If you think of yourself as tech savvy, you probably have virus protection, spam filters of some sort, and pop up blockers. You can chant, “Don’t open unfamiliar attachments” in your sleep. But there are worse things online than viruses and spam.
The Internet is like one of those ancient treasure troves you read about in stories. You can find wonderful things there. Or you can hit the booby traps and you’re trapped in the cave of doom forever. Not good.
A frightening numbers of writers have been scammed. By whom? By the unsavory people who’ve realized that writers can be a great source of funds. Some people have been scammed for thousands of dollars. Some cost you your pride and hope, which is sometimes worse than mere dollars. Writers have been seriously demoralized and made to feel like a fool. Some zealously guard the cheats because they can’t even face that fact that they were made fools of, believing they got exactly what they expected.
At whatever level they’ve been cheated, it’s heart-breaking to see it happen to any writer, but especially to children’s writers. So let’s look at some things you really need to know to stay safe as a writer today.
MARKETING IS WORK
If a publisher or agent shows up in your email box saying they saw you on a message board, blog, website, etc. and are interested in you, beware! Sure, real agents and real publishing connections do get made that way, but rarely. But for every one that is real, thousands are scammers hoping to take advantage of you. Check them out. Always check them out. And I don’t mean with just your critique group or another writer you happen to know.
Listen to the full episode to find out what you can do before you get involved with any agent or publisher.
Listener Question of the Week:
For a creative nonfiction article, is it okay to add myself as a participant?
Listen to the episode for the answer!