Thursday, 8 September 2011

Just Fiction Edition scam

Today I got this email:

Dear Ms Revellian, 

I am writing on behalf of a new international publishing house, JustFiction! Edition. 

In the course of a web-research I came across a reference of your manuscript TRAV ZANDER and it has caught my attention. 

We are a publisher recognized worldwide, whose aim it is to help talented but international yet unknown authors to publish their manuscripts supported by our experience of publishing and to make their writing available to a wider audience. 

JustFiction! Edition would be especially interested in publishing your manuscript as an e-book and in the form of a printed book and all this at no cost to you, of course. 

If you are interested in a co-operation I would be glad to send you an e-mail with further information in an attachment.

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind regards 

Evelyn Davis
Acquisition Editor

Lots of writers have received similar emails recently. Go to Just Fiction's website and it's curiously vague about the details of what is on offer should you sign up with them. Check out Writer Beware and you will find it most likely appropriates your rights forever and pays you 10% royalty - extremely stingy for ebooks, even by publishing standards.

It's a sad fact these days that if a publisher expresses interest in your novel off his own bat, it is almost certainly a scam. Don't be flattered, do be suspicious. You can do better than this on your own.


  1. They eat us up because we are too desperate. The sharks!

    If I see them coming, all pull all my limbs in close so they can't bite me.

  2. True. A starving man won't notice a dirty plate.

    I fear some writers will be impressed by the name of their book appearing in the email.

  3. My solicitation came with the additional incentive of promising to directly invest all of my royalties in Greek banking stocks.

    Not easy to toss an offer that like in the dustbin.

  4. Lexi - thanks for highlighting this. The more these scams are publicised the harder it will be for the scammers to exploit naive writers.

  5. Now why don't I get interesting spam like this and not the ones wanting me to buy naughty enhancement products!?!?

    But seriously!! I like Writers Bewars site very much!

    Take care

  6. Alan, especially hard to toss the offer in the dustbin if it's in email form.

    Jo, I fear there are always trusting people who fall for these scams, else the perpetrators wouldn't bother.

    Kitty, I too get those emails wanting to enlarge parts of my anatomy I don't possess. I also get messages from females who are strangely attracted to me and feel we should get to know each other better...

  7. "whose aim it is to help talented but international yet unknown authors" Wow, they'll be a big help with editing then...

    They're also very generous - they actually give authors one free copy of their book! ;)

  8. I've just read the blurb of one of their books. Here it is:

    The book she left upon the bench was opened by some undetermined page, and a cold wind coming all of a sudden paged the book to and fro, as if some supernatural entity was trying to read the book chaotically, in such an extravagant order. “Let's go home this instant,” said the mother, “it's getting windy.” And then, they disappeared somewhere behind a pack of frozen white dead bushes. “You see,” said he, “I would like to be that kid's father.” “How awful!”, shouted his friend, looking at him scared. “You surely don't want that!”, and then continued as if explaining an obvious universal truth to such an slow student in some a-long-time-ago forsaken classroom, “to be engaged is to be dead, my friend”, he frowned. “Don't look at me like that, you know I am right.” “No, I don't.” That wind breezed again, and he decided it was the right time to come back home. “That woman was not mistaken at all: it is getting awfully windy.” “So, what?”, asked his friend. “So, I'm making a move home. You come?” His friend seemed to ponder for a bit, then responded: “Sure, my cigar's done. There's nothing here for me, any more.”

    Dear me.

  9. The returns offered are indeed paltry, but at the same time some writers find it hard going on their own, or simply do not want the hassle.

    A lot of authors are put off trying self-publishing because of the costs (not massive but still a lot for some) of formatting, getting covers, etc, and lack of confidence in SMP to market their book.

    Which is why we are launching MWiDP - mark williams international digital publishing helping new and existing writers get into digital.

    We believe that our experience and platforms and innovative approach give us a better chance than many small presses already out there to improve an author's prospects.

    And we'll be offering an 80-20 return in the author's favour from whatever the payout is from the e-distributor.

    Lexi, you are cruel and heartless to quote from that book blurb. But thanks for the laugh! :-)

  10. Mark, you have found me out, I am cruel and heartless.

    Your book deal sounds a lot better for authors than Just Fiction's, and you're right that many writers are daunted by the process of self-publishing. If I were a publisher, I'd be very worried about set-ups like the one you propose.

  11. I echo Mark's sentiments about your cruelty and heartlessness. Remember that God sees you, and will get you for it in the end.

    That said, I too noticed "The book... was opened by some undetermined page". Don't know about your household staff, but I prefer my pages determined.

    Also from the blurbs offered by this delightful company we have "stuck on a roller-coaster of secrets", "young Anastasia who does not appear as she seems", and "accompanied by a boy with a peculiar fate" (as opposed, for example, to a peculiar nose).

    Or what about "her brother slams the breaks on her high-torque lifestyle"? Part of a 268-page book selling online for 79 euros.


    I thank a merciful God that I am neither as cruel nor as heartless as you.

  12. Alas, Iain, I have no household staff. I was forced to make the last page redundant as the economy began its long downward lurch. These days I even have to clean my own moat.

    As ever, your kindly nature puts me to shame.

  13. Yay! I got the mail! Was feeling left out and unappreciated but am now reassured that my writing does meet the required standard. In the course of a web-research (ha!) I found allegations that another imprint of the same company seems to take text freely available at wikipedia, publish and sell it. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that as a business model, but morally I'm not so sure.

    Am throwing the email towards the Bin folder now.

  14. Congratulations, K!

    I wonder where they got all our email addresses from? Mine is all over the web, but I know most people are more circumspect.

  15. I think they must have trawled authonomy or YWO, I think my address is probably still listed at both although I haven't used either in ages.

  16. Ah, that figures.

    Re what you said about another imprint publishing bits of Wikipedia, how on earth do they sell it? It's not easy to sell a bad ebook (unless it's erotica, I believe). Or do they rely on publishing thousands of books, and the few sales per edition mounting up? It seems an odd enterprise.

  17. Scam was the first thought in my head when I got the email.

  18. Authors need to be a bit cynical, with so many opportunists regarding us as easy meat.

    (Blogger whisked you to Spam - sorry about that.)