Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie – Reviewed

Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie is a UK-based publisher with a registered company address in Castle Park, Cambridge. I’ll leave it to Pegasus to describe their publishing business:

“Over the last decade, the publishing house of Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie Ltd has flowered, growing strongly from its well-established roots in the cobbled streets of Cambridge. The well-loved and historic City itself has seen many changes and absorbed innovative ideas making it even more famous than ever. Similarly, our authors have enjoyed launches of their published books not only in some of the outstanding buildings within the City but in locations world-wide.

Please feel free to browse our site and note that you can buy any of our titles securely online. Just click on a cover, search, or browse using the category list at the bottom of the page.

If you are an author and would like to submit an [sic] manuscript to be considered for publication please read our submission guidelines.”

It’s never a good start to include a grammatical error on a company’s landing website page, and I found several others as well, but on the whole, Pegasus would invigorate an author with quite a degree of hope. Everything is there that you want to see on a publisher’s website; plenty of books, author success stories, and what seems like a very open policy for new and unpublished authors. In fact, to the casual eye, all seems in place, and Pegasus is a real runner for the aspiring author.
First, I have a few cursory observations. I don’t like a company where cash seems to evaporate like dust every couple of years. I don’t like a publishing company operating various publishing options for an author, where one of those options means an author has to pay several thousand pounds to see their book published/printed. Nowhere on the Pegasus website is this option possibility indicated. In fact, continually, the perception wrongly presented is that Pegasus is a standard mainstream publisher with sympathy for new and unpublished authors.
Pegasus, whilst accommodating for the effects of the trend by publishers only to look for celebrities, produces and encourages particularly the work of first-time authors, and supports them in proving their abilities.

“The Company numbers amongst its authors those with diverse and excitingly new talents, and these are encouraged alongside their literary prowess. Their various abilities embrace a wealth of expertise from eg drawing and illustrating their own books, painting and literary research, to becoming experts in ‘Sudoku’, memorable singers, songwriters and musicians.

They often contribute fascinating details with their diverse talents and use material and experiences from their unusual, exciting and sometimes challenging backgrounds.

Alongside such celebrities as, for example, the many talented writers whose work is currently acclaimed and about whom we write on our website.”

What Pegasus is not telling you is that their publishing policy is focussed on charging authors a fee for publication, and that policy is not reflected anywhere on their website for unsuspecting authors. I am not suggesting that Pegasus has never offered a publishing contract to an author without a fee, but I simply do not believe that that is the norm with Pegasus.
It’s unfortunate for Pegasus because their book covers are reasonably okay, though I’m very circumspect about their ability to distribute their authors’ books beyond wholesale listing. But that is another criticism, and one I can direct at many POD (print on demand) author solution services. Lack of transparency is unforgiveable for a publishing service. It’s why a publishing service never moves from OVERVIEW to REVIEW. And I’m not sure that is going to change by the authors who have contacted me after their experiences with Pegasus, and also their experiences elsewhere.
Here is what Publishing Advisor, Kathleen Nicholls of Pegasus thought of one author’s criticism when their publishing model and approach was questioned:

Willmot questioned their approach to submissions:

“Here is how its done. You take anything that is sent to you, send out a message that you are interested… hold on to the manuscript as if it were being read… send out a FORM LETTER as if it were read… and then… and only then offer a vanity press deal. Well your tactics are being uncovered and made known. Of course your web site would be littered with contented cow authors but the rest of your “marks” can eat vanity pie.”

And the reply from Kathleen Nicholls of Pegasus:

Dear Dr Wilmot

Your vitriolic email has been passed to me by the Editorial Section.
This is due to the fact that your communication did not state what you wish to have done with the work you have sent to us for consideration. It is clear that you have been corresponding with other authors who have also submitted their work to us, and, of course, it is entirely your own decision regarding how you respond to the publishing offer we have sent you.

Our present authors are all in a harmonious relationship with us as their publishers and are pleased with the progress of their work. Many authors return to us several times to us to have further books published, thus showing their satisfaction. This can be verified by viewing our website
The Publishing Board of Pegasus have now been shown your message and have stated that they are unable to comprehend what you wish to achieve by writing to us in this manner since a short, courteous email to us would have sufficed. We suggest that you submit to US publishers from now on.

Kathleen Nicholls, Publishing Adviser

On Behalf of Pegasus Publishing Board
Hmmm. So Pegasus is speaking for all UK publishers.
I think not.
Pegasus is what we commonly refer to as a vanity publisher. Most of these companies are disappearing on the UK market, however, a few seem to foolishly think they can still ply their trade without being exposed.

RATING: 3.0/10

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  1. Annie Marks said:

    I’ve already had three books published by Robert Hale and I went to Pegasus because I thought their reach was probably wider than Hale’s. Now I’ve received a letter offering me a contract and expecting me to pay £2,500! After having three books published on their merit – and had good sales from all three – I’m appalled that they think I’ll be happy to pay for book number 4. I don’t think they even read it; and apart from assuring me it would be available on Amazon they really weren’t offering anything else at all.
    It’s disappointing though, I wouldn’t have wasted my time if they’d been honest up front and told me they were a vanity publisher.

  2. EllesBelles said:

    I have also just received an offer of publication and the big £2750 has really put me off. Whilst I believe that they do publish the books I do not think they it is worth the £2750 as you have to sell a minimum of 7000 copies to get the money back and with the little press they do I would struggle to see how 7000 copies would sell quick enough to get me back my own money.

