Author Topic: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks  (Read 5702 times)  

Online PhoenixS

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2018, 07:20:13 AM »
Selling manuscripts to another publisher is routinely done & is as old as publishing itself.

We subcontracted rights to the books of two different authors from publisher E-Reads to publish under Steel Magnolia Press. The E-Reads catalog was then sold a couple of years later to another publisher (Open Road Media), and we started paying Open Road the royalty cuts under the same contract terms. The author, however, was never cut out of the deal. Sort of like when a bank sells a mortgage loan.

You can't pass on your amazon account!

When we reverted rights to a couple of our authors' complete catalogs, we basically had Amazon transfer those contents of our KDP account to theirs, allowing them to retain rank, history, and reviews for their books.

Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2018, 08:26:35 AM »
Why do I hear Londo Molari?  ;D

Ha, I can see that. Now I miss Londo. :D I bailed on the show a few episodes after Commander Sinclair departed, despite really, really not wanting to... :( Maybe for Londo's sake I should try again.

Offline K'Sennia Visitor

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2018, 10:13:56 AM »
Ha, I can see that. Now I miss Londo. :D I bailed on the show a few episodes after Commander Sinclair departed, despite really, really not wanting to... :( Maybe for Londo's sake I should try again.

   :o You quit watching the greatest SFF show ever right before it got really good? It boggles the mind.  :o Do yourself a favor and watch the show all the way through. Londo and G'Kar are the two best male characters and their story arcs are amazing. You must see them through to conclusion. You Must!  :o

Offline writerlygal

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #78 on: April 19, 2018, 10:46:17 AM »
When a publisher offers a contract to an author, the up-front money is an advance on royalties. This is a straight-up purchase of all rights, with no future monies, and I do think that distinction is being lost.

No - I'm talking about in the indie publishing world. One author or publisher offloading books [previously published or not] to another author or publisher is routinely done. In all the other forums I'm on it's done & is normal - not suspicious. When authors retire or stop writing in a certain genre they even sell their entire catalog to another author or publisher. It can be a very good way to get cash in your pocket now for something you wrote instead of wishing hoping & praying it eventually makes money down the road.

But in your example of trad pub- I have a lot of writing friends IRL who were given very small advances in their publishing contracts & never saw a penny more. I'm talking a $200 advance.  That's all the money he ever saw for that book. I personally would much rather sell a book I wrote to another indie author or publisher for at least $1000 than to a trad pub for $200. I know I could go on a romance writing forum & sell my book to another author right now for more than most of my trad pub friends have made on their publishing contract advances & 'royalties' [which they never saw]. 

So IMO these very regular types of transactions can be much better deals for the creator of content than getting an advance from a publisher, IF they're one of the 'lucky' ones that can even get a publishing contract.

But apparently according to some of ya'all, people willing to make a deal & pay money to acquire content are immediately suspicious scammers. Got it.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 10:50:08 AM by writerlygal »

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #79 on: April 19, 2018, 10:59:42 AM »
No - I'm talking about in the indie publishing world. One author or publisher offloading books [previously published or not] to another author or publisher is routinely done. In all the other forums I'm on it's done & is normal - not suspicious. When authors retire or stop writing in a certain genre they even sell their entire catalog to another author or publisher. It can be a very good way to get cash in your pocket now for something you wrote instead of wishing hoping & praying it eventually makes money down the road.

But in your example of trad pub- I have a lot of writing friends IRL who were given very small advances in their publishing contracts & never saw a penny more. I'm talking a $200 advance.  That's all the money he ever saw for that book. I personally would much rather sell a book I wrote to another indie author or publisher for at least $1000 than to a trad pub for $200. I know I could go on a romance writing forum & sell my book to another author right now for more than most of my trad pub friends have made on their publishing contract advances & 'royalties' [which they never saw]. 

So IMO these very regular types of transactions can be much better deals for the creator of content than getting an advance from a publisher, IF they're one of the 'lucky' ones that can even get a publishing contract.

But apparently according to some of ya'all, people willing to make a deal & pay money to acquire content are immediately suspicious scammers. Got it.

Everything you said up until the last paragraph was actually informative, engaging, polite and interesting. I don't agree with some of it, but it was a constructive engagement. The last paragraph suggests i should just walk away now, however.

Online kw3000

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #80 on: April 19, 2018, 12:50:49 PM »
I agree with others that this antithetical to everything that makes sense to me about indie publishing.

Same.  :(

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #81 on: April 19, 2018, 01:05:49 PM »
But apparently according to some of ya'all, people willing to make a deal & pay money to acquire content are immediately suspicious scammers. Got it.

