Is it a steal?


94% of writers who had paid to have their book published lost money, typically in the thousands, according to a new report by WGGB and the Society of Authors (SoA).

Is it a steal? An investigation into ‘hybrid’/paid-for publishing services exposes widespread bad practice among companies who refer to themselves as ‘hybrid’, ‘partnership’ or ‘contributory’ publishers (among other terms) but have much in common with what have historically been described as ‘vanity’ publishers.

It details aggressive marketing tactics, manipulative sales approaches, unclear contracts and publishing processes and services that fall far short of expectations and value.

The report includes findings of a survey by the two unions which found that the average loss for a writer in a ‘hybrid’/paid-for publishing deal was £1,861, with some participants reporting losses as high as £9,900.

WGGB and SoA are campaigning for reform of the sector and here is how you can get involved.

  • Sign our open letter to call for an end to bad practice
  • Get your contracts vetted! As a WGGB member this is part of your membership package and you can use our free online service (for Full and Candidate Members). Just log in to the Members’ Area and follow this link. We want you to get the best deal and to protect your rights. If you are not a WGGB member you can join here.
  • Help spread the word among other authors so they can protect their rights too (using the hashtag #IsItASteal)
  • You can also download and read the full report here.