Let’s talk seriously for a bit:
Writing is fun. Getting published is fun. Ebooks and Twitter and devoted fans are fun.
Fraud is not fun. Paying for your dreams to be stolen under the guise of legitimate business practices is not fun.
There have always been scams that targeted authors. But in the past, companies had to invest money in buying address lists or advertisements before they ever made a profit.
These days, anyone can set up a professional(-looking) site for less than 20 bucks. The internet gave us the ebook industry, to be sure. But the tools which allow writers to present themselves as professionals are the same tools used by disreputable companies so that they can look professional, too.
So let’s help each other out. Use the #writerwarning hashtag to let other ebook fans, writers, and professionals know about unscrupulous dealings and shady business. #writerwarning can be used for things like…
- general ebook business tips
- warnings about businesses offering expensive services for free things (such as converting a text file to a Kindle ebook)
- documenting unprofessional, abusive, or unqualified ebook service providers
- advice on avoiding writing-related scams
- exposing writing contests which accept all submissions for publication, charge high fees, or require purchase
- uncovering writing-related organizations which exist solely for profit without a reasonable attempt at providing quality literature
While we strongly encourage general tips, we recognize the need to call out specific companies or people. So here’s a helpful hint: if you’re accusing a person or company by name, be prepared to back it up with screenshots, letters, bills, court documents, etc. Otherwise, you might end up with a #writerwarning tag yourself.