Rigorous questioning of and skepticism toward new vendors is a KBoards tradition -- and quite a useful one, given indie authors' vulnerabilities. Vendors who 1) are actually offering a good product/service and 2) don't lose their cool generally come through it fine.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #82 on: April 19, 2018, 01:39:08 PM »
Everything you said up until the last paragraph was actually informative, engaging, polite and interesting. I don't agree with some of it, but it was a constructive engagement. The last paragraph suggests i should just walk away now, however.

Yeah, I'm finding a lot of people to add to my ignore list through some of these recent threads.

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #83 on: April 19, 2018, 01:49:37 PM »
Ha, I can see that. Now I miss Londo. :D I bailed on the show a few episodes after Commander Sinclair departed, despite really, really not wanting to... :( Maybe for Londo's sake I should try again.


Definitely try again.  Season 2 is when the show's main arc really gets cranking, and Season 3 is when the really cool stuff happens.


   :o You quit watching the greatest SFF show ever right before it got really good? It boggles the mind.  :o Do yourself a favor and watch the show all the way through. Londo and G'Kar are the two best male characters and their story arcs are amazing. You must see them through to conclusion. You Must!  :o


Totally agree.   :)

Here's an important moment for Londo:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbckvO7VYxk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbckvO7VYxk</a>
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Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #84 on: April 19, 2018, 01:52:16 PM »

Definitely try again.  Season 2 is when the show's main arc really gets cranking, and Season 3 is when the really cool stuff happens.


I could never get into this show. I'd flip to it, then immediately get put off by that ridiculous fan hair. Which is probably a silly response, coming from a lifelong Trekkie. I do need to go back and check it out, though.

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #85 on: April 19, 2018, 01:56:06 PM »

Definitely try again.  Season 2 is when the show's main arc really gets cranking, and Season 3 is when the really cool stuff happens.



Totally agree.   :)

Here's an important moment for Londo:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbckvO7VYxk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbckvO7VYxk</a>

I've never watched B5, but y'all are making a compelling case.  :)  Apologies for the derail.

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Offline VonC

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #86 on: April 20, 2018, 03:14:19 PM »

$25K upfront cost, book is earning 1K/month = 2 years to recoup basic investment + costs of promo, if the book will continue to sell a minimum of 1K/month. I'm sorry, the math doesn't work.

It would be far simpler, and less expensive, to hire ghostwriters for content. Of course, that doesn't give them the option for getting work from the beginning that is selling, and there's the work of finding decent writers, covers and so on.

Anyway, I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who isn't chomping at the bit to sell away my IP without wondering about the details.

I stepped away for a couple days and see this thread lived on.  Great to see so much dialogue around this. 

The reason the numbers may work, is because in comparison to other investments recouping your original investment after a couple years isn't half bad.  Plus, it is a space that I know a little bit about, and enjoy spending time in.  The amount that someone like me might be willing to pay is partially based on the certainty of the revenue stream.  If you wrote the next great novel that is likely to never lose its momentum, it would be worth a lot more.  If you wrote a book that doesn't really ever sell unless continual marketing dollars are thrown at it, it might be worth less.

While I commend your concern that fellow writers do not get scammed, I would also appreciate those of you who have an open mind about this.  For those who view their work as art and cringe at the thought of a business discussion involving it, I can respect that.  For those who see the reality that sometimes the best person to write a book and the best person to try to get that in as many hands as possible might be two different people, then you are acknowledging the reality of commerce that exists in every facet of our lives.

Offline Doglover

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #87 on: April 21, 2018, 12:48:41 AM »

For those who see the reality that sometimes the best person to write a book and the best person to try to get that in as many hands as possible might be two different people, then you are acknowledging the reality of commerce that exists in every facet of our lives.
We all acknowledge that, every author who would rather be writing than marketing. But that knowledge in no way involves selling the rights to their books for whatever price. A publisher will usually give an author an advance, sometimes a really big advance, but even when they do that, they are not buying the right to the book. All they are buying is the right to publish it and any royalties due over and above that advance are paid to the author.

About forty years ago I attended a creative writing class led by a published and successful author. One thing I have taken away from that class is 'never, ever sell your copyright'. I remember reading that same advice in many writing magazines and writing books and that is exactly what you are asking us to do.

If, on the other hand, you were to offer marketing services, in which you say you have some skill, you would most certainly have a lot more interest.


