This one did my heart good. AuthorHouse, a subsidy publisher of ill-repute, has been ordered to pay damages in a defamation lawsuit. The short version of the tale is that they published a book that libeled a romance writer, Rebecca Brandywyne. The book in question was written by her vindictive ex-husband, Gary Brock. AuthorHouse claims they can’t read every book before they publish it, but they had ample warning of trouble ahead. iUniverse, another POD (print on demand) publisher had rejected the manuscript because of possible libelous content, and Brock advised AuthorHouse of this during contract negotiations. And now AuthorHouse has been ordered to pay damages of over $200,000. That will put a crimp in their bottom line.
There are far too many scam artists in publishing. They play on the desires of authors – talented and otherwise – to see their names in print. Dishonest agents, phony poetry contests, and publishers who will print anything no matter how badly written and edited it may be – they wait in the seamy backstreets of the world wide web to snare the unwary and naïve. And I just love to see them get their comeuppance!
There are many reputable agents and publishers. If you want to see your name on the cover of a book, do your research. Start with Miss Snark, PubRants, and BookEnds. These are literary agent blogs with loads of good information and links that will take you to help of every kind. They’ll also steer you away from the scams, frauds, and snake-oil publishers. Even if you decide to self-publish, do your homework. And when you hold that book with your name on it, you’ll be glad you did.