Beware of Writing Scams, Author Scams, Publishing Scams
Are you a target?
Do you suspect you might be targeted by a scammer? Ask yourself:
1. Did they contact you out?
2. Are they charging you money?
3. Are they asking for specific rights? (All rights should be yours.)
4. Are they asking for a percentage of your royalties, too?
5. Are they calling themselves a hybrid publisher?
In the end, a legitimate publisher will NOT contact you first, will NOT ask for money to publish you, and should NOT have exclusive rights over your book.
Ways to check:
1. Google their name + scam and see what comes up.
2. Check if they're on WriterBeware, which is the place where author and publishing scams are being investigated and archived.
3. Check if anyone's sharing their experience on Youtube, reddit, etc.
Examples of scams.
The most popular example of a publishing scam is vanity presses. Generally, they try to charge you a LOT of money to publish you AND they try to get some of your rights and royalties, when generally, they should not be charging you anything and should not ask for rights.
Another example is individuals on the internet who somehow gain access to your story and publish it on Amazon (this can be from you directly or from sites like Wattpad, Literotica, etc.)
Links & Resources
The first place to go to is:
WriterBeware - a known archive of author scams, which investigates every suspicious activity in the writing world. You can also email them if you suspect someone or if you've been scammed.