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 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.

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

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 or (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 then 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 have been extremely devious in how they have conducted their business.

The disturbing fact is that they will charge you a huge sum of money, and then make themselves the publisher of your work and the ISBN is now 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.

These type of companies such as Dorrance Publishing do charge a considerable sum but they use methods which 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”

And so on…..

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.”


The Dorrance Publishing scam claims are definitely something that you should be very aware of, and they are not the only ones that will do this to you.

Here is a list of additional Publishing Houses to be very aware of:

  • AuthorHouse
  • E-BookTime
  • Infinity Publishing
  • iUniverse
  • Llumina Press
  • Magic Valley Publishers
  • Tate Publishing
  • Xlibris

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

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Jeff - October 28, 2017 Reply

Thanks to these comments I saved myself a lot of grief. I was contacted by Dorrance Publishing by phone and email about them wanting to review my book. I told them I already had it at a small publishing company that also published my newspaper articles as I had made a promise that they would have first look. The lady kept tying to sell the company with promises of covering the world with my book and that I had a limited time to take advantage of this offer. I became curious about the company and decided to check the reviews as what type of company they were. I’m so glad I found this before I did any business with them.. I sent them a eMail telling them what I had found and to not contact me again.. Not sure if people know this but they claim to have almost 100 years in the publishing business but in fact they have only been in business for 28 years.. Thanks to all who posted because you saved me a lot of money and my rights to my book..

    Marcus - October 30, 2017 Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Sounds very much like the hard sell approach taken by a number of publishing companies out there. It’s totally wrong, isn’t it?

    I am pleased to hear that comments by others here have helped you to make a more informed decision about using their services.

    All the best,

    Marcus – WFHW

Sharon Streeter - June 9, 2017 Reply

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.

    Marcus - June 10, 2017 Reply

    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

Nahdiya Nixon - December 3, 2016 Reply

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

    Marcus - December 4, 2016 Reply

    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

sandra - June 10, 2014 Reply

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

    Marcus - June 11, 2014 Reply

    Hi Sandra,

    So glad to be of some help to you.

    My best advice here would be to check out my publishing recommendations on the following page:

    All the best,


      Laisa - September 21, 2016 Reply

      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.

        Marcus - September 22, 2016 Reply

        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

Manu Kumar Sharma - June 1, 2014 Reply

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.

Cole Davis - February 18, 2014 Reply

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.

    Marcus - March 3, 2014 Reply

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

    Best wishes,

    WFHW founder

Linda - November 15, 2013 Reply

You forgot to add Publish America, the biggest scam out there for new authors.

Chukwueloka Ezisi - August 9, 2013 Reply

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.

    Neil - August 9, 2013 Reply

    Hi Chuckwueloka,

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


    WFHW Team

Christal Kelley - July 5, 2013 Reply

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.

    Neil - July 6, 2013 Reply

    Hi Christal,

    You will find all our recommended resources for authors and writers here.


    WFHW Team

      Robert - July 7, 2013 Reply

      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.

        Neil - July 8, 2013 Reply

        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

Kellee - June 12, 2013 Reply

I just received an offer from Dorrance Publishing, no fees were discussed and the acceptance letter I received indicated I would retain full ownership and rights to my book. Is that a ploy? No contract has been signed but I’ve been assigned to an editor and production coordinator. Is that normal? I have never been published before so I don’t know what to expect really. I’m ecstatic that I even received an offer, I just don’t want to sell my soul or my rights to have it.

    Neil - June 13, 2013 Reply

    Hi Kellee,

    Unfortunately you do lose the rights to your book.
    I suggest you take a look at our recommendations page for Authors/writers

    All the best

    WFHW Team

Pamela Privette - February 22, 2013 Reply

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.

    Neil - February 23, 2013 Reply

    Hi Pamela,

    You are welcome and thank you very much for your comment.


      Jean Sadraque Cius - June 3, 2013 Reply

      Thank you for saving me. I was about to enter into a contract with Dorrance publishing co. I am glad I read your article. I am thinking about Createspace co. What do you think about them?

        Neil - June 4, 2013 Reply

        Hi Jean,

        Thank you for your comment.
        I wrote a review of Createspace which can be found here;



Geoorge - February 14, 2013 Reply

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

    Neil - February 16, 2013 Reply

    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


Juanitia - January 25, 2013 Reply

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.

    Neil - January 27, 2013 Reply

    Hi Juanitia,

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

    All the best


chris snellgrove - January 20, 2013 Reply

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

KIMBERLY - January 3, 2013 Reply

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!

    Neil - January 6, 2013 Reply

    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


Jamie - December 30, 2012 Reply

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 :)

    Neil - January 1, 2013 Reply

    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

Lewis - December 3, 2012 Reply

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.

    Neil - December 12, 2012 Reply

    Hi Lewis,

    Thank you for you comment.
    Read this review of CreateSpace that I wrote.
    This site would be ideal for what you are trying to achieve.

    All the best


stephanie - October 28, 2012 Reply

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?

    Neil - November 4, 2012 Reply

    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


Cindy - September 27, 2012 Reply

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!

    Marcus - September 27, 2012 Reply

    Hi Cindy,

    We are pleased to hear that our website helped you to assess your options.

    Best wishes for now,


Jenny - September 17, 2012 Reply

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?

    Neil - September 20, 2012 Reply

    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.



TrishD - April 20, 2012 Reply

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?

    Marcus - April 21, 2012 Reply

    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

    Jackie Ahern - August 8, 2012 Reply

    Hi I am wondering what is the best way of getting children’s stories published?

      Marcus - August 9, 2012 Reply

      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,


Keith Johnson - March 1, 2012 Reply

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?

    Marcus - March 1, 2012 Reply

    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

Marcus - February 5, 2012 Reply

Thanks for your reply.

Please read our follow up to your reply on the following page:

We would love to hear your thoughts!



    Jericho Speed - January 31, 2013 Reply

    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?

      Neil - January 31, 2013 Reply

      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


David Zeolla - January 20, 2012 Reply

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.

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