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Offline jb1111

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #88 on: April 21, 2018, 02:47:54 AM »
We all acknowledge that, every author who would rather be writing than marketing. But that knowledge in no way involves selling the rights to their books for whatever price. A publisher will usually give an author an advance, sometimes a really big advance, but even when they do that, they are not buying the right to the book. All they are buying is the right to publish it and any royalties due over and above that advance are paid to the author.

I would venture that to most authors on the Zon, trad publishing customs are little more than quaint vestiges of a bygone era -- something completely alien to the vast majority of us. The publishing model has changed to streaming books and independent publishing -- it is a Wild West of various marketing and investment tactics -- and perhaps what the OP is offering may be one of them.

Offline Doglover

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2018, 02:56:23 AM »
I would venture that to most authors on the Zon, trad publishing customs are little more than quaint vestiges of a bygone era -- something completely alien to the vast majority of us. The publishing model has changed to streaming books and independent publishing -- it is a Wild West of various marketing and investment tactics -- and perhaps what the OP is offering may be one of them.
Perhaps, but that is not how I am reading it. Nor, I suspect, are many others. Someone else compared OP's suggestion to that offered by a traditional publisher; I am merely clarifying the point, as it is actually quite different.

If he is indeed offering a publishing contract along the lines of established publishing, that is one thing. However, if he is, he will need to make his proposal a lot clearer and he will need to state his intentions and terms out in the open, not by PM.

I see nothing that suggests he is offering anything other than buying authors' copyright. Perhaps someone else sees something different.


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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2018, 03:59:51 AM »
Quote
The reason the numbers may work, is because in comparison to other investments recouping your original investment after a couple years isn't half bad.

The reason I'm suspicious is that over the last seven years I've seen how ebooks, despite the hopes of many of us, tend to not hold steady in sales for two or more years without constant input of either money or new pieces to the story. So, using your example of possibly $25K for something earning $1K monthly, and going by the experiences of people I know who are struggling with constant promotion to keep titles selling, it still doesn't make sense that this is a viable plan. Of course, I suspect that most, if not all offers you make won't come anywhere near $25K, so it's moot.

I'm sure there have been many PMs to you about this, and you've probably gotten more people interested than this thread shows. But for those who are uncertain, remember to take all offers with caution, because there are lots and lots of people in this business who do not have your best interests at heart, but are looking for the cheap, easy way to make money, and it's not their intention to make that money for you. Is this the OP's plan? I don't know. But until I see open proof either way, I remain,

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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #91 on: April 21, 2018, 04:26:29 AM »
FWIW: offering to buy someone's copyright is not, in and of itself, illegal, immoral or fattening. Me: not a writer but my initial response to the OPs proposal was that it sounded like a good way for him to go broke, but that was his business.

MANY HERE clearly feel it is NOT what they would choose and/or have serious reservations about the whole concept. Fine. You've said so, now move on.

There are others who have also expressed that they can envision situations where it might be EXACTLY what an author needs. Also fine.

So: let's stop assuming that he's purely predatory. He's just a vendor offering a service. If you aren't interested, there are other threads. If you are, or if you have a specific question for the OP, feel free to ask.


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Offline Doglover

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #92 on: April 21, 2018, 04:36:14 AM »
FWIW: offering to buy someone's copyright is not, in and of itself, illegal, immoral or fattening. Me: not a writer but my initial response to the OPs proposal was that it sounded like a good way for him to go broke, but that was his business.

MANY HERE clearly feel it is NOT what they would choose and/or have serious reservations about the whole concept. Fine. You've said so, now move on.

There are others who have also expressed that they can envision situations where it might be EXACTLY what an author needs. Also fine.

So: let's stop assuming that he's purely predatory. He's just a vendor offering a service. If you aren't interested, there are other threads. If you are, or if you have a specific question for the OP, feel free to ask.


I don't think anyone's assuming that he is predatory and I see nothing that would suggest that. What I see is a civilised discussion as to the pros and cons of such a scheme, and that discussion is pointing out flaws in the scheme that would be to the OP's advantage as well as the authors.


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #93 on: April 21, 2018, 04:43:32 AM »
And what I see is people who don't like his idea continually saying it. Doglover: move on. You may not post again to this thread. You've said your piece.

Thank you.

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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #94 on: April 21, 2018, 05:23:17 AM »
And what I see is people who don't like his idea continually saying it. Doglover: move on. You may not post again to this thread. You've said your piece.
Thank you.

And what I see is people with low post counts continually defending the OP, zero credibility established, every time someone comments negatively.

Rather than throwing us out, why not say the discussion is over, and lock the thread?


