Help! A friend has received an enthusiastic "offer" to publisher her first novel from Pacific Island Books / National Pacific Press in New Zealand. She lives in NZ. Because they "operate on a shoestring" they are asking $6000 upfront but have convinced her, apparently, that they're not a vanity press. I dunno, but it looks and sounds like a duck to me.
I'm not familiar with how things are done in NZ. She believes that publishers normally ask for money upfront. I don't think any legit publisher anywhere does that. I suppose I could be wrong.
Please--somebody! somewhere!--help. Although we have never met face to face we have been online friends for a long time. If this is a scam, which I believe it is, I want to stop her from spending money she can't afford and making a mistake she'll long regret.
I need opinions and/or info as quickly as possible.