on Writer Unboxed:
When I do presentations and Q&As, I’m often asked to name the most common scheme or scam writers need to watch out for.
Usually, I have to think a moment before I answer—not just because the universe of writer-focused predation is constantly evolving (for instance, there are far fewer fee-charging literary agents now than there were when Writer Beware was founded), but because the ways in which writers can be tricked and exploited are so many and various that it’s hard to choose.
These days, though, I can respond without hesitation. By far the most prevalent writer-focused scams are solicitation scams.
Solicitation scammers contact writers out of the blue with publishing-related offers that seem too good to be true. A literary agency is interested in your work! A prestigious publisher wants to acquire your book! A film producer wants to turn your novel into a movie! A marketing company can expose you to millions of potential fans!