Author and e-Book Builder Deena Rae wrote in one of her blogs:

“The world of publishing has always been filled with scammers, and top of the list are vanity publishers. To those who have been in the world of publishing a vanity press used to be a bad thing, but with Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and even Harlequin getting into bed with AuthorHouse / AuthorSolutions to form so-called subsidiary presses. Now there is a sheen of “respectability” to vanity publishing…


Want to know which vanity publishers I personally find the worst? This is based just on my own research, observations and studying of lots of “publishing contracts”.  Top of the list are the ones that are operating under so many names and changing them so often, one can barely keep up with listing them:

AuthorHouse / AuthorSolutions (Penguin)
Alibi, Hydra etc. (Random House)
iUniverrse, XLibris, PublishAmerica, America Star Books
General Store Publishing, Renfrew, ON
Austin & MacAuley UKThese are original comments of authors to articles about the vanity company practices“I am their client too and very much disappointed with the way my book is handled, unless it is the matter of grabbing money, it is difficult to get a response.

“The flag ship of the vanity/POD industry is sinking herself. HMS …. is going down the toilet.”

“I wish I had seen this site (and many others popping up out there) before paying … to destroy my four years of hard work.”

“Stay away from those people, do not invest a penny in …. Save yourself time, money and frustration! Buyer beware! Author beware! Writer beware!


Authors are surprised when so-called publishers want money up front. Publishers are supposed to pay authors, aren’t they? There is nothing wrong in this. The trouble comes if the author, having signed a hefty check, is led to expect that his book will be treated in the same way as all the other books coming onto the market. To pay for publication is no guarantee that a single copy will appear on the shelves of even the local bookshop. Authors feel they have been conned, persuaded to part with money for services not rendered.  If you think writers and publishers today are dodgy, get a load of the crooks and scoundrels of 18th-century London Publishing scams seem to be nothing new. Read this article about the worst publisher of all time.


Despite the evidence, there are still writers who fall into the trap of vanity publishing – often with open eyes. That is why as soon as one vanity publisher goes out of business, another soon fills the gap. Here are a few tips on what to look out for. Read the list in a former blog post – and BEWARE!

The expression “publisher” should be legally protected and it should be forbidden by law to call themselves publishers! Read more about vanity publishers and un-ethical publishing contracts in Stop: Vanity Publishing aka Subsidy Publishers 

“The author hereby grants the publisher, during the full term of copyright, the sole and exclusive right to manufacture, print, publish and sell and to otherwise use, as set out further in this agreement, including, but not limited to, acting as agent and/or exercising any or all subsidiary rights, throughout the universe.”


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Tagged: author-publishing, Book distribution, never go with a vanity publisher, platform in order to build a brand, Publishing Comparison, vanity publishing
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Published on September 28, 2014 22:00 • 8,214 views
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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim Turner Good information, from my recent published book I learned very fast that a publisher will place your book in a stack of books. A stack that is over 3 millions books high. To sell a book it must go from the stack to the shelf, then to a persons hand. The publisher will only place the book on the stack. No one knows or can know about this book while it's in a stack. It is up to the writer to do the rest, if he/her expects success. In other words the publisher will get the book listed everywhere, but this action will not sell books. For a writer to understand this process he/she would have spent a lot of money that could have been used to actually put the book in a persons hand. Go forward wisely.

message 2: by Kieran (new)

Kieran Devaney I'm an author and journalist who's books are with a respected publisher. I fear a friend has fallen into the Austin McCauley trap. Would welcome all feadback in confidence at

message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Schoolcraft I am a writer who sent Austin McCauley my full manuscript at their bidding. After waiting a month, I get the letter, saying, they liked my book but I am a high risk for them, being that I am an unknown. They wanted me to contribute to the production of my book. Why would I do that when I am looking for a hefty advance for my book from a traditional publisher? I don't believe they even read my book. Two pieces of correspondence from them had spelling mistakes. I believe they are scammers, and trying to make money off of writers desperate to get their work published. Not me. Beware of this vanity publisher. Sincerely, Brenda Rae Schoolcraft

message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee Hi Brenda, I've just had a so-called contract from Austin McAuley but I did research them only after I sent them the completed manuscript. I laughed when I read in the covering letter 'I can confidently state that your work was found to be a dramatic and evocative read' but not as hard as when I laughed that they wanted £2,300 to do so!

message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Schoolcraft Thing is, they probably didn't even read your manuscript. They are a bunch of crooks. Happy that you were able to see through their scam. Sincerely, Brenda Rae Schoolcraft

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Ref: comments/complaints about Austin Macauley, the same thing happened to me, In June this year I emailed them my entire manuscript of my first in a series of children's books, then at the end of the same month they emailed back, saying that I should expect to hear from them in 6 weeks, (mid-August). Of course, AM only took 3 short weeks (19th July) to get back to me with, to be fair a positive response, saying my book needed a little editing, which I did myself, though the reason they replied so quickly was they wanted me to sign the contract, paying them fees, ranging from £1900-£4400. Needless to say, they won't be getting a penny from me. Check out the 'Absolute Writers' forum, where other people have given scathing reviews about AM.

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Heeter Kieran wrote: "I'm an author and journalist who's books are with a respected publisher. I fear a friend has fallen into the Austin McCauley trap. Would welcome all feadback in confidence at"

I think you mean WHOSE books, not WHO'S books

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