Chris A. Baird | February 15, 2022
Predatory Publishing Practices To Watch Out For

When self-publishing, you have to be mindful of the different practices that you should avoid so that you won't get scammed. Check out this article for you to learn about the predatory publishing practices to watch out for to successfully self-publish your book.

Traditional VS Vanity Publishers

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to the number one way of ensuring you do not get scammed with predatory publishing practices.

So the topic we're discussing today is predatory publishing practices to watch out for. By the end of this blog, you're going to know what exactly predatory practices you're going to have.

You will know the steps necessary to avoid falling for these different traps as you move through the publishing process. You're going to feel great knowing that you're learning from other people's experiences and not having to make these mistakes yourself.

Grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you are not skipping any of the steps necessary to both publish and win at self-publishing with getting your books to sell. So let's move right on into it from my own story.

One of the things I've noticed over the years in dealing with many Coaching clients is that I have people who are looking for that additional help when it comes to getting their books self-published.

Many of them come to me after they've already tried a vanity publisher or a publishing company that has agreed to take their manuscript. The book that they've written or a set of poems, illustrations, children's books, or anything along these lines.

And then they agreed that they will do everything for you. The advantage of this is that they'll do everything for you. It seems like a real no-brainer especially if you feel this whole self-publishing thing doing it all yourself.

It is so difficult because you're not really technically minded. This is complete nonsense because I can show you exactly how to do it. This is very easy, step by step when it comes to getting your book self-published.

But many of them choose to go this route. You just don't have the time and the patience. Maybe you feel that you don't have the technical ability to go about doing it. So you pay them to do it well, so far so good.

The next thing is that once your book comes out, you want to make changes. Why would you want to make changes? Why not just give them a manuscript, illustrations, and cover that won't require changes?

The answer is that once we get the book out there, we immediately start to find problems. These are problems like, "there's no author, I've never known who put a book on the market". And immediately was so happy that no changes needed to be made.

Even if you think you have no changes, well your book is probably not optimal. In fact, some of my Coaching clients will regularly comment if they discover they haven't been optimizing their books.

They're going to need to go back and change the cover. Adding keywords, changing the description, and all sorts of things to their book. Which simply can't be done without paying additional fees.

When it comes to a lot of these companies, they either don't care to change it at all with purely traditional publishers. They are not going to go back and forth with you. Even if there are grammar mistakes in your book, that's the best you get.

Whereas if you do pay a vanity publisher, even though I don't particularly like the name vanity publisher because we're not doing it for vanity. We're doing it because we have something we want to get into the world.

That's the reason we also self-publish. But when it comes to the vanity publishers, they will do these changes at a hundred dollars apiece. You want to change a comma or some changes here that will cost you $100.

Some more recent Coaching clients have been frustrated with will not send you the reports they say. They're going to send you this stuff and you never get it. So they're just sitting on the reports, they're getting the royalties paid to them.

Check out this related article: Your Price is Too Low

 And then they tell you that it covers the costs or you didn't make any sales or something like that. Can you send me the report? No, we don't really do that. We'll get on if you see they're not getting paid for this.

So they're not motivated to do it. And one key thing here is that nothing is registered under your KDP account. In some of these cases, you may not even own the rights to the book.

You may have sold those rights away. So they own everything, they can change it. Have you read the legalese in the small print when you're signing up for these things? Many lines are so confusing.

So this is also one reason I recommend if you're going to go with one of these vanity publishing companies. Make sure you join a group where people are talking about how happy they are with them.

What You Should Watch Out For

Whenever I seem to cover one of these companies, they are immediately trashed in the comments field on my video channel on YouTube. People go through the comments and they immediately notice, they say "This company was terrible. They have completely scammed to rip me off completely".

"When it comes to getting my book onto the market, I'm making no money. It only cost me money to do all of this and I'm getting no money in return. They won't answer my calls and they won't do any of this."

So you can see that many of my Coaching clients are very frustrated with it. And even when I just mention these companies people ask "Are you selling?" and I'm like "I'm not selling for them". I just sometimes get positive feedback.

But I have noticed a pattern which is most positive people are only in the beginning phases. In other words, they tell you the basic package of what you're going to get. You pay them to do these things and they will do it for you.

So as long as we're in the payment part, they're still very eager to serve you what kind of cover you want. What about your title? Maybe we could change things around on the formatting. These sorts of discussions are very friendly so everybody's positive at this point.

Things start to get negative is when you want to make changes. When you're angry about not making sales and they're telling you that if you just buy some more marketing packages then they'll finally get it through.

I've even had one Coaching client where the people did marketing but marketing was getting fake reviews. So they call it and they would download ten thousand copies of your book. That person ended up losing all their royalties for three months and had their account frozen.

They did open it back but the fact is these are dangerous practices. And these companies will face no consequences to these choices they're doing with marketing your book. Which is one of the reasons I suggest you not go through them but do it yourself.

But here comes the next thing, they won't even give them illustrations. Like with children's books where you say "Can you please send me the high-quality illustrations?" And they send them low-quality files nobody would even be able to use.

