When I see the words “free publishing guide,” I think somebody is going to send me a free ebook that is an actual, factual, non-biased guide about the publishing industry, and/or the publishing process. I don’t think, “Wow, I’m just going to get a big, boring advertisement in exchange for all my contact information!”
My book is being sold by an online bookstore, which also offers a publishing service. So, they are not only my online bookstore, but my publisher as well. There’s certainly more efficiency in having the online bookstore create the books it sells. However, there’s also the potential for fraud.
Scammers and spammers don’t need to pay for your contact info. They can very easily find you online, with just a few clicks, and often within just a minute or two.
I just received a call from a company called (name removed) and they say they want to promote my book. What do you know about this company?
The number of scammed victims is the best kept secret in self-publishing. In writing groups, large and small, fellow authors sit with dark secrets and, like the elderly woman down the street who hasn’t told anyone she sent all her savings to a fake online preacher, you won’t know who they are. Protecting their fear of being labeled gullible, and subjected to pitying glances, they help unscrupulous self-publishing companies to flourish…
A bookstore emailed me to see if I wanted them to carry my POD book.
First, I had to send a copy to see if it was “appropriate.” Now they say it is, but they want me to send books to them. They do not want to order them from my publisher. Also, I have to sign a 50/50 contract, meaning I’ll lose money on each sale. I’ll even have to pay postage to ship the books. Wouldn’t I be stupid to do this?
After publishing a book, some authors are thrilled when they receive a request for a “free desk copy” from a professor. This implies the professor or other university professional is reviewing the title for possible inclusion as course text.
Of course, having your book included in the curriculum at a college or university can be a huge boost to not only your sales, but to your resume as well. Imagine selling dozens to hundreds of copies to a university, semester after semester, and being able to promote your book as course material in your marketing literature. Things can’t get much better than that for a hopeful author, right?
In the past decade, we’ve published more than 2,000 books. While many of our authors are young and middle-aged folks, many are also in their 60’s, 70’s, and far beyond. Our oldest author to date was 97! This isn’t surprising because many of us won’t have time to write the Great American Novel until all the kids have moved out and/or we’ve retired. That’s just the way it is in this fast-paced world.
Elderly authors are easy marks for scammers and thieves. Today, I’ll share the stories of several (semi-)fictional victims. These represent a combination of horror stories we’ve heard over the years.
I received a call from (a certain POD company) today asking me to participate in a promotional email plan for my book. The web address they sent me to look up specifics of the plan is (link removed).
What do you think?
A man who claimed to be in Japan contacted the author directly, saying he wanted to purchase 100 copies of her book. He was using a free email account and didn’t provide a company name. She pointed him to the wholesale order form on the Booklocker.com website.