Olympia Publishers UK – Reviewed


In late 2007 I came across a thread on AbsoluteWrite mentioning a UK publisher called Olympia Publishers. At the outset, it should be stressed that this publisher has nothing to do with the distinguished Paris-based literary and erotica press founded by Maurice Giordias during the early 1950s. Giordias’ avant-garde esoteric publishing house introduced us to classics by Burroughs, Beckett, Bataille and Nabokov. Giordias also ran the erotica imprint Ophelia Press which published one of literature’s most famous and enigmatic publishing mysteries in the form of Pauline Reage’s The Story of O. Every time I come across the Olympia Press during research, I keep telling myself I should do an historical publishing piece on this publisher. But that one is for another day.

A quick Google of Olympia Publishers will quickly reveal a whole plethora of publishers over the years that have traded under derivatives of the Olympia name. I can understand a ‘Ted Jones’ from Melbourne, Australia trading under Jones Construction if this is his line of business, but frankly, in today’s age of global communication, the Internet and company records readily available to the general public, I can’t understand any publishing house trading under the name of a similar and previously existing publisher or press unless the confusion is deliberate. It was the first bane of frustration for the authors posting on the above cited AbsoluteWrite thread above.
Olympia Publishers UK, part of Ashwell Publishing, began sometime around late 2007. The publisher lists its address at 60 Cannon Street, smack in the heart of the City of London. That’s a pretty nice piece of office real estate to lease and operate out of, but when you’re a publisher with 250 listed titles (on Amazon UK), a catalogue filled mainly with new or unknown authors, something doesn’t quite ring true. I’m a pretty frequent traveller now, and I’ve learned from experience when I’ve decided to ‘call around’ to the offices of publishers or companies offering self-publishing services, I’ve discovered vacant rooms above laundrettes,  fast food shops, residential homes, derelict or abandoned buildings with no more sign of a thriving publishing house than rusting galvanised shutters and a overstuffed ‘mailbox’ and a builder with a steaming-hot Pot Noodle clutched to his bosom. I’ve had experiences like this with several UK self-publishing services – are you taking note Mr Miller from BookForce/UnDiscovered/discovered Authors/Callio Press? Olympia Publishers actually operate out of a less attractive piece of real estate in a business industrial estate in Cambridge.
I may or may not be calling to a publisher/self-publishing service near you soon! Fortunately, I’ve also had many good experiences with companies only too open to me paying a visit. Not surprisingly, most of these companies tend to be the better service providers to authors.
From the Olympia Publisher website:

“We continue to publish books by well-known writers and have also given writers at the dawn of their careers the necessary opportunities to have their books published successfully. Therefore, we can now pride ourselves on achieving fame for previously unknown writers. We have been able to achieve this by proven methods of internet marketing and by well-established and traditional forms of promotion. To achieve this we have developed very useful and beneficial links with the Media, and this has escalated world-wide; consequently more and more of our books are reaching the potential that they deserve.”

Hmmm, ‘pride ourselves on achieving fame for previously unknown writers.’ Is that what unknown writers seek or what Olympia think they are seeking?
I actually do like the layout and presentation of the publisher’s website. It has what a publisher’s website should have; plenty of books on display and plenty of author event news. A look at the book covers throughout the online bookshop reveals  a pretty mixed bag. The site provides ample information on upcoming author events and links to short biographies of its published authors. However, I’d like a great deal more about this company on the main page and about page, primarily why Olympia Publishers is different to other publishers and what their staff experience is. There is also a dramatic lack of trade information suggesting to me that this publisher does not have the trade and media links it claims to have. The publisher does support an online bookstore, but returns for customers and groups are not accepted. My concern here is that this is transferred to trade accounts as well.
Let’s get to the nub of Olympia Publishers in this overview, because that’s all it can be. Even a commercial publisher provides more detail than this publisher – trade order details; details of editors and staff experience; and a full overview of the company history. In essence, Olympia on the surface look like a standard publisher, but this belies the experience of authors submitting to them in the AbsoluteWrite thread cited above, and the more recent threads here.
“Initially all manuscripts submitted to us are considered under non-contributory publishing contracts. This is where no costs are incurred by the author and the whole outlay is taken on by Olympia Publishers.

Should we be unable to offer the non-contributory contract for those manuscripts that would fit in with our high standards and genre criteria, an alternative means of being published is considered. This would be under a slightly different form of contract which is contribution-based. We would like to point out that the promotion and marketing of all our books is carried to the same depth regardless of the type of contract that is offered.
As always, we dedicate a great deal of our resources to researching new methods by which we can move forward, in keeping with modern innovations. Some of our future plans include the provision of e-books as these are currently gaining impetus; now it appears that e-books are beginning to pose an important addition to normal publishing. We plan to encompass all our future and existing titles to be sold as e-books as well as in paperback format. “
Olympia reminds me a great deal of Austin & McAuley, who until about two years ago did not inform authors about fees connected with publishing as part of their programs. I’ve no problem with a publisher adopting a hybrid approach to publishing. But traditional and self-publishing imprints must be kept separate, and all financial details as part of a paid service must be disclosed before an author submits to the publishers – and that includes costs (absolute or by example) as well as royalties. In short, you can’t play the game as a publisher but operate in whole as an author solutions provider.
It should be noted that fees cited from the above links by authors, after they submitted to Olympia, ranged on average from £2500 – £3500. Publishing should be a democracy – open to everyone – but you simply cannot operate an imprint that claims to publish one author for free, and another for £3500, and give both the same marketing and promotion.
RATING: 3.6/10
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  1. Avril Meyler said:

    Hope your article improves their operation. I’ve just submitted the remainder of a manuscript they requested having read the first 5 chapters. At least your article has stopped me getting overly excited that at last I’m going to be recognised and supported as a new author. We shall see……………..

    • Maria rowlinson said:

      What did you decide to do? I have just been offered a contract but as yet do not know how much they want me to pay. This is all so new for me and I am unsure what to do next.

      • Tara said:

        I’ve just experienced the same thing, I’m waiting on a response from another publishing house. I’d love to know what you decide to do.

    • CharliE said:

      I’d be very interested to hear the outcome? I have just submitted a few chapters to them and they are interested in receiving the whole manuscript.

      • Agaric Fly said:

        HI there. I’ve just had a manuscript accepted on a contributory basis and, having said I’de like to see the contract, the Senior Editor, Max Stern, is going to confer with his colleagues. I took the time to look at Ashwell’s Annual Report at Companies House and it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. They seem to have about £180k in the bank and have £225k in creditors (royalties as yet unpaid?). Revenues seem almost non-existent. I’ve rather lost faith in this outfit – not helped by a well-known agent (Who sadly hasn’t signed me up – grr!) advising me to avoid like the plague. Onwards and ever upwards, possibly…

      • Johnie Wood said:

        Same here although your message is now a couple of years old. I was a little excited when they came back and said they have reviewed the sample I sent them and now want to review the full manuscript. For me I’m not interested in pay-to-publish with Olympia since I have self published three books with very little expense. In fact you can publish with no cost through Amazon/Createspace. You only pay if you want to have it professionally formatted or for a professional cover page. I do that but not through Amazon as I use First Editing and eBook Launch for editing, formatting and a professional cover page.

        • Keith Bayliss said:

          Olympia reviewed my submission and recently was advised to send the full manuscript as were others as above. Naturally I felt, like yourself,a little excited and was going to ring the contact who ‘e’mailed me regarding a query I had. I looked on their google page and saw what professed to be their office in London with a contact phone number. I expected the telephone number to start 0207 etc but saw it started 0203. Thinking it was a bit odd I looked further into the reviews & background a little more and decided this was not for me. I would like to have a go at self-publishing and the procedure but knowing little on the subject will have to investigate. Thanks for your background advice, with others, which confirmed my doubtful thoughts.

        • Judie Barrington said:

          I know I shouldn’t laugh….but…..the email I received – only 2 days ago – is almost word perfect to those sent to others, Having jumped for joy, and treated my friends to a glass of bubbly each, and imagining the life of J.K.Rowling…….I asked for their contract to be sent, which they did yesterday……..say no more !
          If I was absolutely stupid I would be sending them a total of £2,200 over the next 10 months, and expecting 50% royalties, plus 20 copies of my ‘paperback’ ( my ‘work’ being a children’s novel would not look good in paperback !) Thank the Lord, and all you lovely honest people on this site……for your reviews, that have made me wake up, smell coffee and burst my own balloon (s)……To think that I WAS going to travel to 60 Cannon Street, with signed contract in hand, with part payment cheque ( to show good faith ) and meet Mr James H——-ton in person ! who most likely runs the taxi cab company downstairs !!!! Lets’s not give up guys, J.K. Rowling was turned down 12 times ! Good luck everybody.

    • Paddy said:

      Austin and MaCauley have just accepted my manuscript and offered me a publishing deal for my book. Only trouble is they want to to cough up £2600! Do these people have any fucking idea how many pints of Guinness that is? Needless to say I won’t be taking them up in their offer. There was no phone call, no email, I just got home from work and there was a letter. I have to say what they sent me did look good, a nice wee A4 colour folder containing the relivent information, looked really good, like, professional. Then I got to the bit about the £2600. But they did give me the option to pay it in installments! How does 1p a week sound? I just got an email from Olympus publishing today as well requesting the full manuscript. Judging from what I’ve read here I won’t be bothering my hole.

