Is Dorrance Publishing A Scam? A Must Read Review For New Authors!

Is Dorrance Publishing a Scam

Writing a book is no picnic, but getting it published… that's the hard part. Dorrance Publishing would like to make it easier, but according to some, they're a scam. 

In this review, we'll explore that question (is Dorrance Publishing a scam?), because let's face it… making money while working from home may be a dream for many, but if you're an aspiring writer, you'll know what I mean when I say it's something more. You might even call it a need. 

Disclaimer:
Please note, I am not affiliated with Dorrance Publishing in any way. This review has been researched with information and testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions. more info

***IMPORTANT NOTE***
As with any company, there are both positive and negative experiences and comments. Dorrance is no different. There are always two sides to every story. I encourage you to continue your research beyond this review and not take any negative comments as absolute. It would not be fair to Dorrance nor you to base your decision on one person's opinion.

What Is Dorrance Publishing?


Dorrance Publishing is a self-publishing service provider, founded in 1920 by Gordan Dorrance. They are one of (if not the) oldest existing companies of their kind.

They also operate under alternate business names such as I-Proclaim Books, Red Lead Press, Rose Dog Books, and Whitmore Publishing Company.

Dorrance has often been called a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers are known for their indifferent (or liberal) approach to submissions, high-costs and limited promotion (unless the author pays for it). Vanity publishers are also known to claim rights over the authors work.

Dorrance vanity book printer
Source: Wikipedia

An alternative to vanity publishing, is self-publishing… in which the author maintains control of the copyright, editorial and publishing processes.

Whether Dorrance is considered a vanity publisher, or a self-publisher, is not clear. Although you (the author) do maintain some control of your work, Dorrance's right to distribute your book could use some clarity.

I’ll come back to that in a moment. 

Getting Paid To Write


You probably write because you love writing, not because you love money. But the need for money is the  biggest obstacle that prevents most writers from doing what they love, writing.  

While publishers like Dorrance make it much easier to turn your ideas into an actual book you can hold, they don't solve the biggest problem most writers have… 

… earning a living while they write their book.  

Dorrance does offer some promotional services which are helpful once your book is complete and I'll discuss those further below, but before you can take advantage of them, you need a completed manuscript and the available finances.

It's frustrating. You're passionate about writing, and you're passionate about the things you're writing about. But you still have to pay for a roof over your head, right?

If you're like most writers, your best hours are spent at a job you don't like so you can afford to live. Why not combine them? 

Combine your love of writing with making money, I mean. 

That's the problem I faced, and I get it…

Writing a book, getting it published, and having it make money is a massive project that takes years. It's a big swing and a miss for most. If you're one of the few… you hit it out of the park and begin your writing career.  

But it's a big risk. It's a lot of time to invest and in 2014 with a couple novels on the go I decided I couldn't take that risk. It was my dream to earn a living while writing… I had to diversify.

I was pinning my hopes of being a successful writer on a couple big projects which were taking forever to finish… so I turned to blogging as a solution.  

My novels still get attention, but in the meantime blogging has been a much quicker path to becoming a paid writer. It's different for sure, but as a writer, you deserve to be paid for your talent. 

That doesn't mean Dorrance isn't a valid option, it's just about timing and what's right for you.

Blogging is also a way to connect with other writers and learn about digital publishing and marketing strategies which are critical today to becoming a successful writer. 

And for a little fun (hey, we all need a break every now and then) you can also make some money online by doing simple surveys.

Market research sites like surveyjunkie.com and inboxdollars.com will pay for your opinion.

Inbox Dollars even pays you for doing things you may do online online anyway, like watching videos, visiting websites, and playing games. 

Of course, you don't want those things to interfere too much with writing, but it's a great way to get outside of your head for a moment. Another strategy I plan to write a blog post about is how writers can use Uber to combine writing with making money. 

For example, I like writing in my car. I did outside sales for many years and my car is a comfort zone. So I set myself up with Uber and whenever I decide I need a short break, I can turn on the Uber app and make a few bucks.

And to be honest, with a family, I'm a more productive writer when I get out of the house for a few hours. 

Anyway, I went off on a tangent there, but that's what we writers do… we write 😀

Alright, enough said about that… 

Now, onto another question I'm sure you're curious about.

Is Dorrance Publishing A Scam?


So… is Dorrance Publishing a scam? To fully understand why you might think it is, you'll want to read this section to the end. 

Having started in 1920, just after the first World War… Dorrance Publishing was a secret government program whose purpose was to gather and investigate literary works of the era to determine political affiliations and religious beliefs.

1920's Press

Today, social media has replaced Dorrance Publishing as the preferred method of spying on citizens, but Dorrance Publishing is still relevant in gathering information regarding foreign agendas of specific fringe groups. Is that a scam?

Well… if it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. 😀

I'm sorry… everyone likes a good conspiracy and as a writer, a little drama to make an otherwise emotionless review come alive is always fun.

I hope you don't mind.

In all seriousness though, Dorrance Publishing is NOT a scam, no. In fact, with nearly 100 years of publishing history, I was surprised that people were even calling them a scam.

An aggressive quest for profit has certainly caused some clients to feel as though they’ve been ripped off… but I’m not sure that’s enough to call Dorrance Publishing a scam.

And to be fair, saying an aggressive quest for profit is also subjective because we don't know what their actual costs are.

For example, below is a complaint from an author stating he had been “taken by” Dorrance Publishing. 

Dorrance Complaint asks author for more money
Source: Better Business Bureau

Dorrance's responded to the complaint (excerpt below).

The fee for these services is based on the number of hours of work required of the writing coach, not the number of manuscript pages. We do our best to estimate what would best suit each author's…needs. Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. *********'s manuscript required much more work than we originally thought, and the original writing coach hours he had purchased were only able to cover a portion of his manuscript.

The takeaway here is not that Dorrance Publishing is a scam, but that due diligence is required up front when working with them. We don’t know the facts about this complaint, and it’s entirely possible that the client is at fault.

Having said that, it's never a good idea to rely only on verbal communication. If you need clarification about something, request the information via email. You could potentially be spending ten to twenty thousand dollars or more, so make sure you have written records of all correspondence along the way.

Dorrance Publishing 5 Stars BBB

I've also shared some examples of positive reviews which are found a little further down the page. 

Additional Cause for Suspicion


aisle of books

Returning to the topic of vanity book publishing and self-publishing, there is another reason people are suspicious of Dorrance and ask if they are a scam?

They don’t provide pricing or contractual information on their website so you don’t know what you’re getting into. There's a sense of secrecy here. I'm not saying that's their intent. It could simply be an oversite.  

Unlike several other book publishers though, Dorrance does not provide a copy of their agreement or author contract online… and it’s absolutely critical that these legal details are spelled out “before” you send Dorrance Publishing your manuscript in my opinion. Not after.

Using what might be considered old school sales tactics, Dorrance only provides an online form that asks for your phone number and best time to call.

There’s nothing wrong that, but people today are accustomed to going online and finding out what they need to know.

They don’t want to get on the phone with a publishing services consultant who may also be a salesperson.

