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Judi B

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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.

Thank you.
 

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I live in NZ. It's a small country, yes, and doesn't have the zillions of large and small presses that the US does. However, as far as I'm aware, no legit publisher in NZ (or anywhere) will ask the author to pay to be published. The publisher you cite is *not* listed with the NZ Society of Authors. Dozens of other publishers are, though -- perhaps you could point your friend in their direction and she could try one of the other publishers here, and also contact the NZSA and ask them about National Pacific Press.

http://www.authors.org.nz/
http://www.authors.org.nz/info_for_writers/getting_published_publishers.htm
 

Aprylwriter

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Most publishers that ask for money upfront is considered a vanity press, even if they say otherwise. If you think it's a scam, I would express these concerns to your friend, and let her know that most legitimate publishers do not charge a fee. Sometimes it takes a long time to get published with a legitimate, traditional publisher, but it is better to wait than to spend thousands of dollars on a publisher you aren't sure about. I have not heard of this publisher, but that is what I would do.

Good luck!

Apryl
 

veinglory

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If she wants to hear a Kiwi say money up front is vanity, let me be the second. Point her at this thread. Also, I've never heard of them.


these people?: http://www.pacificislandbooks.com/ (seem to be distibtuors of some sort?)
 
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veinglory

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See: http://www.nzlistener.co.nz/issue/3...l;jsessionid=3124B8C0C12AA0CFBCB8457A6E449EA0

"Mundy is also co-director of Horizon Press, another small independent publishing house. Both Horizon and NPP were, he says, “essentially established for the same purpose, to help largely, but not exclusively, first-time authors to get their work into print”. Horizon has published 15 books since it began in 1998, one of which it fully funded; the rest were subsidy options. NPP has produced two books so far this year, both of which were author subsidised and Mundy expects to have nine in print by the end of the year
...
He says he rejects roughly half of all manuscripts sent to him.
...
All part of the rough and tumble world of publishing, perhaps. But Mundy alleges, as does Dunsford, that some of the criticisms of NPP and DPC are part of an agenda driven by the New Zealand Society of Authors. “As you may be aware, the NZSA (or certain individuals within it) are the main opponents of subsidised publishing, and purposely try to give it a bad name by branding all such publishing as ‘vanity’ publishing …” Mundy emailed. “It now seems they are trying to attack subsidised publishing publicly, through the article you are writing for the Listener.”
...
Similarly, Dunsford – who has made several threats of legal action during the preparation of this story – wrote in an email to the Listener: “… it became apparent that your journalist was working to the same agenda that rival agencies have used to try to demolish my company for the past decade or more (without success). It also became clear from her questions who was driving this agenda, as she had information only available to NZSA complaints committee, which is supposed to be independent, but is in fact run by rival agencies to us.”
...
On that score, Dunsford says DPC is now considering “pulling out of the marketing side of it completely and going back to just manuscript assessment and writing classes "



Subsidy=vanity. He is saying it is not because he rejects a whopping 50% of submission, as might Publish America on a busy day.

Get her to read the whole Listener article and run like hell. (I mean, a vanity publisher who is selling a print run that doesn't break even for the author? One with lots of conspiracy theories about the NZSA and the Listener? Ouch.).
 
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victoriastrauss

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Wow. Great article.

That is such a classic scam. Charge for representation...pretend to send mss. to publishers...come back with an offer from a vanity press that probably pays a kickback for successful "referrals." It's the same scam that scam agents were running with Commonwealth Publications back in the late 1990's.

- Victoria
 

James D. Macdonald

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Legal threats ... where have I heard that before?

And a cabal -- a conspiracy! -- of authors' advocates saying to stay away? Must be because those authors' advocates are just jealous.
 

Judi B

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Pacific Island Books -- Thank you & a question for James McD

Thanks to all of you who responded. I'd say it's unanimous that my gut-feeling was right: it's a scam. I sent all your comments to my friend. She's kind of shocked and upset, but still reluctant to let go of the "offer". They've played with her head, I think. Well, I've done all I can do and my conscience is clear.

Question to James D. Macdonald -- you asked "Legal action--where have I heard that before?"

I'll bite. Has there been another question like mine that involved the threat of legal action???

Inquiring minds want to know.

Again--thank you!

JB
 

veinglory

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Threats of legal action are just very common when scams are investigaed. It's a bit like poking a rats with a stick, it tries to bite you.
 

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Judi, PublishAmerica, a notorious scumbag-cum-vanity-publisher, is infamous for, among other things, threatening legal action against anyone who says they're scammers.
 

Judi B

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Re: threat of legal action. PublishAmerica ... and poking rats ... Aha. Gotcha. - lol. Do they ever follow through? I noticed there was something called the "Neverending" discussion of PublishAmerica. The elderly mother of a local woman had her book published by PA and is having a second book published by them. Been written up all over the local paper as being a published author and has had signings at local stores and the library. I thought it was a big deal ... until now. I gues not so much, huh?
 

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Note: Pacific Island Books is not a publisher. The company names are linked in search results because they distribute books from National Pacific Press, but they have no other affiliation with NPP.
 

CaoPaux

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Going by Amazon, no books pubbed since 2007.
 

HapiSofi

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Tell your friend we genuinely sympathize. Scams are emotionally abusive, and literary scams hit authors where they're most vulnerable. It's evil.

What she nevertheless needs to understand is that even if she pays these guys every penny they ask, she will not wind up happily published. In fact, there's a good chance she won't be published at all. If some copies do get printed, they won't get shelved or sold or read. She'll most likely come to regret the whole thing, and may stop writing. Many victims of these scams do.

Very sorry. It's not happy news, but it's the truth.
 

CaoPaux

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Going by Book Depository, has in fact been publishing semi-regularly (reappeared on Amazon in '13).

ETA: No activity after '16.
 
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