      • patricia ilich said:

        Paddy – I had my first book accepted by Austin Macauley two years ago. I was a ignorant and naïve and I stupidly paid them the 2,500 English pounds ($5,000 Australian for me). They certainly produced the book – and sent me ten free copies. My book is available through amazon but it is available nowhere else. I have written many times to them asking for details as to their distribution network, promotion and marketing details which they promised on my original contract. It would appear that they have done nothing to get my book into any bookshop.
        I am frustrated and out of pocket.
        I have now completed by second book and Olympia have asked for the full manuscript. I understand from reading the above reports that Olympia are more than likely going to be Vanity publishers also. I refuse to pay out any more money – an d am beginning to realise that this is an evil industry – preying on the unwary and naïve authors.

        • Carina said:

          I have seen Austin McCauley books advertised in Books Ireland Magazine here in Ireland so they obviously have outlets for some of their publications?

      • Ken Shaw said:

        I like your wit Paddy. I unfortunately paid Austin Macauley £2,500 to publish my book which was released on October 31st 2017. I received my 20 ( free?) books, but since then Austin Macauley have been conspicuous by their abscence. They told me in my contract that my book would be available in WH Smiths and Waterstones, yet friends of mine have told me it is not even on their databases. Not only that, they had the gall to tell me to get to work on marketing and promoting my book. I am very disappointed and out of pocket. Fortunately Authors Publish Magazine advised me just in time not to publish my second novel with Olympia publishers. If you Google Authors Publish Magazine you can register with them and they will send you lists of reputable publishers who do not charge to publish your books. Good luck. (Ken Shaw 19th Nov. 2017)

        • JLTan said:

          I was recently offered a co-publishing contract from Olympia, and I have (today) received a ” publishing contract’ from Austin Macauley which I have not yet had time to read; I am married to a barrister, and I will go over that contract with a fine-tooth-comb before I reply to them.
          I responded to Olympia by explaining:- that the fact that they did not wish to publish my manuscript by traditional publishing ways, strongly indicated that their Editors were uncertain if my book could produce profits for Olympia. In other words, the Editors must have had some doubts that my work was worthy of publishing! I also explained that I had written the book to earn extra money for myself, and that I would only accept a traditional publishing contract that did not require any funding by myself. (Why on earth would I contribute my own funds to a book that professional publishers wouldn’t invest in – they should know if my manuscript is marketable or not?!?!)
          Get honest with yourself “Writers” – if your manuscript is worth publishing, it will be snapped by by a publisher who is willing to do a traditional publishing deal with you.
          J.L.Tan December 2017

          • Jennie Ann Rake said:

            Hi J.L.Tan, I have just been offered a contract by Austin Macauley that I knew very little about when I submitted my ms a month ago. Having learned about their way of working I have emailed back to point out that I have seen a sample letter online that is identical to the one they sent me and therefore lacks any credibility. In other words they send the same letter, initially suggesting that they were going to go along the traditional route and then had a rethink and decided it was too risky, as I am little known. For a publisher that boasts about dealing with new authors, that decision makes no sense. Do they, or do they not want to deal with new authors? Of course they do … and take their money into the bargain. I have also just received a similar communication from the German company Novum, who cleverly hid their actual location on the website. I shall also be emailing them and telling them I won’t be paying out almost £4000 for them to produce a book which they propose to sell for £16.99! No one would pay that for a paperback!

    • Nick Haines said:

      Hey I hear ya good man. I am along those lines myself. Fingers crossed your work gets somewhere

    • dee said:

      Hi who did you get to publish your book then i am so worried atm i have written a very evcotive n engaging biography had two replies from two publishers both wanted a partial sum of money towards publication costs please help regards dee

      • Elizabeth Blackwell said:

        Dee I wanted to ask how you are going with the process. I too have a memoir both visually beautiful but also touching on some taboo subjects and wanted the backing of a publushing house. Wondered if you may have any advice you might be able to share

    • Bob said:

      Avril, what happened in your case? I’ve just submitted my ms. to them and now I’m concerned. Any info much appreciated.

  2. Sandy Brown said:

    I had my Manuscript accepted by them and have been sent a contract but I did not realise that they are a Vanity publisher. So I have not signed the contract. I will have to re-think and start again.

  3. Ashwin said:

    Hey Sandy and Avril,

    I guess I am in the same boat as both of you. They have asked me to submit my entire manuscript. But I found out, that all the online reviews are totally against them. So now I am very skeptical about them.

    Sandy, did they mention self-publishing as a part of the sent contract? or is it completely funded?

  4. John said:

    I have been offered a contract by this Olympia. The initial excitement didn’t last long when I realised they wanted me to pay them.
    I have two questions about them.
    * How many authors do they turn away ?
    * How many authors have been offered ‘traditional’ contracts ?
    * It would also be interesting to compare our ‘offer’ letters. I guess they will all be identical.
    I wont be taking up their kind offer to pay them. Vanity Publishing.

    • Yolande said:

      HI, These are my questions exactly. It seems that everyone is asked to pay, which in effect does make them vanity publishers.

  5. Avril Meyler said:

    They did offer me a contract but invited me to contribute. I did not bother to go any further and I’ve actually self published 2 books through Create Space and very pleased with the process, once I’d taught myself to negotiate their technology, the books are well produced. I don’t see this as “vanity publishing.” I see this as me taking control of my creativity and not hanging around waiting for some publishers to deem me worthy of their attention. What I’ve written about I cared enough about to want to share with others before I die. POD etc has taken the publishing world by storm and the power is no longer in the hands of a few publishing companies and that can only be a good thing and encourage others to release their creative spirits.

    • Robert Lauri said:

      Hi Arvil
      I to was offer a contract i am know waiting to see if they are going to ask me to contribute to have my book publish.I already contacted Create Space for there Publishing package. I ‘ve seen there work an it is just as good as any other publisher work.Thanks for the read.

      • Jennie Ann Rake said:

        Hi Robert did you perform a spell check on your work? There is enough about your post to concern me.’There’ means a place, ‘their’ shows ownership.

  6. Nick Peterson said:

    Hey guys,

    I have recently joined the list of peeved writers who Olympia has tried to fleece. Unfortunately, I only discovered this article after a month of waiting for their verdict, so I allowed myself to hope and dream! But like you, Avril, I plan on using Create Space to get my books out there. I totally agree on using these new technological platforms to empower ourselves and share what we have created! If anyone is interested, I wrote a blog post about my experience, which I’m sure that most of you will relate to: https://nickpetersonblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/386/

    Good luck to everyone who wants to get their work out there!

    • Betty Maura-Cooper said:

      It makes one feel so naive, reading all this after having submitted MSS to various publishers. I did go the Create Space route and, as has been commented, it’s easy to do, even for a novice. The only trouble is that I’m not too good at the ‘social media’ stuff so it wasn’t promoted. It’s still out there ‘Alone Among Strangers’ by Betty Maura-Cooper and costs hardly anything on Kindle.
      However, I decided to give publishers a try with another book and received a beautifully presented contract from Austin Macaulay. The first 3 paragraphs were full of praise, then the next asked for a ‘contribution’ of £2,300 towards the cost of publishing this wonderful book. When I declined, saying I didn’t have that sort of money, they said they might be able to reduce that payment – just like a double glazing salesman. Do you get the impression it’s no longer a gentlemanly profession?
      However, I have succeeded in having another book published by Endeavour Press. I wrote this one under my pen name of Marigold West and it’s called ‘Leon’s Island, which the publishers described as a ‘tempestuous romance’
      which means there’s nothing wrong with my memory! My only disappointment is that it’s only available via Amazon and even though I live in a town full of bookshops, because of this they can’t stock it.

  7. Brian Cox said:

    i also have been offered a contract from Olympia publishing , after reading the above i think i will be keeping my money in my pocket there should be a law against vanity publishers , as writers put there heart and soul into their work not to be ripped off by vanity publishers

    • Christian McCulloch said:

      Thank you all for your comments. It is good to know that there are people out there who care enough to safeguard fellow authors. Again, thanks. I think I will drop them a line to let them know what I think of them……..

    • Gaz Van Damme said:

      I have been offered contracts from 4 different companies. Thinking i was the shit, i checked online and lo and behold…I am not the shit! Vanity publishers should be dipped in dog piss and farted on. All in favour…

      • alan elliott said:

        I’m very grateful for this blog…Olympia have asked me to send the complete book but being a pessimist I began a little research and now know the truth that there are vanity publishers in disguise….It’s good to learn and I’m fortunate to learn before sending to these bastards….

  8. Renie A. said:

    I have also been offered a contract and I was a little bit confused because they told me I would have to make a contribution, I don’t know anything about publishing so didn’t know if this was right or wrong, I don’t think I would be taking them up on their offer. I highly doubt they fully read my manuscript as the email sounded very generic.

  9. Craig W said:

    I’ve just recently received an email from them wanting to see the full manuscript of my story. I was so excited. Yet, something deep inside me told me to do a little research on them before proceeding. So, after extensive research, I’ve become disheartened to see that they’re vanity publishers. :/

  10. Jason E said:

    I too have received a request for my complete manuscript, today in fact. I am NOT interested in vanity publishing. My mind is now made up, based on the above post and the previous replies.

    I have already self-published through Createspace.com (Amazon subsidiary) in November, 2014. It was a very successful outcome for a paperback and Kindle format of my first book. The experience helped me to self-publish Nook and iTunes formats (ePub) with informative product pages, in January, 2015.

