Self-publishing Scams or Legit Publishers?

Writer beware! Disreputable author service companies often masquerade as legitimate publishers. Here’s how to publish a book without getting scammed.


0:20 What’s the difference between a publishing scam and a legitimate publishing company? Arielle shares an example from an author whose “publisher” didn’t do any marketing and publicity for the author’s first book. Now the author can’t sell the rest of the series to a legitimate publishing company. Turns out, the author used a disreputable author services company.

1:09 What is an author services company? Some author services companies take an author’s money and don’t do any work. At the most they might put your book on Amazon.

1:37 How can writers tell the difference between scammers and legit publishers?

1:58 What about publishers who ask authors to pay for services? What about publishers who ask authors to buy back copies of their book?

3:07 What is a micro-publisher? David shares his wonderful experience with a micro-publisher, including what the publisher did and what they couldn’t do.

3:59 Research is key.

4:40 The consequences of when a literary agent or legit publisher googles your book.

4:58 There are legitimate assisted self-publishing companies and legitimate author services companies. The companies include Bookbaby, She Writes Press, IngramSpark, and Createspace.

5:23 When it’s okay to give these companies money for marketing your book.

6:00 Reach out to authors who have been published by these companies.

6:20 Let us know your stories and questions in the comments section.


Publishing Scams to Avoid

Principles of Successful Publishing: Research!

Should You Self-Publish?


We’re Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. Between us, we have a quarter of a century’s worth of experience turning talented writers into published authors. Arielle is an author and literary agent-at-large at the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. David is an author, and before writing professionally, he was a comic and actor. We’re dedicated to helping writers get their books published. Successfully!

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Our book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, takes you through the entire process of conceiving, writing, selling, marketing and promoting your book.