There’s no reason Dorrance can’t provide base package pricing, confirm “copyright details” and explain their ISBN (International Standard Book Number) allocation policy.

That is, unless they have something to hide.

According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, when allocating the ISBN, Dorrance registers themselves as the publisher of origin. And, since the ISBN number is required to sell your book online and in bookstores, it’s reasonable to assume Dorrance Publishing will control the distribution rights.

This may never be an issue if your book only sells a few copies.

But, if it were a best seller with big screen potential and spin offs… do you want Dorrance Publishing to own the distribution rights? The content may be yours, but if your book has to go through Dorrance first, you’ll be paying them for every copy sold.

If you were self-publishing, you would pay for your book to be printed and it would be yours. No strings attached. 

According to the Dorrance Publishing website, you are only locked into a 2-year contract. Fair enough… but again, they provide no legal documents up front indicating the specifics of that contract. Or what they release when the contract expires.

And I'm sure if they knew they had a best-seller on their hands they wouldn't be so eager to let it go.

It just feels a little deceptive in my opinion. I'm NOT saying they're being deceptive, it would just be helpful if Dorrance made their intentions clear up front and fewer people would question if they're a scam.

To be clear, I'm not trying to discourage you from working with Dorrance, but to protect yourself, I am recommending that you be thorough and review all contracts as well as document everything before you sign any papers. 

In a proper transaction where both parties benefit, your due diligence should benefit both you and Dorrance.

How Does Self-Publishing With Dorrance Work?


Becoming a published author is the dream of many (myself included). Who doesn't want their name on a book cover? So… copyright details aside, getting started with Dorrance Publishing begins with a simple form.

This will put you in touch with a project coordinator (on the phone) who will eventually become familiar with your book (from first draft to final copy).

Before that point, however, they will review your manuscript and present you with publishing options and additional services.

Prices per package can range from a few thousand, to twenty thousand and even more. 

They do offer a payment plan, but your book is not released until everything is paid. In other words, you can't use the sale of your book to pay Dorrance Publishing back. 

From details such as book style, paper sizes, and binding type, to secondary services such as promotion and distribution… the price can escalate quickly.

To their credit, Dorrance says up front that “you should proceed with Dorrance because you want to see your work in print, not because of expectation of sales. Typically, self-published books do not earn enough from sales to recoup the expense of publishing.”

Dorrance Publishing Frequently Asked Questions Excerpt

Here are some more specific services they provide.

Publishing.

  • Basic (or mechanical) editing only, which includes spelling, punctuation and some grammar. They do not review plot points, continuity errors, character development, motivations, etc.   
  • Produce both hard copies, and e-book versions.
  • Cover Design
  • Copyright Registration
  • Assign an LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) and ISBN.

Promotion

  • Prepare a press kit which includes a publicity release, hi-res cover and synopsis.
  • Notify Booksellers your book is available.
  • Submit your book to the Bibliography Tool for Libraries and Sellers.
  • Prepare a Google Adwords campaign.
  • Submit your listing to the Dorrance and Amazon bookstore

Distribution

  • They will process and ship orders that have been purchased either from the Dorrance bookstore, as well as third party sellers such as Amazon, Ingram Lightning and Baker & Taylor.
  • Merchandising to local areas where you (the author) are actively promoting.

If you’re still in the research phase and not ready to have a manuscript published, there are other options to making money from home.

Publishing Terms and Fees


As mentioned earlier, complete package pricing is difficult to determine. 

However there are some fixed costs that Dorrance publishes on their website.

Royalties on printed books sold through Dorrance Publishing’s bookstore are 40%. On E-Books sold through Dorrance the royalties are 80%.

When sold through a third party such as Amazon, the royalties paid for printed books are 20%, and 40% for E-books.

Dorrance decides the retail price, and you are locked into a 2-year contract. 

It's also important to point out that, although it would be nice if they published base package pricing so you at least have a rough idea where the price begins, the final cost will require you to provide more details. 

How much should you expect to pay? 

This is Dorrance's answer that question…

Dorrance FAQ Pricing
Source: Dorrance FAQ

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what they're saying is that they need to see your manuscript to determine things like binding type required, page size and number of illustrations before they can give you a price. 

Of course that makes sense, they need to know what their costs will be before they can give you your cost. 

I guess what I'm curious about though (and again, correct me if I'm wrong), I'm not sure why they need to see your manuscript to determine those things.

Word counts, page counts, number of illustrations, available binding options and page sizes are all things that can be discussed on a phone or through email… and as long the information you give them is accurate, I don't see why they couldn't give you a pretty close estimate of your cost before you send them your manuscript. 

Maybe there's something I'm missing here though, and my apologies if I am. 

Dorrance Complaints and Reviews

It's Expensive


If you dream of becoming an author, but don’t have an agreement with a traditional publishing house, self-publishing is an option. But… it’s not cheap and as Dorrance states on their website, it'll be difficult to recoup those cost, never mind making a profit.

Most of the complaints online regarding cost are not about the total cost. Usually, the complaint is because someone was unable to keep up with their payments, so their book ends up trapped in publishing purgatory.

Not Ready to Be Published


Another complaint you will find is from authors who have had books published with errors. Certainly, if you’re paying thousands upon thousands of dollars to have your book published… it should at least be error free.

Service Misquotes


In addition to the complaint discussed earlier (about Dorrance “taking” an author by asking for additional money post-contract)… a similar complaint was posted by another author.

Author complaint regarding contract

In this instance , the claim is that the original contract included promotion, but when the book was published, Dorrance said they required more money stating that promotional services were not part of the original contract.

Again, it’s an absolute must that you get everything you need in writing so you’re not debating it after the fact.

I should also make my opinion clear. Dorrance Publishing has been around longer than any of us (unless you're approaching 100). We don't have those original contracts to validate these claims, so we also can't accuse Dorrance of any wrongdoing here. 

It’s absolutely possible the authors of both complaints mentioned above are at fault for misunderstanding the terms. Dorrance has responded to both complaints offering their version of the contract.

In other words, these are simply complaints, not judgments. In my opinion, this was probably a misinterpretation of the contract, rather than a breach of contract. 

Poor Customer Service


Like some of the other complaints, these are also subjective. Clients whose calls were never returned for example, or refunds that were not given, and so on…

If you review the complaints on the Better Business Bureau website  one thing you'll notice, as I mentioned a moment ago, is that Dorrance Publishing’s has responded to those complaints. Whether or not it’s what the client wanted to hear, I can’t say. But at least their complaints were not ignored.

Positive Reviews


As I made note of in the beginning of this review, every company gets positive and negative feedback and there are always two sides to a story. I don't want to give the impression that every review is negative and that every customer has a complaint, because that's not true. 

There are many positive reviews about Dorrance as well. Here are a few examples take from the BBB website. 