    My intention was never in the vanity department, but to take my love of fantasy novels to the next logical progression. I am writing my own novels, in the hopes of others enjoying my imaginative storytelling. Until I find company to take on my complete and polished product, I will continue on the path of doing it on my own.

    • Dr Sheikh Rafi Ahmad said:

      I am in the same boat as others and is pestered by both the Austin and the Olympia. I have tried lots of agents and other non-shark publishers, with mu debut fact-based fiction. None have bitten the bait as yet. I would like to follow your example of self publishing and need your advice and comment from your experience with CREATESPACE. Thanks in advance for your help. My e-mail is as follows; sheikhrafiahmad@hotmail.com

  11. margaret day said:

    I had come upon olympia publishers and thought to take up their invite to send my complete manuscript. How glad I am now that I stopped to read this page! As much as I would like my work to be published I don’t want to go down the vanity route, and I think it very unfair of this publishing company not to say what they really are!

  12. Sarah G said:

    I’ve also just got the email with the go ahead….

    Is this the same one everyone got?

    I would like to thank you for your patience during this time. The editorial team here at Olympia have now finished reviewing and evaluating your book.

    I have received a wide-range of reports covering aspects of your writing, such as style, quality and grammar; we have also considered how your work fits in with its genre and how that genre is coping in the market today. Having taking all these areas into account I have met with my editorial colleagues and, based on our evaluations, believe this would appeal to the literary market today. I can confidently state that we are impressed with your work and find it suitable for publication.

    Although we find your novel suitable and to have literary merit; commercial decisions have to be made in this fiercely competitive and saturated market. We believe that every author – untried or unpublished – should be given the opportunity they need to have their work published so that the reading public can be the judges.

    Bearing this in mind, the Publishing Board is reluctant to take on the whole cost of the publishing process in the current circumstances. However, the Board would like to invite you to make a contribution towards the initial production costs. Please consider this offer carefully. We will obviously bear the main burden of costs, which, I am sure you will appreciate, over the lifetime of the book will be considerable. At this stage we are seeking only an agreement in principle. Please note; both parties are still free to withdraw at any point until contracts have been signed.

    We understand you would need to know this figure before you can make a decision, this figure is finalised by the Publishing Board, should you decide to request a contract. Once we have received your response, a publishing contract can be prepared and sent to you. Unfortunately, we could not offer a traditional contract at this time.

    Please let me know whether or not you wish to view the proposed publishing contract for your work. If you have any other questions regarding publishing then please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Max Stern

    Chief Editor

    Olympia Publishers

    60 Cannon Street· London· EC4N 6NP

    • Stuart Mills said:

      Yes. I believe that everyone who contacts Olympia receives this standard letter, and even when I e-mailed them if they were a ‘Vanity Publishing Company’, they replied that they were not, yet, when reading through their contract which was quickly e-mailed to me unexpectedly, they wanted £2,200 from me?
      I quickly read through the website and agree with all the comments by would- be authors of Olympia. No check from me, and I have instructed then to either return my full manuscript and synopsis to me or destroy it, with proof that my instruction has been carried out.

    • linda manousaki said:

      The exact same wording as my offer to publish with them. How disillusioned I am!

    • vakhtang said:

      I have gotten something like that. I’ll put it here, but I need to say it does not look good at all to me (no amount mentioned, and a tone does not seem authentic): ” May I begin by thanking you for your patience during this lengthy review process. In the last few weeks my colleagues and I have carefully reviewed your full submission and can confidently state ‘Federal Shadows in Canadian Prison’ is a work we are tremendously interested in.

      We have discussed the quality of your writing, informative nature of the true experience narrative and overall structure of your manuscript. We have also undertaken evaluations on your works style and its suitability to its genre.

      Although we agree your autobiographical work is well written and has literary merit, commercial decisions have to be made in this fiercely competitive market. I believe that even untried or unpublished authors should be given the opportunity to have their work published so that the reading public can be the judges.

      The work has been widely discussed and commended here at Olympia. However, at this time we are reluctant to take on the whole costs and would invite you to make a contribution toward initial production costs. Please consider this offer carefully. This will be a one-off, finite figure. Any future costs, mainly to cover marketing over the lifetime of the book, will be covered by Olympia.

      At this stage we are seeking only an agreement in principle. Please note, both parties are still free to withdraw at any point until contracts have been signed.

      The contribution will be finalised once a contract is requested by you. Once we have received your response, a publishing contract can be prepared and sent to you at your request. You can, of course, contact me in the meantime to discuss this offer to publish.

      Please note the finite figure can be paid in monthly instalments over 10 months.

      Please let me know whether or not you wish to view the proposed publishing contract for your work. If you have any other questions regarding publishing then please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Yours sincerely,”

    • Iztok said:

      I received the “same” answer today. Here it is:

      Dear Mr Vrhovec,

      May I begin by thanking you for your patience during this lengthy review process. In the last few weeks my colleagues and I have carefully reviewed your full manuscript and can positively state ‘Tiger Bull’ is a work we are extremely interested in.

      We have discussed the quality of your writing, the fascinating narrative and overall structure of your manuscript. We have also undertaken evaluations on your works style and its suitability to its genre.

      Although we agree your fantasy novel is well written and has literary merit, commercial decisions have to be made in this fiercely competitive market. I believe that even untried or unpublished authors should be given the opportunity to have their work published so that the reading public can be the judges.

      The work has been widely discussed and commended here at Olympia. However, at this time we are reluctant to take on the whole costs and would invite you to make a contribution toward initial production costs. Please consider this offer carefully. This will be a one-off, finite figure. Any future costs, mainly to cover marketing over the lifetime of the book, will be covered by Olympia.

      At this stage we are seeking only an agreement in principle. Please note, both parties are still free to withdraw at any point until contracts have been signed.

      We understand a decision cannot be made until you know this figure. The contribution will be finalised once a contract is requested by you. Once we have received your response, a publishing contract can be prepared and sent to you at your request. You can, of course, contact me in the meantime to discuss this offer to publish.

      Please note the finite figure can be paid in monthly instalments over 10 months.

      Please let me know whether or not you wish to view the proposed publishing contract for your work. If you have any other questions regarding publishing then please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Yours sincerely,

      Max Stern
      Chief Editor
      Olympia Publishers
      60 Cannon Street • London

      • Charles Voncross said:

        I am so happy to have come across this site. It seems that Olympia is a fantastic con. yes…..I said it. I have read the many comments from aspiring writers like myself and not even one person seems to have been offered a traditional contract……what a scheme!
        So I will be submitting to other publishers, examine other options.

      • Brigitte G Browne said:

        Brigitte – 16 December 2016

        Oh dear, I just got the email of Olympia Publishers
        Thank you for sending us samples of your manuscript.

        I am pleased to inform you that after careful consideration Olympia’s editorial section would now like to view the full manuscript of your work.

        Please send the full manuscript to us as an email attachment in Microsoft Word format to editors@olympiapublishers.com please send your full manuscript as a complete file as opposed to sending chapters individually.

        Thank you for your patience during this process. We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

        Yours sincerely,

        James Houghton
        Executive Editor
        Olympia Publisher

        Now I have gone from exicted that my first book was gone through to the Editor and out of the Slush plie.. to deeply dissappointed. What a cruel twist in the tale. I never thought they would be Vanity Publishers. Thanks for all the comments, I will not consider Olympia Publishers any further.

        • Fiona Fraser-Thomson said:

          Hello, Brigitte – ditto! Word for word and, carefully (!) no mention of the type of publication! I’ve obviously been downgraded since my email is by a mere Editorial Assistant! Not even an Editor! I am so pleased I came across this site, I’m going to play them at their own game and reply asking them to confirm they would be offering a traditional contract, as that is all I am interested in!. My thanks to everyone who commented – it certainly opens eyes, doesn’t it?
          Fiona Fraser-Thomson

      • Colin said:

        I have just received the exact same email from them, thankfully i have decided not to proceed with them, they are not what they say they are, asking me for £2500 to publish my novel. I had absolutely no idea they were a Vanity Publisher

    • James said:

      This letter is actually much different than mine but they essentially said the same thing. Mine was also jammed with grammar errors, coming from the senior editor. That should have been the first clue. At least they change up the wording for some of us haha.

    • edward Yatscoff said:

      I too have a contributor contract offer. My other books on Createspace/Amazon only cost about $3-$5 CDN. If Olympia can’t fork out $500 for some copies on their own–forget it. Has anyone been offered their traditional contract?

  13. David Wood said:

    I submitted the first few chapters of my manuscript to this shower a few weeks ago. I was very suspicious when I received an email from them, asking for the full manuscript. So I checked out their website in a bit more detail, did some digging, and found this blog. So thanks to all who have commented. Avoid this bunch like the plague. They will fleece you. The email they sent is below:

    Thank you for sending us samples of your work. I am pleased to inform you that after careful consideration Olympia’s editorial section would now like to view the full manuscript of your work. Please send the full manuscript to us as an email attachment in Microsoft Word format to our email address: editors@olympiapublishers.com please send your full manuscript as a complete file as opposed to sending chapters individually.
    Alternatively, you can send your manuscript to us in hardcopy, and preferably also on disk in Microsoft Word format. However, should you wish, you are welcome to send your work as a CD or USB without a hardcopy or as hardcopy without a CD or USB.
    If you are going to submit by post please include an SAE should you wish your work to be returned to you at any stage.
    Thank you for your patience during this process. We look forward to hearing from you in due course.
    Yours sincerely,

  14. Terry Kenny. said:

    My experience is exactly the same as all above. I submitted my manuscript just before Christmas, was then asked for the full manuscript and had the ‘literary merit’ letter at the end of January. Exactly the same wording as given by Sarah G. The contract asked for £2,800 ‘contribution’. However, before I went ahead I did think I would do a little research [I should have done it earlier] and I’m glad I did. So vanity or not [and I know that was an element on my part], that’s the end of it.

