Thursday, September 7, 2017

A must-read for you: Avoid scams and schemes

"These days, there are more people making money off new writers than there are writers making money," says Anne R. Allen.

Read that again: "These days, there are more people making money off new writers than there are writers making money."

"Recently," Anne continues, "I've run into a lot of new writers who do the very things that make them fall prey to unscrupulous scammers."

Don't let yourself fall prey to scammers and fakes.

How do you do that? By becoming a wise, energetic student of writing, publishing, and marketing. Start here with Anne R. Allen's post.

There's a reason Writer's Digest listed Anne's blog among their 101 Best Websites for Writers, and there's a reason Author Marketing Experts, Inc., listed her blog among their Top 50 Websites for Indie Authors, and several others. Week after week, year after year, Anne R. Allen shares information we all need to know.

In her blog post, Don't Fall Prey to Publishing Scams: 7 New Writer Mistakes to Avoid, she covers these and other points:

Writing-in-a-Garret Syndrome: Such people avoid writing classes, writing groups, writing books, critiques, beta readers, editors, and writing blogs and magazines. They fail to educate themselves on the publishing industry, self-publishing, and book distribution. Nevertheless, they believe they're brilliant writers and will soon find their books on bestseller lists. Anne says, "These people are prime targets for bogus agents, editing scams, overpriced marketing schemes, and ruthless vanity publishing companies because they're so easily flattered and bamboozled."

Trying to Publish Too Soon: Here Anne addresses those whose manuscripts "have pacing and structure problems,... cliches,... saggy middles, slithery points of view." She warns, "Bogus agents are happy to take them, though. For a fee. Then maybe they'll sell them to their own bogus 'publishing company,' which will be happy to take more of your money...."

Read the rest of Anne’s valuable post in which she discusses Obsessing about Marketing before you Learn to Write and Expecting to Make Money with a First Book and several other relevant topics.

“Every phony publisher, bogus agency, and scammy editing service with a slick website is waiting out there, ready to pounce,” Anne says. “So do your homework…. Even if you’re only writing as a hobby, if you want to publish at all, you need to learn how the business works or you’ll pay a lot of money for something embarrassing.”

 Don’t miss Anne’s final piece of advice, “Always check out a company at Writer Beware, and never sign a contract without running it by a legal professional. For real self-publish advice, follow Joanna Penn’s blog and The Alliance for Independent Authors. Reedsy and Writer’s Boon can give you lists of vetted service providers. And David Gaughran’s book, Let’s Get Digital, gives a great overview of indie publishing."

Many thanks to Anne for the consistently rich resources she provides with every blog post. I highly recommend you read her blog and follow her on Facebook. Also check out Anne's book, How to be a Writer in the E-Age.

Anne’s bio: “Anne R. Allen writes funny mysteries and how-to books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. She’s a contributor to Writer’s Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market. Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.”

Read Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros' blog post, Five Minute Friday Retreat: A Reflection.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Penny. It's kind of scary to realize some of these things could snare us. But if we educate ourselves, we can make wise choices. I hope you're doing well up there in beautiful B.C.!!

  2. Totally awesome post Linda. I've been saying this for years, and this post sent me into a frenzy of fresh research. I urge anyone looking for help with any phase of self-publishing to do the same. When you find a promising service provider or press, try the search term "(provider/press) scam" or "(provider/press) review" or something similar to find out the dark side if there is one.

    BTW, I tried checking out a couple of presses at the Writers Beware link above. That leads to a blog that includes a link to their site. I tried a couple of presses and came up blank. A direct search was more helpful.

    1. Sharon, you always offer a wealth of wisdom and resources and encouragement. We can't thank you enough.