Scammers. They’re everywhere. They find something normal and work to exploit those who don’t pay attention to the fine print. Scammers especially exist in the publishing world and I’d like to share a few examples here without specifically calling anyone out.
I get it. You want to get your story out there as quickly as possible. I used to think that way too until I started reading the fine print on both publisher’s web pages and the ones for literary agents. I began noticing a few trends of things that I questioned immediately. Just the other night I was laying on my bed, flat on my stomach with my feet dangling over the end tapping to my music, and my head just did that “tilt sideways” thing when you go, “Huh? Really?”
Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m no expert. Heck I’m not even published yet. But I’m learning so many things whether it’s just by straight up asking other people or questioning it myself. If you’re a writer you’ll understand things just take time in general. Even finding potential representation. Research that representative or publishing house before inquiring. If they stand for something you don’t agree with, move along home. You aren’t obligated to submit something to them just because you read their web pages backwards and forwards.
There I go with my digressing again. Let’s get back on track, shall we? Listed below are three scams I’ve come across in my agent/publisher search that just don’t look right.
The biggest takeaway is this: do your research. When I worked in retail I always told my customers that if something looks too good to be true, it usually is. If someone solicits you, do your research. If someone follows you on social media and they seem like an interesting contact, do your research. If someone…well, I think you get my drift. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, whether if it’s a mentor of yours or the other person directly. If they never answer or skirt around, giving you alternatives or avoid you in general, scam.
The worst part, I think, is that if communication begins fabulously – they’re eager to answer anything, consistently reply and you come to an agreement about something, there is always the chance they may actually fall off the face of the Earth once they have your work. That’s always the risk. In this tech-centered world it’s like online dating. You could talk for months, think you know them, only to find out you’re being cat fished.
Or they can be legitimate, kind and a perfect match for you. I hope you find your perfect matches in the literary world. Someone who believes in your work, in you as a person, and will fight for you as much as you do them. It’ll take some time. I know I’ve talked a lot about running from things in this particular post but scams aren’t always clean, clear, cut and dry entities. Sometimes they look and act completely legitimate until you sign that agreement. I’m just starting my search. So happy hunting, and don’t get cat fished!
Don’t get agenished either.
See what I did there?
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