When those “dreams come true” are publishing scams…
Because I have a lot of articles out there on publishing scams, I get frequent messages from writers who fear they’ve been ensnared by a scammer.
I hear even more often from their friends. These friends or relatives see something iffy going on, but don’t want to be the Debbie Downer who brings unnecessary negativity into a hopeful writer’s life.
The friend usually has a reason for being suspicious. Whether the “dream project” is a dodgy anthology, an overpriced no-name contest, a vanity press masquerading as a real publisher, or a junk marketing scheme, a lot of people will have a feeling the project isn’t passing the smell test.
But if they don’t know much about the publishing industry themselves, they hesitate to rain on a newbie writer’s publishing-fantasy parade.
Their writer friend is happy for the first time in forever, floating around on Cloud Nine, sure they’re about to realize their life-long goal of being a successful writer.
So the friend emails me and asks — what should a friend do?
I say if you’re close enough to that person to have their trust, then you need to tell them about your doubts. If you don’t think they’ll believe you, a mutual friend might help you convey the message.
You also can break it to them gently by urging them to do some research on their own. Here are some things you can suggest. Remember Google (or your favorite search engine) is your friend. 😊