  3. Tanya Anderson said:

    I received an offer of publication yesterday and the charge of £2850 – exactly £100 more than the previous writer. Maybe they increase the charge each week! It was interesting opening the large A4 envelope though and seeing the smart shiny Publishing Contract, but I won’t be returning it.

    • Wendy said:

      I read your comment wiith nterest as I have just received a contract from Pegasus and am wondering whether to sign or not as they are asking form £1900 contribution. Time has moved on since you posted this comment – are you still impressed with Pegasus or has your opinion changed. Do you have any advice for me?

    • Tom said:

      Hi John,

      I have also been offered a contact by Pegasus under Vanguard Press. Can you give any feedback now that your book is published through them. How was the experience, was their marketing stratagem good and how are sales for you? I’m also in the same boat as Wendy and looking to know whether to go with them or not.
      Thanks for any response.

        • jennifer said:

          Hi i have just received an offer from pegasus to publish my book, but they want me to pay money toward the publishing of my book. I am very wary about this, have you had a good experience and have you received an advance or royalties

          • Jennie Ann Rake said:

            Hi Jennifer, I had a book published by Pegasus Vanguard in 2014. Yes, they charged for their services but I had to do all the proof reading and much of the editing myself. I would not go with them again as they priced the book so high – £12.99 – and no one wants to pay that. I have a book recently finished and I am not going to go anywhere near Pegasus. I hope you found some good publisher.

        • Trevor Barre said:

          Hi John,

          I have only just read your helpful comments. What is your overall opinion, now we are nearly in 2017? I was considering Pegasus, but the reviews are mainly awful, apart from yours. My book is on a very niche subject (avant garde music) and it would appear that Pegasus would not have either the motivation or the experience to promote a book like mine.

          Any summing-up comments before the jury retires?

          Trevor Barre

        • Ngololombe Zunde said:

          John McKay does not say whether he paid Pegasus or not not.

    • Bern said:

      Hi I have had the same offer and starting to read reviews. Your review is positive since March 2015 what has your outcome being after using Pegasus? Any feedback would be appreciated.

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  6. King Medlin said:

    Thanks, Mick! Thanks to all of you for your posts! Very insightful. I’m in Denver, Colorado and I just got their Email this morning regarding one of my submissions called “Star Kitten”. It looked so real, too! They said they enjoyed reading my first three chapters and wanted to see the whole manuscript. Was the next Email going to be a solicitation to pay them for publishing my novel?
    King and Caroline Medlin (Purple Hazel)

    • Rashmi said:

      Hi King,
      Have they asked you anything since that time?They have asked a full manuscript from me too, and I am planning to send it.

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  8. David L. Young said:

    Pegasus (through their Vanguard imprint) published 4 of my historical novels about Shakespeare and Marlowe. They didn’t charge me too much for this either. The people were nice to deal with and I even met them at their Cambridge Industrial park office when I came to the UK and had a pleasant chat with them. However they did absolutely ZERO about pushing my books in any way and in the end I cancelled my contract with them and have had them published more successfully elsewhere.

    • Lisa said:

      Hi David,

      Who did you end up going with – if you don’t mind me asking?

      • David Lawrence-Young said:

        Hello Lisa,
        Sorry for the delay in replying. No excuse except that I don’t go into this site very often. Please accept my apologies.
        I moved my books to Ravenswood Publishing in North Carolina USA. The owner, Kitty, is very nice and helpful and always has ideas about pushing your books.
        However, over the last few months, she has had several personal and financial problems and I’m not sure if she is taking on any new authors. Look up her site and say Hi to her from David in Jerusalem.

  9. Jaqui Turnham said:

    I have also had a contract from Pegasus, I was not really aware that they were a vanity publisher, I am not going to go forward, mostly because I live in S.Africa, and the Rand to Pound exchange rate makes it impossible, plus I would not get back what I put in for several years, if at all! I am looking for a publisher for a childrens book, if anyone out there has any info for a publisher that is not of the vanity variety. Perhaps we should help each other.

    • Raashida Khan said:

      Hi Jaqui

      I’m also in South Africa. Have you made any headway with self-publication? I’d love to pick your brain, please. Raashida

  10. Michael Bolger said:

    Book title ‘When A Man Carries The Lamp ‘ Nursing in the sixties from a mans point of view. Well done work on the book but poor back up re advertising/promotion of the book. This has to be by the author.

  11. Michael Bolger said:

    Yes I agree had a book published in 2000 had to do all promotion my self had local paper interview and book sign at Waterstons but sales poor. Was contacted by TV presenter my comments on the subject I believe resulted in several episodes of very popular nursing series!

  12. Patricia said:

    Hi I got a contract with Pegasus and I am very pleased with what they are doing for me my book should be out soon in a few weeks time and I cannot wait to get started

    • Rachael said:

      Hello Patricia, what made you decide to go with Pegasus and how has the experience been since the book was published?

  13. Chris Fidler said:

    All I would like to say is DO NOT have anything to do with Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie, they gave me a list of all the book shops they would get to stock the book which my wife wrote which foolishly I paid them £2,500 to print my wife’s book not realising they are a vanity publisher, but when I rang the book stores they said they have never heard of anything from them, and to make matters worse my wife was having treatment for cancer when they met us to discuss the publising of my wife’s book but still took the money.

