About SharingwithWriters Blog

Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Search This Blog

Friday, March 01, 2013

Scam Alert. Something Authors Don't Need to Pay For!

Just popping in today with a scam alert from my SharingwithWriters newsletter, something I do every now and then. If you'd like to never miss one, send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line and I'll subscribe you myself. (-:  The address is HoJoNews@aol.com.
Scam Alert: Don’t let e-mails from people who "know" your name fool you.  The familiarity isn't love or friendship, it's more like heartless algorithms!
There is an offer going around. You get an interview you if you but pay them $30. You're so privileged! You get all kinds of wonderful benefits like a free  CD for suckering into this. Now, I’m not saying to never pay for anything. What I am saying is, don’t pay for something you can get plenty of free. Like interviews—online, on radio, or any other old way. (And these really aren't free because the interviewer gets your expertise!) Interviews should be a win-win situation and even steven. Both entities benefit. Neither host nor author pay for the opportunity they afford one another. 
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .


  1. I've been getting calls lately from a 'producer' who wants me to do a show, but it's a paid=for spot. No thanks!

    It was a delight to meet you at Book 'Em! I posted pictures of the event today.

    1. I loved seeing you, too. Having your book there definitely gave me a chance to show what real marketing is about--sharing. And you are just as beautiful as your pictures!

      Glad you didn't fall for the pay 'em scam. Of course, there may be a time when it worth it to buy some services, but it seems to be this sales gimmick only works on the unititiated--the authors who haven't yet read books like your or mine! (-:

  2. Carolyn, this is a problem even with well-known sites. I was recently contacted to be part of an anthology on marketing, but my contribution would cost me between $900 and $1000. It's crazy!

    Why would anyone pay that kind of money to be small part of a project like that.

    The initial contact promo didn't mention the fee. After someone actually called me and I learned of the cost involved, I quickly said I'm not interested. He quickly hung up.

    It's sad that some try to take such advantage of others.

    Okay, I'm done ranting. :)

  3. Carolyn, it gets even worse when vanity publishers promote writing contests where everyone one wins! Why? The contestant's story, drivel or not, gets included in an anthology. It may never be advertised, of course, but every entry gets the chance to buy a buckram-bound copy for big bucks.

    Scams like this give every bona fide contest a bad name. Maybe it's time that regulators cracked down in vanity presses.

  4. John, I don't even like the term vanity presses. It lumps all kinds of publishers into a disdainful term. There are a few big POD publishers that do this, and probably a some smaller ones, too. And there are some notorious poetry sites that do it. But to lump them together (however convenient the term) into vanity presses does an unjustice to many independent presses and self-publishers who work very hard at being professional (and often achieve that status admirably!) (-: Can we just agree to say that some are unscrupulous and refuse to play their games?


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com. You might also find www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com full of resources you can use and
www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.