Simon & Schuster Fraud Alert
Last Modified: 02/15/2023
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a continued increase in phishing and other cyber scams targeting people at work and home through email, text, social media, and other communications. Due to this increase, we have created this page to alert our followers to a variety of scams we have seen targeting authors, agents, artists, and other professionals in the publishing industry.
Table of Contents
Publishing Fraud Alert
We understand how valuable your stories are and how much time and effort you put into creating them, and the last thing we want to see is authors having their work stolen and exploited by bad actors. It has come to our attention that third parties who are unaffiliated with Simon & Schuster have been impersonating Simon & Schuster employees, literary agents, and providers of other literary services and reaching out to authors via phone calls, email, and social media and asking them for money, manuscripts, and other personal details in exchange for assistance in having their work published. These are all scams perpetrated by nefarious third parties who have no relationship with Simon & Schuster.
In perpetuating these scams, these bad actors will sometimes create fraudulent publishing agreements (including presentation queries, endorsement letters, and pre-acquisition or pre-publishing proposals) and employment contracts using Simon & Schuster logos and marks. Although this list is not meant to be exhaustive, since these bad actors constantly assume new entity names and aliases, we have identified the following entities that have used Simon & Schuster’s logos and marks without our permission in the past:
- EA Media and Publishing
- Ewings Publishing House
- Gnome Book Writing
- Inkstone Literary (NYC)
- Impact Media Press
- Liberal Literature
- PageTurner Press & Media
- Quads Media Firm
- Tyler Literary
- Writers Value
Publishing Fraud Tips
- Aside from our relationship with Archway Publishing, operated by Author Solutions, Simon & Schuster is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any third-party agency or company that provides publishing, marketing, or any other services to authors seeking to have their work published.
- As standard practice, we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. If a third-party agency or company asks for upfront payment to help you submit your unsolicited manuscript, book trailer, or sizzle reel to Simon & Schuster, it is most likely a scam.
- We suggest that prospective authors and illustrators submit their manuscripts through a professional literary agent. We cannot recommend specific agents for your work, but the Association of American Literary Agents, Literary Marketplace, and Publishers Marketplace are good resources. Additionally, Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp has advice for aspiring novelists. Listen to Jon lend his expertise on how writers can find a literary agent and ultimately get their masterwork published in an episode of his video series The Word According to Karp - How to Get a Literary Agent: S&S's CEO Shares the Secrets.
- Although we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, in the past we have held our BOOKS LIKE US First Novel Contest in order to facilitate accessibility to underrepresented writers and celebrate the diversity of readers across the United States. Any future iterations of the contest will be announced on our official company website, along with the contest rules and instructions on how to submit your manuscript to Simon & Schuster. Please note that we will never ask authors for payment in order to participate.
- Keep in mind these common traits to help you detect a publishing scam before it’s too late:
- The communication (phone call, social media message, or email) arrives unexpectedly.
- The caller/sender asks you to provide upfront payment or banking details, claiming that you cannot proceed with your Simon & Schuster manuscript submission without these items.
- The caller/sender indicates a sense of urgency, claiming that you will lose your opportunity for a Simon & Schuster book deal if you do not act immediately.
- The caller/sender instructs you to never contact Simon & Schuster directly, claiming that only they have executive access or special authority to do so.
- If you receive a suspicious phone call or social media message:
- Be cautious. As a general matter, we will not initiate contact with you via phone call, Facebook, WhatsApp, or other social media platforms.
- Ask the caller/sender to email you directly from their Simon & Schuster email address. When you receive the email, pay close attention to the domain – legitimate Simon & Schuster email addresses use the following domains: @simonandschuster.com (in the USA); @simonandschuster.ca (in Canada); @simonandschuster.com.au (in Australia); @simonandschuster.co.in (in India); and @simonandschuster.co.uk (in the UK). Do not accept indirect proof of emails from Simon & Schuster (e.g., screenshots, copy-and-paste messages).
- If you receive a suspicious email:
- Do not click on any links or open any attachments.
- Carefully examine all aspects of it (e.g., email address, word choice, tone, formatting) for mistakes or oddities.
- Do not reply directly. If you are unsure and want to verify the legitimacy of the email, contact the sender by a means other than the contact information provided.
- Do an online search on the exact wording of the email in case it is a previously uncovered scam and there is already a warning posted about it.
- We encourage you to always consult with an attorney before signing any type of document, including publishing agreements.
- If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, we encourage you to stop communication with the bad actor, report them and/or their account to the platform you have been communicating on, and contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Contact email@example.com if you are concerned about the legitimacy of any communication purporting to be from a Simon & Schuster employee or from a third party claiming affiliation with Simon & Schuster.
Job Recruitment Fraud Alert
We’ve learned of copycat accounts pretending to be Simon & Schuster employees on social media to trick our followers into applying for fake freelance jobs and/or sharing personal information.
We do not offer jobs via social media, messenger applications like WhatsApp, WeChat, or LINE, or personal email accounts, nor do we ask for banking or credit card information. Our official social media accounts have a blue checkmark and our official company email addresses use the following domains: @simonandschuster.com (in the USA); @simonandschuster.ca (in Canada); @simonandschuster.com.au (in Australia); @simonandschuster.co.in (in India); and @simonandschuster.co.uk (in the UK). These social media accounts and email addresses are the only ones through which we communicate.
Job Recruitment Fraud Tips
- We strongly recommend that you DO NOT reply to or click on anything they send, but DO report them to the platform where they contacted you.
- For our most updated job postings, please visit Simon & Schuster Careers.
- We encourage you to always consult with an attorney before signing any type of document, including employment contracts.
- If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, we encourage you to stop communication with the bad actor, report them and/or their account to the platform you have been communicating on and contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are concerned about the legitimacy of any communication purporting to be from a Simon & Schuster employee (e.g., HR recruiter, benefits administrator, payroll coordinator).
Resources (United States)
- The Authors Guild: https://authorsguild.org/resource/reported-publishing-scams
- Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org
- FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): https://www.ic3.gov
- Federal Trade Commission: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov
- State Attorneys General: https://www.usa.gov/state-attorney-general