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Trafford Publishing / Warning - stay away from this company

England, Leicestershire, United Kingdom Review updated:
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I placed my first book with Trafford in 2005 because their marketing material at the time stated they were a UK company. I did all the formatting, cover design etc..., they had nothing to do except take my money. I only found out they weren't based in UK when they requested an extortionate fee for shipping books to me. They'’ve been reporting on Amazon.com since 2005 that my book is out of print???
I’ve tried to rectify this problem with them many times but to no avail. Of the copies they sold, they still have not paid me the royalties!!! I'd also add that I know some UK libraries ordered my book from Trafford back in 2006 but these sales never showed up on my account. Is this fraud or just incompetence?
The service I have had from Trafford over the years has been so bad that I eventually gave up even trying to sort it out. Every so often they ring me trying to sell my more packages and each time I discuss the problems. The staff I’ve spoken to over the years have been very pleasant and accommodating, promising to sort things out, and yet nothing ever changes. My book sells OK through private sales and my own website and there is no reason for it to be still listed with them. I've asked repeatedly that they remove my book from their listings but they do not respond. I've just checked their website again today and see they have now, finally, removed it. I guess that means that the contract has been terminated but I don't have their confirmation of this. I'm worried about the legal position. I also assume that I have to say goodbye to my Royalties.
To all budding authors I would say this, there is absolutely no need for companys like Trafford to exist any longer. Kindle your book and check out Amazon's free CreateSpace - they produce and ship a print copy of your book on demand, and it costs you NOTHING!.
Bad show Trafford - you are a disgrace to the publishing business.

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Comments

  • Jo
      10th of Jun, 2012

    I could not agree more with docdream.uk . I'm in the UK too. I "joined" and signed my contract up-front with the company in Britain in late 2007. I have had the very same experiences. Paid thousands of US $$$, had ONE royalty paid to me since the book was "published into total obscurity" in 2010 [it is now mid-2012] despite appearing on numerous websites worldwide, including all Amazon's, under a slightly different title, yet it's my book with the same ISBN, and my name. It is described as 'unavailable', 'out-of-print', out-of-stock', 'publishers have no plans to re-publish', etc., etc. I have informed the Internal Revenue Service, to whom they occasionally send royalty-tax-returns, that I have received only ONE royalty. That is why I know that my book is being sold, when they're telling me that it isn't selling. I'm British, have never been to America and wanted to publish in Britain; but Trafford Publishing moved to Indiana in April 2009, and this makes me liable for US taxes at 30% of each royalty . Since then, I have had no control over my book or their operations. I have recently had to pay the IRS for the privilege of being a foreigner "published" in America, who is requesting an ITIN, done using Form W-7. This document and one's Passport has to be notarised by an American-only Notary Public or even higher, a Certifying Acceptance Agent. In order to claim exemption under a Tax Treaty between the two countries, I have had to pay the equivalent of US $ 300.00 to a COA, just in the hope that Trafford Publishing are going to be more honest with my royalties, when Nielsen Book Data shortly publish the registration details about my book on their websites. Trafford should have done that when my book was released in mid-late 2010. Nielsen is the crucial link between bookstores, libraries, universities, colleges, etc. Trafford tell you about informing Nielsen, but they don't actually do it, even if you're convinced they were as good as their word. If your book doesn't appear in Nielsen's databases, forget it!!! It is never going to be known anywhere, except on Trafford's well concealed website. A very clued-up British bookstore assistant told me that it is obvious that Trafford failed to inform Nielsen in 2010. So, why make books "UNAVAILABLE" when you are supposed to be "PRINT-ON-DEMAND"??? It all seems very, very fishy!!! Best wishes, Joe S-M, in Britain. 11th June 2012.

    +1 Votes
  • Au
      19th of Sep, 2012

    Thank you docdream.uk for also sharing your experience and advice about Trafford Publishing. Since Trafford was bought by Author House Solutions, I didn't have any report on book sales from year 2008 to year 2012 (but on my personal promotions and personal sales I do sell books EVERY year but they said I have no sales from any retailers or from them). Another buyer in France ordered in Amazon for my book but they say it was out of print when in fact my contract with them is it is print-on-demand book so it will not be out of stock. There has been no sales report from Amazon nor other retailers at Trafford. Every time a new Trafford marketing assistant or author's account assistant calls me, all they demand is to buy their services in promoting my book (but I have already self-promoted myself in youtube, dailymotion, FB, blogs and other social networks). What is so fishy too is that they said from year 2008 until year 2012, Sept. there has been no sales at all!