    • said:


      Colin Croft here, author of Dead Man Calling, published by Pegasus. What they are doing borders on Fraud. They were unable to get me onto any of the book shop shelves. No Alibis is Belfast’s biggest niche crime fiction book shop. The owner told me he would not touch them with a barge pole. Avoid at all costs. My royalties for the last 6 months were a derisory £10.30. I paid them £2400 and then spent a further 600 on promotion. They spent nothing.

  14. Tony Alleyne said:

    I have just recently had a response from Pegasus about a manuscript I sent them. It reads as follows:

    Dear Tony,

    I would like to thank you for your patience during the submission process.

    I am pleased to inform you that ‘CLICK, CLICK BANG!’ was presented at our most recent publishing meeting. After discussing your work with my colleagues in production and marketing, I put forward a comprehensive case for its inclusion in our future reading lists. It is now my pleasure to inform you that your work has been accepted for publication.

    Unfortunately on this occasion we are unable to offer you a traditional contract. However, we do not wish to see this work rejected and therefore would like to offer you one of our inclusive contracts.

    An author friend of mine told me that no reputable publisher will charge an author for publishing.

    So far I haven’t signed any contract from Pegasus.

    • Mark W Hunter said:

      Tony, I’ve had the exact same communication today.
      It makes me feel sad…but it does not look good!

        • Colin Croft (McLean) said:

          Dear commentators,

          I regret to have to tell you that I am another who has been taken in by Pegasus. Dead Man Calling was published through Pegasus on 4th December 2016.

          After a long, unsuccessful search for an agent in 2015, I decided to look at other options, eventually agreeing to pay Pegasus £2400 to publish my book. I had received excellent feedback from a number of readers and I was not put off by the initial investment. The issues started to arise as the time for publication started to slip; it was originally to be ready to go to market in September.

          My concerns were further sharpened when I asked what was there marketing strategy. It appeared to say a lot until I started probing ie which papers would they be contacting, which retailers would they be in contact with and which bookshelves could I expect to see my book on. Objective answers were in short supply and prior to publication it became obvious that I would be responsible for most, if not all of the marketing. I managed to secure a radio broadcast and coverage in local newspapers as well as coverage in my local Police Gazette. I also held a book launch. When I approached No Alibis book shop in Belfast, I was told by the owner that he would not normally touch anything from a publishing house such as Pegasus, as it is a vanity publisher. he did however take some copies of my book which I had for publicity and they sold quite well. I have received no feedback whatsoever from Pegasus regarding enquiries from book stores or newspapers who are prepared to give an interview. I now feel like an agent for Pegasus. Every copy which I sell privately earns Pegasus £6.00 and me £3.99. I fell very let down and duped by the smooth, honey worded sales team. I did not mind paying towards the publication, but I had no idea, nor did I check the woeful reputation that this type of Publisher enjoys within the profession. This has been an expensive lesson emotionally. I am in the process of writing my second crime fiction. I can assure you that I will not be approaching Pegasus or any of their parasitic type when it is complete. Better to self publish.

    • Terry-ann said:

      Hi seems this is a standard letter they send out I have one as well the only difference is the book title. They may or may not be genuine, but I somehow think that they prey on new authors who are desperate to see their work in print. what’s important to this company at first glance is not the expectation s of the author, but how much money they can make before a book is published. Any publisher who feels a book will be successful and make money for both. Themselves and the author would support the publication financially and asking for money up front is not putting your faith in that individuaI, taking any risk away from the publisher, they have their money either way, but the author is left out of pocket.

      I also think this company probably sends out their standard letter to all who make a submission whether it’s a good read or not. I for one will not be taking up their offer on this ocassion after researching them.

      • Rita Robertshaw said:

        This is not a promotional post – it’s written by the author, giving very little info on the book and then a smidgin of info about himself, and then….that’s it. Not worth clicking on the link.

      • Colin mc said:

        I note that it has had 2 reviews on Amazon, hardly a ringing endorsement

  15. Lorraine said:

    Hi. I’ve just had an email asking for £2200 towards the cost of publishing my book “The Witch In The Ditch” which I wrote and illustrated. The idea of submitting my manuscript and illustrations for publishing was to actually receive an income, not to have to fork out for publishing! Aside from the fact that I don’t have £2,200. What do I do now? I have a great little book ready for publication. My first book as a grandmother.

    • Trevor Barre said:

      Self-publish, Lorraine. Don’t be put off by the byzantine publishing world, which promotes its activities like a occult cabal, with its own meta-language and ‘exclusivity’. Most of it is b/s.

      I got my first book out there, which has been well received, despite its obscure subject matter, and for less than the £2200 bill that you’ve been presented with. My biggest outlay was for the designer (around £700) and to get it printed (about £7.50 a copy). Go for a modest initial print run (100, say) to test the water, but shop around. You’ll have saved yourself money by doing your own illustrations. I assume it’s a kid’s book? If so, the book’s ‘look’ will be important, so make sure you get a good printer. If it has little text, you also save on proof reading and editing costs, which can be huge if you have a long, dense book!

      Good luck with it all.

      • Chris said:

        £7.50 x £200 = £1,500 + that £700 for a designer = £2,200. So surely it would be cheaper to get it published through Pegasus Publishers, because you wouldn’t have to pay extra for marketing, proofreading, amending, and the extra prints?

  16. Dr. Fayad W. Ali said:

    Oh! Oh! I have received the same (word for word) reply as Tony Alleyne, April 18, 2016 and Mark W. Hunter, May 19, 2016. They request 2 400 pounds from me for -The stars do shine. I am glad I read your comments. Thanks guys.

