Wednesday, June 27

Writer Beware: Outskirts Press

outskirts press, hollywood scam
Writer Beware

Writer Lee Goldberg (Monk, The Dead Man series) spoke up a few days ago about a scam that Outskirts Press is running.

Here is a snippet from the press release put out by Outskirts Press:
These services solve a real problem for many authors who dream of making it big in Hollywood. In fact, just getting Hollywood's attention is nearly impossible, but with the Book Your Trip to Hollywood suite of services from Outskirts Press, authors receive turn-key, full-service assistance with the push of a button. And with each option, authors receive the feedback and/or participation of a real Hollywood producer and production company; the final results are added to a Hollywood database that is perused by industry professionals for new projects; and exclusive efforts to option the author's book are immediately set into motion. The author doesn't have to lift a finger.
As Lee writes, "Except to pull out his or her credit card."

If a writer falls for Outskirts Press' song and dance, how much could he get taken for? The following is from Writer Beware writer Victoria Strauss:
[T]he total bill for your Hollywood pipe dream comes to $15,239. Outskirts can even claim that this is a bargain: the very similar services offered by Author Solutions will set you back over $18,000. 
 At the end of his article Lee Goldberg advises, "Give your $15,000 to the first homeless person you see instead... not only would it be a better use of your money, you would also have exactly the same chance of making a movie sale as you would giving it to Outskirts". That seems like a fair assessment.

I encourage you to read Victoria Strauss' article: More Money-Wasting "Opportunities" For Writers

Lee Goldberg's equally valuable article is here: Outing Outskirts Press


  1. i published my book with Outskirts press in Feb. 2009. i have seen $27 from them for "royalties" i know my book has sold on amazon and borders etc.. .but no money. When i call them they tell me that they show no books sold, but i've had people FB me and email me telling me they read my book. Keeping IT Kinky *turn your relationship from 0 to explosive in 30 days* Does anyone know what i can do?

    1. Hi Lori, thanks for sharing your story.

      I feel your pain. It is difficult to know how well your book is selling when you don't have access to the number. You can, though, get an idea for the books ranking on Amazon. If it's quite low chances are no copies have been sold in a while.

      As for what you can do, I don't know if this is possible, but could you take the book back and publish it yourself?

      Regardless of what happens, I hope you keep writing!

  2. I too have published with them and have only seen two small royalty checks and nothing within in a year. I even purchased my own book on Amazon, sent them all of the screenshots with details asking for my 4.00 per book, and they still told me, I have sold nothing even though I was able to prove my 1 book. Plus my friends sent me their screenshots too from Amazon and a year has passed and they are keeping my royalties. Is there any class action lawsuit in the works which I can sign my name to?? What they are doing is so wrong. I am left to order my own books at a discounted rate (yea right! thats hight too) and sell my own, which is what I have continued to do the whole year they have kept my royalties.

    1. My heart goes out to you. Unfortunately, the only thing I can suggest is that you perhaps contact the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). They are the organization that runs the Writer Beware site and so they might have suggestions for you. Here is a link to the Writer Beware blog (see below). At the bottom of the page you will find information on how to contact the good folks at Writer Beware. All the best to you! I hope everything works out. Report back to let everyone know how things worked out for you, if you can.


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