Author Topic: Scam Alert  (Read 439 times)

Offline litokarl

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Scam Alert
« on: November 20, 2019, 08:38:22 AM »
I searched the forum for "TCK Publishing" and didn't find anything, so I'll share my experience.  I'm pretty sure y'all would spot this as a scam in seconds and wouldn't have wasted your time anyway, but just in case.  I knew going in that they're shady, but scams fascinate me, and sometimes I just can't help myself but to engage with them just to see what their deal is.  I once sat through a surreal hour-long job interview with Cutco Knives (they run a multi-level marketing scam).  I could tell from the job posting that it was bogus, but I was like, I have to know.  And I couldn't bring myself to walk out once I realized it was Cutco because the whole process was so delightfully bizarre, and I was like, if I leave now, the story won't be as good when I tell it.

Anyway, Thomas Corson-Knowles Publishing.  Before I submitted, I had seen some other forums where the owner was arguing with authors accusing him of being a scammer, and he was not winning the argument.  He used to charge fees, but he gave that practice up in favor of a more subtle hustle.  Here's how it works.

When you submit your manuscript, they tell you you'll get it back with notes from an editor in a few weeks.  In the meantime, you start receiving spam email from TCK inviting you sign up for various free webinars.  I'm sure it goes without saying, but those webinars are hour-long infomercials for paid services.  I listened to one.  It was for a service that will do your social media for you for, wait for it, $5,000 per month.

Today I finally got my reply from the editor, who informed me that:

Unfortunately, your manuscript has not yet been reviewed by an editor here, and we have currently closed our fiction submissions for right now.

Therefore, we will have to reject your submission for right now because we have not been able to review it.

To make up for it, we would like to offer you free access to one of our online training courses. You can review our courses here and let me know which one you would like to receive, and I'll set you up with a free account.

Our team will follow up with you when we reopen for fiction submissions.


I went to their website, 100% certain that it would not say anything about being closed for submissions.  To their credit, I was wrong, and it does in fact admit that they are closed to fiction submissions.  They're still open for non-fiction submissions.  So I'm guessing every month or so they switch between being closed for one and open for the other, and then send out these emails inviting you to take a free "online training course"?

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Scam Alert
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 10:06:37 AM »
There's more over on Absolute Write:

<https://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?329006-TCK-Publishing>

Not to put too fine a point on it, a scam implies something illegal. What TCK offers seems legal; they're just taking advantage of the unwary.

Offline litokarl

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Re: Scam Alert
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 10:11:57 AM »
That's a fair point.  Maybe scam is the wrong word.  Whatever it is, it's bush league  :)

Thanks for the link!  I think I did see that one before I submitted.