  17. Dr. Fayad W. Alii said:

    After reading all these comments and offered much the same on yesterday, I became wary and decided not to part with my hard earned money. Maybe Pegasus is a great establishment and may even publish the works of some authors for no cost up front…I don’t know. I am happy that at least they felt my work was worthy of publishing, hoping, of course, that they did read the manuscript. I now have a great book for publication, actually two. Any idea or suggestions?
    Thanks Pegasus, I still won’t say anything negative. I respect your policy. Best wishes.

  18. Eve H said:

    I work for a small London-based chain of bookshops which also has a publishing arm. I’d like everyone here to know that Pegasus do absolutely nothing to promote your books to shops. Not even emails. They don’t need to. You are paying up to £2500 for their “services” but I doubt they spend more than £800 on designing and printing your books. They are listed on wholesaler’s websites as being available to order but the wholesalers won’t actually have any stock. If they operate in a similar way to the notorious Minerva Press who used to advertise in Sunday papers back in the nineties, the books sit in a warehouse. After about five years they ask if you’d like your unsold stock sent to you. Most people decline because they don’t have room for 500 or so copies of their book so they just get pulped.

  19. adrian browne said:

    Most unprofessional , inept company i have ever dealt with ; i ordered several copies on new authors first publication and pre-paid hoping to have copy straight off the press … that was four weeks ago and release date nearly 10 days ago , still waiting . So i chased them up , 1st call lady hung up when i pushed for delivery date , 2nd lady hung up when i called back , tried to speak to director was told she would call me back . Guess what , within 15 minutes of that my money was refunded via Paypal !!! They are ruining any new authors chance of succeeding and should be avoided at all costs .

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  21. Jane said:

    I also received the exact same letter word for word. I feel gutted as I was so excited to finally realise I would get my book to print. The same pattern as above of asking for full manuscript, letter and request for £2400. I live in New Zealand so that is approx $4300. I have spent the last week trying to find a way to get the funds but fortunately have read this and other sites recommending against them. I had thought Pegasus was a reputable company that did all they said. I signed the contract but now feel disheartened today and will try and cancel it. Shame there are people like this out there they should be shut down. Especially if they don’t do all they say they will in regards to promoting the book.

  22. MT-B said:

    I received an identically worded email offering an ‘inclusive contract’ from Vanguard Press rather than a ‘traditional contract’ from Pegasus. The cost (too me) is £2,400. Smells like ‘bait & switch’.

  23. MT-B said:

    Out of a sense of devilment I read Vanguard’s contract and returned an annotated copy indicating 8 clauses that unfairly promoted the Publisher’s interests above those of the author (payment schedules, cash flow, breach etc); 2 errors in contractual law and posed 19 questions that required clarification over intent and lack of definition in 7 pages of text. It is one the most poorly drafted contracts I have had the misfortune to read. Rather than address matters Pegasus replied that ‘the offer wasn’t right for me and that the contract could not be changed.” As Pegasus’ website and submission conditions makes no mention of their use of the imprint Vanguard Press as a vanity publisher it risks contaminating what was once considered to be a strong brand in the publishing sector.

    • Luis Carruthers said:

      Hang on, what do you mean strong brand? Pegasus has never been anything other than what it is now.

  24. Douglas Renwick said:

    Wow! I have just read all the comments above – and the review of course – prior to sending off my synopsis and first three chapters. Thank you for saving me £2500! Can anyone recommend an honest publishing house? I have two novels ready to go, one self-published on Amazon and the other still on my computer..

  25. Jennifer Lynch said:

    What can I say – they are currently reading my manuscript. If I have to pay – I won’t be doing it this way. We will see!
    All my books are self published and there is still amazon scout.

    • Luis Carruthers said:

      It’s extremely unlikely you won’t have to pay, and even if you do get a so-called “traditional contract” that doesn’t mean you’re likely to have any success. This is a company that lacks the expertise, personnel and motivation required to actually sell a book. Their business model is to make money from the author’s pocket. Of course they’re happy if a book sells some copies, but that’s seen as an optional extra and not a necessity.

  26. David Lawrence-Young said:

    I had four historical novels published with Pegasus/Vanguard about five years ago. The books looked OK and when I went to meet them in Cambridge (in a nearby Industrial Park) they greeted me kindly, especially as I come from overseas. The books appeared on Amazon but hardly sold. In the end, about two years ago I cancelled all my contracts with them and took my books elsewhere.
    THEY DID ABSOLUTELY ZERO about selling or publicising my books and THAT is why I quit with them. An author goes to a publisher for PUBLICITY not printing. Anyone can do that. You are hereby warned.

  27. Luis Carruthers said:

    They do not possess expertise in selling books to the public, nor do they have much enthusiasm for doing so.

    Pegasus pays its overheads and makes its profits from money it takes out of authors’ pockets. Sure, they don’t mind selling books and some do sell a bit, but that’s a bonus. Revenue from selling books is not the primary source of income.

    In addition, it’s important to remember when they say the “contribution” goes towards a proportion of production costs this is a total lie. It’s literally a lie. This contribution, as I’m sure some authors have figured out, is enough to pay for the book’s production costs with enough money left over to make a profit too. The business model is such that they must always account for a book selling potentially zero copies.

  28. Trevor Barre said:

    Wow! What a slagging!

