Author Topic: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??  (Read 7489 times)

Offline Tahani Nelson

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Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:25:15 PM »
Hi, everyone.

Okay. So I'm new to the writing world. Very new. When I finished my manuscript, I was kind of testing the waters before I found QT. In my fumblings, I got in contact with a different author who is already published. He sent me the contact information for his publisher and I sent them an e-mail. That seems like an okay first step, right?

Anyway, after my initial query, I got a very respectful response asking for a full manuscript so that they may decide if the writing was appropriate for their company. They didn't ask me to sign anything or ask for any money, and I didn't get any immediate red flags. So I sent the manuscript.

The publisher? Just Fiction! Edition

Since then, I've seen some warnings about Just Fiction! Edition, but it doesn't seem like anyone has had their work flat-out stolen. However, I'm still frightened and feeling ill. Did I mess up? And if so, what can I do now?

Offline 007 fan

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 09:50:19 PM »
I feel real bad.  I can imagine...the only thing I can suggest is go to the forum for fiction writing.  Someone asked a copyright question, and many people posted replies.  Some of the information there might alleviate some of your fears of having your work stolen.

I googled Just Fiction! Edition before responding, and didn't see anything about them stealing anyone's work.  I did find that they are really miserly with commissions.

Some people do choose to seek a publisher on their own (by-passing an agent) , and I believe there is a forum here on self-publishing - money out of your pocket to get published, etc.  I will take the old-fashioned route and seek a reputable agent to navigate my pride and joy through the jungles of the publishing world.

Sorry there wasn't more I could give you. 

Oh, there is a section at the beginning of this forum put out by QT operators that mentions scammers.  I've never read it, but maybe there is info. on what you can do if you feel you've been scammed.
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Offline SamIAm

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 05:32:57 AM »
Based on what I read on their website and on aw here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153031&page=2 they don't sound necessarily like a scam.  Just more of an author mill.   They'll publish just about anything with little to no editing and minimal royalties. Almost like being self-pubbed, except they take far too much of your money.

So basically, if you haven't signed any sort of contract with them, you're probably fine.  And you still could take a contract if they offer, but there are so many more options out there with better deals.

I'd recommend trying to get an agent first. Then letting them find the best publisher and deal for your book.

In the meantime, you can either refuse any offers from just fiction if they come in,  or you can email and advise you wish to withdraw your ms. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 06:49:45 AM by Spikethebunny »

Offline Tahani Nelson

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 06:23:37 AM »
Thank you so much. I feel way less terrified now. I've already decided that I don't want to publish with them, and I haven't signed anything, so I think I'm good there. I was just concerned that I'd already started digging a hole that I wouldn't be able to get back out of. I'm glad I haven't botched the entire thing from the get-go.

On a positive note-- I got my first partial request from an agent today!! I know it's not a "yes" but it's also not a rejection letter, and that pleases me. I think I'll stick on the agent path. It definitely seems like the way to go.

Thanks for your responses. :)

Offline SamIAm

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 06:51:59 AM »
Thank you so much. I feel way less terrified now. I've already decided that I don't want to publish with them, and I haven't signed anything, so I think I'm good there. I was just concerned that I'd already started digging a hole that I wouldn't be able to get back out of. I'm glad I haven't botched the entire thing from the get-go.

On a positive note-- I got my first partial request from an agent today!! I know it's not a "yes" but it's also not a rejection letter, and that pleases me. I think I'll stick on the agent path. It definitely seems like the way to go.

Thanks for your responses. :)

You're welcome!  And that's wonderful about the partial!  Good luck!

Just make sure you research all the agents you submit to and you should not be asked to pay them upfront for any services.

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 08:24:41 AM »
congrats on the partial!

And yeah, i don't think they're scammers, but you could probably do better. And since they haven't offered you anything and you haven't agreed to anything, you're fine.

I know that feeling, though. I had a full request and an R&R with an agent who i later found out from inside sources that i should run away from. That was an oh crap moment. But there was no way i could have known just through regular research. And i just vowed to say no if she offered (she didn't, and left agenting a month later)
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Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Oh no! Did I fall for a scam??
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 08:36:40 AM »
I change my mind. I do think they're scammy. They may not charge you, but you ain't gonna get paid.

Here's the Writer's Beware post on them: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/09/victoria-strauss-vdm-verlag-dr-mueller.html
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