  15. chero said:

    I’ve send my full manuscript with the Olympia, I have receive an agreement form from them, but I noticed that they ask me to pay some amount, it made me think not to pursue publishing with them. It’s kinda something weird is going on, I’ve searched about the Olympia then I’ve read all you’ve said here open mu mind not to trust easily. Mostly when they ask you for payment. thanks everyone. Hope it would help some author’s, poet, and writer who wanted to revel the truth here.

  16. Victoria Brock said:

    I had an email from Olympia yesterday wanting to proceed with my manuscript but like everyone on here….they want me to pay. After ready the above I will not be going any further with them.

    I have already self published two books, have a third on it’s way and I will continue to see how these go. http://www.victoriabrockauthor.co.uk

    • Sam Southall said:

      Hello Victoria,

      Like all the above messages, i too have had an email from Olympia Publishers accepting my work but under a Contribution Contract. I am very new to all this but am now becoming aware of the term “Vanity Publication” and it seems this Publisher doesn’t publish under a full and standard contract.
      My question to you if you don’t mind is who did you go through for this self publication process and what does it entail ?

    • Yolande said:

      Hi Victoria,
      It seems every author is asked to pay.
      Please may I ask you if you were able to self-publish any cheaper than what they want us to contribute?

  17. Richard Baker said:

    This has been a valuable thread as I like many above have just had my book “accepted”. I await their contract!!!

  18. Graham Orford said:

    Glad I did a search on Olympia, having read all of the above posts I can only say “ditto”. Saved me a lot of time and money I think

  19. Martin john said:

    Funny old world we live in I got an email as well ? As my book is called loveable rouge I know all the moves on the street so for some one to ask for money of me up front makes me laugh my nut off! You got no chance mate! Am miles in front of you! Am 51 been round the block. My advice to any one in life if you have some think good that will sell and as got some legs in it you would not have to part with your money? Be street wise trust no one ! Mj

  20. danboyi said:

    Mr. Lawyer, please go and practise your law somewhere else or wait for us to seek your services. We are talking about this company masking some aspects of their services in their offer or invitation to treat only to surprise authors with demand for payment. This singular act immediately casts doubts and aspersions as per their credibility.

    The various contributions here are not about whether the publisher would eventually deliver; vanity publishers deliver but this is not the crux of this argument or what authors wanted at the very beginning. Why must the publisher not make it known at their various ‘advertisements’ that they are vanity publishers? We know there is something like vanity publishing. If every card is placed on the table then authors might choose to send the exploratory sample chapters or not.

    Something is just not right here. No need for you to defend the indefensible.

  21. Pingback: Publishing Service Index: May 2015 | The Independent Publishing Magazine

  22. Funmi said:

    Hello Achike,
    How did it go with Olympia publishers.is there an update to this your last mail? I v recently been offered same and just want to be sure I am not making a mistake.
    Many Thanks

  23. Mick Rooney said:

    Abbie, I would first suggest you get hold of a copy of the Writers & Artists Yearbook which is an excellent resource for writers looking for a suitable traditional (non-contributory publisher). I also offer one-on-one author consultation sessions. See the link on the TIPM website.

  24. david sloan said:

    Hi guys,

    I sent them a few chapters a few weeks ago and this morning (July 9th 2015) I received the ‘acceptance’ letter. I sent them the remainder of my manuscript a little over 2 hours ago. Feeling excited…….until I came across this article more fool me. So I await the ‘contract’ letter but as previous writers have stated I’m not entering into these con artists either.

  25. author 03 said:

    I sent them three chapters. They seemed interested in getting hold of the entire manuscript. Sent it to them. They offered me a contract, along with an invitation to contribute 2500.00. I was overjoyed at the prospect of being published. It is by a sheer stroke of luck I landed on this page. Nearly got ripped off. I’m one lucky devil.

  26. Fra said:

    This confirms all my fears. Thanks so much for the informative article. I won’t be replying to Olympia’s kind offer to read my whole manuscript!

  27. Roz Paterson said:

    Wow, it is depressing but timely to read everyone’s comments. I recently received the request for a full manuscript submission, the very same letter that several have posted and a contract asking for £2,200.
    I also had a similar scenario from Austin McAuleyand John Hunt Publishing.
    The only good thing I can say about the process is on behalf of John Hunt, they make no bones about their offer and I got a useful critique from two of their readers.
    I have decided to follow the Create Space route and join many of the others who have commented on this post.
    Thank you for all the info and the responses.
    Good luck to us all.

  28. mrinalini anand said:

    Its good to know that I am not the only one ….I thought I was a big fool to have my whole work submitted to the publishers and even on asking multiple times about any hidden costs…the editors were admant on getting my manuscript first before they spoke about any contract…after 4 weeks I get a reply to pay 3000 pounds to get my book published. Im a low profile indian teacher who just thought of writing a book to assist academicians on aptitutde based English subject matter and even to think of demanding such an unreasonable amount that too after I’ve submitted my manuscript is plainly ridiculous. Why wasnt this made clear before I submitted my work. Im highly disappointed by this attitude and although I read good things about the publishers im completely put off and disgusted

  29. Lorenzo Lionheart said:

    Like many others, I, too, received a request for my full manuscript after having submitted sample chapters. Disappointing that Olympia never disclosed their status as a vanity publisher. I think I’ll pass on their request. I jus’ encourage every writer out there to keep pressing forward, keep writing.

  30. Gea Austen said:

    Oh dear !! Dear Miss Jones,

    Re: Colouring Book

    Thank you for sending us samples of your manuscript.

    I am pleased to inform you that after careful consideration Olympia’s editorial section would now like to view the full manuscript of your work.

    Please send the full manuscript to us as an email attachment in Microsoft Word format to our email address: editors@olympiapublishers.com please send your full manuscript as a complete file as opposed to sending chapters individually.

    Alternatively, you can send your manuscript to us in hardcopy, and preferably also on disk in Microsoft Word format. However, should you wish, you are welcome to send your work as a CD or USB without a hardcopy or as hardcopy without a CD or USB.

    If you are going to submit by post please include an SAE should you wish your work to be returned to you at any stage.

    Thank you for your patience during this process. We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Yours sincerely,

    Aaron Carr

    Editorial Assistant

    Olympia Publishers

    60 Cannon Street • London

  31. Dedani Nkala said:

    It’s really bad… Phew! I just received the same contract letter and I am disappointed, to say the least.
    Well, am glad I came across ‘this forum’. Guess have to try new avenues…

  32. Samantha Munro-Webb said:

    Just received my contract offer although the email was similar to the above, the wording was slightly different. I’m expecting to get the same sort of thing from Austin McCauley too… Think I would rather self-publish!

  33. Sarah Mundabi said:

    so Austin and Mc Auley DO ask for fees? I am so disheartened! I have just been sent an encouraging letter stating that they were interested in my writings! This is so bad news to me!

  34. Ray Hall said:

    Hi everyone

    Just to put you in the picture, I have been approved by this company and yes I have paid, and my book comes out in January 2016, and although I have read all the above comments, I must admit im disappointed that nearly all of you believe that they are a bogus company of some sorts, lets be honest, you will never get anything in this world for nothing, so by paying something towards your own work boils down to how you believe in yourself, I have to admit, I myself have had a fantastic experience with this company, and I look forward to working closer with them in the new year, to me Olympia Publishers have done everything they have said they will do and im impressed with what they have done, also remember everything in this world is a risk, have faith in yourself and your works, and good look to you all.

    kind regards
    Ray Hall

    • michael said:

      I, like many others, saw the words ‘publishing’ and ‘contract’ from this Olympia – after they had requested the rest of my manuscript – and thought ‘at last, after all those rejection slips and ‘thanks, but no thanks’ emails, someone has finally appreciated my writing, and I couldn’t wait to tell family and friends. One even said he expected me to make at least a quarter of a million! He obviously hadn’t received one of Olympia’s contribution based contracts.

    • Sam Southall said:

      Hi Ray,

      An interested and positive read from you re Olympia Publishers. I have received confirmation of them publishing my works under a Contribution Contract. Personally i thought this was the norm and so i’m pleased to hear they are working for you and delivering results. I would be very interested to know more about them and what they are doin for you before i sign any paperwork from them. Please Please write to me….many thanks….Sam

      • Houri Ziaeepour said:

        Thanks to you all. I have just – meaning today ! – offered a “contributing” contract by the Olympia Publishers. As a first time author I didn’t mind to contribute to the financial risk of publishing my book in paperback format – it is already available as ebook on Amazon. However, after your comments and reading a couple of articles about vanity publishing, I am going to decline their offer unless they accept to publish it without requesting any contribution from my part.

