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There are a number of suspect sites out in the web that offer services for wanna-be authors (and even small self-publishing companies) that fail to deliver. They are SCAMS, albeit clever and persuasive, but SCAMS none-the-less.

As always, the rule is,

If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

One particularly nasty scam concerns a service known as "The Book Returnability Program" that a number of organisations offer. One of these is Capstone Media Services (not to be confused with Capstone Media of Ohio which is not involved with publishing in any way).

Other organisations may well be offering a legitimate program but do not get involved with any program that

  • Appears to be managed by Ingram Book Distributors, the largest such organisation in the world,

  • Offers to print a number of copies of your book, usually in the low thousands, for sending to Ingram for onward distribution to book stores throughout the globe.

You will be expected to bear the cost of the printing and you will receive sample copies. However, the samples will be produced by a Print on Demand company, also known as POD which are specifically designed for single copy print operations that are legitimately and efficiently used by a number of online retailers. These sample copies will not come from the number of copies supposedly printed on your behalf, because these do not in fact exist. The scammers have taken your money. Thank you very much.

Ingram have recently released a legal notice. This states

Ingram are not affiliated with Capstone Media Services, they do not have permission to use our name or goodwill in any marketing campaigns, and they do not have a relationship with Ingram which would provide their authors the services they advertise. 

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