Is Dreame Publishers (also known as Ficfun and Stary LTD.) a Scam?


My name is Chris… and I’m not famous. A publisher recently contacted because they found my book online and want to offer me a contract… should I take it?

…my advice? Run away. Probably.

So my SF story Dekker’s Dozen: The Last Watchmen has over 65,000 reads on Wattpad and had been featured in the past. This morning, after a brief interaction with a publisher, I was offered a contract. Don’t congratulate me yet. Not all contracts are created equally.

It sounds too good to be true, right? You put something on Wattpad and then a publisher comes calling? But that’s what happened to guys like Taran Matharu who writes the Summoner series (and who I’ve had conversations with via the social writing platform.) But as I often caution folks, plan to be the rule rather than the exception.

On second glance at their initial message and subsequent ones I was asked to “kindly reply” or “kindly send XYZ.” That’s not how native English speakers speak and is usually a giveaway of an overseas scam. But this company might not actually be a scam. They are, however, not looking play by the same rules as regular publishers.

The company in question is Dreame… with an E. It didn’t take much looking around the internet to find that my experience with Dreame is not uncommon; they’ve made a habit of soliciting authors from Wattpad to try and gain rights to their stories and then publish them exclusively on That’s a legitimate business model. They offered me sixty bucks, which is a bit of a slap in the face since I would be prohibited from sharing this story electronically (ebook) and possibly they would get the audible rights as well. They are cautious to mention in the contract that you retain paperback rights, but audiobooks are on the rise, and you might be agreeing to give them 20% of your sales in exchange for that tiny advance they give you… that’s right. It’s an advance, which means if they make money on the book (by whatever metric they determine) they still might not have to pay you unless they exceed that original amount.

Dreame, which looks like a Wattpad clone with a paywall for certain stories, is based out of Singapore. It is affiliated with Ficfun, which has a rating of two thumbs down from some writing services. There is a thread going about it over at Reddit which is worth checking out. Dreame runs under the business name of Stary PTE Ltd

They talk a bunch about quality of stories, etc… but just like Wattpad, it seems like mostly bad romance fiction or rip-offs and fanfics. Honestly, a guy can only stomach so much Mario on Luigi gay erotica on a landing page before he gives up on a platform altogether. (And let’s not forget about the infamous 50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey I referenced before… you can’t make this stuff up.) Interestingly enough, Wattpad is also toying with a “paid” option, although this service is currently in limited beta and not currently available in the US. Could Dreame be legit and scooping Wattpad on their upcoming service? I guess it is possible (they have been open to negotiation from me on finer points of the contract but have also repeatedly dodged the question of exactly how stories will generate funds to split with authors). I’ve been told that authors can earn 30%, 40%, or 50% depending on the amount an author takes in the form of an advance… percentages mean nothing, though if I don’t know how the thing is gonna earn out.

After multiple emails stating that I needed to know how it made money. I finally asked “Does it only earn money if someone signs up to read it, does it earn money or no money if a subscriber reads it? Does it only earn money if they click response device like a button for Like or Share at the end or does simply clicking the story link earn a commission? You’ve not given me those kinds of details which is what I want to know so I can judge how successful my story might be and make a decision.” As you can see by the below response, they completely dodge the question with their answer:

Stories with good performance will be put behind the pay wall. We will see from the data analysis. And Author will have a 30% share after the income gained by the Work exceeds the whole cost paid by us, including without limitation the royalty paid to Author, marketing fee and other costs charged by any third parties.
Author will have access to the sales amount in the author center, but since now our author center is still in development, which might be available in several months. And at present, we are investing extra amount of money to promote our stories as well as our app. But we will share the records to our authors if the profits exceed our investment before the author center is set up.

So basically, they are saying that whenever they are ready to start paying you, then they will explain how they do their accounting and math so that their payment will add up. That’s a big red flag for me.

Anyways, their contract looks pretty bad, too. You can follow up with some details from kboards and other authors who got similarly bad contracts and where one writer notes:

It also reads like they are trying to act as an agent to sell the rights to other media. Again, not necessarily a problem so long as you have right of refusal to any deal they come up with. But there have been outfits like this that self refer (they “sell” the rights to the audiobook, for example, to their own sister company and your contract requires you to accept). So unless you get final right of refusal, this is a non-starter.

My biggest concern is that there is a lot of vague, “squishy” language used. And I don’t trust vague, squishy language.