      • Ian said:

        Sam, how did it go with Olympia? I am currently considering a contribution-based contract. Ian

        • will liam said:

          hi, how did you get on with olip\ pub, did it work out ok?

    • Stella said:

      Hello i am in the process of working with them could you drop me an email and help me out? That would be great thanks

    • Michelle Jones said:

      Hi Ray, I, like yourself, believe if you have the sales capability as well as a passion for your work, that Olympia can provide the platform to publish and then you can both take over from there. As I’ve written other works, I am only concerned about giving them ‘first refusal’ as I am wanting to publish this particular book for personal reasons, I’m not sure it has the pulling power of my others. Anyway. I digress, I am very interested to know how you got on with the distribution and further dealings after this experience.. Warm regards

      Chelle x

    • M said:

      Hi I just had the sane experience as everyone else but wondering what happened with your book im in a pickle don’t know if I should go ahead and trust them so your input world be really helpful

    • Carina said:

      Hi Ray
      what has been the progress of your book? Olympia have asked me too for my manuscript. Your book looks impressive ‘The Start of My Story’ I presume. Is it good quality and how much did you have to pay in the end? I read above, they don’t distribute aside from Amazon? Thanks

    • Judie Barrington said:

      Hi Ray, PLEASE PLEASE would you be kind enough to let me know the outcome, I have been sent a contract, and would have to pay £2,200 over 10 months……I NEED to know please……was it worth it for you ? as you wrote on here in 2015 you must know by now….thank you judie_4@hotmail.com

    • SharonYoung said:

      Hi. I’m just at the beginning of the process with Olympia and wondered how things went for you as I really don’t know what to do. Please contact me back

  35. Mick Rooney said:

    Just for the record…

    “A graduate of the University of Port-Hardcourt (B.A) and the University of Lagos (Masters) Achike Chude, an entrepreneur, is a human rights/civil society activist and a change agent. He is also a newspaper columnist and has contributed articles to national newspapers. He is a media personality, a social and political affairs commentator in both print and electronic media as well as an international affairs analyst. Achike is a passionate believer in the universal brotherhood of man and equality of persons. As deputy Chairman of the Joint Action Front as well as media officer for the Justice Development & Peace Centre in Lagos, he has participated in several actions aimed at bringing about a more just and humane soceity. This is his first novel.”


  36. Dina Roney said:

    I have just signed the contract. I’ll let you know how it goes….

    • Julie said:

      I’ve just received the ‘contribution’ based contract offer too. How are you getting on ? I hope they are delivering on their promise.

    • Sam Southall said:

      Hi Dina,

      I am awaiting my contract to come through to me. I am now very concerned about signing after reading all the above. Could you please write me and tell me of your experience working with Olympia Publishers. Many thanks and look forward to hearing from you….Sam

    • Tando said:

      Hi Dina, I would like to know how did it go? Also received a contribution based contract

  37. chrisoula panagulia said:

    Hi guys,
    I received the same email addressed to me. I too was asked to send the full manuscript and because I was thrilled I sent it o them the same day. Reading all these negative aspects about Olympia has put me off and don’t know what to do. The amount of Money is tremendous. I could go on vacation with that sum!

  38. GJ Gee said:

    Most sites ask for a covering letter. It would seem good practice to simply head that letter I HAVE NO MONEY. ARE YOU STILL INTERESTED?
    The worst thing is the optimism that first letter/email from outfits that turn out to be vanity houses brings. Mine was on actual paper, in an envelope, through the post, someone how feeling more sincere. Yeah, right. (The lack of a water mark was a clue.)

  39. Carol Downie said:

    Well, I guess I have to get in line with the rest of you. I did appreciate their responding along the way. Many agents and publishers just reply if they plan to publish. But I also have self-published one and am about to do the same with a second book using CreateSpace/Amazon. My big shortcoming is the marketing. I just am not in the mainstream of that and thought that if Olympia did that and well, it might be worth the bucks. But the numbers you are quoting are pretty steep. I haven’t received the ‘contract’ yet but am sure I will. Thanks for the heads up. Wish I had seen this a couple of months ago.

  40. SheilaM said:

    Hi all – I am a 2nd time indie author. My 1st book was published via Mereo books. It cost me £5K in total (so more expensive than these Olympia guys) – however Mereo never pretended to be anything other than what they were. They stated all costs up front and were honest about all transactions in advance. Mine was a big book and the editing process repeated several times, so all in all I dont think they made a huge profit from me. I was a satisfied customer, although in retrospect I think I was over-charged. My book did well and demands were made for a sequel. I have now written this and so decided to see if I could grab the attention of a traditional publisher – esp following on from the success of book 1. I got a reply from Olympia yesterday and it seems it was a fairly standard reply. I look for the person on the signature on Linkedin. Most professional are on this website and if the name of an editor or an assistant editor doesn’t appear on LinkedIn – then I dont believe they actually exist.

    There is room in this highly competitive market for such vanity publishers. Many 1st time authors (as I was) need their help. I just cant see why they cannot be upfront and honest about their charges, rather than sullying their name with deception /

  41. richard harrison said:

    I too have been accepted by Olympia, and a contract is on the way. I am not really surprised that they are a vanity publishing outfit, but why do Amazon support them by selling their books if they are con artists?
    Has anyone any information as to how many copies of accepted books are published and how they are distributed, or do they just send you a box with ex amount of copies in for you to distribute amongst friends and Family? (and a copy to Amazon of course.)
    I have been told in the past, that it is imperative to use an Agent to try and get any work you have written published.
    I would imagine that this would still be a costly experience anyway.

    • Sam Southall said:

      Hi Richard,

      I have received a positive response from Olympia about publishing my work. I thought i’d right to you after reading your thread because i agree totally re Amazon supporting them. I have also been considering an Agent. Have you had any feedback from your thread and hence can you offer me any advice, before i sign the Olympia Contract ?

  42. Tee said:

    Just received an email today to send a full manuscript. I am now downtrodden i just had an experience with Novum they also ask for money upfront.

    I am still positive that something good will come up . Legit companies interested in my work.
    Thanks all for updates

  43. stephen smith said:

    Have just turned down Pegasus and Austin Macauley.

  44. rob said:

    I did get very excited. Then a friend pointed out it was a “contribution-based publishing contract.” I had no idea what this was so looked it up (after I got excited and told my parents.)

    Have to say I’m Gutted I already requested the contract, and will read it, but they won’t be getting any money out of me.

    Will not let this stop me, but such a blow, it hurt.

  45. Isaac Matui Thomas said:

    I’ve just received nearly the same offer of contributory contract as everyone here. I must say I’m heartbroken and depressed to learn these guys are vanity publishers.

    I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get started until I stumbled across this site. This is my second disappointment after ‘Penguins’ books

    • A.K.Rajput said:

      Pity for us my friend but it was good to know about them before our filthy step, what happened at penguin random house these are the one of traditional publisher have you been rejected?

  46. A.K.Rajput said:

    Scarsly I had received an email from Olympia asking for my whole manuscripts, I was inordinate curious to got a opportunity even I failed to sleep and now I am despair to know about they are vanity publishers and I do not wish to get fleeced by them after reading the whole text about.

  47. Mark Cooper said:

    After looking into this I have been in touch with a few authors, mainly through social media it appears some of their authors such as Scot Whitlock and Kerry Barnes have been offered traditional contracts, they’re pretty happy to talk to anyone about the process if you want to find them. However, I believe their first contracts were contribution-based.

    It does say on their website that they offer contracts where you have to pay and contracts where you don’t, so, as long as you read that and bear it in mind before submitting, what is their to lose or be angry about? I’ll be submitting to a few anyway. By the sounds of it you don’t have to accept this offer. I may as well give it a go! If I get a contribution-based offer then I guess I’ll tell them ‘no’.

  48. Mike Graham said:

    I’m a first time author here in New Zealand. I’ve written a book about my adventures with an SAS regiment in Africa towards the end of the cold war and I’m getting close to being published. I bought a copy of the 2016 Writers and Artists Handbook and worked my way through the agents that may be interested in handling my work. Along the way and via the internet I came across Olympia, Austin Macaulay and Pegasus Publishing and I have to say their web sites are all good with some useful material on creating your platform for example.
    However the interesting thing is that none of them are listed the the handbook – the writer’s bible – and the first warning sign.
    No harm in learning more I thought especially since the ‘indie’ publishing concept is certainly gaining traction and it only cost me an e mail.
    In total I made 67 submissions but interestingly all three of these publishers got back to me very quickly and asked for a copy of the full manuscript Warning sign number two because I know nothing happens fast in the literary world.
    Yesterday I received one of the standard letters very similar to the many examples above advising ‘they were proud to offer me a contribution based publishing contract’ ra ra ra!
    They did offer to send me a copy of the contract and rather than just say no thanks I have asked them to do that. My plan is to give that to our NZ Society of Authors and we’ll publish it here so new writers like me don’t walk into these well disguised traps.
    To all you writers out there all the very best from New Zealand.

