Not long ago I was contacted by an entity who introduced themselves as a publishing company interested in my fantasy series, Quest of the Messenger. At first, of course, I was all thrilled: hurray! My talent is recognized! But then, some red flags ultimately made me reject the offer. In particular:
* The business was very new and run entirely by very young people.
* I could find no information about this "publishing company" anywhere online, except their website.
* The company made all sorts of glorious claims regarding their achievements which, again, couldn't be verified by online search, no matter how extensive.
* I received no personal specific comments regarding my work from the "editors", despite requesting feedback.
* The company founder who communicated with me paid no attention to details; requested materials that had already been sent; alluded to Skype conversations that never took place (I don't use Skype). Overall, I got the impression of sloppy, unprofessional, undiscriminating modus operandi.
I sent them a brief message politely but firmly declining their offer of a publishing contract, and got a long, very defensive, grammatically incorrect email which only confirmed my impression of dodging a bullet. Overall I feel I've had a lucky escape.
It's very easy, especially after pitching your work for a long time and getting many rejects, to be tempted to enter into any contract, with anyone who seems to appreciate you as a writer. However, this can lead to very sad implications. Check out Writers Beware.
Also check out this post by Writer UnBoxed.