A few days ago, I received an enthusiastic email from a publisher I’d never heard of before.
The phrasing is a little unusual for a supposedly big-name publisher: (“We have been doing a lookout of your book for the past few months…” and “We wanna see something good happen with it…”), but what really caught my eye was this (emphasis added):
We would like to invite you and your book to be a part of our VIP authors for the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books 2020 on March 14-15, 2020. It will be held at the University of Arizona Campus. We are currently doing a big co-investment with the first author who locks the spot. Valid until today only.
If you still don’t quite see it, “co-investment” means they want my money, and “Valid until today only” means the want it now.
It is, of course, a scam. E C Publishing, despite its flashy looking website, US address and phone number, is in fact based in the Philippines, and just one of the 60 or so dodgy publishing outfits that Writer Beware has dubbed the Army of Clones – because a new one pops up every few weeks. (You can read about some of the others here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. Yes, there are rather a lot of them!)
Some do offer publishing and marketing services, but of highly dubious quality and at wildly inflated prices. Others just take the money and run.
I’m hearing from a growing number of writers who’ve paid five figures in fees to one–or, in some cases, more than one–of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it.Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware
In fact, Strauss and co. are doing such a good job of outing these predators that some now add warnings to warn about Writer Beware!
If you receive any sort of solicitation from a publisher you’ve never heard of, do a little research on them first. At the very least, type their name in the Search this Blog box on Writer Beware.