Dorrance Publishing scam: any truth in these claims?

Firstly I’m going to explain the differences between vanity publishing and self-publishing along with the reasons as to what can potentially happen if you use the wrong publishing houses.

If you are a writer and have produced either short stories, poems, or a manuscript then the thought of actually getting your works into print is the icing on the cake so to speak.

Saying “I am the author of a book and it can be bought at this store” is a major achievement.

So how do you go about this?

There are two ways.

The first one is the self-published route where there are several successful authors who have done this such as – The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield.

The second one is what is referred to as vanity publishing.

What is the difference between Vanity Publishing and Self-Publishing?

Every book that is either bought via a Bookstore or an online merchant must have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

However, being the author and not the publisher is where you can go wrong.

When you self-publish your own material where you are the author then you are also the publisher.

The Dorrance Publishing scam claims are interesting because it is very easy to charge several thousand dollars to do this and that for you, then market the book and make all the money.

How easy is that?

Unfortunately, there are a number of companies that claim to bring your written work to life, but what they are doing is becoming the publisher of your work and then you lose all rights to your work.

Numerous books have been made into films and other forms of media, and the royalties involved can be quite considerable. However,  if you are not the publisher then all the royalties will go to the company that you used…a very disturbing fact.

Without being the publisher, the ISBN is not registered to you and you are at the mercy of what the Publishing House is willing to share with you.

To change this you have to protect your rights.

Vanity Publishing is where you have used a company to do this for you, and while some will do this correctly, it would appear that Dorrance Publishing has been devious in how they have conducted their business.

The disturbing fact for me is they will charge you a large sum of money, and then make themselves the publisher of your work, and the ISBN becomes registered to them and not you.

This is game over for you and your work, and the only way to possibly get this reversed is to take legal action.

Companies of this type tend to charge a considerable sum but they use methods that can only be described as unscrupulous by listing enticing lines such as:

“you deserve to be printed”

“make your book available to 20,000 stores”

But here’s the real sting in the tail…

Remember I said that you have to pay a considerable amount of money (this could be up to $11,000), well the reality is that normally Publishing Houses take this approach…

“No reputable Publisher charges you a fee to publish your work. The Publisher pays you, not the other way around. Depending on the type of book, you may be paid an advance plus royalties (a percentage of the profits) or just royalties.”


My own opinion is that the numerous scam claims regarding Dorrance Publishing are definitely something that you should be mindful of if you are considering using them to publish your work.

If you are still interested in publishing your own writings then I suggest you visit this site SPANnet as they can provide you with all the help and assistance you may need.

Neil – WFHW

Leave a Comment


  • When I first went online to find a publisher for a book idea in mind Dorrance Company sent me an immediate email. I sent them an outkine and they said they were not interested in an outline, just the manuscript. They also asked when would I be finished with the manuscript and I answered about November. When I did not repond they sent me emails on how to write my manuscript. Then they told me to download a brochure to follow. I read the brochure and all it said was how Dorrance would heko me by assigning a ghostwriter to help write the book. I received an email saying that if I signed up for a ghostwriter now I would get 50 percent off. Then a red flag went off. From what I had read about publishing companies they pay you. So I emailed the contact person and asked how much a ghostwriter would cost. She said $1,000-$10,000. I am going to send her an email telling her no and I have read very negative reviews about the company.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your Dorrance experience with my visitors.

      Yes, I agree that the whole process that you have followed seems more than suspicious. On one hand they offer you a discount, but it then seems like they would cover the value of the discount by charging you an undefined price for a ghostwriter!

      All together it’s a bit strange and I can appreciate why you were concerned.

      I hope that everything eventually works out for you, Sharon.

      All the best,

      Marcus – WFHW

  • Hello Marcus,
    I have been contacted by Dorrance Publishing around this time last year and a person by the name of J Lombardo, a female I believe, contacted me by email saying, “they’re interested in my book and want a copy of the manuscript.” So I sent her a copy of my manuscript and a while later, maybe 24 or 48 hours later the same person contacted me and said that they needed the entire manuscript, which is my entire book, and I emailed back saying that “I’m not going to do no such thing until I get scheduled with an appointment.” And that was the last that I’ve ever heard from her and the company. Someone should report/sue them.

    All the best,
    Nahdiya Nixon

    • Hi Nahdiya,

      I think you handled that situation very well. It also further demonstrates the lengths this company will go to when trying to trick you out of your work.

