Open book blog hop – What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?


Welcome to the Blog Hop.  This week the topic is:

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I have read some of the other posts discussing this topic and I am grateful that I was never a victim of unscrupulous publishing practices. It seems there are a lot of vanity publishers out there who con writers who want to publish a first book out of a lot of money and deliver very little in return.

I have come to realise that I was lucky with my writing and publishing journey. Firstly, I had the good fortune to meet my current publisher, TSL Publications, prior to publishing my first Sir Chocolate book and we have worked well together ever since, and secondly, I met Sue Vincent and Sally Cronin, both very supportive bloggers and really nice people, within my first few weeks of blogging and they both helped me meet other bloggers within their community.

I never looked for a publisher as, although Michael and I had written our books together and I wrote a lot of poetry and flash fiction, I have never really considered taking our stories to another level. A good friend of mine suggested that I submit my stories to a publisher and she recommended TSL Publications. A few weeks after I submitted the stories via email, I received a reply that Anne loved them and would help me publish them. Having help with formatting my books, editing them, type setting both the print and the ebooks and uploading them to and Amazon has been most helpful. I am not sure if I would have done it without the assistance and support I received.

All my books are published with TSL Publications except for my poetry book, which I wrote with a friend and fellow poet, Kim Blades. Because it was a collaboration, I decided to self publish but I also did that with a lot of wonderful help from Moyhill Publishing. David Cronin helped me with the typesetting and design of this book and walked me, step-by-step, through the self publishing process on Amazon.

Thank you to both Anne and David for all your support and also to the amazing blogging community which I am a part of and from which I learn so much every time I come on-line.

Let’s see what other blog-hoppers think of the publishing industry.  Click on the blue button below to find out.


1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!



45 thoughts on “Open book blog hop – What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

  1. I haven’t had a bad experience with a publisher, but I have heard there are some publishing houses that present themselves as traditional ebook publishers, but are actually vanity presses. They make their authors buy x-number of their books upon release which is where they make the bulk of their money. It definitely pays to research the publisher(s) you’re planning to submit to first!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I signed a contract for my Sir Chocolate series, Mae. I checked it carefully and made sure I was happy with it. I check legal contracts as part of my job. Anne also doesn’t tie me down with deadlines for my books. I set my own, but she understands that I work full time and write around my work and family commitments.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s awesome you don’t have deadlines, Robbie. That was one of the things that was so hard for me to meet on my contracts. And I still remember how nervous I was when I signed that first one, reading it word for word!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. There are a number of ways to publish a book, but each has landmines to be sure….I think the biggest mistake anyone can make it to assume their book will magically pop up on the bestseller list and Oprah will add it to her book club!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Reblogged this on Maretha Botha Children's Books and Illustrations and commented:
    Today, Roberta left us with a question about unethical practises in the publishing world, and how we personally might have been affected by them. I found her comments worthwhile and something to be thought about as there is no clear path of right and wrong.
    I have self-published the first four books of Fauna Park Tales with the help of Karen Perkins and LionheART Publishing House. it has been quite a journey. In the beginning, I had almost fallen into the trap of vanity publishers’ offers, which sounded great to an unsuspecting ‘Newby”. Fortunately, there was insight to be found in reading more about vanity publishing and what it all entailed.
    Of course, at the time we still lived in South Africa, and just the cost of South African Rand exchange rate for getting published by one of these companies was most exorbitant!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Maretha, for sharing this post and for your insightful comments. I have found that unethical practices and exorbitant pricing for editing and other services, is more prevalent here in South Africa as there is much less competition. I use USA and UK based service providers for all my needs and have been happy with what I have received.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s very easy to fall for the lines, especially as a newbie, I’m grateful to a lot of wiser heads for their advice. As time passes, the scams get cleverer, you have to keep on your toes. I’ve never regretted forming my own publishing company and doing it all myself.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s a shame that those who are supposed to partner with us we have to really watch how they treat us, what they offer, and what they try and take away. And audits is something I learned from another writer who has been victim of predatory houses.


  5. There’s a story in how the Meyers-Briggs axis works that would show how one is more likely to be comfortable dealing with like-minded individuals instead of the crapshoot that is the shotgun method. Patience, and finding those people/institutions is a wonderful thing. Being able to hear the little bell go off when it’s right is another. Either way, we should know what’s right coming from where and your story is an excellent example of that.


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