Dorrance positive reviews BBB
Source: Better Business Bureau

What I Like About Dorrance Publishing


  • As someone who loves to write (and has a couple novels far too long in progress 😀 ), I like that Dorrance offers an alternative method of getting published for those who haven’t yet been noticed by traditional publishing houses. It’s a dream for so many to become a published author, and if money is not an issue, companies like Dorrance can fulfill that dream.
  • Although it'll cost a pretty penny, Dorrance does offer a wide range of services. They don’t simply print your book, hand you the number of copies you paid for, and say goodbye.
  • They’ve been around for almost a century. Despite the complaints and scam accusations, they must be doing something right to survive 100 years.

What I Don’t Like


  • The high cost. In some cases, authors have reported 20 to 30 thousand dollars for services. Twenty years ago, these prices may have made sense. But today, with digital distribution and on-demand printing, they're difficult to justify. In fact, you could outsource your editing and cover design, and publish your book on Kindle for next to nothing.
  • The number of complaints against Dorrance. Of course, they may not be responsible for all of those complaints… but where there's smoke, there's often fire. Certainly, some of those complaints and negative reviews could be legitimate. Not all, but perhaps some. 
  • I don’t like the secrecy. I don’t see why they can’t publish their terms online, as well as provide base package pricing so authors at least have an idea what’s involved. 

Final Thoughts


To be honest, I’m not sure Dorrance has kept up with the times. It’s possible, like record stores… that Dorrance becomes completely irrelevant over the next 5-10 years (maybe less).

Not only can individuals self-publish on platforms such as Kindle, but with companies like Uber and AirBNB showing us how disruptive technology can be to traditional businesses, it’s almost certain that old school publishing houses will soon have their backs against the wall (if they don’t already)

Finally, I must revisit the topic of cost. Dorrance Publishing is definitely not a scam, but before you send in your manuscript it would be nice to have a rough idea of how much you're spending. 

According to some other authors, it can be well into the thousands.  

That's definitely too rich for my blood. At least when you compare it to the digital options that are available today. But I get it. Having your name on a real book you can hold is special, and just because I find it a little pricey doesn't mean you will. 

One option might be to publish it digitally first and see what kind of response you get. You can promote it using online marketing strategies and if people like it, using a publisher like Dorrance is easier to justify financially.  

Writing and Earning a Living Online


Earning a living as a successful author, in many ways, has never been easier. Writers can now publish and promote their work online. It's a game-changer for everyone and opens you up to dozens of new opportunities. Why limit yourself to a single product or book?

To truly build multiple streams of passive income and a future you love, online marketing shouldn't be overlooked. It's not just about selling. It's about building a fan base and your own distribution network so you can share your work directly. Imagine the possibilities. 

Finding a legit system with all the scams out there though, can be a pain. I spent many months testing different training programs. My top recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate but fair warning…  it's not a get-rich-quick scheme or make-money “system”. It's an educational platform that requires time and effort (but I don't know any writer who's afraid of time and effort?)

I hope my Dorrance Publishing review was helpful, and if you have any comments, questions, or even a mini-review of your own… please share in the comments section below. 😀

Cheers,
Jay

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91 thoughts on “Is Dorrance Publishing A Scam? A Must Read Review For New Authors!”

  1. This is so incredibly helpful. I, too, submitted my manuscript and within just a few days received a text saying it had been accepted. I am having a call with them later today, but I had no idea that I had to pay for their services, which for me, is out of the question and not something I can afford. I thought it was the other way around! I will tell them point blank that I am in no financial situation to pay them. Thanks again!

    Reply
  2. Great blogging Jay!
    I though your posting was thorough, fair and balanced! The good, the bad and the ugly.
    I wish I had seen this before I sent them a copy of my manuscript. I thought they were open to traditional publishing as well as self-publishing.
    Have you reviewed other publishers? (Including traditional publishers.)

    Ken

    Reply
  3. Such and insightful and informative article. Thanks! I have submitted my manuscript to Dorrance and I’m ambivalent about going forward with them. I am def not interested in self publishing. I do have a question; “how impossible is it to engage an actual “agent” to help me in this endeavor?”

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  4. Dorrance has completed the publication of my book entitled One child Alone. I tried other such companies but Dorrance was the best. What I like about Dorrance is the President David Zeola. He gets involved if you have a problem – not directly. He understands and assigns the professional to help you. He needs however to flow with the time. The company apparently has a lot of incompetent young people. It was very frustrating dealing with them. I spent many hours correcting their errors, but they were never rude nor unkind no matter how impatient I had became. All in all, Dorrance is a good company. They never tried to rip me off. On the contrary, they gave me discounts. From experience, Dorrance is the best self publishing company.

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  5. Jay,
    Nice job on Dorrance. Fair and balanced. They’re hounding me with phone calls and emails. All of them “vanity publishers” are. As soon as I sent my manuscript to copyright.gov, they bombarded me. Page, Xlibris, Fulton and Dorrance. Wouldn’t touch Xlibris at all. Their reviews on line are awful. Page and Fulton seemed reasonable. But both aren’t supported by the Alliance of Independent Authors Association. I’m considering Palmetto Publishing out of South Carolina. They receive 5stars from AIAA. They’re prices are in line and easy to understand. Any Intel on them?
    Thanks in advance
    Bill

    Reply
    • Hi Bill, thanks for taking the time to comment (and sorry for my late reply). I’m not as familiar with Palmetto Publishing (or the other publishers you mentioned), sorry… but I have considered researching for future reviews. I do have some writers I work with but when it comes to more in-depth reviews like this which require deeper research, I prefer to do them myself. If I can find the time I’ll definitely look into them, at the moment though I wouldn’t want to make a recommendation one way or the other.

      Thanks again and congrats on finishing your manuscript 🙂

      Reply
  6. Hi, Jay. I am very curious about whether to copyright my two books before submitting them to any form of publishers.

    Reply
    • Hi Terry, great question. I would. I’ve been working on a book for awhile now as well and with the amount of work I wouldn’t want to risk it. That’s NOT to say Dorrance is a risk, it’s just good to be diligent.

      Reply
  7. I submitted a short story for individual copyright — it’s slated to appear in a collection, but I will want to use it later on either on my website or as an incentive for newsletter subscribers. The DAY after I got the approval from the copyright agency, I had a letter from Dorrance. That seems a bit predatory to me, personally.

    Reply
    • Hi Catherine, thanks for you comment. I think there is another comment here discussing something similar (sorry I’m responding from the backend and don’t have those comments in front of me) 🙂 It looks like copyright agencies are a source of leads for Dorrance. It’s definitely proactive marketing and as someone coming from a sales and marketing background (who was always looking for good leads), I wouldn’t necessarily consider it predatory but of course, that’s my own bias speaking, lol. I can definitely understand it from your point of view. I suppose if it’s not Dorrance it’ll be another publishing company doing the same thing as I suspect (although I’m only guessing) they bid against each other for those leads.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share you experience.

