There you are, an aspiring author who just finished your first masterpiece. You set up a website and shared your success on every social media platform out there, up to and including the one invented five minutes ago.
You’re ready to rock and you’re ready to get noticed.
And then it happens. You open up your brand new author email account and see that email in your inbox promising to publish and sell your book. And give it a cover. And an ISBN number. And edit it. And format it for Amazon. All for FREE! You didn’t even have to send out a single query letter. Wow! Your prayers are answered.
Or are they?
Would representatives from a legitimate publishing company actually be trolling the web for unknown authors and offering them contracts for books they haven’t even read?
The answer to that is an unyielding no.
No real book publisher will solicit your work out of the blue.
Why they won’t do it:
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. There are literally hundreds of thousands of writers out there hoping to sign a contract with a big publishing house. The big five publishers (generally) won’t even accept unsolicited manuscripts, and rely on literary agents to pitch new authors.
In other words, writers come to publishers. By the thousands. No respectable publishing house, large or small, should ever have any trouble finding authors and certainly would not be headhunting for them online.
Why you shouldn’t do it:
So if respectable publishers aren’t going around soliciting novels from unknown writers, then who is?
Dishonest scam artists masquerading as publishers, that’s who.
You should never sign a contract with a “publisher” who is promoting themselves over their writers. That is the biggest telltale sign of a scam artist. Advertising “free” services and implying that other publishers charge for the same services is dishonest.
By signing with a scam publisher, you risk losing rights to your novel, paying outlandish fees for (nonexistent) editing or (nonexistent) marketing and have huge penalties for getting out of your contract.
So be cautious and never trust that email in your inbox promising you the world.