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      19th of Sep, 2012

    RE: 'Author From Europe' - latest complaint about Trafford/Author Solutions (19 Sept. 2012). Have you registered your own book with Nielsen Book Data? You need to do that to make it generally 'available for purchase' to all booksellers worldwide, as that makes your book officially 'AVAILABLE'. It has to be on that database, in order for your book to 'EXIST'!!!; otherwise, it doesn't! (see my comment above [signed Joe S-M, in Britain]). In their websites, Nielsen give the 'humble author' the facility of entering his/her own book details. You need to state in the 'Distributor' box: 'Trafford Publishing', being POD printers only, it is only they who can provide the book as photocopied from your PDF file - which you have entrusted to them. Nielsen then pass orders direct to 'Trafford Publishing'. They are then officially obliged to "PRINT-ON-DEMAND"; that is the only thing they do, or have undertaken to do by Contract with us - the authors!!! Even then, if potential readers want your book, for some strange reason, Trafford will not necessarily print it. In this case, they are acting in contravention of Internaional Law. However, when your book is registered with Nielsen Book Data, several websites that were advertising your book as 'out-of-print', 'out-of-stock', 'unavailable', 'publisher does not intend to republish', and all other such phrases that can shock an author into an early heart-attack, when they have paid dearly for 'print-on-demand', these sites suddenly show that your book IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, but this is probably still ONLINE ONLY. Yet, this is better than seeing that it is UNAVAILABLE, etc., as above. This is because now, your book stands a chance to be ordered in reasonable quantites by reputable booksellers, such as in Britain, where mine now - after two years of waiting - Waterstones, Blackwell's, Foyles, etc., have my book listed on their systems. OK, it is not on their shelves yet; it is still only orderable online for the present time; but if there is a reasonable build-up of orders, then my book stands a real chance of eventually filtering into the mainstream. None of this is thanks to Trafford Publishing, or their parent company, who have just sat on my book and have not even informed Nielsen, which, in their publicity material, they promise to do. In answer to my most recent enquiry about why only four copies of my book have been sold over TWO years since "published" in late 2010 (around this time of the year, August/September), their reply is: We used reasonable efforts to assist you in promoting your book consistent with the promotional services purchased. However, we cannot guarantee sales of any of your Work. We have no control over the purchasing decisions of the consumers'. Nobody tells the author who has just purchased their book-publishing package, that there are all these extras that you are obliged to pay in order "not to be able to guarantee any sales". If we pay such extra amounts - that will not necessarily work!!! - we are really being foolish to ourselves. In that statement, they are absolutely right! There is NO GUARANTEE; so DON'T THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY!!! If your work is really worthwhile, it will be noticed somewhere, by someone who appreciates its value and potential, even if your POD "publisher" doesn't. Trafford and companies within the same Author Solutions Group rarely look at your book. They just want your money up front; the rest is up to you, friend! As to 'royalties'. I am still waiting for payment of the other THREE royalties accrued since September 2010. I have had ONE paid so far, in 2011; that's how quick they are at paying royalties. These have to reach US$25.00 before they can release the payments. My book is priced at US $51.00 (£35.00 in the UK); even subject to US taxes, as it is temporarily at 30% per book, then the amount now due to me, after taxes, is approximately $42.00. That exceeds $25.00, by my reckoning; the problem is getting them to part with the money. Nevertheless, they have already paid the US Treasury, via the Internal Revenue Service. The 3 tax returns received by me this year - the royalty money for which I (the author) have not yet received - are said to date to 2011. At $21.01, each, less 30% = 3 x approx. $14.00 = US $42.00. Why can't they send the money. I only found out about these three royalties when the 3 tax returns arrived early in 2012. They just seem to have some phobia about paying out!!!; it only works the other way for them. Another response to my recent enquiry reads: 'The royalty statements are compiled and cross-examined by multiple parties to ensure an accurate record of royalty payments, , , [What royalty payments??? - I have had one out of four in 2 years!!!] ... Both our printer and distributor employ independent auditing firms to verify the book sales data. A globally recognized accounting firm conducts yearly audits of our finances to ensure accuracy ...' The unfortunate result of such "efficiency" is that they still don't pay out royalties when due from many months before!!! So who are they trying to kid??? Blackwell's, in the UK, one of the leading booksellers for 'reference'/'textbook' type material, are the first to take an interesting in my 728 pp book and have ordered a small number of copies for their shelves. It is now up to Trafford to do their part!!! Will they print this small trial order, or won't they??? - that is the question. I'm betting that they won't, because it costs them money to print books. Wasn't that what we paid them to do??? Good luck, dear colleagues! Joe S-M, in the UK. See http://www.thesecretlifeoftheearlstmaur.co.uk

