More Writer Beware Scams

A literary agent discusses some of the many false opportunities presented to writers that are really just scams.

Writers are a sizeable audience for scammers. A study concluded that 80% of the population would like to see their name as author on a published book.  In their eagerness, writers often allow themselves to believe false claims without questioning the source. Here are just a few.

Make money reading books

For years and years, classified ads have offered to show you how to get paid to read books. When you sent in your money, all you got was a list of literary agents to contact. This must have been lucrative for the scammers, because I’ve received many thousands of letters from these scam victims offering to read books for me.

Get your manuscript professionally edited

While there are legitimate editors for hire, there are many scammers who promise to edit your manuscript into a salable text, but don’t. Some of these scammers even offered literary agents money for referring writers to them in their rejection letters. Unfortunately, some agents saw this as an easy source of revenue, and went along with it.

The newest scam—post your work online

Writers pay money to post their work on scammer’s websites, which supposedly get read by agents and editors. Trouble is, most legitimate agents and editors have little time for this. Or they check it out once, find sub-standard work, never to return. There are a number of additional reasons that this is a bad idea–for example, another writer could steal your material.

Don’t fall for these or other scams we’ve described in Writer, Beware!

Copyright 2007 by Barbara Doyen. All rights reserved.

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