Why Research is so Important

When we first decide to seek out a publisher for our works, it’s very easy to go too fast, and tie ourselves to the first publisher who gives us The Nod.

Another blogger I know on writing.com published her books through Mystic Moon Press. Apparently neither she, all the other authors, and even the employees haven’t received royalty payments in months. The authors banded together and Mystic Moon’s website is now down, Fictionwise has pulled all their books, and they are now working on getting Amazon to do the same. As for whether or not the authors will get their money back, only time will tell.

Scary stuff.

I know several others who published through Mystic Moon Press, so I admit to a little surprise, and sympathy for all those authors who were swindled.

Two minutes of research yielded some interesting facts, namely in April, 2008. Karen Scott wrote a blog about how the owner of Mystic Moon Press had swindled before under a different publishing company:


That popped up after searching "Mystic Moon Press scandal". I’m sure if I searched more and included writer beware sites such as http://www.sfwa.org/beware I would find out even more about not only Mystic Moon, but the owner. I could then be better informed about whether the publisher is legitimate, or not.

I want my books published, and there was a time not too long ago I would have jumped at The Nod, to hell with any research into said publisher.

After reading horror stories like the one above, I’m a bit more cautious.

As we all should be. Some steps to take:

1. Check out any complaints against the publisher by its authors.

2. Ask said publisher for references and a means to contact its authors. If they refuse to even provide a list, wave a hearty goodbye.

Anyone else have a burned by a publisher experience and would like to share?

My list of what do to do is a bit paltry (I’m tired and can’t think straightly). What more advice can you impart to authors seeking publication (traditional or indie, don’t matter here)?

4 thoughts on “Why Research is so Important

  1. Hey Andra, it is horrible when a company cheats authors, as though the whole thing isn’t hard enough already. Best advice: always check the Preditors and Editors website! (do a search, should be easy to find) That goes for publishers as well as agents.
    Even being careful, there are catches that can get authors who have done their research. I may be blogging about that soon.


  2. Thanks for the info, Loraine.
    Let me know when you blog about it (or I could read your blog meself [duh]), so I can link it here.


  3. Yikes. What an awful thing to go through. Great reminder – I can see how easy it would be to get caught up in the excitement of an acceptance and get taken advantage of.


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