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      13th of Nov, 2012

    Further to my post of 19th September, 2012, the crunch finally came!!! Even after registering my book myself with Nielsen Book Data, and eventually seeing it advertised as 'obtainable' through the leading bookstores in the UK (Waterstones, Foyles and Blackwell's), as I saw that nothing was happening after waiting for about three months since I registered the book with Nielsen, I made enquiries. I registered the book in May this year. It took about 6 weeks to get into the databases of the above companies. After a little while, I checked to see if it had reached the shelves. No such luck! So I asked if there had been any orders transacted. Nothing. Blackwell's were the first to offer to help me to test the waters. They placed one order after another through their system, which links with Nielsen, in order for them to request a book from Trafford. That is how Blackwell's system operates. By About September this year, Foyles were the first to delete their advertisement for my book from their catalogue - that showed it as 'available' up to that time. I smelled a rat! They must have had similar experiences to Blackwell's and had probably given up the ghost. Both of Blackwell's attempts proved that there was 'nothing at the other end of the line'. Trafford were not even responding. The Education & Science Buyer at Blackwell's, who had been a fantastic help throughout my problems and was the man who urged me to register my book with Nielsen Book Data - in view of Trafford's failure to do so in Summer 2010 - now told me to find out from Trafford, why the book couldn't be ordered. The reply rocked me to my foundations, after I had told them for many weeks that I had registered the book with Nielsen and it was finally being listed in the catalogues of the above booksellers, they finally admitted: "We're no longer in contact with Nielsen Book Data!" They obviously hadn't been in touch with them since probably April 2009, when the move occurred. This, of course, explains everything!!! If you have a clockwork toy that doesn't work, because when you open it up and you find no works inside, then you realise it is never going to work - is it??? I was utterly amazed, and almost instantly, I announced that I was terminating the Agreement I signed in Oxford, UK, in 2007, about two years before their ominous move to Bloomington, Indiana, and total disaster! Since I cancelled my contract, they suddenly opened up a facility on Barnes & Noble's site - where there is a 5-star review for my book - for allowing potential readers to "look-inside-book". Remember, that this is now a book that doesn't exist, because I've cancelled the contract with them. I wouldn't mind betting that they will be trying to sell it now that I've told them to destroy all copies of my PDF manuscript and graphics. Whatever they do, I can be sure not to get a damned cent of them in royalties. They have still only paid me ONE royalty that they said dated to 2010. That arrived some time in 2011. They are unbelievable, and somehow, they can just get away with it!
    So I wasted half of my adult life - over three decades - to put my book together for publishing and spent about a thousand pounds in each of those years in research, travel, hundreds of interviews at home and abroad, photography, photocopying, permissions, including Royal permissions, etc., etc., apart from £6, 000 to publish and buy copies from them, and my book has actually never been available to buy in TWO whole years since it was "published" by these drones of the publishing industry. Now at the age of 75, I am having to search the world for a REAL PUBLISHER, WHO ACTUALLY PUBLISHES YOUR BOOK. These clowns have kept my book under the carpet for the last two years!!! They had already had my money; they had nothing to lose. So, by not having to produce my book, they save money on paper, book covers, normal production costs, man-hours, etc., etc., !!!
    I have now found a traditional publisher, and I think that my luck is finally going to change for the better. Anything is better than five more years of total failure!!! You have seen what has happened to me; please learn from my mistakes. Don't trust these people!!!
    Read the small print of your agreement. It's a real eye-opener! Good luck to all budding authors out there; however, a word of warning! Some of you really are in need of improving on your English; that is a very important factor towards your potential success, and in people taking notice of what you have to say in your work. Bad spelling can lose you work as an author. Have a look at how you've written your text; is it good English? Did you write 'there' when you meant 'their'?; 'your' when you meant 'you're', or 'would of' when you should have written 'would have'? Writing is never the same as speaking, e-mailing or texting. It is, of necessity, much more precise. There are some good Grammar books and dictionaries that will help you; make use of them. Real, traditional publishers will not take a second look at your work if every other word is mis-spelt or grammatically incorrect. Imagine the time that an editor would have to spend to correct 200 or so mistakes out of every page of your manuscript! How soon will they give up on you? I have just spotted one of my own typos in the last text I wrote. See if you can spot it! I am 75, I have an excuse, but most of you are very young. Don't trust the 'spell-checker'; it may not fine-tune differentiations such as 'their' and 'there'! Goodbye. Joe A A S-M

    0 Votes

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