    I was just about to submit a proposal for my (second) book on English improvised music of the 1960/70s (yes, very niche, I know), but it sounds like they are a complete shower of shit, who couldn’t sell a book about George Michael, even in the current blubbery Princess Diana-like atmosphere. Anyone out there know of a publishing firm who might be interested in avant-garde music? It doesn’t sound like Pegasus, from what y’all are saying!

    Thanks for saving me from what sounds like a huge wind-up.

    Seasons greetings to all struggling writers, and best wishes for next year,

    Trevor Barre

    • Luis Carruthers said:

      Please don’t waste your time, effort and money. If you submitted Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn under a different name, they’d probably charge you £2,500 and it would sell 24 copies.

  29. Jonathan Taylor said:

    Hello everyone and thank you! I too have just been completely taken in by this apparent mainstream publisher – my experiences are as above. I submitted my three chapters, waited patiently and then was asked to send the full manuscript. I received my contract yesterday. Upon reading the clauses I immediately smelt a rat so with the assistance o Google did some further background. hence I found this thread. I have read all of your comments and will not be signing! If it helps – my contract makes reference to Vanity publishing: The cruelest part was to raise my hopes – had they said upfront they wanted fees I wouldn’t have wasted my valuable time1 Here it is:

    Dear Jonathan,

    I would like to thank you for your patience during the submission process.

    I am pleased to inform you that ‘THE MAN WHO BURIED HIMSELF’ was presented at our most recent publishing meeting. After discussing your work with my colleagues in production and marketing, I put forward a comprehensive case for its inclusion in our future reading lists.

    It is my pleasure to inform you that your work has been accepted for publication and would like to offer you one of our inclusive contracts as I feel the work is well written and has a good chance of success in the market place.

    While this contract requires a share of the production costs to be provided by the author, it is otherwise no different to our traditional contracts.

    This type of contract has become widely accepted as a legitimate addition in the publishing industry. There is however still some misunderstanding that surrounds these contracts. There are some strong comments to be found on the internet which are aimed at ‘vanity publishing’ this is for companies that take on ANY work and publish without any editing, any marketing, or any passion or integrity for the publishing industry. This is not us.

    We receive several hundred new submissions every month, out of that, on average only 10% will be taken through to the final review stage, there are many that we regrettably have to decline. Rather than rejecting good quality work we are able to offer an inclusive contract with enhanced royalties and subsidiary rights for the author, giving the opportunity for the work to be published.

    Our highly professional and motivated teams from the production and marketing departments will work closely with you every step of the way. Please see our Publishing Guide, attached to this email, for further information.

    I am pleased to attach the publishing agreement for your perusal. Particular attention should be paid to clauses 14 – 16. These clauses cover marketing and promotion as well as the contribution figure.

    If you wish to proceed with this contract, please sign and retain one copy for your records and return the other to me. This can be scanned and sent by email.

    Your production co-coordinator will be in touch soon after we have the signed contract and they will guide you through the publication process.

    Should you wish to pay your contribution in instalments, we would be pleased to arrange this for you. I trust that I have covered all possible points but should you need clarification, or, if there is another point you wish to have clearly defined, please contact me and I shall be pleased to discuss the matter with you.

    I look forward to welcoming you to our publishing house and to a successful future together.

    Kind regards,

    Suzanne Mulvey
    Commissioning Editor

    • Ngololombe Zunde said:

      Dear Jonathan,

      Don’t allow yourself to be bamboozled by Suzanne Mulvey. What she says is meant to convince you that they are doing the right thing by charging authors It is to hook in order to trick you. These pay to play tricksters, all, say the same thing. Keep your money, if you have not yet fallen into the trap of her so-called Pegasus vanity publishing company

    • Paul O'Connor said:

      The same thing just happened to me. Gutted. After waiting weeks, checking emails daily if not hourly, only to read all the above.

    • Tracy Lynch said:

      Snap. I just received an exact contract. Thank goodness for google. I have been saved from wasting all that money.

  30. Ngololombe Zunde said:

    Always Google and there will be a watchdog alert about the crooks and scammers in the publishing industry like PEGASUS and the notorious AUSTIN MACAULEY, the chief bandits of them all, and other GANGSTERS who do bamboozle people into parting with their money, which their published books by these robber barons or robbers without violence will never recover the money they give these thieves. If anybody asks you to pay to publish your book, run away and tell them to go to hell..

  31. Ngololombe Zunde said:

    I will not change the wording of my comment above about these vanity publishers. It is the battle of us authors who write to make a living from our writing and find ourselves robbed by these crooks of the vanity presses. Let them disappear, no matter where they are on earth. No one needs them. They don’t even need themselves. They are good for nothing.

  32. Lynn Shelley said:

    I’ve had the exact same letter for my children’s book ‘The Minnety Unicorn’…..
    Two agents had enjoyed my book, asking for revisions to the full manuscript before ultimately rejecting it. One agent said it was a near miss with her – so I know my book is well written. However, the rejections made me decide to go straight to publishers.
    The reply from Pegasus was initially exciting – but the request for money up front immediately rang alarm bells and this site has helped me decide not to touch them with a bargepole!

  33. Ngololombe Zunde said:

    I think that by enlightening authors, we will make people be aware and contribute to the demise of these good for nothing vanity, pay-to-play, so-called hybrid presses. No vanity, pay-to-play or so-called hybrids do any sincere and honest job. They are just all crooks.

    In principle, it would never be a good thing to wish death to anything, even to insects, but if the insects are harmful and predatory blood-suckers, we should not regret their demise. Let their own ways kill them.

