• Guest please check The Index before starting a thread.

LitFire Publishing

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

TheArchives

Registered
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
1
Location
World
Website
thearchivest.wordpress.com
Has anyone else been approached out of the blue by LitFire? They are based in Atlanta. I got a call from a woman who had read one of my novels on Book Country, and wanted me to sign on for their publicity/marketing packages (2000+ bucks for 3 months)--first red flag was she said she'd come to LitFire after leaving AuthourHouse (although she had no good words for AH) and second flag was, she immediately started getting all personal with me, asking me if I was married or had a girlfriend etc., giving me the impression she was interested in me personally. Now, in the back of my head I suspected it was merely a (sleazy) sales tool, to "woo" me... Anyway, I put her off and she and I kept talking off and on for 3 weeks or more, always hitting the package angle hard at the end of the call (which was always more personal than sales) until I finally said I was not going to sign. Now, I don't know if LitFire is a scam or not, but I wondered if anyone else has had any dealing with them? As I said, I DID NOT (and never intended to) sign with them. Comments?
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
I've heard from several writers recently who got out-of-the-blue solicitations from LitFire, and I've been trying to find out more about it. There's certainly more than a whiff of Author Solutions about its website, but other than that, information is thin on the ground.

Was the person who contacted you called Tori Mesh?

Various web sources show LitFire's address to be (probably a PO Box) in Georgia. However, Whois shows that the website is registered to a Jennifer Cable in Albuquerque, NM.

LitFire purports to have been around since 2008. A websearch on LitFire turns up a handful of books published in 2010 and 2012 (here's one example) but those books don't exist on Amazon, where only three books show up, all pubbed in 2014.

- Victoria
 
Last edited:

TheArchives

Registered
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
1
Location
World
Website
thearchivest.wordpress.com
I've heard from several writers recently who got out-of-the-blue solicitations from LitFire, and I've been trying to find out more about it. There's certainly more than a whiff of Author Solutions about its website, but other than that, information is thin on the ground.

Was the person who contacted you called Tori Mesh?

- Victoria

No, Portia Peterson.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,726
Reaction score
2,902
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
The red flag, surely, is that someone cold called you and wanted thousands of dollars?
 

TheArchives

Registered
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
1
Location
World
Website
thearchivest.wordpress.com
The red flag, surely, is that someone cold called you and wanted thousands of dollars?

Well, yes, but it was not put like that initially. In fact the 1st call was more personal and ended with her saying I probably didn't need their service, which I agreed. The 2nd call from her a few days later was a surprise and was again more personal, but with a hard sell toward the end. It was not until about 2 weeks in (with a few left message on my VM and a friend request on Linkedin in the interim) that she even told me how much the services were and even when I balked, she accepted --but called me again a few days later. Like I said, her entire approach was personal and not at all sales-ish, so very odd.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
That hard-sell approach is another similarity between LitFire and Author Solutions.

Could you tell if the woman who called you was a native English-speaker? AS requires its staff in the Philippines to use American- or UK-sounding names.

- Victoria
 

aliceshortcake

Wilde about Oscar
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
256
Location
Oop North
Two of the LitFire books on Amazon needed an editor, not a marketer/publicist:

Lost from a wagon train headed west a ten-year-old boy is saved by a Indian from starving. The Indian having lest his family and son in a massacre, raises him as his own, giving him the name Chad'tu.

Yes, there's a typo on the back cover and the rest of the blurb is littered with grammatical and punctuation errors.

Gilbert and Jade despite their differences are the very best of friends. Gilbert is serious and aloof and fancies himself to be the world's greatest scientist one day.

*facepalm*

From LitFire's website:

Back Cover Copywriting

The back cover is one of the first things many people look at when deciding to buy a book. We will help you put your best foot forward from the get-go by offering a well-written, stellar back cover copy.
https://litfirepublishing.com/services/editorial-services/

If these two authors paid for this service they were robbed of $99.

Here's Portia Peterson's LinkedIn profile:
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/portia-peterson/4b/aab/b28

Crikey! She was a Senior Marketing Specialist at AuthorHouse for twelve years. "Marketing" at AuthorHouse means, of course, selling overpriced services to naieve new writers - and then selling their own books to them. For this reason alone I wouldn't touch LitFire with a bargepole.
 
Last edited:

TheArchives

Registered
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
1
Location
World
Website
thearchivest.wordpress.com
Two of the LitFire books on Amazon needed an editor, not a marketer/publicist:



Yes, there's a typo on the back cover and the rest of the blurb is littered with grammatical and punctuation errors.



*facepalm*

From LitFire's website:



If these two authors paid for this service they were robbed of $99.

