S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pucker Up You Scam Artists!

On behalf of all authors everywhere who have ever been cheated, manipulated, stolen from, lied to and used...

On behalf of all of the authors who have fallen prey to scummy publishers and scam artists who have breached your contracts...

It's time we tell these shady publishers to pucker up and...

Shady publishers will continue to steal, lie and cheat.  That's who they are.  It's what they do and what they've always done.  When they get caught or the heat gets turned up too high they file Chapter 7 and then re-emerge under a new name so they can find more victims; just like Vanilla Heart did in 2002.  
Before signing with any publisher do a background check.  There are numerous on-line services that, for a minimal fee, will provide you with all of the information on how a company and/or a person conducts business. Look for red flags.   If they have a history of filing Chapter 7 and re-emerging with a new company name...that's a red flag.  If they have a bunch of  aliases...that's another red flag.  If they have numerous company names... that's a red flag.  Now, I'm not saying anyone who has ever filed Chapter 7 or has had multiple company names is shady; I'm merely saying it's good information to have up-front and to ask about prior to signing any type of contractual agreement.  You can save yourself a lot of hassle and heartache in the long run by gaining this information up front.
We can't stop all of these people, but we can spread the word on how to spot them, in hopes of minimizing the potential damage within the industry...our industry.
We writers, authors, agents, publicists and publishers dwell in the same world...the literary world.  It is OUR industry.  Thus, it is OUR responsibility to clean it up and keep it clean.  We do that with our fingertips parading across the keyboard.  We do it through our blogs, writer's groups and social media.  These shady publishers and scam artists can steal our money but they cannot steal our voice.  Our voice will ring loud to warn others.  Our voice can make a difference.
Upon finding out you've been scammed, it's hard not to wallow in self-pity and blame.  It's hard not to beat yourself up, as you are now able to look back and see all of the red flags waving behind you.  As they say, "Hindsight is 20/20."  I think the most important thing is to let yourself wallow for an afternoon and then pull yourself up by your boot straps and march on.  Some lessons in life are hard, and some are costly...but those are the ones you'll never forget.  Take something from the bad, spin it around and make it into something good...something that will benefit others...something that will make the industry a better place.
The way I see it, Vanilla Heart robbed me, but they didn't stop me.  They may have stolen the royalties for the eight books that I've already written, but they didn't stop me from writing.  I'm going to write more and more and more and guess who is not going to see a penny from it... the shady publishers of the world. 
This is OUR industry and I vow to protect it, to try to make it better for everyone and to use my voice to keep scam artist publishers like Vanilla Heart from further tainting it. 
So, to all the shady publishers out there...pucker up assholes!

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