nor would s/he require payment for editing services, either from him/herself or a third party. A legitimate publisher would not require you to pay or "invest" money in publishing your book (that's what vanity publishers do). Similarly, they shouldn't require you to pay to get it "professionally edited." Money should always flow TOWARD you, and your agent gets paid when you do, typically 15%.

Note that those agent examples are not the same as an agent suggesting you might benefit from getting more opinions on your work. But I WOULD be leery if the agent directed you to a specific editor-for-hire.

That's all I've got. If there's anything you guys would like to add, please comment :)


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