Blog by Toby Welch

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Writing Scammers

Just like any industry, writing isn't without its share of wanna-be criminals trying to scam money out of naive people.  It seems in recent months that this problem has kicked up to another level.

I was flipping through a writing magazine and came across an ad for a website that promises (yes, promises!) to publish everything you've ever written for a "nominal fee".  Their fees can run you up to four figures for one book-length project.  For the money, all they do is offer the book available as a PDF file on their website and provide you with a link you can give to people who want to buy it.  If you have a website you can put the link on there to direct people to where to purchase it.  The scam is ridiculous yet writers fall for it every day.  You can do the exact same thing yourself at Smashwords or Amazon for zero cost and your work is offered on websites that millions of people visit, not a dozen people or so.

I came across another scam where for a mere $699.99, you can have your short story published in an anthology and you get two copies of the book when it comes out.  I did some digging and it turns out the scam artist offering this “amazing deal” waits until she has enough stories compiled for a book and she publishes them through a printing company.  She only publishes enough of them to be able to send each contributor their two copies.  The anthology isn't sold in book stores or online or anywhere.  But she lures people in with the promise of their name displayed on the cover which does happen.  But what a scam!

When in doubt, do some investigating before committing to something that sounds fishy.  And remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.