Here's Portia Peterson's LinkedIn profile:
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/portia-peterson/4b/aab/b28

Crikey! She was a Senior Marketing Specialist at AuthorHouse for twelve years. "Marketing" at AuthorHouse means, of course, selling overpriced services to naieve new writers - and then selling their own books to them. For this reason alone I wouldn't touch LitFire with a bargepole.

Indeed, LitFire smells rank.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
Here's Portia Peterson's LinkedIn profile:
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/portia-peterson/4b/aab/b28

Crikey! She was a Senior Marketing Specialist at AuthorHouse for twelve years.
AuthorHouse UK, that is. Tori Mesh, the other name I've heard in connection with LitFire was/is also at AuthorHouse UK; her title is/was "Senior Publishing Consultant". Here's her profile at ZoomInfo. And here she is acknowledged in an AuthorHouse-published book from 2011.

From Litfire's About Us page:
With hundreds of published titles and more than 50 publishing partners, we have learned how to succeed and soar in the eBook market.
According to any evidence it's possible to gather, from Amazon, Google Books, and extensive websearches, this is quite simply a lie (unless LitFire was publishing under a different name). Amazon shows three (count 'em, three) books for LitFire. I was able to find two more with Google Books. That's it.

They claim to have been founded in 2008. The two books that carry their name but aren't on Amazon were pubbed in 2010 and 2012. According to Whois, however, their URL was registered in June 2014.

There is something more than a little smelly about all this.

- Victoria
 

aliceshortcake

Wilde about Oscar
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
256
Location
Oop North
One of the two LitFire books found by Victoria on Google Books was Barbara Bergstrom's Don't Forget Your Keys, supposedly published by LitFire on 5th May 2010. Yet here it is in Trafford's bookshop with a publication date of 4th May 2010:

http://bookstore.trafford.com/Products/SKU-000178457/Dont-Forget-Your-Keys.aspx

The other, Keith Steinbaum's The Poe Consequence, was published by Abbott Press on 6th March 2012 - the same day on which it was supposedly published by LitFire!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1458201635/?tag=absowrit-20

*scratches head*

A Google search for 'Tori Mesh' indicates that it's a pseudonym drawn from mathematical/computing terms. Her Zoom profile doesn't make any sense:

Tori Mesh
Senior Publishing Consultant
Authorhouse UK Ltd.
Phone: (812) ***-**** HQ Phone
Email: t***@***.uk
Local Address: Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

She lives in Milton Keynes (home of printer Lightning Source) but has an Indiana phone number?

AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200
Bloomington, Indiana 47403
United States

Ah, that would explain the phone number.

That profile hasn't been updated for two years. I'd be very surprised if 'Tori' and Portia weren't the same person.
 
Last edited:

TheArchives

Registered
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
1
Location
World
Website
thearchivest.wordpress.com
Portia and Tori the same person? Ah, the plot thickens. It's quite possible. Also, the address for LitFire in Atlanta is a shopping strip mall and could quite possibly be a mailbox only. Sure, their offices COULD be in a strip mall but why?
28686e9de23048b0ba9fdf9f77a52386.jpg
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
Jill Bennett, Book Marketing Specialist:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/litfire

That's interesting. I did a reverse phone lookup on LitFire's 800 number, using several websites because you get different results. Most of my searches yielded no results, but one came back with Jill Bennett's name. Because it was just one hit out of several, I discounted it. Looks like I shouldn't have.

I'm working on a blog post about LitFire--should be up tomorrow.

- Victoria
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
Another name to associate with this company: Mark Advent. I just saw an email from him (or "him," since I'll bet this is another alias) and its odd blend of fractured English (the same kind of fractured English in Tori Mesh's email, and also in Author Solutions solicitation emails I've seen) and reasonably well-written passages intrigued me. So I did a little websearching...and discovered that big chunks are plagiarized from two different sources.

- Victoria
 

Maggie Maxwell

Making Einstein cry since 1994
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
10,383
Reaction score
5,004
Location
In my head
Website
thewanderingquille.blogspot.com
Another name to associate with this company: Mark Advent. I just saw an email from him (or "him," since I'll bet this is another alias) and its odd blend of fractured English (the same kind of fractured English in Tori Mesh's email, and also in Author Solutions solicitation emails I've seen) and reasonably well-written passages intrigued me. So I did a little websearching...and discovered that big chunks are plagiarized from two different sources.

- Victoria

:popcorn:

Honestly, it seems to me, in most cases, if someone approaches you about publishing your work before you approach them (excluding, like, pitmad or similar), they must work near a wharf because something smells fishy. Great detecting as ever, Victoria and Alice.
 

Black and white winter scene with evergreens in the snow, and a house