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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #95 on: April 21, 2018, 05:43:27 AM »
I see an active thread with many members of all post counts posting, pointing out possibilities and pitfalls.  Let's talk about the proposal, not the members.

People will read through, consider the poster when weighing the advice given and make their decisions.

If you've expressed your position on the proposal, and have no new data to add, there are lots of other threads.

If you want to argue with one of us mods about the moderation of this thread, please PM us by clicking on the little box by our name at left so as to not derail the thread.

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Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #96 on: April 21, 2018, 05:55:31 AM »
People will read through, consider the poster when weighing the advice given and make their decisions.

Ideally the vendor would reveal basic information about who they are so authors could have some sense who they are doing business with.

Independent authors have to grapple with copyright validation issues on Amazon and even lawsuits with other authors and vendors... establishing identity is crucial to avoiding headaches like those.  8)

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #97 on: April 21, 2018, 06:13:13 AM »
So: let's stop assuming that he's purely predatory. He's just a vendor offering a service. If you aren't interested, there are other threads. If you are, or if you have a specific question for the OP, feel free to ask.

Thanks for saying this.

It's one thing for KB members to question the merits of a service and examine the trustworthiness of the provider. That's a useful process. But in my opinion, some (not all) naysayers in this thread have become combative.

Also, thanks to VonC for keeping his cool and remaining professional.

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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #98 on: April 21, 2018, 06:46:16 AM »
No - I'm talking about in the indie publishing world. One author or publisher offloading books [previously published or not] to another author or publisher is routinely done. In all the other forums I'm on it's done & is normal - not suspicious. When authors retire or stop writing in a certain genre they even sell their entire catalog to another author or publisher. It can be a very good way to get cash in your pocket now for something you wrote instead of wishing hoping & praying it eventually makes money down the road.

But in your example of trad pub- I have a lot of writing friends IRL who were given very small advances in their publishing contracts & never saw a penny more. I'm talking a $200 advance.  That's all the money he ever saw for that book. (emphasis added) I personally would much rather sell a book I wrote to another indie author or publisher for at least $1000 than to a trad pub for $200. I know I could go on a romance writing forum & sell my book to another author right now for more than most of my trad pub friends have made on their publishing contract advances & 'royalties' [which they never saw]. 

So IMO these very regular types of transactions can be much better deals for the creator of content than getting an advance from a publisher, IF they're one of the 'lucky' ones that can even get a publishing contract.

But apparently according to some of ya'all, people willing to make a deal & pay money to acquire content are immediately suspicious scammers. Got it.
Yes, but it's clear the kind of books you're talking about in the bolded section are not what the OP is looking for. He is (naturally enough) looking for books that have shown earning potential. A book that doesn't earn out a $200 advance, if it had been indie-published instead, probably wouldn't have the stats that would attract him. Your comparison strikes me as an apples-and-oranges situation.

I don't think the OP is a scammer, and there are situations in which selling all rights to a work might be beneficial. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless I was really desperate for money. That's mostly because indie releases aren't like trad releases in that the highest sales don't always come at the beginning. I've definitely had books that started out slow and picked up momentum. Even though I'm a prawn, most of them over time made me more than what the OP is offering. It's hard to gauge long-term earning potential. My advice to a newbie would be to stay clear of this kind of deal for that exact reason.

There is also an emotional element that needs to be addressed. I know what some people will think--we're supposed to be thinking in business terms. However, creative processes invariably have an emotional component. We bond with our work in ways that not everyone does. Take the example of George Lucas selling the Star Wars franchise to Disney. Did he make a pile of money? Yes. Was he unhappy? At least part of the time. You may recall his public statement that what he had done was like selling his children to white slavers. Disney was understandably furious, and Lucas apologized rather quickly. I'm not sure his feeling of loss left him, though.

Let's keep in mind that selling copyright is also selling creative control. Sure, Lucas made his share of mistakes in developing the franchise in the first place, but it couldn't have been easy for him to watch Disney make radical changes--including discarding large chunks of material from related books that fans had long regarded as canonical.

Because I have no future earnings crystal ball, and because I don't want to have emotional sellers remorse, I'm never going to be selling all rights. People in different situations might be perfectly happy doing so.


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Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« Reply #99 on: April 21, 2018, 07:15:48 AM »
I don't think anyone should necessarily assume anything is predatory.

However, I respectfully suggest that skepticism should always be your default position - particularly in the current environment, and especially when you are dealing with someone with no verifiable background or even identity.

Legit operators generally have no problem establishing bona fides; in fact, they usually welcome the opportunity.
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