Don’t take my language for it. Here is a sample contract they sent me to look at:

Copyright License Agreement

This Copyright License Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is entered into effect on [ ] [ ], [ ] (“Effective Date”) by and between STARY PTE. LTD., a Singapore corporation under the laws of Singapore with its registered office at [11 Woodlands Close, #08-20, Woodlands 11, Singapore (737853)], (hereinafter referred as “Dreame”) and [ ], penname [ ], an individual with a permanent address at [ ] (hereinafter referred as “Author”). Hereinafter Dreame and Author will be singularly or collectively referred to as “Party” or “Parties”.

By signing this Agreement, Author has agreed to grant the Digital Copyright of their Work to Dreame exclusively in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements hereinafter set forth, the Parties hereby agree as follows:

  1. Definition

1.1 Work means all or part of the [ ] or its derivatives originally created or written by Author, who owns complete copyrights of such Work under any applicable law or regulation.

1.2 Digital copyright means the right to use, publish, distribute, sell, sublicense, post, advertise, promote or market such Work on Platform in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

1.3 Platform means all the online platforms owned, operated or controlled directly or indirectly by Dreame, including but not limited to its websites and applications.

  1. Remuneration

2.1 Basic payment: Dreame agrees to pay Author a one-time payment X (X) United States Dollars for the complete Work.

2.2 Dreame has the right to put the Work in the pay-to-read program according to its standards. In this case, Author will receive a 30% share of the profits gained by the Work, when the extra revenue generated by the work exceeds the whole cost paid by Dreame, including and without limitation, the basic payment paid to Author, marketing fee, and any other costs charged by third parties. Except the foregoing compensation or unless otherwise stipulated, Dreame has no obligation to pay any other proceeds, benefits, interest and the like to Author.

2.3 Dreame will only make the basic payment to Author after the full manuscript of the Work is submitted to Dreame by Author. Payment will be made no later than the 30th of the following month via PayPal or international wire transfer. Author will bear the risk of failed payment if the PayPal or bank information Author offered to Dreame is incorrect.

2.4 All taxes or charges due in connection with the compensation for the Work shall be borne by Author.

  1. Dreame’s Obligations

3.1 Dreame acknowledges that Author is the owner of the Work, and shall do nothing inconsistent with such ownership.

3.2 Dreame shall use the Work and pay the remuneration to Author according to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

3.3 Dreame is obligated to keep all the personal information or other materials Author doesn’t want to make public as confidential.

  1. Author’s Obligations

4.1 Author shall submit the complete manuscript in DOC file 10 days before the pay day. Author acknowledges and agrees that the Work shall contain no less than [ ] words and is obligated to start uploading the Work to Platform within a month after this Agreement takes effect and upload at least [ ] chapter(s) per week. If Author fails to meet the foregoing requirements, Dreame is entitled to upload the Work to its Platform without prior notice to Author.

4.2 Author guarantees that they shall not plagiarize or infringe another person’s legal rights and that the Work is completely original.

4.3 Author shall uphold the reputation of Dreame and will not engage in activities that harm Dreame nor its interests.

4.4 Author agrees to provide necessary assistance or support for Dreame’s marketing and promotion for the Work, including without limitation necessary information or other promotional materials.

4.5 Author can self-publish the Work in paperback form only and all earnings will be Author’s own. However, Author shall not publish or sell the Work on any other third parties’ online platforms. If Author wishes to publish or sell the Work on a third party’s platform, Author must get Dreame’s express written permission by giving prior written notice to Dreame. Any future earnings made in this way shall be charged a further 30% commission by Dreame.

4.6 The Work must adhere to the standards set by Dreame. If the Work contains excessive spelling or grammatical errors, Author will be required to make revisions in accordance with Dreame’s requests. In such a case that Author refuses to make the revisions or such Work does not meet Dreame’s requirement after the revision, Dreame shall be entitled to not use or release such Work, and to terminate this Agreement without legal liability.

  1. Terms and Termination

5.1 This Agreement shall commence from the Effective Date and shall continue in full force and effect during the period of creation of the Work and for five (5) more years after the Work is completed on Dreame, i.e., the plot must be completed and confirmed by Dreame. This Agreement shall be automatically renewed for additional five (5) years, unless either Party provides written notice of non-renewal to the other Party, no less than ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of Agreement.

5.2 If Author breaches this Agreement and fails in fulfilling their obligations, Dreame has the right to suspend payments and require Author to refund all the compensation. In such case Author will also bear all legal consequences and losses incurred.

  1. Miscellaneous

6.1 This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with any applicable laws and the laws of Singapore. Any dispute or disagreement arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be firstly solved through amicable negotiation; if negotiation fails, the forgoing disputes or disagreements shall be exclusively submitted to Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) for arbitration.