      Well done for being so vigilant, Nahdiya, and thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with my visitors.

      Best wishes,

      Marcus – WFHW

  • Thanks for the info I just received I sent my manuscript to dorrance thank God I didnot sent the money they want. Can you please find me another trusted publishing company

      • Many thanks Marcus. My 20 year old daughter has written 5 books , 3 has been sent to Xlibris , one has been published and I paid for that, have paid deposit for second one and have stopped because they did not keep to a promise they made. So far We are not happy with them.

        • You are welcome, Laisa.

          Yes, I have heard of Xlibris and it’s interesting to hear your views on their service. I will have to do a full review for my visitors.

          Thanks for stopping by!

          Marcus – WFHW

  • Hi,
    I had submitted my work to Dorrance yesterday and your website has been an eyeopener. I have cancelled the review copy sent to them by mail and i hope i am safe?
    Please let me know some safe publishing houses for first timers.

  • I used one of the organizations you mention, Llumina Press. While they suggest you are ‘a published author’, which is rather dodgy marketing, I have generally found them to be honest. Not dreadfully efficient, but they did deliver what they said they would and have always paid my royalties.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences, Cole. I appreciate you taking the time.

      Best wishes,

      WFHW founder

  • Hello, I’m an author that is wrting in order to get rich. Can you please tell me the best publishing house to use in this regard? Thanks.

    • Hi Chuckwueloka,

      Take a look at our recommendations page for authors and writers which can be found here.


      WFHW Team

  • Hello Neil, You put a list up of the ones to be aware of, what is the list of the safe publishing companies and agents.

      • Hi Neil,
        Author solutions website will give you a list of house to be-weary of, including some from your list to be aware of.
        If any one plugs author solutions and Forbes magazine into their search engine they will see a pretty disturbing lawsuit.
        among other things they don’t like to pay the royalties they claim to for the authors.
        I published through Xliberis and am seeing this first hand…
        Though I did not expect to make much money anyway.
        Buyer beware I guess.

        • Hi Robert,

          Thank you for your comment.
          Unfortunately there are many other publishing houses which are not to be trusted and with all the research I initially did into this, there are definitely only a handful I would use.
          For publishing houses that can be trusted, take a look at our list for Authors and Writers.


          WFHW Team

  • Thanks so much for being our watchdog! This profession of writing is so rewarding, and yet the business end of seeing it in print is a mine field.

  • I am considering publishing through “Christian Fellowship Books” and would like any information you may have concerning them.

    • Hi George,

      We don’t have anything on Christian Fellowship Books but we will have a look at them and determine if they are worth using.

      All the best


  • Thank you so much! I sent my manuscript and a follow up book to Dorrance. I was so excited to hear from them, until now. My first book ” Im lost?” already have a ISBN on the website. I will check out some other sites. You helped me.

    • Hi Juanitia,

      Thank you for your comment.
      We are very happy that WFHW was able to help you.

      All the best


  • Thank you so much for this information. I have recently sent a piece of work to Dorrance.
    I guess I’ll be using someone else

  • Hi, I recently submitted my children’s story to Dorrance and am waiting to hear back. I am glad I found this site, so I am aware of what to look for. I was nervous about sending my work to them, but now that I know that they cannot use my work without my written consent or contract (which I don’t have), I feel better. Trust me, writing is a passion and also a side thing for me as I have a full time job, and there was NO way I was going to even give them a $1!

    • Hi Kimberly,

      I’m so pleased that you didn’t invest any of your hard earned money.
      Too many times we read about writers who have been stung.

      All the best


  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, Neil. I just signed online to Google Dorrance as I received a returned phone call from them about my book. Before even calling back the representative, I decided to see how reputable they are, and well– here you are! You and, many others! Thank you very much, Neil! I appreciate your time to help struggling writers, such as myself. Obviously the dream (most of us reading this page) have is to become authors, and we all know this is not an overnight process. Information from persons such as yourself that can make this journey easier is much appreciated! Thank you again, Neil!

    -Jamie :)

    • Hi Jamie,
      Thank you very much for your comment.
      At WFHW we strive to give people the heads-up on services whether good or bad.
      I’m pleased this was helpful for you.

      All the best

  • Thanks for the information about Dorrance Publishing Company. I received a letter and an email from them today and decided to do some internet research and came across your site. I recently had my adobe CS6 training manual copyright through Library of congress. I was able to test my first manual with a training class and received great reviews. I am working on two more training manuals for adobe CS6 applications. I will purchase a group of ISBN numbers when i finish. Please share your thoughts on the best way to have them publish and sell-able. My thoughts are to contact local colleges and sell them on amazon as a self publisher. Please share your insight, much appreciative.

