I try very hard to keep my visits to Writer Beware limited to weekend surfing, because anytime I start reading this fascinating site, I wind up losing tons of precious time. I just can’t stop reading this stuff! It staggers the imagination how many scams, bad deals, and predatory jackasses are wandering about looking for writers to take advantage of.
Today, I got caught up in the Writer Services section where you can get the latest on bogus “help” for book writers including pay-for-airtime radio scams, trade show book representation, and other dodgy deals. Most vexing to me was the “query and submission service” which preys on the busy writer’s need to get more submissions out the door whenever possible.
Granted, Writer Beware is aimed mainly at book authors, not article writers. Those of us who spend more time blogging, writing articles, and doing commercial writing work won’t need much of this advice until we start working directly in the book writing/publishing world–but I find this site quite valuable because it gives you a peek at the behavior and practices of scam artists. That kind of behavior isn’t limited to publishing books, and when you see an editor or a client behaving in the same way as these publishing con artists, you can quickly spot suspicious techniques and business practices if you know what to look for.
That’s why I encourage all writers to have a look at Writer Beware, getting literate in the art of the scam is a good way to protect yourself from getting blindsided by the same old tricks applied in innovative ways. Bravo, Writer Beware, you’re doing us ALL a public service.