Friday, April 23, 2010


I discovered Jimmy Buffet too late. You can't become a parrot head at thirty, it's just silly. I mean, standing up and saying, "Hey this guy rocks!" when everyone else already knows it, just looks bad.

Still. He rocks.

I was thinking about Fins this week a lot. You know it, right? Fins to the left, fins to the right, and you're the only bait in town...
Been awhile since we talked about sharks, eh? Well....I met a doosey this week.
Aspiring author, you may not be the only bait in town, but you are darn tasty, apparently.

I've written earlier posts about scams and how to dodge them. While this one had some obvious red flags, it took me three clicks on Google to discover that the "satisfied customer" touting the wonders of the company was, in fact, the publisher director of said company. oops.

Three clicks guys. Not hard work. You Google everyone, right?

Okay, so we flushed them out, hurray. Still, something about the whole interaction left me feeling really, amazingly sad. You see, awhile back I almost fell for something similar. Now, while I'm happily writing and finally publishing now, I still remember that near miss. I still remember how it felt.

It felt shitty.

I can't think of anyone more emotionally vulnerable than an author who is hip deep in submitting their manuscript. (okay, I can. Work with me here) The point is, you have yourself literally "out there." You know the score, you "know" the rejections are not personal, that they're normal, that they don't mean you suck eggs. But one after the other, they eat away at that knowledge. It's a tender, tentative place to be.

So when the email shows up that says, "hi! We LOVE your work, you have TALENT. Your book idea is fabulous...." Even if you remember that "too good to be true is, no doubt, not true," there will be that moment, that surge of adrenaline, that flutter of excitement.

And three clicks on Google can kill it in a heartbeat. Thankfully, of course. I hope no one falls for these sharks, I pray no one gives them money.

It's not just a scam at that moment. It's cruel.

Keep your eyes open and watch each other's backs.



M Pax said...

Great advice, Frances. Glad you snuffled that one out.

Jaleta Clegg said...

Some of them are professional enough they almost convinced me to join up. But I didn't want to go self-published and I knew enough to know I shouldn't have to pay to be published. I think fiction writers fall for it way more often than others. Maybe we're just more vulnerable because fiction really is a piece of our souls.

Frances Pauli said...

Absolutely, that's part of why they say, don't rush to self-publish. However, the traditional route has its own vultures.
The one that tried to snag me up is a "literary agency" that changes their name about every two months because of the trail of lawsuits behind them.
They're actually an editing referral service and I'm sure they get great kickbacks from the manuscripts they promise to consider once they've been edited by a professional--and by the way, here is the name of a great one.
They look professional, but hey, they all do.
No path is without its assholes.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose. ........................................