    • Neil Holden said:

      Well done Mike, I also sent over a submission from NZ and got the exciting reply,,,, what a lemon! This blog completely refocused the lens, vanity publishing is such a curse for us trying-hard first timers. Very interested in how you got on – nrholden59@gmail.com if I could bother you, cheers

  49. Rod Wells said:

    I have tried for nearly five years to get published for free but publishers usually work via literary agents. I have tried both to no avail. Fed up with reject letters or no letter al all. During that time I have lost patience and have self published two books but each cost approx. £1200.00 for ISBN, printing etc. The problem though has been marketing. Despite having had some good reviews in magazines, the book sellers aren’t interested in stocking books even on a sale or return basis. They don’t like dealing with authors and the only market is with Amazon. In my experience most publishers who advertise for new authors will charge a fee. Quotes have varied from £2400.00 to £8000.00. Therefore, Olympia seem quite cheap. If you are happy to send applications for months or years, so be it. I’ve opted to pay so I will see what Olympia deliver. I wish I knew their address because I live near Cambridge and would love to introduce myself in person.

  50. Terry said:

    Olympia have just published my book. The amount I paid them (£1800) was cheaper than paying agent commission fees (if you can find an agent – they’re thin on the ground these days), printing, ISBN fees etc.

    They’ve done a great job and the marketing has been first class.

    • Mary said:

      Thanks for sharing your positive experience Terry, very encouraging!
      Has Olympia’s first class marketing justified your initial investment?
      Could you please elaborate where your book is being sold and if a re-print is likely?

    • SharonYoung said:

      I’d be very grateful to hear how you got on with Olympia as I’ve just got a contribution based contract offer from them for a novel I’ve written. Please contact me. Thanks. Sharon Young

  51. John Williams said:

    The trouble with publishers like these is you have to pose what I believe is a most relevant question. If you go for one of their contributing authors deals, do they print 5 books, sit them on a shelf somewhere & say they have published you and collect 2200 pound { or some other figure } and just pocket the money minus the cost of printing 5 books.These books could be sitting in one of their large bookcases at home, under the heading, ‘SUCKERS’ It is food for thought. Unfortunately any publisher wanting author contributions means, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PUBLISHED. How sad it is for all those so wishing to become known and work so hard as writers. Are publishers like this merely the modern day con-men and the whole procedure is a scam? Oh well, back to the writing, I’ve just thought of a great idea for a novel, it is going to be called, ” There’s A Publishing Sucker Born Every Minute.’ I am sure it will sell, but who can I get to publish it? Oh dear, I think this is where I came in.

    • Chris said:

      This post makes no sense! In fact, this forum is pathetic. Maybe you, and everyone else on here, need to do their research properly before judging any company. Have you spoken to people who have been published by them? No, I didn’t think so. If they scam everyone, why would they keep having people go back again and again to publish more books? If you search for books published by Olympia Publishers you will find them on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.in, Barns and Noble, Waterstones, and plenty of smaller, local independent shops. So no clearly they don’t just print five books and put it on their own shelf. ‘Unfortunately any publisher wanting author contributions means, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PUBLISHED.’How do you work that one out? Please explain. Paying a contribution to the contract goes to not only the printing and materials of the book, but also everyone who puts in their hard work to publish your work. This includes the editor who read your submission and decided it was good enough, production team, proofreaders, amenders, design/ graphics team, marketing team, accounts team and illustrators. If you don’t pay any money towards the contract and receive the majority of the profit from sold books, then all the workers who worked on your book, how would the company make a profit? Also if you were asked to pay towards the contract obviously your work isn’t amazing enough for a traditional contract. Which is clearly everyone on this forum. This doesn’t surprise me, some people seem to think because they have written something, they will become the next J. K. Rowlings. The thing with reviews is that people are quick to judge and talk shit on social media, but never to write something good about a company. Yes, you are going to get people write bad reviews, but how many of the bad reviews are from people who actually went through the whole process? Not many, infact, the only bad reviews I have noticed so far is having to pay money for a contribution. Not one person so far has gone through the whole process to then slag them off. What I suggest, is to not to look at the bad reviews about paying money, but to dig deeper. Speak to authors who have worked with Olympia Publishers, especially people who keep going back. Ask why they keep going back, would they recommend and why they would recommend. Ask if it worth paying that contribution, if they paid a contribution. Every company has their downsides, hey, we’re only human! Yes, there are people who are only out to scam you, so I understand you need to be careful, ut not everyone is. Clearly, if no one will accept your work, unless you pay a contribution, means you’re not good enough and need to go ‘back to the drawing room’ to improve your work.

      • Stew said:

        I agree with everything that Chris has said.

        I’m not really sure what these authors are expecting form a company that openly states that they offer a mix of traditional and contributory contracts (I think Olympus refer to them as ‘partnership contracts’).

        People are calling these guys ‘con artists’, ‘scammers’ and the like. However, I don’t see any evidence here that they have scammed everyone. They appear very up front with regards to their partnership contracts – It’s on their website for god’s sake. People simply need to go in with their eyes open. No one appears to have signed a contract with this company and then been hit with hidden costs or demands.

        I have just been offered what appears to be a ‘traditional’ contract form this company. There is no mention of any contributions on my part in the opening letter is written very differently from the samples on this forum. Here is an extract from the contract offer I received:

        ‘I would like to thank you for your patience during this time. My colleagues and I have now very carefully looked at your fully illustrated children’s book. I received independent reports on the style, quality of the work and the suitability to genre and I am pleased to say that we find ‘Bob’s Epic Journey’ to be of considerable merit … This is a traditional publishing agreement that we feel reflects your involvement in the whole publishing process. For example, this publishing contract incorporates a royalty payment rate of ten percent which will eventually rise to twelve percent…’

        As far as I can tell it looks like a traditional fee free contract. I, like most other people on this forum am conducting research into them to establish whether I should accept this Contract. However, I don’t think I need to be well versed with these guys to identify that the majority of these complaints are from people who haven’t received a traditional contract offer and have been offered a contributory or partnership contract. It appears, that following their initial submission they have been contacted by the company asking for the entire manuscript. They have then been disappointed not to have been offered a full traditional contract. In other words they got their hopes up prematurely (but understandably of course) and then felt let down. But don’t blame the company for this. In what reality does a request to see the full manuscript immediately mean you will get published?

        Okay – so people have been disappointed and they have been offered a contributory contract, the solution is simple – IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE TERMS, DON’T SIGN UP WITH THEM. No one is being scammed, I don’t know what people expect these guys to do. Their website openly states they offer both contributory and traditional contracts. Do you really expect them to make a decision on either option before they have read the whole manuscript?

        I forwarded my children’s picture book to about 7 publishers – to their credit, Olympia Publishers are the only guys that replied within a couple of months. Upon researching this company, the only negative feedback I can see on this company is around the contributory contract discussion, nothing about their dealings following contract the signing. As such, I am seriously thinking of signing with these guys. They may not be the best publishers in the world, who knows? But, they are the only ones that have offered me a contract!

        On the concept of contributory contracts I have this personal insight to offer – I had / have no intention to pay to get this book, or any other book I produce published. My view is that of Chris’s above in that, if publishers don’t see enough merit in my work to publish it outright I will accept that as the obvious. That being, that they do not believe that my work is not good enough for them to take a financial risk on it. It may not be a bold approach to getting my work out there, and there are many people that have had refusal after refusal, have decided to self publish and become extremely successful. I congratulate them on their self belief and drive, I however, am not that bold. I am not of the mind that I know more about this industry than the people who work in it. As such, if a publisher asks for my money to publish I respectfully decline and move on. I think others should consider going in with the same attitude. Don’t externalise and look to blame others. Look inwards towards the quality of your work and do whatever you can to make it better.

        There are plenty of favourable comments on this company’s facebook page to indicate some people are very happy with the service this company provides. Yes, even with the contributory contracts offered. Of course, the company would most probably delete the negative posts but that is their prerogative and I think thats simply realistic.

        Bottom line – I don’t think these guys have done anything wrong. They are clear and up front in their contracts types.
        They are not in the business of making people feel that they are the best writers in the world at the expense of their bottom line. They are also more than just printers in that they seem to have the capacity to help you with editing, production and marketing (hence the added costs above that of simple printing firms) and ultimately get your book out there, even when no other company is willing to do that for you. What on earth is wrong with that?

        Give these guys a break!

      • will liam said:

        yes, yes, yes, Chris your so right!
        I’ve just signed and paid a contribution contract and will judge after the fact!
        Then and only then will I snip a word of badness in their direction.

  52. James Rossdale said:

    Thank you to all who have contributed to this site. I am awaiting the “contract” to which I would be contributing – I am not vain enough to start forking out money to what would seem to be sharks waiting to pounce on people like me, however much I would relish seeing my book in print. If they were genuine and upfront about their “services” I would think about it – but I am not prepared to be fleeced, so the search continues. Anyone know of genuine, sympathetic publishers and agents?

  53. Robert Creffield said:

    Does anyone have any comments to share re post-contract experience with Olympia? There are many comments here using the word ‘fleeced’ but I’m not sure how that applies. It would be helpful to have more facts from someone who paid the contribution fee and saw the process through from beginning to end. So is there anyone who can share their experience re:-
    * How did their contribution fee compare to say Create Space or AuthorHouse equivalent services/fees?
    * How severe was their editing work – did they leave the original m/s pretty much in tact or in tatters or what? Did you have a say in the editing outcome in any way or were you prohibited and left entirely to their preferences/decisions?
    * How involved were you in the cover design and general layout process?
    * Apart from Amazon did they get your book reviewed in the general press and was their any p/r activity? Were you consulted?
    * Did copies of your book get into the bookshops – do they have a sales team of trade reps? Did they inform you about this aspect?
    * Did the book go through production on time and were you kept informed of progress?
    * If your book sold copies did they pay royalty at the right percentage and on time?
    * What was your experience with their efforts to produce an E-Book version?
    * What was their client-relationship style – did you get assigned a dedicated editor to work with or did they keep contact to a bare minimum?
    * What are your overall conclusions – observations – recommendations of how this company actually deliver what they say they will deliver on their contract?
    I would be grateful for some hard facts concerning this outfit. Right now I’m sitting on one of their contracts and need someone’s first hand experience to give me something tangible to base my signing decision on.
    I’m also negative about vanity publishing but if they give good service and get the book ‘out there’ then it may be worth the cost – after all, what is the alternative, just to sit around waiting for some literary agent to find time to send you a ‘Not For Us’ email? My thanks to anyone who can share real-life experience working with Olympia.

