Solicitation (and Plagiarism) Alert: Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

When the late, unlamented Tate Publishing & Enterprises went belly-up a few months ago, I started hearing from Tate authors who were being contacted by self-publishing companies and other for-profit enterprises looking to recruit new customers. Some of these were straightforward, reasonably reputable (if overpriced) businesses. Others...not so much.

Very active trying to snag Tate authors was Legaia Books.

Here's how Legaia describes itself (bolding and errors courtesy of the original):
Legaia is a book publishing company created to aid writers in seeing their works in prints. Whether you’re a beginner or a published author, and whatever is the genre of your work (memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, children’s book, or even poetry collection), it is always our pleasure to be working with you. Legaia has no reservations to anything in particular other than those that contradict what is in the terms and services. With the application of new technology and information, we are able to accommodate our clients and are maintaining this accessibility for a better relationship.
The whole website is written like this, which should be a gigantic clue that things aren't kosher. If that's not enough, consider the eye-poppingly expensive publishing packages (which don't offer anything that's not available elsewhere for much less money), the hugely overpriced "online media publicity campaign" (based largely on cheap-for-the-provider services that can be sold at an enormous markup), and the nebulously-described "Online Retail Visibility Booster", which costs $6,499 and wants you to believe that's a fair price for something called a Booster Tool that supposedly gets you more reviews on Amazon.

You can also buy advertising in Paperclips Magazine, which among other "opportunities" encourages authors to pay $1,999 for a book review or $4,999 for a "Paperclips Author Article." According to the Legaia website, Paperclips is "a social online magazine that showcases books and author experiences in the publishing industry"; according to email solicitations like the one above, it has "over 2 million subscribers worldwide" (a bit hard to believe, given the mix of terrible writing, puff pieces, and ads that make up most of its content).

What both website and solicitations fail to mention: Legaia and Paperclips are one and the same, a fact Legaia admits on its LinkedIn page. This is the kind of profitable closed loop that allows an author-exploiting enterprise to hit up its victims multiple times.

As for Paperclips Magazine, it's...interesting. Not just for the amount of money that must have been generated by all the author articles and ads. Not just for the insanely awful writing by the "Editorial Team" (screenshot at left).

No. For the plagiarism and the intellectual property theft.

The Paperclips website includes numerous short articles with the byline Chloe Smith. Much of this content actually belongs to other authors. For instance, a piece called 7 Active Reading for Students: here it is at Paperclips, under Chloe's name. Here's the original, attributed to the real author: Grace Fleming. How about 10 Keys to Writing a Brilliant Speech? Here it is at Paperclips. Here's the original, by Bill Cole. Ditto These Are the 8 Fundamental Principles of Great Writing. Here it is at Paperclips. Here's the original (with a different title), by Glenn Leibowitz.

I could go on. There are lots more examples. And that's just the Paperclips website. The magazine also includes stolen content. At least Why Print Books are Better than eBooks, and Ways to Improve eReaders bears the name of its true author, Greg Krehbiel...but Greg has confirmed to me that Paperclips published it without his permission. (It originally appeared here.) (I also reached out to two other authors included in the same issue, but as of this writing I haven't heard back.)

Any bets on whether Paperclips got permission to use images of Dr. Seuss characters on the cover of its latest issue? Or asked George R.R. Martin if it was okay to re-publish his August 2016 blog post--complete with original artwork from the illustrated anniversary edition of Game of Thrones?

A bunch of other things don't add up.  Legaia/Paperclips has a North Carolina address, but it's a virtual office. Legaia's LinkedIn page claims the company was founded in 2008, but its domain wasn't registered until late 2015. Similarly, Paperclips' LinkedIn page says it started up in 2012, but its domain wasn't created until November 2016 (I also couldn't find any issues of the magazine earlier than December 2016). I've been able to locate only two actual human staff members (neither website includes staff names, and the two names I've seen on Legaia's author solicitations, Emily Bryans and Serena Miles, appear to be wholly imaginary); both are based in the Philippines, and one formerly worked for Author Solutions.

Between these things, the English-as-a-second-language writing, the overpriced and exploitive "services", the plagiarism, and just the general sleazy feel of it all, I'm strongly reminded of LitFire Publishing, which has a very similar business model and M.O, and was established by Author Solutions call center alumni in the Philippines as a sort of low-rent Xlibris-AuthorHouse-iUniverse-Trafford clone. Are LitFire and Legaia the same operation? Probably not. But it wouldn't surprise me if Legaia has the same provenance.

"Emily Bryans" is currently soliciting authors for something called Paperclips Magazine's Author Circle, which is supposedly arriving this October and will feature "celebrity authors and multi-awarded literary contributors" (wonder how many of them know they're included?) No word on how much it will cost to join up, but I bet it's a bundle.

Writer beware.

6 comments to Solicitation (and Plagiarism) Alert: Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine

  • Thank you for your efforts. They almost hooked this fish with their worm. I’m a debunked TATE publisher, looking for options. Blessings to you.

  • Donna Eastman

    Some of these companies are showing up at legitimate conferences, talking to authors and enticing them to submit a manuscript (always a full, never a proposal or query letter). Never do they say anything fees. It’s when the contract comes in accompanied by an email that states great praise from their editorial board, that reality sets in. The fees can be enormous, with add on’s everywhere. Don’t be fooled by a New York address. There’s a million vanity publishers in NYC, but the legit ones say so up front.

  • Bruce Sylvester

    Thanks for this piece. I was just contacted by these people and it smelled of scam. I appreciate you taking the time to confirm.

    Sincerely – Captain Bruce Sylvester

  • James Lawler

    I just got an email from someone calling himself Alex Patterson, Senior Consultant. He said he stumbled upon my book on Amazon ebook and wants to talk to me.He says he is with Legaia Books and they represent Paperclips Magazine. His phone number is 919-471-5126. His email is Thie is probably a rip off pitch, right? Jim Lawler

  • I am ashamed to admit that I am an author who was duped by Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine. I received the same solicitation e-mail of which you show a screen shot in your communication. Mine came from Emily Bryans. I was dubious at first as to how she even heard about this book since sales were next to nothing. I asked if they were associated with Author House, the self publisher I used for all five of my books. They denied a connection. Although I continued to have reservations I felt that I had to do something to get my books noticed. Bradley Perkins, the representative assigned to me, told me that it was not unusual to gain 300 sales as a result of advertising with them. I paid $750 for an ad and wrote an article for them for Issue No. 39. So far I have had no sales. Nada. Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine gave me false hope and I fell for it.

  • Mac

    Thanks for the research. I occasionally receive these appeals for my vanity e-mails. Here’s an excerpt from today:

    I represent Paperclips Magazine a social online magazine that promotes success stories of influential authors and brands in the literary industry. I would like to invite you and promote your book with Paperclips Magazine and be able to reach millions of readers worldwide.

    Paperclips Magazine has articles about well-known figures in the publishing business like J.K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter Series and George R.R. Martin author of The Game of Throne Series. Paperclips will be having an Author Circle Event in their magazine and I would like to see you and your book be part of that prestigious opportunity to promote your title.

    You can read the Magazine with by clicking here.

    If you want to know more about the Paperclips Author Circle please contact me here at Legaia and get your work out in the market – ASAP. We are currently offering 30% off on our advertising services until September 20, 2017. You can contact me at my direct number 1 (919) 741-5126 (Marcus Duncan) and let’s talk about your book.

    I’ll look forward hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    Marcus Duncan

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