Last week, we discussed a scam involving firms offering writers a job that came with a “free computer.”
This week, unfortunately, we have another scam to tell you about.
I was recently contacted by an author who told a very disturbing story. He has several books on the market and sales had slowed down. He decided he didn’t want to keep promoting them, and was looking to sell all rights to the manuscripts. I am often approached by authors wanting to sell their manuscripts outright but we are not in the business of buying all rights from authors, and then republishing their books.
This guy had terminated his titles with his publisher, and had actually found someone who offered him thousands of dollars for all rights to his books. That’s when the author made a fatal mistake. He sent his files to the individual and, of course, never received the money. The scammer now has his production files, and can print and sell the books.
When you want to buy a car, the dealership doesn’t give you the keys until you’ve signed all the papers, and made your downpayment. Likewise, if someone wants to buy one of your assets (your book), do NOT give them that asset in its entirety until you’ve received your payment. Sending them part of the manuscript to review is fine. If they demand the entire manuscript, send it to them as an unformatted text file. That would require them to later format/design the files before they could be printed as a book. Many scammers won’t bother going to the time and expense involved with that. And, certainly NEVER send them the ready-to-print cover file!
We all need to protect ourselves and our intellectual property. Never, EVER trust a stranger you meet online. Period. Google them. Get references. Do whatever due diligence you can. And, demand a large downpayment, or payment in full, before you give them your book, your article, or whatever it is they’re promising to buy.
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