    • Chris said:

      How did you get on? Did you sign the contract? How about finding out the people who have been published by them, and give them a quick email?

  54. Dan Tracy said:

    I, too, sent Olympia publishers my completed novella. Three weeks later Olympia (Max Stern) said they would love to publish it and would I like to go with the traditional or contributional contract. After emailing them back asking for the traditional contract, they said the traditional contract was NOT available. I believe this is a well disguised bait and switch tactic. I wrote back and told them they needed a hot lead enema.

  55. Andrew Halliwell said:

    I just got the full manuscript request tonight.

    Yay to oh in five minutes flat. Glad I typed “writers opinions of olympia publishing” into google. Nothing I’ve read so far has been positive apart from one comment here from someone who forked out the readies.

    One site even claimed all their books were in the millionth ranking on Amazon. So no best sellers from them then.

    I’m tempted to see what happens if I do send my manuscript though. Just to see if I do get the traditional offer. (Not that I expect it now) but it might be a good way to test the waters. If they did accept it under a traditional it might mean it’ll be accepted by a proper agent or publisher. Not sure I’d want to sign with them even if a traditional was offered judging by the amazon statistics though. I’ll need to check them myself first.

    • Chris said:

      Have you ever thought its the Author who is shit? I mean, if the author was so great, then yes they would be ‘best sellers’ how does this affect if the company is any good?

  56. Fiona Fraser-Thomson said:

    Further to my earlier comments where I said I would play them at their own game, I emailed them back after the standard email (as above), and advised them I was only interested in a traditional publishing contract. I didn’t expect an answer, but guess what – they replied today saying they had made a note of my requirements, and still wished to see the ms. It is unlikely they will accept it, but hey-ho – it pays to be combative sometimes!

    • Mick Rooney said:

      Mike, The Book Guild were taken over by Troubador Publishing more than a year ago. I haven’t had much feedback on author experience since the change of ownership. I’d be happy to hear from authors who went with Book Guild and their experience in recent times.

  57. Andrew Halliwell said:

    Not me. Got the contribution bollocks one yesterday.
    Told them to delete all files and no chance, not interested in vanity.

    • Mick Rooney said:

      That is the big problem, Andrew. Consistently, authors report to me that they never realised Olympia, Austin McAuley and Pegasus are primarily vanity houses. I would not even describe them as publishing service providers.

      • Andrew Halliwell said:

        Heh, their email reply when I said I wasn’t interested in vanity….

        “We’re not a vanity publisher!”

        I just replied that obviously my definition of the word differed. If they charge, they’re vanity and the one thing I’d read on every website for authors I’d seen was that if they ask you to pay, don’t.

        Didn’t get a reply back from that one.

        • Andrew Halliwell said:

          Wow, further update. Seems they’re not that bad after all, but still wouldn’t go with ’em.

          Actually offered a useful suggestion… Well, useful for a complete newbie…

          Dear Andrew,

          Sorry for my belated response I have been in and out of the office the last few weeks with persistent illness.

          I don’t think that is necessarily the case anymore, this is a competitive and saturated industry and receiving a traditional contract can be hard. My recommendation would be to obtain a literary agent if you are looking exclusively for a traditional contract, they can approach the bigger houses, on your behalf, who would be more likely to offer these. However, agents may charge or take a cut further down the line.

          Although our opinions on what defines vanity and what doesn’t differs, I hope this email has been somewhat constructive for you moving forward.

          Once again thank you for your interest and all the best for the future.

          Kind regards,

          • karen said:

            GUTTED for a close friend of mine. We both scritinized the contract.. asked several relevant questions… which were answered to our satisfaction.. like how long do they market the book.. Its clear they charge for publishing BUT also very clear from the contract that THEY ARE RESPONSABLE FOR ALL THE PROMOTION. I was pleased to read one person on here did get a book published AND it was available to but through Amazon [but nowhere else] Just clinging to hope that may still be a possible for my friend. Any suggestions where to go from here?

  58. sue fabian said:

    My book was also accepted by Olympia, and I agreed to contribute the £2500, as realistically the cost of doing it yourself would cost at least that. I realise that my English and Punctuation probably needs quite a bit of work, so their editing skills alone would actually cost a lot. My book will also get illustrated by them, so I am prepared to give them a chance and see what happens.
    And, as a thought, let’s be honest, if you have written a book, chances are that it is complete crap, none of your friends are going to tell you, and this may well be the ONLY way you will ever see it in print.
    I will let you know how it goes!

    • Kasey said:

      How many books have Olympia sold for you? Have you received any royalties from the sale of your boo?

  59. Linda said:

    No one should ever have to pay to get their book published – FULL STOP. If you go for self-publishing, Silverwood Books are excellent, they will do everything for you at a price to include editing and cover illustrating. They make no claims other than helping you to get your book out there. Thousands of pounds are not on their agenda. They make no secrets of what they do and their service is par excellent. If you aren’t good at understanding how self-publishing works, they will help you. It seems to me that Olympia want your business big time, with lots of dosh, and I wonder how many authors are chosen without paying a penny. If your work is good, a publisher will take you, otherwise go back to school and do some more learning. Rejections are a learning curve.

  60. Nira said:

    After being requested to send in a few chapters of my book for analysis, and a short summary, I sent in my entire manuscript to them on purpose, just because I really felt they weren’t legitimate.
    I received a response from Olympia Publishers three weeks later, and lo and behold, they wanted to view my whole manuscript. Turns out they don’t even read your attached samples or manuscript, before sending you the email of you success.
    Don’t take a chance with them.

    • John McGregor said:

      Nira…EXACTLY the same thing happened to me. I sent the entire 134,000 word ms to Olympia, and had a reply back to send the COMPLETE ms (which I’d already told them it WAS).. When I said that it WAS the complete ms, they said that that was great, as it would speed the whole process up. Were they all asleep? See my letter down below. Regards, John (South Australia)..

  61. Peter Ward said:

    peter what a bunch of bastards olympia publishing are, i now know how it feeols to be let down. thank you

  62. Claire said:

    I was offered a contributional contract with them for my children’s book and have just replied with a letter of ‘negotiation’… Will see how that goes! I’m now going to research all about publishers so I’m not totally fleeced by anyone….

  63. John McGregor said:

    John November 24, 2017
    I sent my whole ms to Olympia, (134,000 words), and their reply email totally confused me. It SOUNDS like they want to publish it, but their communication just didn’t sound quite right. I really don’t know where to go from here. What happens to my EMAILED ms… will they delete it? Will they plagiarise it? Will it be published under someone else’s name? Do I still have the copyright? As a first-time author, I am totally confused.

  64. Tim said:

    I recently submitted a children’s picture book to Olympia and after a while received this reply :-

    ” Dear Mr Wellings,
    I hope that you’re well.

    I’m pleased to inform you that your work has passed our initial review. However, we will require some information regarding your illustrations before we are able to proceed with the next evaluation. We need to know the amount of illustrations you envision having as this will help determine whether your book will be a suitable length. We also need to know if you will require one of our illustrators, or if you will be sourcing the illustrations yourself.

    We have a minimum requirement of around 20 pages, including illustrations, in order to turn your work into a worthwhile sized book. There is some wiggle room with this, as we can add a blank page or two if necessary.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,
    (name withheld)
    Submissions Editor
    Olympia Publishers
    60 Cannon Street • London


    No request for up front payment there and it all sounds very legitimate (to an unsuspecting new author) but having read the comments here, I don’t think I’ll be following up.

    I also received the standard letter of acceptance from Austin MacAulay asking for about £2,500 (or more depending on whether you want hardback) and immediately became suspicious. The advice from those in the know is not to touch them.
    Whenever anyone offers you any kind of deal, always check out the on line reviews and comments before you commit.
    Buying a car? read the reviews (about the car and the dealer). And don’t pay ‘publishers’ money for your work.

    Oh well, back to the day job :)

  65. Margaret Sanderson said:

    Hi folks,
    I just sent the following reply to Olympia after they offered a contribution based contract (see email thread below):

    Dear [REDACTED],

    Thank you for your kind proposal, but unfortunately I am unable to accept Olympia’s ‘contribution-based offer’ owing to the fact that I still haven’t paid my last two gas bills, the washing machine has finally given up the ghost and Stan the pug is painfully in need of urgent dental treatment.
    When you requested my complete manuscript, I was so excited that I regrettably coaxed my elderly mother to loan me £75 out of her pension to fund a black ink cartridge and a memory stick to fulfil your request.
    I realise this is entirely my fault of course for being so naive. If you could find it in your heart to return at least my memory stick in the mail, I would be most grateful.