      Reply
  8. I meant to leave my comment immediately after the meeting; the consultant I spoke with called me 20 minutes past our scheduled meeting. I was put off by this at first, because he had called me earlier in the morning, and left me a voicemail wishing to speak with me regarding my book. That showed me that he had no regard for both my emailed response to him nor my scheduled appointment time. At any rate, when 12:30 came and went, I didn’t expect to hear back from him. But I did, and was met with an immediate apology (he had an overwhelming day)
    . We spoke about the book, but I didn’t go into detail. I had no idea what kind of questions I should ask, except for my book was discovered. He said one of their researchers looked into the copyright public records catalog and found my newly copyrighted work. The title, “Don’t tell mom”, caught her attention, because she is a mom of twin boys and felt as though it was worth looking into. That checked out for me, though still caught me off guard. Being very new, I had no idea the public catalog was a thing. Let alone that there are researchers avidly checking it. At any rate, I felt a little more at ease, so I listened to what else he had to say. As Jay had mentioned, I would have more information regarding a package deal and such if I sent my manuscript for a “confidential review”. I politely declined, but said that I wouldn’t mind if a link was sent to me if I changed my mind (something like that). So he did. What I had appreciated about the consultant was that he was not acting like a pushy salesmen or shark. He didn’t even ask me, “Are you are you don’t just want to send it, there’s no obligations or contracts if you do”. Nothing of the sort. Instead, he simply understood, listened, and briefly spoke about himself and the researcher. After the conversation, I realized how much I don’t know about the publishing world. And before I speak with anyone else in a publishing company, I’m going to find an intellectual property lawyer. I’m glad I did choose to speak to the consultant, even though he was late. And I’m glad I stumbled upon this very thorough article.
    Just wanted to share my experience 🙂

    Reply
  9. Dorrance popped up on my email (radar) after I registered my novel with the US Copyright office. I am leery of anything that comes out of left field, especially in this scam riddled society, so I decided to research them. Low and behold there you are with this very intelligent write up and well thought out piece about their biz and practices. I do not have deep pockets and it appears that Dorrance is more in the writing services business than it is in the publishing business. Thank you for the heads up and I will be heading in a different direction with my novel thanks to your, research and analysis.

    Reply
    • The same thing happened to me. In fact, I am going to have a meeting with one of the consultants shortly to understand how exactly I was discovered. Personally, I have never heard of the company. As a result, I began to look into them. Like you I found this very informative article. I shall write about what is discussed after the meeting.

      Reply
  10. There are several lying, dishonest decision makers on the Dorrance staff, while the production staff is fine … all my opinion based on my experience. The email exchanges I have could put them out of business if other writers had a similar experience and initiated a class action lawsuit. There is my doubt in my case their management acted unethical, and there is a clear legal base for this claim. I would have pursued the matter, perhaps in the media first. Unfortunately, we live in times where most American instititions from local to national levels have gone morally insane, incapable of doing the right thing. In the broad scheme of things, I'll trust Karma to handle the required Justice I'm sure many would like to see.

    Reply
  11. I have written two books that I submitted for copyright to copyright.gov. I have been reading about self publishing with Amazon. Out of the blue I started getting emails and phone calls about one of my books from Dorrance Publishing. I didn't know how they got my personal information, except they referred to seeing that I submitted the work to copyright. Thank you for your invaluable information. My income is extremely modest so I will continue to research the self publishing method. I appreciate that you took the time to respond to help many aspiring writers.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing. I would imagine places like the public catalogue at copyright.gov would be an important source of leads for Dorrance, or any publishing related company for that matter, not only Dorrance. I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave a comment 🙂

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  12. The thing is accept it, or reject it, this company will still be taking in the money recovered from authors . I am not saying that this actually would happen, but there is an option here to simply accept books regardless of quality because it produces a financial throughput

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  13. i have recently started working with dorrance on publishing my book. they have many payment options that are affordable in my eyes. the staff is very kind and do not pressure you in any way. they work with your needs and even will revise contracts to your liking. remember to ask questions and read everything through.

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  14. Hi, Jay; your review and evaluation of Dorrance is priceless because I am scheduled to finalize a contract with them in a few days. My question to you is, do you know how poetry goes over with the Dorrance readership? Does it sell?

    Reply
    • Hi Linda, that’s a great question and I wish I had a good answer for you. I think poetry, like every genre, has an audience, and publishing with Dorrance I think would be consistent with overall statistics. According to this article it looks like poetry sales have been on the rise so you may be publishing at a good time 🙂

      Reply
  15. In a Beginning Writer's Facebook group a writer was complaining about her Dorrance Publishing experience, and I looked at the free Kindle sample. In the first HUNDRED WORDS the 'professional editor' missed 'Conway inhabited merely three hundred people', 'all houses are positioned near the town square that held' (tense change) and the misused phrase 'set point'. We're not even on the SECOND PAGE. If 'scam' isn't appropriate, would 'grossly incompetent' be?

    Reply
  16. I have used two self-publishers and generally have been satisfied. However, in the past few days (mid-February 2021), I have received a stream of calls from its Aberdeen, MD office. The callers are young females. I quickly figured out they found one of my book titles and want to sell me a distribution. Whey I decline and hang up, an hour later I get a series of similar calls. After the fifth one in a few hours, by different girls, I checked my caller ID and never spoke with them. This may not be a scam, but I never had such a similar experience from my two publishers. A scam by any other name does not smell so sweet.

    Reply
  17. Thank you Jay, for your opinion and your output in Dorrance Publishing. I’m a new author also. They just started printing my book as we speak. I signed my contract on June of this year. I don’t expect to get rich from this book although it would be nice. It’s only 50 pages, I can’t afford more I paid 2000 so far they haven’t asked me for more.they are asking me to help them promote it, but I don’t know how. I’m not good with technology. I’m still learning. If you have some tips I would appreciate it. Thank you again stay safe.

    Reply
  18. Thank you, Jay. I am expecting a call from a Dorrance project manager, and you gave me good ideas of questions to ask. This isn't my first publishing experience, but it's the first self-publishing I've done. I've talked to other companies as well, so I'm weighing options.
    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • That’s awesome Jerilyn, congrats on finishing another book for publishing 👍 I know all too well how challenging that is. Hope your experience with Dorrance is a great one too 🙂

      Reply
  19. I wonder if they don't list their package deals on line do to the fact that each book is different, and that they customize the package deal based on the novel, book, short story etc. Not all writers need the same amount of time and work in creating the final masterpiece.

    Reply
  20. Jay,

    Very well reasoned and presented presentation of Dorrance Publishing. I have 2 books published as a self-published. I did receive an email from them. I am better educated thanks to your work.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the information. When a person spends a number of years working to develop a book that they own, there is certainly a passion to share it with others. I was notified by Dorrance yesterday that they accepted my story and wanted to move forward. I had only sent it to them five days ago so was quite surprised. Reading your article and the BBB reviews has been helpful.

    Reply
  22. I published a book Brian Perception of the world We are one in 2007. I am surprise that Dorrance publishing are still in business. Once they get their money their work is half ass. They do not even proof read your work as they promise. I still have not received a single cent from them. I was told that no sales.
    After the contract is up, I told them not to have my book flowing in the internet or any where else but i still see them. .
    These people have no respect for the writers. Only care about making money at any cost.
    Some body need to shut them down.
    Certain that their days are out numbered.

