The other day I was speaking with Mariella, and we both realized there’s a lot of our writing friends who are currently trying to query their books. The problem being numerous companies have no plans whatsoever to actually publish your book.
Having been in this situation before, I’m going to give you a heads up on the companies that are a definite no. This is the companies you’ll want to stop and look at before you consider placing your manuscript in the hands of.
I’ve decided to this kind of post for those of you like me who are querying your book and don’t want to become a victim of a scandal. I’m going to start with a company several writers have been contacted by.
First thoughts: So we go onto their website and seems harmless. There’s a woman on the homepage holding a book, and they discuss that they welcome all genres. Couldn’t hurt, right?
History (in “JustFiction Edition–The Publishing Company): Anyone else slightly disturbed by the fact that they have the same exact page for their history as the homepage? They mention nothing about when their company started, their founder, books they’re published… Nothing of the ordinary.
Guidelines (in “How to Become An Author”): “JFE is constantly looking for novels…” Constantly? This makes it sound as if they have been in business for a long amount of time. However, if you dig a little deeper you’ll find they were branched off from Lambert Academic Publishing, which only ever published nonfictional pieces of work –mostly thesis related material. (Source: https://www.lap-publishing.com/)
The publishing house issues novels in e-book form mainly from our young and talented authors. We welcome all genres – doesn’t matter whether it is a love story, a vampire tale or historical novel, thriller or science fiction. What is important, that it is a completed manuscript and you are the author.
Here we can notice numerous concerns that may immediately make you think, “Something isn’t right here.” They claim to “mainly” issue novels from their “young and talented” authors, but anywhere on the site is there a list of these others?
Secondly, all they seem to be asking is that you a) wrote an entire book and b) consider yourself to be an author. Your previous experience doesn’t matter, your genre doesn’t matter, an agent isn’t necessary…heck, you don’t even need to send in a query letter! Right there RED FLAG
But let’s continue on to see if this really is all too good to be true or maybe isn’t a scandal after all.
Books (in “Catalog”): Well since I’ve last been on this site, they actually have added a part relating to books they’re published. Even so, there’s nothing impressive here.
This book titled Burns Like the Sun looks nothing like what you were expecting, does it? Notice the “JustFiction Edition!” logo at the top of the cover and the poorly organized back cover containing the author bio and summary. The picture on the front seems…. a bit random? What does it possibly have to do with the book?
I’m not exaggerating here when I say this page is also another RED FLAG. Literally every book in the two pages have no legitimate cover. Notice how also one of the books are titled That Blackfella Bloodsucka Dance! Shouldn’t we be weary about the fact that they would accept a book titled as such?
Contact: Well that’s interesting…there’s no phone number. All we can do is fill out a form and they’ll email us back.
- Unusual, seemingly unprofessional covers
- No reported history
- No agents, top selling authors, founders, editors
- No mentioning of how they’ll publish your book, distribute, and sell it
- Money is in Euros (correct me if I’m wrong). No mentioning of currency change if living in, for example, the United States.
- Guidelines are vague –no specifics, no mentioning of what they won’t accept
- No mailing address, phone number
- Well they have a website. It’s more believable than what most appear to be.
- There are apparently authors they have published. However, notice they mention nothing about sales…