• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
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  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Amelia Publishing and Amelia Book Company: Sons of Litfire Publishing

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware In 2014, I wrote a long (and recently updated) blog post about LitFire Publishing, a publishing and marketing service provider that copied the Author Solutions business model (overpriced publishing packages, junk marketing services, and aggressive solicitation), and was founded and run by former Author Solutions call center employees in the Philippines.I didn't know it then, but LitFire was in the vanguard of an invasion of Philippines-based Author Solutions copycats (I've written about some of them here). These predatory schemes are a major danger for the self-published and small press authors who are their main target. Not only are their "services" expensive, falsely presented (phone and email solicitors often claim to be literary agents or book scouts or to have connections with major publishers), and frequently substandard, they are everywhere. I know of over 30 of them at this point, at least half established just in the past year. LitFire is one of the oldest of these ventures, and like any outfit whose main aim is extracting cash from vulnerable writers through misdirection and hype, word has gotten around. Complaints are accumulating online, along with commentaries and exposes (not to mention all the reports and complaints Writer Beware has received). Even Wikipedia has taken note.Now LitFire may be doing what dodgy businesses often do to escape a bad reputation: changing its name. Introducing Amelia Publishing and Amelia Book CompanyAmelia Publishing is a general purpose publishing and marketing company, with a suite of Author Solutions-style publishing packages (black and white, color, and "special"), junk marketing services (press releases, video trailers, pay-to-play book reviews), and add-ons such as editing. In other words, it's a lot like LitFire.Amelia Book Company (ABC--get it?) targets children's authors. It too sells publishing and marketing packages, as well as merchandise (magnets! Stickers! T-shirts!) and illustrations. It also has a "subsidiary" generically titled Children's Publishing, a grab bag of poorly-written and in some cases oddly terse articles interspersed with ads and links to Amelia.The Amelias' About Us pages feature conveniently vague information that can't be verified, and their websites include the frequent English-language lapses that are typical of Philippines-based publishing and marketing scams ("Amelia Publishing. Your Self-Publishing Headquarter.") Both Amelias' domains were registered on May 24, 2017, and they both have business registrations in the state of Georgia. They also share an address and phone number. (I'm including so many screenshots because I expect that at least some of the evidence will vanish after I publish this post.)So how do I know that the Amelias are LitFire? Well, a little bird told me. But also, Litfire is really, really sloppy.Amelia Book Company (the one for children's authors) has a bookstore, though it's not linked into the main site; I found it on a Google search. The first thing you might notice is how few of the books are for children. There's a good reason for that: they're all LitFire books. For example, here's a book at Amelia:And here's the same book at LitFire:Inspecting a page's source code can also yield clues. For instance, on one of Amelia Book Company's book pages, this snippet of code:Or this relic of LitFire's footer, complete with LitFire's street address, which is on every Amelia Book Company book page that I checked: Similar lapses are all over Amelia Book Company's website.By contrast, Amelia Publishing's website has been more carefully vetted. But an apparent effort to convert the LitFire blog into an Amelia Publishing blog wasn't so successful, which likely is why it has been removed. It still shows up in a Google search, though:And then there's this. LitFire apparently caught it and got rid of the page where it appears (the link is to a Google cache)--but I had to laugh. Whoops.Apparently I'm not the only one who has figured it out.LitFire appears to be alive and well at present, so there's no way to know whether it's planning to ditch the LitFire name entirely and become Amelia, or whether the Amelias are just an attempt to establish additional income streams. Either way, Writer Beware will be watching.

"Writing is learning to say nothing, more cleverly every day. "
William Allingham

Random picks

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  • It is a light week for posting, but that's because we are thinking ....Next up for the blog......... our Creative Nonfiction Editor discuss what style of prose we love to see....... what makes an opening paragraph terrific in our opinion......... a conversation with a writer about how and why she revised a piece for us........ and why Contests are important to little literary magazines....all this coming soon.If there is a topic about which you'd like to hear our editorial opinion, please zing us a comment. thanks.Julie
  • One of the primary draws of the Internet is the ease at which you can connect with someone about nearly any subject. You could provide your target audience with the quality content they want, thanks to article promotion. Continue reading to learn some excellent article promotion tips that can help grow your business. Customers want to buy products that other people have had success with. Incorporate a feature on your site that includes customer reviews and feedback. TIP! Focus on providing useful or valuable information in your articles. No one wants to read an article that is a waste of...
  • The Internet has made a lasting impact on the human condition and, more importantly, the communications channels people can make use of. There are certain blogs where people can voice what they think on different subjects to build an audience. If you are an opinionated person, the following tips will show you how running a blog could change your life. Make your readers feel as if you are ever present for them. You should remember that your blog is important to many readers so address their comments regularly. Connecting to your readers means that you won’t let them down. If you feel...
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Writers not writing for a living often find enjoyment and small payouts from Web sites seeking material to raise their sites higher in the search engine rankings. Although this is a legitimate practice, the writing being published on the Web can often be less than professional. This lack of professionalism distorts the line between qualified and amateur writers. Writing standards are often not the highest priority as Web sites seek to drive traffic to gain advertising exposure. It seems as if readers are not as concerned about the writing quality, as long as they find a relevant account on a particular topic.