    Reply
  23. Correction

    I wrote Dealey Plaza – The End of Camelot some years ago. My neighbor, Emory Roberts, in Wheaton, Md was in charge of the Secret Service Detail on November 22, 1963 at Dealey Plaza. After the President was shot, Emory took charge and became a heroic figure doing all the necessary things that were necessary, like grabbing LBJ and getting him onto Air Force One to take the Oath of Office.

    Dealey Plaza – The End of Camelot
    https:undefinedundefinedwww.amazon.comundefinedDealey-Plaza-Mr-William-Wellsundefineddpundefined1505681758

    What a subject for a Netflix movie: “The FBI got JFK Killed.” JFK was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. by Lee Harvey Oswald in front of the Texas Book Depository at Dealey Plaza.
    James P. Hosty an FBI special agent in Dallas interviewed Marina Oswald twice before November 22, 1963 and had canvassed her neighborhood prior to this to investigate her which angered Lee Harvey Oswald when he found out about it.
    Hotsy did not know where Oswald lived or that he worked at the Texas Book Depository. Hosty’s interviewing Marina infuriated Oswald, which resulted in him storming into the Dallas FBI office in a furious rage days before the assassination and delivered a threatening note to Hosty who was not in the office. Hosty and the Special Agent in charge of the Dallas FBI office destroyed this note and flushed any notes and materials they had relating to Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald down the toilet two days later, on Sunday, November 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the Dallas FBI office.
    Life Magazine and Dan Rather started the cover up for the government over 56 years ago by having the Zapruder tape sequestered from the public view for countless years.

    I contacted Penn State Press to publish my book and was declined. Don’t remember the reason. With all this stuff going on with James Comey and the FBI today, it is rather pertinent.

    I did not implicate the FBI in my book because I did not want to put a target on my back. All the facts are in the book. How the FBI has escaped scrutiny and blame all these years is incomprehensible. Hosty’s son wrote a book about his father to exonerate him from blame. If anything, it cast a shadow over his father. Why did he even go there?

    Are you Dorrance? I have sent out over 10,000 of these emails to lawyers, history depts, newspapers, tv stations and do not hear back and have sold only one book since my splurge to remarket my book that I published on Amazon years ago

    Reply
  24. I recently received an email solicitation from Dorrance. They had harvested my information from the Library of CongressundefinedUS Copyright Office website. I was disgruntled, but the same week I received a solicitation from a pay-to-play publisher through Submittable (I made the mistake of opening a "call" to submit to inquire and did not delete when I discovered what they were about). Your article was very fair and I feel the same way about dealing with publishers. When they offer a straightforward acceptance or rejection… FINE!, But the deceptive sales come-on tactics of publishers such as these simply reeks of predatory behavior, rather than partnership.
    Thank you for your due diligence in presenting a fair and accurate, unbias look.

    Reply
  25. I have published five books on Kindle, both e-books and soft cover and have been pleased with the experience. The book I have sent to Dorrance is one that I have had in progress for over 40 years based on a premise from a creative writing class. and some of my writing friends have suggested it would make a good movie. Sent it to Dorrance to get more exposure but I am a retired military living on a small military pension (Our pay wasn’t much in those days) and Social Security so if the cost is excessive I suppose I will just go back to Kindle. At least they are easy to work with. Thanks for all the information.

    Reply
  26. Hi Jay,

    Thanks so much for the through Look at Dorrance publishing and it’s co=named kin. I recently copy-righted my book Odyssey = Flight it’s book one of a YA Science Fantasy trilogy. A rep from this publisher sent an email today. For Odyssey I am seeking a literary agent to represent it to publishers. That’s been a helpful service for me as a SAG-AFTRA actor and if I find an agent it will be worth the fee.

    I am considering self publishing for a book my mother wrote. The problem with vanity publishing in my view isn’t so much all the chicanery involved with fees, it’s the cost of the books which is too high to sell in a conventional market. Even if I found the holy grail of vanity presses, totally honest people who are clear about the contract and details, the books cost about $6 for me to buy. Considering that the bookshop needs to mark them up to cover their costs and profit the selling price will be $18. That’s about double what most books sell for so the author is stuck with a book that they can only give away or sell themselves. If they do go out to sell their book they will usually price it at $9-12 and unless it’s a genre book with an eager audience it’s going to be a hard sell. The costs alone will usually doom this and the author gives up. The saddest part is each author thinks they are at fault in not selling the book.

    My perspective is that vanity publishing is just that, use it to give your grand children a copy of your opus and you will be thrilled. Buy two dozen to give to friends and you will be satisfied. What you won’t do is fulfill your dream of being a published author whose writing is read widely.

    Thanks,
    Sandra

    Reply
    • Hi Sandra, thank you for sharing your experience and insight. This is great information and extremely helpful! 🙂

      Regards,
      Jay

      Reply
    • I feel the same way, Sandra. My grandchildren and friends have copies of my books printed on Shutterfly or Snapfish on 'bargain day"… As the article expresses, there are other ways to capture a story for sharing in the digital age, other than print, and much more affordably. AND a multitude of ways for writers to make a living while waiting for their BIG BREAK.

      Reply
  27. Jay,

    I just wanted to thank you for an incredibly thorough overview of Dorrance Publishing. I juts talked to one of their representative yesterday and this gives me plenty to think about.
    I also appreciate that you take the time to respond to comments.

    Many thanks. May the publishing adventures of your own work pay off BIG TIME!

    All the best,
    Michael

    Reply
  28. I just got emailed by Dorrance. I already published with KDP, and to any one wanting to self publish go with KDP not only did I no have to pay them a dime they work with a multitude of companies. Also use reedsy to find an editor and cover artist. I had my cover done by a local artist who painted it in canvas and the digital copy looks great. In total between the cover(250, I get to keep the canvas)and editor (660) I spent and $900.

    Reply
    • I like your review,

      I published a book with KDP but I still don’t know how to check my account to see if I am earning anything. How do you find out? What do you do to get your book in a book format instead of just an e-book format?

      Thanks

      Reply
  29. This is the promised update to my January 4, 2019 mini-review. My book was finally printed and on the street in July 2019. The product is all I hoped it would be. The cover is high quality. The interior print and illustrations are excellent. This is an end result I am very pleased with and very proud of. Dorrance seems to certainly turn out a first rate physical product.

    UNFORTUNATELY…….Dorrance staff are dismal about communicating with the author to update status. I am still experiencing the need to contact them at least two times and more before they will reply. This is infuriating in part because they always end the emails they DO send with “feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.” My mental reaction has become “Why bother?”

    I strongly suspect that the problem has to do with their staff head count and work load. I did receive a cryptic comment from my editing contact indicating that. Still, Dorrance needs to spiff up its game when it comes to simple courtesy updates of status. Furthermore, when I did finally pry an update out of them during the editing reviews, it was equally clear that I had been placed on the back burner until I had become a sufficiently squeaky wheel to get some attention.

    My status now is that I am waiting for Dorrance to inform me of completion of the social media promotion package I bought from them. They cashed my check in a hurry but I am about a month past that with no word of where they are in posting the social media promotions on line.