6.2 Both Parties agree that the scanned copy of the signed Agreement has the same legal effect with original copy. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have caused this Agreement to be executed and effective as of the Effective Date by their duly authorized representatives on the dates shown below.



14 thoughts on “Is Dreame Publishers (also known as Ficfun and Stary LTD.) a Scam?

  1. Hello, Thanks for you blog, I was also contacted by Dreame and will give them a pass. A similar contract has been drawn up for me by webnovel, they will market my books in various formats and I will get 50 % (including paperback, audio books and any other format). They said that for my locked chapters, they can’t be published elsewhere and they would help me market my books. The concerning part is that I will be handing over all rights to publish to them.
    Any ideas about webnovel, please let me know.
    Thanks for helping a newbie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had them contact me on obooko. Offering two types of contract exclusive for USD 90 or non exclusive for USD 40. There is no way I would give away the exclusive rights to my books for $90 but I reckoned the non-exclusive offer, $40 wasn’t too bad. After all getting paid $40 allowing them to give away / sell a book that I am already giving away elsewhere isn’t too bad.

    As for their business model they probably do a numbers game. Sign up enough people on an exclusive deal and you are bound to find some diamonds on the rough.


  3. I received an email today about some stories I wrote a few years ago. Thanks for the info here. I hadn’t heard of Dreame and this was the first useful info I found about the emails they are sending. I plan to ignore the email. I am always a bit vigilant with these things as my work has been copied and posted on another platform before.


  4. I was contacted by them on Fanfiction Net (!) today. They are offering to buy “my book” and at least “$200 minimum salary per month”. Supposedly their “over 500 hundred writers have earned more than half a million dollars on Dreame”.


    That’s a scam, all right. I still Googled them just for the giggles, and found this article. Very well researched and very helpful for people who don’t have experience with professional publishing.

    Here’s a very helpful resource for anyone wondering if this or that publisher or contest is serious or scam:


  5. I was contacted on wattpad by them using FicFun name on July, but since my story wasn’t in english we ended up not going further to the contract. About a week ago they contacted me again, same person, under the Dreame. I reminded them that my story was not in english and apparently, they published foreign language now. (Oh, and this made me think they only look to the amount of readers and not the quality of the story. I doubt they understand my story entirely)
    I have more than 100k readers on both my stories and was offered more than a 100$ per story. I actually considered the offer since I wrote the story for fun and not expecting any payment, but they offer me money, so why not? So I agree and asked them to send a sample contract. I read the contract just now and got curious so I got on google, looking at their website, the company profile, and finally this post. Now I doubt my decision…it’s actually a lot of money if convert to my currency ( I can live for about 1.5 months with the amount of money they offer me for both my stories), but I don’t think the amount is worth giving all the digital rights but then again I’m not a professional and considered the story a mess (I was ‘planning’ to make the story better but got no time, lol, being busy with college)…. I asked my best friend opinion and she said why not? I want to asked my sister about this but I haven’t met her and already found this post. So does this mean the contract is not legit? is it a scam? or is it just an unfair contract?

    ps. I was almost scam into this type but for my arts which is real bad (I’m more confident about my stories than my arts) but that one because the asked me to pay to be publish by them so that’s a big no. But this one doesn’t ask me to pay yet…(?)


    1. hey Bells, it sounds like you have some unique things happening in your life, based on where you live. Since it would help you live for over a month, and you didn’t have any other plans, you might just take the money and run. Just make sure that the rights do eventually return to you. It’s really only a decision that you can make, but if you’re not currently investing a lot of time/energy into your writing pursuits (and don’t have any future plans with this piece) you might consider it. every type of publisher (even vanity press) has a correct time and place… this might be a good fit for you at this stage in your life.


    2. Dreame is definitely a scam. I would never, ever publish even my shopping list with them. If you have a solid following for your stories on Wattpad, why not self-publish an ebook with Kindle or Smashwords? That way you can be sure you’re not going to get scammed and you’re still in full control of your stories.


  6. I just discovered a message from this outfit on my FanFiction account … which amazed me, since I know “serious” writers scoff at FanFiction. But I’m only posting the first draft of my fantasy series, to get feedback from longtime followers of my work. Anyway, it wasn’t the first time some purported publisher tried to get me to fall for their offer, and I was suspicious, so I did a search. This article was the very first thing to come up. I appreciate all the information! I’ll just let this “opportunity” pass me by and go back to writing and refining so I can try for real publication when I feel the novel series is ready. Thanks for writing this!


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