    Perseverance helps in the end. Keep your manuscripts, boys and girls. Better to have them in your hands and keep trying to find publishers than finding money for these predatory blood-suckers and crooks.

    Real and honest publishers don’t advertise for manuscripts, particularly from new writers like Austin Macauley does all over online, in order to trap innocent people and snatch their hard-earned money. They have no sense of shame at all. And, obviously, they don’t even seem to realize that there is something wrong with their ways. They are immune to criticism and demonization. That is why they continue with their strange businesses, as usual; as if nothing is the matter.

    • Paul O'Connor said:

      I have just received an identical letter to those above. I am gutted by what has been written above, but at least I read it before parting with any cash. Does anybody have advice about going down the self publishing route. I would be very grateful for any help.

  34. Roddy Steele said:

    Hi everyone,
    Would like to let you know that I have just tried to phone the above mentioned Suzanne Mulvey and curiously I suffered 30 seconds of bad lift music and the line was cut. I received a contract offer email yesterday with the same proposal and vanguard contract as sited above. Utter tripe on all fronts. Please be very aware.

  35. Linda Walsh said:

    A big thank you to everyone above for sharing their negative experiences of Pegasus. I stumbled across this forum after I received an identical letter from them yesterday for a children’s manuscript. The alarm bells started to ring when I realised that I’d only sent them 3 chapters and based on that they were willing to offer me a contract. Also the fact that they wanted £2500 as my contribution. Thanks everyone – I won’t be touching them.

    It seems such a shame that so much talent is not being published. Self-publishing is ok if it’s electronically based, but otherwise it’s highly time consuming which is one thing a lot of people don’t have. I went this road when I had time with some ESL material (totally different genre) which have to be demonstrated for them to sell well, but now that I’ve had some life changes, I can’t find much time to visit schools. But the bottom liner is the same – promotion is everything. After paying £2500 you’d think they would be able to do this – scum bags! Printing costs in England are not that high.
    Can’t help thinking that there’s room for another outlet other than using publishing houses and self-publishing. A co-operative of writers? Authors supporting authors, pooling experience and promotion costs. Membership fees to be able to pay professional promotors and sponsor events. Signature dates with 4 authors instead of 1 and so on…. Anyone know if this scheme already exists. If so, I’d rather invest my £2500 in that!

    • Chella said:

      Hi Linda, a writer’s cooperative is a great idea. I’m setting up a Wiki site (i.e. where anybody can post material) for brainstorming purposes. I will post a comment here when it’s all set up. I really appreciate all of the information here, it’s been most helpful.

  36. Kalongo Musa said:


    Re: story for publication
    kalongo Musa
    AM Submissions USA (

    Dear Cortne Oakley,

    All who have published with you are satisfied and most of them still complain about your business practices? You can no longer deceive people. You are out in the public eye as crooks. You talk about your clients being pleased with the production and graphics and what not, but do not say that they get returns for working hard to write and you punishing them with exorbitant fees in an industry where publishers pay authors and not the other way around.

    I have done a lot of research about your AM, Pegasus, Olympia, Authorhouse and other scammers of the publishing industry and you can longer deceive people all the time. Approach the matter in a different way, if your want to be honored, and stop robbing young and poor authors of their money.

    Turn to better activities instead of exporting gangsterism from the UK to the United States and other parts of the world. Return to do your gangsterism in the UK and don’t export it.

    Yours days may actually be counted and cut short by your own deceptive tactics like happened to others called Tate Publishing in the United who have been busted by the American authorities .

    I cannot go ahead and have you ask me to pay for publication, which I know will be coming, if I make the mistake of submitting my work to you. Such gross nonsense!


    K. Musa

  37. Kalongo Musa said:

    Helpful (5)
    Austin Macauley Publishers Logo
    “Employees and Authors Should Avoid it Like the Plague”
    Former Employee – Anonymous Employee
    Doesn’t Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Austin Macauley Publishers full-time


    As a rule, management tended to employ young, bright, friendly graduates who are enthusiastic and eager to get stuck in. That means the atmosphere and friendships between workers is genuine and easy to form.


    Young bright workers are employed due to their lack of experience. Management knows that younger graduates or workers have little office experience and so can be taken advantage of and poorly compensated.
    Almost everything you are told at interview level is a lie. Employees are lied to as much as the authors at early stages – when I was employed, I believed that the Ely office was a smaller production office that supports the London headquarters. In reality, the London headquarters is nothing more than virtual office space. I also believed that submissions were considered equally and fairly and offered contracts based on their merit. In reality, most submissions are merely glanced at before being marked for contributory contracts. They are left in a pile for a few weeks to make authors believe they have been read and considered thoroughly before a generic letter asking for money is sent to the author. I was also shocked to discover that author’s contracts are signed by ‘chief editors’ who are either entirely fictional or pseudonyms. Editorial staff forge signatures for people who don’t exist on a daily basis to meet the high demand for contributory contracts.
    Very few employees at Austin Macauley are happy and wholly in the know about the unethical practices put into place by the company, but management manipulates, pressures and micro-manages employees to ridiculous standards until employees are left with no confidence to stand up for themselves. Before long, most workers are left with high levels of stress due to being forced to cheat authors out of money and low self-esteem regarding their work performance and I put this down to the bullying nature of management.
    Austin Macauley, at least when I was there, does not make money through book sales. They make profits through contributory contracts. They spend little to no money on quality marketing or production. Take a look at any legitimate publisher and you’ll see that they barely publish as many books in one year as AM do in a month. The workload is too much for every department and impossible for most. Marketers have 20 or so books to promote each month, with zero budget and no information about the title. Mostly, they wind up fielding angry phone calls from rightly dissatisfied authors which can be incredibly distressing.
    The totalitarian nature of management is unreal. We were banned from making tea for other members of staff because it “wasted time”, but it’s really to stop departments from communicating with each other. Management attempted to dock bathroom breaks from some employee’s allocated lunch times. Sick days or doctor’s appointments are met with distrust and much needed holidays are given begrudgingly. Constant paranoia and suspicion filters down from the office manager, making everybody under her uncomfortable and unhappy.
    Employee turnover is high and salary is low, with no structured scheme for raises or salaries within departments.
    Austin Macauley is quite simply an awful place to work. About 80% of employees quit before their first year is up and with good reason.Show Less

