Fake “Author Programs” Offered by Other Authors

Writerly Rant #87 ~

Written by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor.

Don’t you just love it when you find a great website run by a fellow Indie Author who talks about the benefits of one author helping another for free to be able to reach more followers?

Doesn’t it make you tingle with anticipation when you’re promised free access to this Indie Author’s 56K twitter followers who are looking to consider new books at great deals?

So you launch into filling out the Author Information sheet on this fellow author’s website, give your links and details, clap your hands and wonder how lucky you were to find such a helpful author willing to help for free

… or is it?

caution-sign-template-o8dwhd9uA week later after giving Indie Author Jay D. my book info based on his very clearly worded offer of FREE help, I get an email (yes, I had to include my author email address in the info so now I’m on his mailing list) politely requesting me to BUY HIS BOOK to show him how committed I am about one author helping another…

… only then, after spending money on an eBook I don’t want; that has a cover that he obviously did himself (and not very well at that), on a genre I don’t tend to read at the best of times (horror/thriller), will I get a life-time of “free tweets”.

But then I found this review on Amazon:

This is so poorly written, even basic competence in English is nowhere to be found. Much of the dialogue is written in Hindustani (I think), so I can’t even understand half of what I’ve read. It is ostensibly a horror novel, but there is no emotional connection of any kind to be found here. It is written as if it were a short play. It should have been written as straight, descriptive prose. It also should have been written in the writer’s native language, instead of a language he obviously hasn’t mastered.

What’s worse, I felt conned into buying the book on the hope that I, also a writer, would get exposure as a return favour for buying his e-book. Oh, well: more fool me, I guess. I want to warn any budding writers out there who have been messaged by this writer on Twitter with a promise to promote their books after buying his e-book. It’s a scam, don’t go for the bait. ~ Martain Gross, Author

Is it a scam?

I can’t say for sure.

His twitter page and feeds look legitimate but it gets me wondering how many of those 56K followers were bought and don’t bother to even read his tweets? There are no quotes from “happy customers” on his AHA Program page on his personal website and if two of the the three ratings on Amazon are 1 out of 5 stars, why would I even give a second thought to this fake free offer of help?

I am appalled by what some people will do to try and get others to buy their book. Needless to say, I have not bought his book and unless (as the reviewer above suggests) you speak Hindustani and are looking to read a script instead of a prose-novella, I would boycott using his “services.”

People who do this enrage me to end.

I’ll keep you posted as to whether he actually tweets about my book for free or not (and if anything actually comes of it). I requested a tweet-blast day of June 1st.

Something tells me though that I’ll be sorely disappointed for having tried to help a fellow Indie Author by letting my followers know about his “free” program 😛

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Categories: Rants, Writerly Rants

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. It’s authors and their “offers” such as this that obviously are taking advantage of fellow indie authors’ need for promotion that really irk me and have me taking a step back from the promotion biz in order to concentrate again on my own writing and career development. This kind of service gives those of us who support each other legitimately, either for free or a minimal charge, a bad name or cause authors to be wary. I’d say, in this case, it’s bordering on a scam, because you’re put into a position to purchase something you don’t want to receive the “free” service.

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  2. OMG! My mouth dropped open when I read this. I’m so sorry you went through this. YUCK! It sounds like he is a con-man and makes other people who honestly want to help indie authors succeed look bad. Sheesh! I agree with the comment above and I think you should report it to Twitter as a scam.

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  3. Ouch – there do seem to be a good few hidden mines to step on in the life of a writer – although there are some genuine people too. I find getting to know authors first seems a good test, whatever they are offering. Even looking for author services is difficult – is the ‘editor’ a good one? Can the typesetter do their job etc? Are the reviews or recommendations genuine. Fancy having your book stolen entering a competition. Unbelievable! Thanks for the warning.

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  4. It’s part of the predatory inustry surrounding self-publishing (it happens in the music industry too; home musicians surrounded by people offering ‘introductory services’ to labels and artist managers etc.) The ploy that bugs me is the club set up by someone and then when it reaches a critical mass starts to charge for ‘premium services’ and everything else is left to rot.

    Chris

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    • There are hidden landmines, without a doubt Chris. It just really irks me that a fellow Indie Author, who knows how difficult it is to get a handle on this market, is taking advantage (probably – but that won’t be confirmed until I do or don’t see my tweet on his site June 1st) of others in a similar position. The hypocrisy of it make me want to say a lot more than I should 😉 Then again, if his “novella” is as poorly written as that one reviewer claims then maybe he’s not really one of us – just looking for a way to work the system 😛

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