Dorrance Publishing Scam: New Developments

On the 19th of January 2012, I wrote a report about Dorrance Publishing which you can view here if you missed it.

And again much to my surprise I have received a reply, and this is what the person said:

“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.”

For me, there is one thing in the reply that does concern me and that is this:

“…a Dorrance ISBN is assigned to the work to allow for distribution and sales.”

But why a Dorrance ISBN because that still means that the Author is not the Publisher?

Quoting myself from the original report:

“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.”

It doesn’t matter how you look at this, Dorrance Publishing holds the Publishing Rights because the ISBN number is assigned to them.

The other thing I talked about was the scary costs involved and how it isn’t necessary to pay any company anything to Publish your own material because they should be paying you the Author and not the other way around.

Here in the reply above is the sting in the tail for any would-be Author…

(that is rights to the work in any form other than in book form in the English language.)

What they are saying here is that Dorrance Publishing holds the rights to the book, however, you only hold the Digital Rights.

This means that any sales made in book form – for example, numerous book stores and the most famous online store, Amazon – can legally sell your hardback copy because they own the publishing rights to your work. Quite simply because the ISBN number is in their name and not yours.

Now I have had this confirmed and I would advise that you consider this if you are looking to use Dorrance to publish your work.

Our aim on Work From Home Watchdog is to provide comprehensive reviews on sites whether good or bad because we have ourselves been caught out in the past and we don’t want you to do the same.

However, if in the process we discover products or services that do not live up to their promise, or mislead potential customers in any way, we will make sure that our visitors know about it.

Please note that my aim is to give detailed facts on the information that I originally researched. I spent quite some time looking into this to make sure I got my facts right.

I am not trying to discredit any company, I am simply pointing out any concerns, mistakes, and/or misgivings.

Neil – WFHW

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  • Neil,
    I have been contacted by Dorrance Publishing company concerning my childrens book “Pitsy”. They sent me a letter informing me that someone would contact me about getting it published. About a week later I called and they said that they would send me some samples of artist pictures for my book. At no time have they mentioned fee’s. I thought this was a credible company but I am a little worried now. When I get the samples in the mail I am supposed to call them back. What questions should I ask them so I know what I am getting into? Thanks

    • Hi Stacy, Really sorry for not getting back to you earlier – I hope we’re in time to get a plan together.

      Bottom line is you want to let them know that you are wanting a detailed account of how the fee’s will work.
      What is your end author % and what they will be taking and for what.

      They should be able to provide you with a total breakdown of the costs that are going to be incurred.
      And ask for a time line on everything

      Best of luck
      Let us know how it went.

      WFHW Team

  • OMG!!! I am new to this writing thing and i “WAS” going with Dorrance! I am almost finished with my memoir. I was told to send my story to them when it is done so they could read it. I keep asking them that if someone would be able to steal it. No reply and I do not know the law on not protecting your work. I am a mother of four with PTSD. I am writing my story of how I survived 21 years of hell. I am going to this program to help me get over it. I want to write my story to help others to not feel they are alone with there feelings. I was molested for 5 years when I was 2 years old and ended when i was 7 years. My mom knew about it and did nothing. In fact she told me how much she hated me because he paid more attention to me. Someone found out about it all and he went to jail. My mom was mad. I was beat and hated everyday. I was blamed for all our down falls. Living on the streets and having no money and me trying to “Steal” her husband. I was married just to get out of the house at 14 to only get beat by an evil man. I had two wonderful kids from him and I was told he would change when he was deported to Costa Rica. I was so stupid to go up to Costa Rica. I was beat and held hostage for one year. I had to fight to come back with both of my kids and without him. I found out he was a fugitive here in the USA. He was unable to come back. It was the happiest moment and most scariest at the same time. It took me a lot of strength to get on my feet with nothing but what was on our backs. I made it but need to heal so that”s why i want to share my story with others. I was put thru hell and I have PTSD but it does not stop me from living. Thank you for your info because I want and need to support my four kids and if they are going to make a profit with my book then all the pain of writing the book will be a wast of suffering.

    • Hi Jessica,

      WOW…so sorry to hear about your VERY difficult experiences.

      I’m glad that you found our information helpful, and I do hope that someone appreciates the intensity of your story and allows you to publish your work.

      Wishing you all the best for now Jessica.


  • Seeing this saved my a@@ from going postal, I am also curious about Vantage Press?
    I would if you have it a list of possible Publishers a little more reputable then the fore mentioned

    • Hi Ward,

      We are very pleased to hear that this stopped you going any further!

      We constantly look for the best products in all areas of the work from home industry, and right now we are looking very closely at a number of publisher websites. One of those is Vantage Press, so please check back within the next 2 weeks for an update.

      Thanks for taking the time…we really appreciate it!

      WFHW Team

  • I read your article with interest. I have just published a book with Authorhouse, a disaster. They could be selling lots of my book, I don’t know, because I cannot get a statement from them, even if I did, it would be probably worthless.

    I was thinking of republishing with Dorrance, now you have convinced me that I should not. I will tell them so and why. Are there any self publishing houses out there that are trustworthy?

    • Hi Keith,

      Sorry to hear about your issues with Authorhouse, and I can assure you that we will be conducting our own investigations into the service that they provide.

      As for Dorrance, we still have serious reservations about them. We invited them to check out our updated post, but so far we have not heard back from them. This in itself is a concern.

      I suggest that you follow the advice that Neil offered at the bottom of his initial post ( regarding trustworthy publishing houses, but at the same time I can tell you that we are in the process of reviewing some that we think might present better opportunities. Keep an eye out for our updates for more information.

      Thanks again Keith…we appreciate you taking the time!

      ~ Marcus
      WFHW Team