    Advice to Management

    You’re already bullying authors out of their money. Is there any need to bully your employees as well?
    Take a reality check; your company is basically a scam.

  38. Tim Moth said:

    Thank you everybody. I just submitted the initial 3 chapters, synopsis, etc. yesterday for my first book. After reading these comments, I feel sure that I will soon recieve an encouraging reply, requesting the entire manuscript. As I have not read one example of anybody being offered a traditional contract, and the only initially positive comment became steadily less positive in time, I’m not even going to put myself through it. They don’t deserve my full manuscript. Thanks everybody for saving first my hopes and dreams, and then my money.
    I’m going to keep persevering to find an agent, and if all else fails, self-publish. Glad I googled this :)
    Good luck all with your writing!

  39. Trish said:

    Thanks everyone! I’m at the very early stages of talking with them, these comments are so important. Lots of time and emotions saved. I will not be replying to them.

  40. Ute Matovu Davis said:

    Ute, October 31, 2017 says:
    Thank you so much for all your comments. Their pitch sounds so encouraging, especially to a first time publisher seeking person like me. I wrote a lovely little story for children that I would like to have published and considered ‘Pegasus’ an option.
    I’d rather keep looking.

  41. Isabel Carter said:

    Just had my book published with Pegasus, ‘ Down In The Devil’s hole’ all went very well, they were great to deal with. Loved the cover and blurb. It’s now being sold in Waterstones and WHSmiths in the U.K. They also contracted my local news paper for interview to be set up in the next few days. Can’t fault them to date, sorry folks but I did have a great experience for a first time author. Izzy

    • Kalongo Musa said:

      I am afraid to say that Isabel Carter appears to be naive or she is an insider of the of the Pegasus scheme who, as happens specially with the Austin Macauley, pens up some story to whitewash the scamming gang and make it appear good, responsible and to bamboozle authors to trust the vanity press. First of all, Isabel failed to tell us how much she paid to have her work published or did she get an advance from these faceless pseudo-publishers and what bookstores are selling her book.

      All VANITY presses claim to market their work at Waterstones and WHSmiths, whatever these groups are. All Vanity presses do place a few copies with AMAZON, which hardly sell..

      She will be very lucky, if she can make money from this Vanity press she praises. If her intention is not to make money but to see her work in print, that is alright for her. But authors write to make money and not to pay money to scammers and gangsters posing as publishers.

      I advise authors not to be misled by what Isabel says, but try out to get traditional publishers who will publish, market and sell their books. And forget them gangs of scammers such as Pegasus, Austin Macauley, Olympia, AuthorHouse, Xlibris and other gangs out to deceive and bully authors out of their money. If boycotted, the gangsters will come to their senses and look for better things to do. Their gangs will die and die soon.

      • Jay Newcomb said:

        If she did have a good experience with this firm, why be so hateful to her? Let her have her day in the sun

    • Colin croft said:


      How are you feeling about them now? One review on Amazon it says all you need to know about the influence of their reach They are con artists who have duped so many people, me included.

      Colin croft

  42. Josephine Bacon said:

    I am a published author (by commercial publishers) of 20 non-fiction books. I also worked in publishing for many years and I am now a freelance editor. I hold no brief for vanity publishers who, certainly in the past, would insist that an author pay for an exorbitant number of copies (about 60,000!) which they never even bothered to bind. But put all this in perspective. A friend of mine, a historian but one who is not a celebrity and who has no track record, was offered a publishing deal with a well-known academic publisher, who insisted he pay himself for the editing and for the index! That is the way publishing is going in the “legitimate” publishing world! Of course, if you are writing fiction, you don’t need an indexer and clearly Pegasus, as vanity publishers, are going to do nothing about editing the book, an essential step and one you must pay for yourself. If you are a good marketer yourself and have a wide circle of contacts through whom you can sell the book then it doesn’t matter if you go with Pegasus or any other vanity publisher, but you need a deal where YOU own the copyright and decide the print run. No one has mentioned these aspects.

    • Kalongo Musa said:

      Down with and death to Vanity presses. They are useless and public enemy number One of all authors. They scam and deliver absolutely nothing to authors. Authors should not waste time with the likes of Austin Macauley, Pegasus, Olympia and other gangsters posing as publishers. Don’t waste your manuscripts with these mafia gangs.

  43. ROB. said:

    Bloody glad I found this site. I got the same exceptance letter but havn’t receieved the contract yet, but when I do it will be straight in the bin. I find the worst part about it all apart from the excitement of learning your work is going to be published, is the excitement your friends shared with you on hearing the news. Better days ahead that’s for sure, I didn’t fall into thier clutches, come to think of it the better days have started already.

