Monday, October 11, 2010

Author Beware!4This page is dedicated to all the authors who have been screwed, and it’s for the up and coming writers seeking publication. Maybe you can avoid some of the mistakes other authors make.

“Pirates pilfer our work outright – We handed it to her on a silver platter and came back for more.” –Unknown Author

Unfortunately this statement is true of a lot of “publishers” out there. Your contract is only legally binding for your publisher if you can afford to take them to court. That’s right, I said it! There are some publishers out there that won’t abide by their own contracts, and what can you do if you can’t afford to take them to court? Not damn much.

So the trick is to not get caught with an awful publisher. You can’t always prevent it, but here are a few tips that will hopefully help you.

Google them. It’s easy to punch in a name and look at a couple websites to see exactly what you’re getting into, but you’d be surprised how many authors don’t do it. I understand, it might be your first offer for a contract, but do a quick celebration and then sit down and do some research.

Check with authors of that publisher or agent. I’d say ask a minimum of five authors if they have complaints. There is no maximum. Check until you feel comfortable signing that contract. And if after all that checking, you still don’t feel comfortable, then don’t sign. Go with your gut.

I’d love to be able to make my own site dedicated to giving the dirt on publishers, but I don’t have that kind of time. Here are a few resources to check to. They’re pretty reliable and spending five minutes looking up your prospective publisher can save you a world of pain in the long run. You might know about some of these, but I didn’t know about them until after I’d signed my first contract, so its possible you don’t either.
Piers Anthony

Preditors and Editors


I also suggest that you invest in a good author legal book. There are a lot out there. Just search ‘authors contract law’ on Amazon and you’ll come up with quite a few. I haven’t read any, but as soon as I have I’ll put some suggestions on this page.

To all authors with websites: Feel free to steal this page. You can copy it verbatim, I don’t care. Maybe if more authors had them then their fans who are just starting out would take these warnings to heart.

If you have any suggestions for this page, like resource sites or good author legal books that you’ve read, feel free to contact me at:

copied with permission from

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