Have You Been Scammed? The #PublishingFoul Survey

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedIn honor of our March Madness Predatory Publisher Month at Indies Unlimited, we’re doing a highly unscientific poll of our readers here at IU. Please give us your answers below. Even if you have not been scammed, please take one second to answer the first and second questions. For those who have been scammed, the whole thing shouldn’t take you more than five minutes. All of the responses are anonymous.

The survey will be open through the end of this month. We’ll report the results on April 2nd.

Please share with your author friends! The more responses we get, the more accurate our survey results will be. Thank you!

Have you ever placed a book with a predatory publisher?

  • No (73%, 84 Votes)
  • Yes (21%, 24 Votes)
  • I'm not sure (6%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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Have you been scammed by a service provider OTHER than a publisher? (i.e., editor, agent, publicist, formatter, etc.) If you answered no to Questions 1 & 2, then you're done. Thank you!

  • No (79%, 87 Votes)
  • Yes (17%, 19 Votes)
  • I'm not sure (4%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 110

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If you answered “yes” or “I’m not sure” to Question #1, how many books did you place with this publisher?

  • 1 (76%, 26 Votes)
  • 2 (12%, 4 Votes)
  • More than 2 (12%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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How much do you estimate it cost you to publish your book(s)? (If you published two or more with the same outfit, please give us a per-book average. Please see the asterisk below*)

  • Less than $500 (47%, 22 Votes)
  • Between $1000 and $4,999 (23%, 11 Votes)
  • Between $500 and $999 (21%, 10 Votes)
  • Between $5,000 and $7,499 (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Between $7,500 and $9,999 (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Over 10,000 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Have you reported being scammed? For example, filing a report with your state attorney general, contacting Writer Beware, or a consumer organization, etc.

  • No, I just want to forget about it and move on (62%, 24 Votes)
  • Yes (28%, 11 Votes)
  • No, I’m too embarrassed to admit that it happened (5%, 2 Votes)
  • No, I’m afraid the publisher will sue me (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Does this publisher still have control of your book(s)?

  • No (62%, 23 Votes)
  • No, but they still owe me money (19%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes (16%, 6 Votes)
  • Yes, and they still owe me money (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

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Did you have to get a lawyer involved to get out of your contract?

  • No (87%, 33 Votes)
  • Yes (13%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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*For example, if you paid $1,000 for the first book and $5,000 for the second book, your per-book average would be $3,000. So you would pick “between $1,000 and $5,000.”

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.