    I am now into the mode of waiting for the first royalty payment date to learn if all of the agony of publishing my first book will prove me a good writer or a dismal bore.

    Reply
  30. I would like to point out that it’s “oversight” not “over-site.” Thought you would want to know. Thank you for the review of this company.

    Reply
  31. If you want a self publishing company at a low cost try LuLu..com. I have published eight books with them and have not had any problems. They will put your books on Amazon, Barns and Noble , and Google Books free of charge. You can order your books from then for around $7 to about $9.oo a copy. They also can publish e-books for around $4 to $4.95. All you are actually required to pay for is one proof copy. They also asigin a ISBN book barcode at not cost.

    Reply
    • I have also published a paperback book with Lulu, and like the way their process works.
      Unfortunately, their e-book publishing does not work so well. I followed their set up guide very carefully and used their templates. Everything uploaded successfully the first time. But the text did not come out formatted the way I expected, the Table of Contents did not work right, either. And the cover art does not show up at all.
      Support took several days to reply, and they did help me figure out the inside content formatting. Regarding the cover art, however, ultimately their response was “We’re working on it. Please be patient.”
      I want to publish my book with the cover art. How long can I wait? The answer is; about as long as it takes to find another publisher.

      Reply
  32. As a regular follower of your blog, I always find your content valuable and interesting. I was hearing some news regarding Dorrance publishing and searching for the truth. Your content makes my mind clear. Thanks for your valuable effort.

    Reply
    • I have had 4 fiction novels published by Dorrance and despite what I hear, they have kept to the contract. I submitted the manuscript, then was offered the contract. If one reads everything and complies with the direction, it is not a scam process. An author must be able to let them do the job the contract offered. I sometimes phoned my representative, or whomever I was working with at the time, I sometimes e mailed if
      I was being impatient. But there were almost always responses…the work goes into a process, book designer, cover artist, manuscript is sent PDF for approval and forms filled out for any corrections or changes needed from the author. It takes the stated 180 days to complete. I do not expect them to market…but they offer many good ideas. They send releases to all the media and lists the author provides. It is up to the author to follow up and promote marketing. I wish they did offer marketing for I am not able to be as aggressive as I would like, but I have only to hear from those I give a book as a gift and word is getting around. Instant gratification is not an option in publishing a book, traditionally or self or subsidy if you want a good finished product.

      Reply
  33. Hi —
    I recently copyrighted several poems that I wrote. A few days after I received the copyright certificate, someone from Dorrance Publishing left me a voicemail saying they wanted to talk to me about the poems. How did they find out about my writings? And why would they contact me when it looks like they only publish books? Thanks for any insight you can give me.
    Cheryl

    Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, that’s a great question and my apologies, I don’t have an answer. There may be a public record of copyrights being issued, but that’s just my guess. As far as why they would contact you, they may want to reach out to you and see if you’d like to publish a book of poems.

      Reply
    • I copyrighted my book as well. It becomes public knowledge. All publishing companies can see when a written work has been filed for a copyright. I was contacted by several publishers afterwards as well.

      Reply
  34. I recently stumbled upon Dorrance in my quest to find a traditional, reputable publisher. I self published my first book; The Searching Three and have completed the sequel and have started on the third book- as it is a trilogy. I submitted a PDF file of the self published version (of TST) and they called me back and said that they’d be interested in re-publishing my book. THAT raised a red flag. After reading these reviews I’m glad I did not submit the finished, unpublished sequel. I didn’t realize they were a self publishing company but thanks to these reviews- I now do. Incidentally- the publishing company I went through the first time was great. They are called Bookstand Publishing and I believe they are based out of northern California. They don’t edit for you, unless you pay them to, but my book cover design and layout was fantastic and they sent me 50 copies-if I remember correctly, and it was about $1400. It is available on Amazon, Ingram and Barnes and Noble in paperback as well as e-book and I highly recommend them. Thanks for the informative site Jay.

    Reply
  35. I self published through KDP Amazon and it’s been great! No on shelf books but that doesn’t matter to me as much. Dorrance contacted me because I copy-wrote my book. It’s already being published, why do they want anything to do with me? Sounds scammy, I am paying no one for something that is already published!!!

    Reply
  36. My experience with Dorrance Publishing has been horrible! They collected US$10,000 from me to publish my book and help market it, assuring me that they believed the book was good enough to sell. It’s been years now since Dorrance published my book and they have been selling it on Amazon.com and many other platforms in both Kindle edition and paperback, yet they keep telling me that they have not been selling each time I contacted them to pay my royalties. Up till today, my book still features on amazon.com and several other online platforms! Meanwhile, several used copies of my book are being sold all over the Internet. I asked Dorrance how come used copies of my book are being sold all over the place if they didn’t sell the new copies? The truth is that I regret ever entering into this scam of a contract with Dorrance. No one ca convince me that Dorrance is not a vanity publishing company.

    Reply
    • Wow, sorry Tony to hear about your difficulties with Dorrance. I’m not even sure how’d you go about dealing with that. If you have documentation saying they did not sell any of your books and yet you can prove they are copies out there in the used market, you might have a strong legal case. I do appreciate you sharing your story.

      Thanks,
      Jay

      Reply
      • Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.
        585 Alpha Drive
        Suite 103
        Pittsburgh, PA 15238
        April 7, 2019
        Located in Industrial RIC Park off Route 28. PA
        There’s a company called Aero Tech, you pass Areo Tech on
        Gamma Drive. Make a right on Alpha Dr. It is on the corner on
        your right.
        My son worked at Aero
        Tech 12 years and knew where Alpha Drive
        is located not far from, from the corner

        Reply
    • I called Dorrance promotions to talk about this. It seems that in today’s book market there is a up to 30 day return/refund on another choice by many book sellers. Thus the book is not reported as a final sale but as used. Thus no royalty.. Book authors are being cheated out of their royalties with this procedure… Not all self/subsidy publishers are rip offs.

      Reply
  37. Dear Friends,

    thank you for this post. Unfortunely I sended my manuscript to Dorrance…but till today I dont have become a contact with them, so am I still the owner of my manuscript, or not?

    Thank you

    Patrik

    Reply
    • Hi Patrik, to the best of my knowledge (and just an opinion, not legal advice)… if you haven’t signed anything you should be okay but please don’t take my advice as the final word. I don’t have the legal background in these matters to say with certaint this is true. There may have been some terms and acknowledgements you agreed to verbally or through email etc. that were binding and would be worth reviewing if you did so.

      Reply
  38. Dear Ashley and Mary

    I would like to terminate my contract with the Dorrance Publishing Company. My granddaughter was able to finish and published “HURTING PAIN VS HEALING PAIN with Cordetbooks, Inc. as a birthday gift to me.

    I want to take this moment to thank for all your efforts to complete this task, however it is no longer needed ….the book is finished.

    Thank you Ashley for your time and patience with this project. I know you did your best. Is there a possibility to receive a reimbursement of some amount , so I could give it to my granddaughter for all her hard work. I know she spent some of her money to bring this book to its finished and published state.