  44. Michael Peart said:

    I have received the apparently usual email today asking me to share the costs of publishing. Have things improved with Pegasus, does anyone have anything good to say about them?

  45. Michael Godley said:

    I feel such a fool; I paid £5500 to Pegasus for two books in 2015 and 2016. I have sold none! I came onto this site when seeking Pegasus address and to ask them why I had had no financial statement for over a year. I suspected that they had gone out of business ! I can’t say the comments on this web site have put my mind at rest but it has been a revelation.

  46. kim smith said:

    I have had a book published by Pegasus a few years ago, they did ask me to pay £2000, but i said I could not afford that, could they pay and they did.Pegasus also had leaflets printed for me to advertise, and book marks. I also have a youtube video which was unexpected. The book is full colour as it has lots of illustrations. They were a bit fixed in their ways, but i wanted the printing done in a certain way and they did listen. There are a couple of mistakes, which had not been rectified before going to print, but maybe no one else would notice?
    This is my first book and i knew my book would was never going to make it big. so didn’t do it for the money. I do get a couple of cheques a year, not much, but last year was the best by far.

  47. Jay Newcomb said:

    I am the author of a series of books called Visigothic. The first to have been published by Pegasus. Visigothic: The Barbarians of Midgard and the soon to be released, Visigothic: Wizards and Kings. I’m happy with the way that the books look, but I think they are priced way too high. I have many more unpublished manuscript in the series, some of which are already ready to go. As far as editing process with Pegasus, I received back very detailed editing suggestions, page by page, noting corrections, in both manuscripts during the time when they were being worked on. They had to have been read by the editor in order for me to get such exacting detail. There may indeed be some improvement, and they have offered me a traditional contract for the third book in the series, which is the only contract I will except. I have looked at this process as a way of getting my walks into print and my foot into the publishing door. Another reason, being very personal, was that I wanted my books in this particular series, published in the UK. The contract states that these will be placed into the British Library, and that has been ultimate goal of mine, to contribute in my own small way to The genre of English literature. It has been my experience that most of the publishing companies these days do not store large numbers of books, but due to the electronic Internet era, most books are, “print on demand.“ This is the same with most of the books that you see on Clearly I am not pleased by A lot of the negative things that are involved in this type of publishing, and I much prefer a standard traditional publishing contract, because this is truly what it is all about in the long run. For me this is only a means to get my Nisha works out onto the market, that way at least I have something I can present to a traditional publisher Invest their willingness to take a chance on me and my works is greater.

  48. Jay Newcomb said:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to say that my concerns have been addressed by Pegasus and I am pleased with the products and services I’ve received. The last post had type errors, sentence nine, where ‘walks’ should be ‘works’; and in the second to the last sentence where ‘Nisha’ is not supposed to be there. Sorry. Anyway as it turns out, Pegasus does offer traditional contracts. As for other folks who have been commenting on this feed, I’ve noticed a lot of meanness and vitriol in many of the comments in this feed and a lot of angry name calling. This is quite unprofessional in my opinion. Someone a while back, when a woman posted her positive comments, was lambasted and called names. If you have had a bad experience say so in a professional manner, but please allow those such as myself who’ve had positive experiences and results have their moment in the sun. The editing and proofreading that Pegasus has done for me are outstanding and I’ve no regrets in choosing them.

    • Craig Henebury said:

      Still feeling good about things Jay?
      I’ve come to understand there are really only two aspects to consider in this space –
      (1) Getting your book to a publishable state – the proofreading, cover design, etc – but it is all very doable on your own. For self-publishing (say using the IngramSpark platform) you would need to also navigate formatting and pricing – again all very doable. You absolutely can do this yourself.
      (2) Awareness/publicity. This is where we as individuals really struggle (imo). We don’t have the connections to push our books. The book may indeed be great, but if no one knows about it… If you are going to engage with any publisher and handover money/or a %, the ONE thing you need them to do (because you can’t easily do it yourself) is promote the book – online, magazines, book reviews, and ideally push hardcopies into bookstores. The Vanity Press are not going to do this for you, meaning the one thing you really need from them, you are not going to get. I realise all the non-writing elements of your book (formatting, proofreading, cover) may seem a little daunting but they really aren’t – Google, ask around, visit a local students art/graphics college, or just keep things simple if you really have to. A platform like Ingram makes your book available to all. What none of this does, is promotion. If your publisher is not going to promote, then they add no real value at all.

      One last observation – if a publisher is asking you for money, aren’t they also advertising (at best) that they are unsure of their own capabilities? I think so. So why get into bed with them?

      If you are going to pay to get your book produced, do it yourself – it isn’t as daunting as it might first appear – really. My book, SLEEP is an example of what you can do.

      I recommend: self-publish, do what you can (and can afford) to promote your book, get out and about locally to promote your book. Keep sending to agents/publishers and stay the course – when you do that contract where they are offering you money, then seriously consider it. :) Good luck.

  49. margareth ralph said:

    Pegasus took 45000-00 from us to publish our book and promised much marketing. After paying 45000-00 They did no marketing and sold not one book. Writers BEWARE Pegasus is a one man band and will do many of you in with royalties. We have the proof thereof.
    Margareth Ralph

  50. Ian Burden said:

    The author of this comment requested it to be deleted on April 30th, 2018.

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