Solicitation scams

Victoria Strauss has a post up on Writers Unboxed about solicitation scams: Out of the Blue, Too Good to Be True: Beware Soliciation Scams

I skimmed it because I was curious whether she’d mention a type of possible scam I’ve personally seen a lot recently.

After releasing a new book, OR running a promotion with Freebooksy and other promotion services, it’s typical for me to receive a good handful of emails that say something like this:

Would you like us to help you promote Black Dog Short Stories IV? We’ve got this many newsletter subscribers, we do targeted daily tweets, your book will be prominently displayed on our website for two years, all this can be yours for the low low price of ... they don’t name a price, actually, but the implication is that it wouldn’t be very expensive.

Obviously it would be stupid to promote the eighth book in a series. Who would do that? Who would seriously offer to do that? I just hit delete for all these.

Sure enough, here is what Victoria Strauss — whose name you may know from Writer Beware — includes this exact type of solicitation:

And yes, as expected, this is a scam, or so useless that it might as well be a scam.

I also receive offers for paid book reviews to appear on someone’s personal blog. The one that actually offends me is one in which the person offering the service greatly inflates the comments on her reviews by responding over and over to any comment, so that it looks like her reviews on her websites get lots of attention and a hundred comments each, when they really don’t. That’s offensive because it’s so obvious if you go to her website and look at the comments for any review, and of course because it’s just inherently dishonest and devalues the many excellent book bloggers who write honest reviews.

Lots of other types of scams. If you want to keep an eye on what scammers are up to these days, click through and take a look.

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