    If you would be so kind to send the reimbursement , in my name in amount saved from the termination of this contract, it would be greatly appreciated. This was a total
    surprise.

    Please Respond

    Kind regards

    Cornelius Lee Barker, MA.

    Granddaughter

    FILE.

    Reply
    • Hi Cornelius, I must apologize… I’m unable to help with this. I’m not affiliate with Dorrance. I try to provide unbiased reviews and a place where people like yourself can share their experiences and help others with their purchasing decisions. It sounds like you may have a file open with Dorrance already and hopefully you can get through to them directly. Sorry again I’m unable to help with this…

      Regards,
      Jay

      Reply
  39. So far my experience with Dorrance has not been a plesant one. They have persisted with several emails, each from a diffrent agent every time, and no matter how I reply that I am uninterested, they keep sending me emails.
    I explain that i was seriously burned by a vanity publisher known as Xlibris and that I will not be paying to get my series published. Unless they wish to go Trad with me and invest in my series, if they legitimately believe in it.
    Today was the 8th time i received yet another exuberant email from them, so i’ll be blocking them shortly.

    Reply
  40. I never would have thought a publishing company would screw up my manuscript and pictures. Then when I question how the story’s wording is not right. I went through all the paper work on what needs to be done they still could not get it right. I sent a certified letter canceling service and they act like they never received it. I would recommend not to even consider sending your manuscript to Dorrance Publishing Company you will be disappointed with investment money gone to waste. BBB no help. Dorrance Publishing is a stumbling block to the delay in your writing career.
    GOOD LUCK AND BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE.

    Reply
  41. Because I am in the endgame of publishing my book through Dorrance and having read many of the most recent comments below, I have decided to add my own experience and will update when my book hits the streets.

    First, some summary comments: (1) Yes,Dorrance extracts a lot of money from us. (2) Their business representative can come across like a goodfella (3) Yes, they leave A LOT to be desired re. feedback status reporting (4) They did present to me a firm detailed contract that spells out obligations by both parties (5) That contract disavows ALL POSSIBLE liability and lets the author hang out to dry. Now to elaborate.

    My first conversation with their business rep was not flattering. I asked some questions after receiving the company hoorah spiel and mentioned a few of the bad reviews on blogger sites. He reacted with a goodfella attitude that was soon annoying so I cautioned him to knock it off or we were finished. He calmed right down and that plus the few added conversations were businesslike.

    I explained that I wanted a publisher to back me up with a legal liability review of the manuscript and he said they could do that. After a few other clarifications, I agreed to receive a contract for my approval and signature. It was a descent contract which I read very closely and found it contained elements not to my liking but not show stoppers. Here is where I first learned that Dorrance would do nothing to back me up in a possible legal challenge. I hesitated but did an on line check of the publishers and discovered virtually IDENTICAL language thus suggesting they all outsourced to the same legal firm and used its boiler[plate disclaimer. I also learned that I could obtain a legal review for liabel exposure but that would cost me $500. The proposed project payment schedule in three parts was stipulated and I was assured that no additional cost would be sprung on me. Deciding this was my best option ( I had approached a few other self-publishers ) I signed the contract and set the train in motion.

    My first disappointment came with the legal review. I had been informed I would have the services of a legal expert writing coach. However, my conversation with her produced the revelation that she did not possess a law degree but had attended sufficient law classes to recognize possible legal exposure. In essence she was only a paralegal. Nevertheless, her editing review was speedy and thorough and she greatly improved the flow. Next came the first technical edit review.

    There was a long wait before I received the edited document during which I received NO status reporting from my project coordinator. Dorrance assigned me a user name and password to access my own status site which was supposed to by our conduit for communications. However, to this day they/she have never used it. Instead we have exchanged emails, never initiated by the coordinator and only in reply to my attempts to dig information out of her. After many weeks of silence, the edited manuscript showed up in my email box with a 10-day turnaround deadline. I was dumbfounded to discover that in chapter 3 the editor had experienced a glitch in endnote numbering that began sequentially numbering them all the way to the last chapter rather than within each chapter and he explained that he had decided on his own to continue with that pattern…was that what I wanted? By note number 425 this was cumbersome for sure. I sent the manuscript back with my corrections and stipulated the need to number them the way I originally established. Some eight weeks passed. Along the way we exchanged emails in which I vainly tried to make them understand my requirement on endnotes. Finally I took the first edited draft containing correct endnote sequencing, inserted all of their most recent 2nd round edits and returned it to them.

    I did note receive any feedback for another eight weeks so I complained in writing to her and the company president that they were nearing the stipulated end date of the contract. No reply. I wrote again to the coordinator and this time was assured that the final proof manuscript was about ready for my review. However, by then the end date had come and gone. I was informed that the process had been delayed because I had considerably delayed my return of the second round manuscript. Not true. My delay had been driven by her slowness to understand the endnote requirement and provide the corrected manuscript to me. On this point we have continued to spar but as compensation, Dorrance has agreed to give me an additional 5 complimentary copies of the book which I can certainly use.

    I am now waiting for the final proof copy to approve as well as the cover design which is my own. I now expect my book to become hard copy a month later than was planned…at least. I have marketing targets listed and have informed Dorrance that they will be provided when they are ready.

    I would add that at the start,I negotiated with Dorrance over the cost of the project and lowered it by removing certain marketing provisions that were of little use and by reducing my free copy count. In short, I found they were flexible in amending the contract to accommodate my desires.

    I will update this story accordingly.

    Reply
  42. Hello! I’m Kiesha, OK… to you all here that are speaking about Dorrance publishing. I sent my manuscript in… It was accepted I got a contract, we read and I signed it! I was told to send $2,400. before they can start on my book. I explained I wasn’t fortunate enough to send it like that so they put me on a payment plan. It’s been a 1 year 1/2 now that I haven’t paid for my book and Dorrance still have it, they are still responding to me any time I send them a message or call. All I can say from my experience is EVERYONE I’ve spoken to, wrote to etc.. Have always got I’m touch with me in a timely manner and they are VERY pleasant and informal about anything in their contract.
    I don’t know about anything else except yes they are expensive if you don’t have the money you can get on a payment plan and your book will NOT be published or worked on if the payment isn’t in. All I’m waiting on is for my book to be published… I will never tie myself in a bind like this ever again, BUT THEY DO GIVE YOU ALL THIS INFORMATION UP FRONT!.

    Reply
  43. Hi
    Dorrance publishing company the most traditional publishing house for hundred years thanks.
    my name is Danladi Bawa Shagari . I have sent my manuscript for publication to you , since last year 2017
    and all the necessary arrangement for publication , and I have sign an agreement form and been summited to you . since then I didn’t respond because of short fund for publication . I’m now wish to hear from you.
    if I can inter into another deal my manuscript are there remains un published. . also I have another email address as follows mdsgr44@gmail.com

    Reply
    • Hi Danladi, I apologize that I’m unable to help with your request. This is a review of Dorrance Publishing but Gig Hustlers is not affiliated with them in any way. You would have to contact them directly.

