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!
This reminded me of the “ebook swap” scam, and the “multi-excuse scammer” story we shared with you awhile back.
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.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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I’m so glad you are warning us about these scammers praying on us.
I’d like to add about another scammer on Facebook.
She masquarades as a graphic designer. She was last out on probation from being jailed for offering her services as a graphic designer (book coverers, etc.) if a writer submits their manuscript to her. She then claims it as her own and publishes it with Amazon.
If a person complains, she then gives them a bad review on Amazon for other books they have there. Amazon then refuses to take the reviews down and the writer is screwed.
She did this to writers my last publisher had so when i asked my publisher to do something about it she refused.
One of the writers my publisher had works for the police force up in Timmins which was close to where this scammer was jailed. She responded by getting my publisher to threaten me if i ever email her again.
I then asked FaceBook to stop running this scammers ads. they didn’t get back to me
I then closed my account with facebook for a long time.
Eventually i had to go back on because i’m publishing hopefully 6 books this year.
I’m so glad there is a person like you Angela who’s on top of the scammers out there