What does it take to get a copy of my book? This is what happens, they come to me and many of you out there are in this exact situation and say "What can I do next? What do I need to do to get out of this situation?".

I'm going to tell you a little bit about how you can avoid being in this situation. But I also help clients who are stuck in this situation and they want to know what can I do. I can tell you very quickly predatory publishing practices to watch out for.

So let's hit the number one, not everything is a scam. Most of these companies just want to upsell a thousand different services at a hundred dollars each per charge. They will tell you that it's going to make such a difference in your book.

We can get even better covers for your book. We can do even better with the marketing, table of contents, formatting, and getting into new formats or making an audiobook. They just keep on hitting you with these additional costs as your price and your fees continue to rise.

And this is something that is not a scam. Now you're thinking how can this possibly not be a scam. Look at them, they did this service and now they all do what they want to do and that is to sell more stuff.

This is considered a normal business. It may be a little predatory because they're continually pushing and pushing for you to go and buy their things. And many of the scam artists will tell you you'll make a million dollars off your book or something like that.

There are many fake gurus in the self-publishing business as well. You need to watch out for them. You can just pop a book on the market. And you'll be making a hundred thousand a month especially even books with no content at all.

And you'll be making infinite money and I'm telling you, this is not possible. All real self-publishers understand that it's a grind and it doesn't work like that. We do write books and we put them in markets to earn our money back and start making passive income.

Check out this related article: How to Find Success In Self Publishing

Maybe at the three-month mark or maybe at the one-year marker. But we will be getting that money back. So it's not about dropping money in the soil and losing it. We are going to make our money back assuming we're in a profitable market.

And that's something that one of my coaching clients recently was asking specifically "What about if your book is not in a profitable market?" We will take a look using some of the tools you can find in my affiliate link below all of my Youtube videos.

Avoid Getting Scammed

Using this exact tool, we can find out if you're in a profitable market. If you're not, we can move you based on your title and your subtitle in your description. We can move your book into a profitable keyword and sub-niche.

Even without changing much of the content to ensure that people are going to find our book. We're going to have less competition for this exact book. These are the things that I help my clients with regularly working through those issues.

But the fact is that they want to charge you and upsell you. They are not insurance companies that do this all the time in all sorts of stuff. But I just say "No", so you get emails regularly.

You don't have to say "Yes" but it doesn't make it a scam. They're simply a completely understandable business. But it can be annoying because you just want to get your book as best quality as possible.

And they told you it would cost you a thousand and now they're charging 10,000, does that make sense? So this is something you're going to keep an eye on. Number two, this is what scams are when you end up with a result that is either getting your book for your money or them stealing your royalties.

In other words, we are breaking the law. They had a contract that said you pay them and they will give you a book with a cover in all of the parts. If they aren't giving you that and they're not giving your money back, they're a scam.

So this is something that I run across people from time to time. Somebody makes all these promises to you but they simply aren't delivering on the things they said. They were going to do this and it could be an unintentional scam.

It's again where they're sitting on the royalties. If they're giving you any other reports, you may not be scammed. In other words, you may just be making no sales or not above whatever threshold this company has decided you're going to have.

It's a predatory practice or they may just not care about your book. It requires too much effort to bother to look upon your sales charts. And you can see where all of this is heading to.

Other people are doing all this work for you. Other people are running your marketing. Other people are seeing your royalties and you get none of this information.

This is the reason I give my secret answer of the day the most important tip I have on this entire Blog. I keep hitting this drum over and over. And this can all be avoided by just doing it all yourself.

Using the tips I give on this very blog and if you don't want to do this, you can hire me to do a session for Coaching. We will look at your book, we'll figure out what the issues are. If you've made a bad decision with these predatory people, we can help undo some of the things that have been done.

Check out this related article: How This Tool Made Me A Best Seller

We can look at your specific situation. We can take it through just as I've done for tens and dozens of people in the past working through these same problems that you're facing.

We'll take a look at your things. But even if you don't want to go that route, just watching these videos will help you make sure you're not making these mistakes that are so common.

And you will avoid these predatory practices as you're learning the steps necessary not to have somebody else do it for you. I also have people sometimes, coaching clients who will ask "Can't you just do the book for me?".

And the answer is no, I don't want to do that. I'm not entering into that sort of a situation. Because every time you want to make a change, you charge more money to do that. And it's just not a good situation.

I'm not looking to do that sort of service, I'm not an agency. I like to help people get their books and learn themselves. That's the reason if you're having difficulty with formatting, you take the Book Formatting Course.

If you're having difficulty with doing content marketing, you take the Content Marketing Course. In addition, you get that one-on-one help from me as well. Where we make sure we solve any problems that the video courses are not answering.

So those are the predatory publishing practices to watch out for. And those are the options that you have to make sure you're not being taken advantage of. In this process, my question for you is, have you ever been a publishing victim?

Have somebody used predatory practices or scams when it comes to getting your book out? I need to know, so let me know below in the comments. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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