  • Where are the best places to send my poetry to try to get it published ? I sent 250 poems to dorrance for review but did not use them. Is there a danger of them using my work?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      They can only use them if you signed a contract and paid any money over.
      Soon at WFHW we will be listing publishing sites that we believe are good to use.

      All the best


  • Thanks for the information. I’m a writer and I’ve looked around and inquired from some of these companies you mentioned, And gosh, I’m thankful I’ve been pretty slow making decisions. Otherwise, I would have been had!

  • Hi, I am writing a more inspirational story that is about my life and I recently received a contract from Tate Publishing. I have read up on them and have seen very different reviews, from really great to not so great; so this makes it hard to decipher what is real. What can you tell me about Tate and whether or not I should use them to publish my book or go on to find a more “legitimate” publishing company? If so, who are the “legitimate” publishing companies?

    • Hi Jenny,
      Tate Publishing does have some very good reviews and some are not so good, but my biggest concern is the cost.
      There is this Forum called
      Which can provide you any help you require.
      I have looked long and hard myself into the book publishing side of things but have decided on Kindle Publishing which for me is far easier and quicker.
      I will be doing a post on this about how and what you need to do.



  • I can’t thank you enough for your information regarding Dorrance. My 18 year old daughter send in a short story her college prof thought could be publish worthy. Instead on asking the prof or her parents about it, she did a ‘google’ search and quickly sent off her work to Dorrance. We received a letter back and LUCKILY, they want an exorbitant amount of money. Something she does not have and we would not give her without careful research. So, we had a discussion and I found your website. Now we have a fair amount of educated information and are creating a plan to get her stories published!

    My question for you, can a publishing company do anything with the work submitted to them without a signed contract or payment?

    • Hi Trish,

      No they can’t do anything with any work you have sent them, not without a signed contract.

      I am pleased our site was able to give you the answers to questions that you may have had.
      Please feel free to contact again if you need any additional help.

      All the best,

      WFHW Team

      • Hi Jackie,

        Thanks for asking!

        To date we haven’t reviewed any publishing houses for children’s stories, but one that we plan on reviewing is:

        However, please note that we cannot recommend this website until we do a full review. Maybe take a look and let us know what you think? That would be appreciated :)

        One other option would be to read the “Dummies” book on how to publish children’s stories. You can pick this up on Amazon for a reasonable price if interested.

        All the best,


  • Having made the mistake of using Authouhouse, how do I stop them representing me at the book stores. I wish to totally disassociate myself from this company, how do I do that?

    • Hi Keith,

      At this moment in time I would say that you should contact them via the phone number of their website. I think this would be the quickest way to get them to resolve your situation.

      In reference to our discussion on the other post, we are happy to look into your current situation when we conduct our own investigations.

      All the best for now,

      ~ Marcus
      WFHW Team

    • I’m a published author with Dorrance and they have not paid me a penny yet and its been 6 years. Every time I call and ask about my payments to me they keep saying it didn’t sale enough for that quarter. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I don’t care if I only sold one book! Send me even $2.00 for that. I’ve gotten nothing. What can I do to fix this?

      • Hi Jericho,

        Many times I have heard about zero commisions being paid out.
        You could ask for a detailed list of what or if any sales have been made over that time.
        But they are not a good company to use so I would definitely look at seeing when you can opt-out of
        the contact that you are in.

        All the best


  • Work from Home Watchdog should be thanked for alerting authors to potential publishing pitfalls.

    However, there are errors of fact in this posting in regards to Dorrance Publishing.

    When an author selects Dorrance to provide publishing services (pre-press, press, e-book creation, marketing and distribution) a Dorrance ISBN is assigned to the work to allow for distribution and sales. However, at no time does the author give up his or her rights to the work. The copyright is taken in the author’s name and the author has complete control over the sale of any subsidiary rights (that is rights to the work in any form other than in book form in the English language.) Each Dorrance publishing services contract contains a Subsidiary Clause that clearly outlines how the sale of such rights would be handled and how the author would be the beneficiary of any payments received.

    At any time, the author can terminate his or her publishing agreement and receive the digital printing files that the author paid for Dorrance to create. The author is then free to market and distribute the content in any manner.