Lulu Signs Deal With the Devil – Now Partnered with Author Solutions

LuluLogo[1]Oh how the mighty have fallen.

The POD and self-pub service Lulu announced earlier this week that they were launching a new suite of marketing and publishing services. Authors can now choose one of several overpriced bundles of services (starting at $999) or authors can overpay for individual service. For more information, visit the Lulu website. Continue reading

Random House Digital-Only SF Imprint Hydra Outed as a Vanity Press – Author Solutions Would be Proud

Flirt-Alibi-Hydra[1]When Random House launched 3 new digital-only imprints (Hydra, Alibi, and Flirt) last fall there was little information which could shed light on how they would be run. But if there is any truth to a letter the SFWA sent out to their members today then I think RH has a vanity press on their hands.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is now warning their members that any title published by one of the imprint, Hydra, would no longer be counted by the SFWA as a legitimately published work (more on this after the letter): Continue reading

New Trick: Buying Your Way on to a Print Best-Seller List

5224887391_dfeb6e45cd[1]We've long known that it's possible to cheat your way to a better ranking in ebookstores by buying faked reviews, but did you know that you can pull off the same trick with a print best-seller list (even a list as prestigious as that of The Wall Street Journal)?

It's going to set you back $60,000 to $100,000, but it can be done. What's more, it's an accepted practice that even publishers like Wiley have used from time to time. Continue reading

BookBrewer Self-Pub Service: Where Are They Now?

bookbrewer_logo[1]I was working my way through a broken link checker last night, fixing issues with the blog, when I happened upon a  self-pub service which I had log forgotten. Today I thought I would take a look at where they are now.

First, has anyone used Bookbrewer recently? I'd like to hear your opinion so please leave a comment.

Bookbrewer was one of a bunch of self-pub services which appeared in 2010. The first and last time they came to my attention was when they signed a deal to run Borders' self-pub program.

Remember Borders? They used to be a major bookstore chain in the US, and while by that point they couldn't innovate their way out of a paper bag Borders was capable of copying other people's ideas. Continue reading

Self-Publishing Writers Should Beware Percent-of-Royalty Publishers

scamtruckIs self-publishing too “hard”? Some people seem to think so, even as other people quite happily trundle along dealing with all the hard stuff. And, as with any case where something hard for one person is easy for someone else, businesses have sprung up to take advantage of that in return for a cut of the royalties. Such businesses may seem innocuous, but on her blog The Business Rusch, author Kristine Kathryn Rusch sounds the alarm bell about one such (carefully left unnamed) publishing business that seems to have ensnared a bestselling author friend of hers, taking 15% of royalties in return for handling the publication of her “self-published” books.

First of all, Rusch warns, this publisher’s terms of service empower it to take over the social network account of the author in question and use it for posting publicity statements—which would be fine, except the posts seem to mention the name of the service itself a lot more than they mention any of the author’s new or upcoming books. And they’re rife with spelling and grammatical errors, which no writer ever wants to have associated with herself. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Continue reading

And the Digital Textbook Scams Have Begun – (

Everyone was watching this morning as Apple unveiled their new digital textbook tools, and that includes the scammers. I've just gotten my first email from a site that promises to offer an unlimited lifetime access to over 3 million digital textbooks for only $50.

What's even better is that offered me a 75% affiliates commission. Yeah, I'm sure this is a legit site. Pull the other one, it has bells on.

Update: Apparently the site has changed its URL to It is still a scam site.

Continue reading

MyPadMedia & The Reading Site have upgraded from scams to piracy

I just got an email today from, and they offered to make me an affiliate. I don't work with scammers, so I turned them  down, of course.

I haven't had dealings with the site but I am aware of the name. Carly of Gear Diary has tussled with them once or twice, and they're a rather slimy group.

Carly first found MyPadMedia back in 2010 when she was flipping over rocks. They were running a subscription scam, and it was fairly simple. They conned you out of your money and gave you access to the already free ebooks on the Feedbooks website. That's a pretty nice scam, isn't it?

Continue reading