Many of my author clients and writer visitors know I am a stickler when it comes to low cost book promotions and marketing with my business. And that includes finding decent publishing companies if my authors chose to not self-publish or want to use a self-publishing helper for all their written works. As I am stickler about my research on new places as well. I happened to get an email and solicitation from “Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine” and did my research, and thankfully Victoria’s article popped up about this publishing and marketing business looking for writers and authors to use them.
So, of course, you know me, I didn’t like what I read of her well written and researched article of this publishing company Victoria warns us about. Now, no, it is not about defamation or slamming them, it’s about “Buyer Beware” as many of the costs they are way too high. Like a Press Release for $399.00??? Or a marketing package like their “Facebook Turbo” that goes for $3,499.00 Only…ONLY? I’am charging way to low of prices for just my one Book Promotion Package at $150 which includes setting up 3 new Social Media accounts for my clients! WOW!
So here is what Victoria found about Legaia Books and before you do any buying for publishing and marketing of your books, do yourself a favor and visit Victoria Strauss first!!
Solicitation (and Plagiarism) Alert: Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine
When the late, unlamented Tate Publishing & Enterprises went belly-up a few months ago, I started hearing from Tate authors who were being contacted by self-publishing companies and other for-profit enterprises looking to recruit new customers. Some of these were straightforward, reasonably reputable (if overpriced) businesses. Others…not so much. Very active trying to snag Tate authors was Legaia Books.
Here’s how Legaia describes itself (bolding and errors courtesy of the original):
Legaia is a book publishing company created to aid writers in seeing their works in prints. Whether you’re a beginner or a published author, and whatever is the genre of your work (memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, children’s book, or even poetry collection), it is always our pleasure to be working with you. Legaia has no reservations to anything in particular other than those that contradict what is in the terms and services. With the application of new technology and information, we are able to accommodate our clients and are maintaining this accessibility for a better relationship.
The whole website is written like this, which should be a gigantic clue that things aren’t kosher. If that’s not enough, consider the eye-poppingly expensive publishing packages (which don’t offer anything that’s not available elsewhere for much less money), the hugely overpriced “online media publicity campaign” (based largely on cheap-for-the-provider services that can be sold at an enormous markup), and the nebulously-described “Online Retail Visibility Booster“, which costs $6,499 and wants you to believe that’s a fair price for something called a Booster Tool that supposedly gets you more reviews on Amazon.
You can also buy advertising in Paperclips Magazine, which among other “opportunities” encourages authors to pay $1,999 for a book review or $4,999 for a “Paperclips Author Article.” According to the Legaia website, Paperclips is “a social online magazine that showcases books and author experiences in the publishing industry”; according to email solicitations like the one above, it has “over 2 million subscribers worldwide” (a bit hard to believe, given the mix of terrible writing, puff pieces, and ads that make up most of its content).
What both website and solicitations fail to mention: Legaia and Paperclips are one and the same, a fact Legaia admits on its LinkedIn page. This is the kind of profitable closed loop that allows an author-exploiting enterprise to hit up its victims multiple times.
As for Paperclips Magazine, it’s…interesting. Not just for the amount of money that must have been generated by all the author articles and ads. Not just for the insanely awful writing by the “Editorial Team”…
No. For the plagiarism and the intellectual property theft.
The Paperclips website includes short articles with the byline Chloe Smith. Much of this content actually belongs to other authors. For instance, a piece called 7 Active Reading for Students: here it is at Paperclips, under Chloe’s name. Here’s the original, attributed to the real author: Grace Fleming. How about 10 Keys to Writing a Brilliant Speech? Here it is at Paperclips. Here’s the original, by Bill Cole. Ditto These Are the 8 Fundamental Principles of Great Writing. Here it is at Paperclips. Here’s the original (with a different title), by Glenn Leibowitz.
I could go on. There are lots more examples. And that’s just the Paperclips website. The magazine also includes stolen content. At least Why Print Books are Better than eBooks, and Ways to Improve eReaders bears the name of its true author, Greg Krehbiel…but Greg has confirmed to me that Paperclips published it without his permission. (It originally appeared here.) (I also reached out to two other authors included in the same issue, but as of this writing I haven’t heard back.)
both website and solicitations fail to mention: Legaia and Paperclips are one and the same, a fact Legaia admits on its LinkedIn page. This is the kind of profitable closed loop that allows an author-exploiting enterprise to hit up its victims multiple times.
Any bets on whether Paperclips got permission to use images of Dr. Seuss characters on the cover of its latest issue? Or asked George R.R. Martin if it was okay to re-publish his August 2016 blog post–complete with original artwork from the illustrated anniversary edition of Game of Thrones?
A bunch of other things don’t add up. Legaia/Paperclips has a North Carolina address, but it’s a virtual office. Legaia’s LinkedIn page claims the company was founded in 2008, but its domain wasn’t registered until late 2015. Similarly, Paperclips’ LinkedIn page says it started up in 2012, but its domain wasn’t created until November 2016 (I also couldn’t find any issues of the magazine earlier than December 2016). I’ve been able to locate only two actual human staff members (neither website includes staff names, and the two names I’ve seen on Legaia’s author solicitations, Emily Bryans and Serena Miles, appear to be wholly imaginary); both are based in the Philippines, and one formerly worked for Author Solutions.
Between these things, the English-as-a-second-language writing, the overpriced and exploitive “services”, the plagiarism, and just the general sleazy feel of it all, I’m strongly reminded of LitFire Publishing, which has a very similar business model and M.O, and was established by Author Solutions call center alumni in the Philippines as a sort of low-rent Xlibris-AuthorHouse-iUniverse-Trafford clone. Are LitFire and Legaia the same operation? Probably not. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Legaia has the same provenance.
“Now Cat has to interject in this last part of Victoria’s article. I received this exact EMAIL Solicitation to my email today! And The same Scout, “Emily Bryans” is used in my Email Below…Keep in mind Victoria shared her post in August of 2017 and a consultant came from Legia Books and even left her a comment! So, it has not stopped them from STILL Soliciting Writers and Authors…And that is WHY I am sharing her article” of Writers Beware…
Needless to say my email reply was “I politely decline at this time”…
My name is Frank Parker from Paperclips Magazine. I’m reaching out to you because you’re referred to me by our Book Scout Emily Bryans. We are actually looking for authors to feature in our magazine and I was hoping we can touch base sometime this week to talk about your work and see if we can be able to add value to your book’s marketing campaign.
To give you an idea of what our magazine is, we actually write about the book industry. Meaning most of our subscribers are book readers, librarians and even decision makers in the publishing industry looking for aspiring authors in the business. We’ve featured both bestselling and aspiring authors in the magazine and I would love to share with you this opportunity to showcase your book with us.
Please let me know when is the best time to reach you. You can also call me at 1 (919) 914-9856 (Frank Parker).
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Senior Publishing Consultant
Legaia Books Publishing and Marketing Services
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 27601
Lastly, Victoria tells us, “Emily Bryans” is currently soliciting authors for something called Paperclips Magazine’s Author Circle, which is supposedly arriving this October and will feature “celebrity authors and multi-awarded literary contributors” (wonder how many of them know they’re included?) No word on how much it will cost to join up, but I bet it’s a bundle.
I thank Victoria for granting me permission to share her post/article here on “Cat’s Reading Den” so we can spread the word to as we all are “Authors Helping Authors Helping Writers too!