Like many authors, the inbox of yours truly sees many promotional emails. In fact, just the other day, I received an email from a happy-go-lucky sounding woman who offered to review my books. She seemed lighthearted and friendly, and her services so suitable for an author’s marketing and profile-raising needs. There was a fee of course, one that seemed quite reasonable.
After many (too many, LOL) years in the writing realm, I know better than to get suckered in, but her proposal did sound appealing. Given the price, I was intrigued enough to consider it. Thankfully, I did my due diligence, something I’ve frequently advocated people do before signing up for anything.
When doing what I like to call validation, I Google with “reviews for [insert name]” or a variation thereof. Then I peruse several sites to get an overall feel for what’s what. Lo and behold (and really no small surprise), I discovered that warnings had been posted about this individual—she’d solicited in past and was once again back in full swing.
Writer Beware is an outstanding site for learning about tricksters and frauds. It’s been around for several years, founded in 1998 by Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin. In addition to providing details about scammers and schemers, they provide sage advice:
“It’s debatable whether paid reviews are worth the money–even when provided by professional venues like Kirkus–let alone whether it’s worth paying a fee to some random amateur.”
“Authors, don’t pay for book reviews. Even if the reviewer is competent.”
I also came across a wonderful, most helpful site run by Ruth Harris and Anne R. Allen, two publishing industry professionals endeavoring to assist “newer writers create their best possible work and launch it successfully into the marketplace.”
They also want to assist writers “avoid the pitfalls of this ever-more complex business, where unfortunately, a lot more people are making money from authors than for us.”
Their blog is chockablock full of valuable information, such as resources for writers. Do check it out (and take a gander at the post on new writing scams in 2019).
Due diligence truly does equal [gained] wisdom. No matter how great something sounds, always, always, always investigate. Know what you’re “signing up” for.