Tag Archives: writing scams

Writing Scams: Are People Still Doing This Crap?


I found this hilarious post at Writing.org. Hilarious only because I can’t believe that people are still trying to get away with these hare-brained schemes.

Durant Imboden writes that people who enter writing contests–in this case, competitions for poets–sometimes get letters back saying hopeful things…with strings attached.

“Congrats, you’re a semi-finalist. Oh, and by the way, if you win and get published in our groovy anthology of all the winners, you have to buy the book your poetry’s going in. Continue reading Writing Scams: Are People Still Doing This Crap?

Writer Beware!

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.

Are You Being Scammed? Warning Signs for Writers

Any freelancer in the game for longer than say, five seconds, has run into scams specifically designed to lure writers and those who want to be writers.  Some of these are direct rip-offs of your time or your work. Others aren’t deliberately out to hurt you but are run by people who are clueless about how the writing business works. Either way, it doesn’t really matter since the bottom line is wasted time, money and resources.

One example of a dubious publishing model is reported by Storycrafters, which ran complaints about a shady-sounding “get published” scheme at a website called ZootyandFlappers.com. Naturally I’d be willing to give both sides the benefit of  the doubt, but the publisher of ZootyandFlappers went on an ill-considered written rampage against “writers beware” site Preditors and Editors. Bad move, that.  The Bard springs to mind here, the lady doth protest too much.

I’ll try my best not to comment specifically on ZootyandFlappers.com. At publishing time, I don’t know whether it’s a scam site or not. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say it sounds dogdy, but I have reasons I’ll get to in a moment. For me the jury is out because I just don’t know enough, but I know when I smell a rat–and there is a definite rodent bouquet in the air over this particular controversy. With that in mind, here are my own personal warning signs that absolutely scream “STAY AWAY”.

Continue reading Are You Being Scammed? Warning Signs for Writers