Anyone who wants to become a published author has a dream. We imagine ourselves sending in our first book, someone reads it and is so impressed, they actually call and ask to serve as our agent – for peanuts. We graciously accept their offer. They send out our book and immediately several publishing companies compete for the rights to it, clamoring, fighting, giving each other swirlies. We go with the company who has the best reputation, seems honorable, and most importantly, offers the most money.

Not long after our book is published, we hit the New York bestseller’s list, in record time, of course. We do the talk show circuit, our fans just can’t get enough of us, and we become famous.

And then reality hits…

You send in your book to several agents. One shows some interest. He/she says, “Hey, I’m interested in your book, but you need some editing. Pay us $800 (or whatever) and we’ll fix you right up.” So you pay the money, they ‘edit’ it, you fix it, and send it back in. Great, great! It looks great. Then you don’t hear from them. After a couple months, they tell you that they just can’t find anyone interested. Your book doesn’t fit into any genre (or whatever excuse they want to use). Maybe wait 6 months and we’ll try again. Or they just stop answering your emails/phone calls. These are not agents who can find publishers for you, they are people who charge you a lot of money to edit your book.

They take advantage of the dreamers.

Well, here’s a place to check out agents and publishing companies to see if they’re legit or not. Keep in mind that there are legitimate editing agencies out there. However, they should not be selling their editing services under the guise that you must pay for these services and then they will represent you and your book.

Anyway, here’s the website.

Preditors and Editors:

FYI: The $ sign next to listed agencies “indicates verified sales to legitimate royalty-paying publishers on record.” In other words, it’s a good thing; it doesn’t mean they charge you money.

So, in sum, make sure you do your research on the people you’re sending your book to. Don’t just send your precious ‘baby’ to anyone.

Dream Big (but be sure that you also do the legwork!)