I head up the book reviewing department for a review and publicity site, and was recently contacted by someone I believed to be a self-published author for an honest review. Upon receiving the physical copies of both books, I noticed the Palmetto logo on the back.

All said, the package is quite nice, with decent covers, matt texture, and solid binding.

But through reading the book I came to wonder about this "Publishing Group". Having a look at their site, sending a query to get a little more information, and browsing their facebook page, it's become very clear that they're a vanity press (I kinda knew, but wanted to be sure).

My first instinct was that, as far as vanity presses go, maybe they're on the good end of the spectrum, as they do charge up front, but authors retain copyrights and received 100% of royalties. But no, they still give false confidence to authors who likely don't know any better and think what they're putting out is perfect because a publishing person said so.




Though they do seem to be open about the fact they're a "self" publishing company now, at "ZERO negative reviews anywhere online" I was seeing many red flags. As a reviewer I well know that any books that have only four and five star reviews suggest they're either only being reviewed by friends, or negative reviews are being suppressed. It stands to reason that a version of this rule would apply to publishers and other businesses and products as well.

What's more, this claim is incorrect, as a browse of their facebook page proves.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/PalmettoPublishing/reviews/

Horrible at answering emails. Unless you say something that indicates they can hard sell you a service, you're not getting a response. I've been back and forth with them a few times under two author pseudonyms. At first I thought they were a traditional publisher. They'll bait you into thinking they're into your manuscript. A closer look will reveal they're just another vanity press. If you're seeking a traditional publisher, look somewhere else. If you're seeking services to help with self- publishing, they may be worth a shot. Just make sure you have money to spend, or you won't get the time of day to get questions answered.
This particular negative review has screencaps in the comments that show they advertised themselves on facebook as a traditional publisher, and that they would offer authors contacting them "acceptance" into the self-publishing program, and that if their work sold well in the first two quarters, it would be eligible for their traditional publishing branch.

There was little available about them online, so I wanted to help spread the cautious word, but also see if anyone has had experience with them/knows if they've always traded under this name.
















Do you have any information on them or experience with their "services"? I wouldn't have heard of them if the author herself hadn't contacted me for review, which suggests they don't do much in the way of marketing the finished products. But then, based on the model it's not like they have any incentive to make the titles sell well, once they have the money from the author.