I guess it’s really just a throwback to the old vanity publishing days, but in the Internet Age there are myriad ways the pirates can deprive ye of ye treasure.
David Gaughran, who blogs knowledgeably about self-publishing, warns us of the dangers lurking behind the Penguin/Random House merger. One of them goes by the nom de guerre, Author Solutions (owned by Penguin). In short, they are out to separate the uninitiated from their cash. Under the new powerhouse arrangement, you can expect to see them get even more insidious. Rah, capitalism.
I won’t go into detail here. Just read Gaughran’s post. It’s shudder-inducing, especially the part about how Author Solutions creates (or at least has created) fake social media identities to hock their schlock. They even used an easily located stock photo for a chap named “Jared.” Exposed!
Writing, publishing, and especially self-publishing are hard enough without having to worry about having the flesh torn from your bones, metaphorically speaking. Or, who knows, maybe even literally.