    Sadly yours,

    Margaret Sanderson

    From: Editors (Olympia Publishers) [mailto:editors@olympiapublishers.com]
    Sent: 14 December 2017 13:16
    Subject: Publishing Approach — Margaret Sanderson

    Dear Ms Sanderson,

    Thank you for your patience during this process, I understand it can be tedious awaiting responses from publishers regarding your writing. However, we have now completed our evaluations of your rhyming book for adults ‘Rhyming Stories and Jokes for Silly Adults’.

    Over the past few weeks my colleagues and I have been discussing various aspects of your book and have agreed that your book is well-written, funny and enjoyable. We believe that it deserves a chance to reach the general readership and this can be achieved with the marketing capabilities we can provide.

    As I’m sure you know – as it is explained on our website – we receive hundreds of submissions each month, many of which are rejected, when we accept a work we can offer either a traditional publishing contract or a contribution-based publishing contract. At this time, I can proudly state that we would love to publish your work under the Olympia banner and wish to make a contribution-based offer for ‘Rhyming Stories and Jokes for Silly Adults’.

    Please consider this offer carefully. This will be a one-off, finite figure. Any future costs, to cover marketing over the lifetime of the book, will be covered by Olympia.

    At this stage we are seeking only an agreement in principle. Please note there is no obligation with this contract and both parties are still free to withdraw at any point, until contracts have been signed.

    We understand a decision cannot be taken lightly. The contribution will be finalised, along with the royalties, once a contract is requested by you. Once we have received your response, all details will be finalised and sent to you.

    Please note the finite figure can be paid in monthly instalments over 10 months.

    Please let me know whether or not you wish to view the proposed publishing contract for your work. If you have any other questions regarding publishing then please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Commissioning Editor
    Olympia Publishers

    *******administration note*******
    The comment poster requested some personal contact data to be removed from this comment.

    • Judie Barrington said:

      I got exactly the same letter, OK I understand the charges, but….I NEED TO KNOW from others on this site, success stories….from those who DID pay …….no one is saying !

  66. Margaret Sanderson said:

    I think I may have misjudged Olympia. Following my email to them of non acceptance of their contract, they have offered to return my manuscript and have given me advice on buying a cheaper printer/cheaper ink cartridges, etcetera for future reference. However, my manuscript contained many illustrations, which always look better printed on a laser, so unfortunately that was not an option for me. Regardless, when I do receive my manuscript back I will not feel so bad and I’m sorry Olympia for assuming the worst.

  67. will liam said:

    hi all!
    ref, contract standard issue? This is common practice in all company’s so not surprising, think about it how many replies each day they do?! This is good business sense.
    I challenge anyone to self publish, see the cost!
    What signifies a rip off? your book printed and in your hand, for sale on various web sites and in W.H.smiths Etc..
    I’ve yet to read one comment from someone who have tried this publisher and back up all they say!
    Please post if you have and were totally RIPPED OFF!
    Thanks for reading

  68. will liam said:

    One more thing yes I’ve signed a contribution contract and yes I will post my results good or bad then you all can a poke at me !
    Remember, Good or Bad! I’ll be Honest I promise.
    Reply now if you have worked with Olympia publishers and reveal all!
    Thanks again for reading.

  69. Sarah Duff said:

    I too have had the same experience as all of the above. Seems the ‘contribution based offer’ is standard practise. I will not part with any money for marketing to these people. They don’t seem to do what they say on the tin. Money could be spent better elsewhere. I self published my book 1 year ago using CreateSpace and selling via Amazon, slow and lengthy process-only sold 57 books. So, thought submitting to ‘big’ publishing house would give me Marketing boost i wanted to help my story reach more women out there. Any tips on getting a traditional contract? Much appreciate any suggestions. Thoughts? Experiences? Any positive feedback?
    I got this 2 weeks ago:
    Dear Sarah,

    Thank you for your phone call. I now have the pleasure of attaching a copy of the Publishing Contract for ‘Coming Home with Gratitude’. This is a normal publishing agreement with some enhanced terms of benefit to you, as the author, and which reflects your involvement within the whole publishing process.

    This is the customary publisher’s agreement with a few variations, for example incorporating enhanced royalty payments of 20 per cent. If you now agree that you wish to publish with us, please print, sign and date two copies of the contract, if you could then send both copies back to us and provide a valid postal address so we can counter sign one of the contracts and post it back to you for your own safekeeping.

    Alternatively, you can sign and scan a copy of the contract and email it back to us and we will look to do the same in return.

    We would like to make this an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you so that you may gain the success that you deserve as an author. To outline a few relevant details of the publishing process, there are basically three important areas; Editorial, Production and Marketing.
    Our dedicated Marketing team will introduce the book to the local press, bookshops, and TV and radio stations and will be made aware of the publication date. We find that this is a good stepping stone to gaining recognition and success for our authors’ work. This will be outlined in more detail once the book is in production.
    Please note, the contribution can be paid in instalments over 10 months but the book cannot be released until the full contribution is paid.

    I trust all of this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me, when I shall be pleased to discuss your contract and the book with you. I look forward to welcoming you to our band of talented authors.
    Kind regards,
    James Houghton

    • Sarah Duff said:

      I am now in a pickle?? I have heard many mixed reviews, after connecting with other authors who have self published with them? Positive and negative? Oh my Libran indecisiveness!!! They appear professional enough?
      Suggestions welcome.
      Thank you.

  70. Daniella Rouchy said:

    I have been offered a contract from both Olympia and Austin Macauleys; I need to know if they are scammers? Or fair company’s that if I was to go ahead with either of them I would gain from it. Olympia wish to work with me and have my book under there banner as they love my sci-fi epifantasy novel, where as with Austin Macauley they want a partnership but from looking at the contract I don’t seem to benefit from it, I’m still waiting on my Olympia contract to come through as they just sent the email yesterday. Anyhow it would be a peace of mind to understand how they work and if I should go for it or not

  71. Paul Hunt said:

    I have also received an offer of a publishing contract from Olympia for my first work. Also from Austin Macauley. Originally A.M. requested a contribution of £3,300, however, when I pleaded abject poverty they reduced the contribution to £1,000. Some may say hooray, how fair, although me, being a cynical old sod viewed their offer as desperation to at least screw something out of me. Needless to say I have not signed their contract.
    With regard to Olympia the requested contribution was £2,300 but I have yet to hear from them as to how my pleas of distinct financial distress will be viewed.
    Finally, I have also been offered a contributory contract by a company called Pegasus Publishing (also based in Cambridge incidentally) for the sum of £2,400. Has anyone any revelations regarding them?
    I was thinking three publishers, three offers, and was congratulating myself of obviously being a better author and much more sought after than the fabled J.K.R. Oh, the sin of hubris………………..

  72. Naomi Harvey said:

    So I was offered a traditional publishing contract with Olympia but the reviews put me off. I was not being asked to pay anything but a quick look at their authors and the shoddy jackets made me double back. There are no best selling authors, no awards and nothing to suggest they can do what they promise. Unsurprisingly they came back saying they were shocked I had turned them down.

  73. Annie said:

    I have already signed a contract with Austen Macauley. Of course I have to pay in order for them to publish my book. Of course I am totally in love with my book and want others to read it. I am in the process of rewriting it as they implied it could be improved and I am sure they would do this, but I want it to be my improvements not theirs. As my book is written on my computer revisions mean that I no longer have the original to compare it with. I had printed it off and sent them the hard copy, so I asked for it back, sending a stamped addressed envelope. They have returned it. The problem is I believe it is extremely difficult for an unknown author to get anywhere with a traditional publisher. Publishers receive hundreds of manuscripts a year, if not thousands. Some literary agents get many submissions a day and very few are thought good enough to publish. I would like to see my book published and I know some might say I could self publish, but I would be no good at marketing, so in the end I will probably pay one of the hybrid publishers like AM . as I have signed their contract although they no longer have the book.

  74. Timothy Moore said:

    Thank you all for this very useful information regarding these two particular Publishers.
    I have been offered contracts from both company’s to publish my book and of course I’m expected to pay $2500 for the work to be published. Something told me to check this out first before I start sending money and true enough this is the 3rd site that I have found negative reviews on A.M. and O.P.. Yes it did seem to good to be true so I did research and now I’m so discouraged that I will not sigh with either of the two. God told me to be patient and I will just have to continue until he sends the right Publisher to me. It’s not right to prey on up and coming talent as new authors work hard to project their ideas into enjoyable reading material. With hopes and dreams of fulfilling their passions to write and become successful should not come at such a negative experience entering the world of authors!

  75. Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore said:

    My first book was published by Olympia – and yes, I had to contribute. Over 1000 copies have been sold, – which I am told is quite good for a first book – and I accepted a non-contributory contract with Olympia for my 2nd book. Authors who go for self-publishing still have to pay whatever, and there is no marketing back up at all. It is not easy to sell books, and the marketing dept at Olympia has tried hard and has been responsive to me.

    I have done my best to work with Olympia in selling my book.

    I feel that Olympia has played fair with me. Publishing is not a charity.

  76. Jill Watson said:

    I have just read a book published by Olympia Publishers and was shocked by the very poor standard of editing and proofreading. If this was my book I’d be mortified. The book is ‘If only I’d listened’ by Claire Boley. It’s a good story but ruined by bad editing, they have let the author down very badly. I would never use them.

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