While you are worrying about whether beta readers will steal your ideas, there is a more genuine threat on the horizon.
When offered a publishing contract, please do all your research before you sign. There are a number of fakes and scammers out there, as well as good-intentioned amateurs that don’t know how to get your work to a wide audience. I won’t tell the heartbreaking stories here – there are too many.
Being published badly is worse than being never published.
It can destroy your career and your dreams.
The quick check is to google the publishing house name + scam or warning.
But, to be sure, check with these places first. They aren’t infallible (nothing is) but they can help you protect yourself. They are written and maintained by experienced writers, editors, publishers and legal folks.
Absolute Write: Bewares and Background Checks
and the WRITER BEWARE blog
Keep yourself and your work safe.
This is really important, so if you are a writer or have writer friends, or you are a writing blog, please reblog it.
Just to let you know, PublishAmerica changed their name to America Star Books.
HEAD’S UP, WRITER TYPES: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PSA!
It’s pretty simple folks – don’t pay to get published. If you choose to go indie, that’s you going into business for yourself and yes, you’ll hire your own editor and cover designer and the like if you have good business sense, but paying people who claim to be publishers? Those are vanity presses, don’t do that. Publishers pay you, not the other way around.
And just because you’re going with an advance- and/or royalty-paying publisher (that’s traditional publishing and avoids the disaster that is vanity publishing), do check the above sites. Some publishers don’t honor their contracts or have gross clauses in them, or have clauses that are okay but aren’t the sort of clauses that everyone is comfortable signing.