      Thanks,
      Jay

      Reply
  44. Wish I would have read your article sooner. I mailed my collection of poems to Dorrance, although I haven’t locked into any agreement with them they do have my poems. They will be mailing their contract for review. Do you have any suggestions.

    Reply
    • Hi Phyllis, thanks for reading. Since you haven’t locked into anything yet (presumably haven’t signed anything) , I’d wait until you see the contract before making any decisions. It might even be worth having it looked at by a lawyer just to get an accurate understanding of what you control, what Dorrance controls, and of course… what Dorrance will be able to do for you and how close they can bring you to your goals.

      I’d also recommend that back up any verbal conversation with written confirmation before you sign anything. Don’t hesitate to ask them as many questions as required to get the clarity you need… even if it drives them crazy 😀 I’m sure you poured a lot of yourself into your poems and this is about you, not them.

      Other than that… I apologize for not being able to give specifics (and I certainly can’t provide and legal advice). At the end of the day, you’re the client… the one paying Dorrance, so they are working for you and not the other way around.

      Not sure if any of that helps, but again… I do appreciate you taking the time to share your experience.

      Jay

      Reply
  45. Hi Jay

    I sent my manuscript novel hard copy to a vanity (hybrid) publisher who claimed they liked it. They want me to pay £3000 as contribution (in instalments) and sent a contract. Of course I was excited and sent in the contract immediately.

    Then I had doubts and looked them up online, only to find many complaints about them. They had implied my book needed a lot of editing which would be included. I asked for my manuscript back so I could compare it to the computer copy I was writing and do the editing myself. The new version will be substantially different to the one they got. They implied I might face additional charges if I changed to much or made it longer. It was 53000 words and will now be about 65ooo.

    Am I still bound by the contract as they have not seen the new one, still being worked on? Or does it only apply to the original manuscript? I now want to publish with Kindle, if I cant get a literary agent interested.

    Thanks a lot for your excellent article and advice.

    Anna .

    Reply
  46. Good evening, Thanks for the forum. Dorrance Publishing. My return for the $2.500 I’ve sent to date…..Some very worthwhile input from Sarah Snider (valued by Katy Antimarino (Dorrance Sales) at $500. for the balance I received a manuscript so butchered (happy to forward that sent and that returned) it should have been an embarrassment to Dorrance. Concerned that mechanical editing by them had a chance to mirror the ‘editing’ portion I had people in the English Dept. at the University of Wisconsin do the mechanical work. Mechanical work a piece of production expense not recognized in Dorrance digging their heels on the original cost. Dorrance is a hardball player in a business not suited for that demeanor. My hope is they donate my money to a worthy charity. Jim Graves

    Reply
  47. Dorrence wants to publish my book which got me all excited until i read all the negative reviews.Now i dont know what to do. I dont have alot of money so trying to make wise decisions. I also have no clue about publishing anything myself. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, that’s a great question. I’ve given it considerable thought myself because I’ve got some work I’d like to publish as well. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you must have your book as something you can hold and feel the pages, my best recommendation is to do all your research on the various publishing companies. Use a website like Upwork to find freelancers to edit, and if you have any graphic work you need done, I’d go with 99designs. You’ll save a lot money getting your book prepared before handing it over to a publisher and having them upsell you those services.

      Personally, I’ve decided to publish digitally, most likely on Kindle. Although I’m thinking of building another website and doing all the promotion and sales myself. If… and that’s a big IF, I find there is a demand for hard copies (or my book at all) I’ll look into having some printed but this is a long-term goal for me and not something I’m too concerned with at the moment.

      Not sure if those ideas were helpful, but thanks for your question and stopping by to read my review. Hopefully everything works out. Also, my apologies for the late response.

      Jay

      Reply
  48. I wrote a book called “College Cops Gone Bad” about my 4 years on the Ft.Worth Police Dept.Its about all he illegal acts performed by certain officers while on duty from 1968 to 1971,including theft,rape,harassment and abuse of minorities,and a double murder. I’m a retired coach with an MBA from TCU.I started with Dorrance,but couldn’t afford the payments so they switched me to “Rose Dog” over 5 weeks ago. Now RD claims they can’t find my account. My best friend since high school is Colonel Ronnie Cunningham of the Marines.Ronnie has been offered and taken several key diplomatic posts around the world appointed by U S Presidents. Trump just offered Ronnie a post at the Pentagon,but he decided to retire instead.We are both Vietnam Vets and refuse to be ripped off.

    Reply
    • Wow James. That’s quite the story and journey. Thanks for sharing. Your experience with Rose Dog is similar to what many others have experienced with Dorrance and their associated brands. Let us know if they get it sorted out, the more information the better for others reading this review and deciding what they should do.
      Thanks for stopping by, and again… I appreciate you sharing your story. I hope you get you get your book out there soon 😀
      Jay

      Reply
  49. Very interesting article that reads like a novel itself. Amazing that its a scam thats been around since 1920, ha ha, you had me going, I thought I was reading about a conspiracy theory. Great information here and thanks for the heads up, there are so many things out their for newbies wanting to work from home and it’s easy to be scammed.

    Reply
    • Lol, glad you enjoyed it Dave. No conspiracy… but what’s the sense if reading and writing if we can’t have a little fun doing it, right?

      Thanks for you comment and kind words 🙂
      Jay

      Reply
  50. I have never thought I could write a book until I have started working online. With my websites I write a lot of content, and – although it’s not the same as writing a novel – it’s helped me find my creative vein.
    Whist I think my first direction would be towards the reference genre, it was good that you introduced me to Dorrance Publishing, even because (shame on me!) I had never heard of them before.
    Now, as a complete outsider to the publishing business. I guess the main reason why many people have mixed feelings about Dorrance Publishing is due to the fact that, possibly, authors have been charged over the odds, without being given any real guidelines of the fees applied.
    The other aspect that may be looked upon with suspicion is the publishing fees. Wow, some figures, as mention- can go to such high levels as 20. With such high commissions, a lot of people may wonder why they had put so much work into completing a book, to then find out you hardly get remuneration,
    Then again, if you compare all the facilities you get access to, Dorrance Publishing seems to be quite competitive when looking at all the promotional and writing support.
    I guess the only qualm we could raise with Dorrance Publishing is to do with communication. Once they sort that aspect of their business, I am sure they will raise your website and your business as consequence, to unimaginable heights.

    Reply
    • Hi Giulia,
      It’s true, some industries just lend themselves to taking advantage of people. Car sales, or online marketing for example. Just like self-publishing, they prey on people’s hopes and dreams (well, for cars maybe it’s more impulse), but they go after people’s emotions which opens the door for all kinds of wrongdoing you wouldn’t find with uninspired or generic products.

      To be honest, I have no idea what Dorrance Publishing’s expenses or overhead is. I suspect they are over-priced (you can outsource much of what they do online now to highly qualified people who freelance for themselves, and at a fraction of the cost). But as you elude to, they are a one-stop shop and if self-publishing is the path you’ve chosen, and you can afford it, a publishing house like Dorrance might be the best option.

      I appreciate your insight and thanks for stopping by,

      Jay

      Reply