They are also full of inexperienced writers, and for scammers that makes them easy to find.
They pop along and join in and in a friendly way they introduce their scam as though they are offering writers a great opportunity.
I have written about scammers who prey on inexperienced writers by offering to publish their work for a ‘small fee’ (vanity publishing by another name.)
There are many forms of vanity publishers out there so if you are not sure do read this.
But along with the vanity publishers, there is a huge amount of different scams and scammers out there and as long as they keep coming I’ll keep writing about them.
One scam I saw today on a writer’s group is the ‘join this website’ and get loads of free books scam.
They encourage people to join with a promise of a certain amount of ‘credits,’ with which they can ‘buy free’ books.
People have to join these sites. To join you have to hand over personal information and credit card details of course.
In return, members receive these ‘free credits’ which give them access to loads of free books.
It doesn’t say how these books are free, although they do encourage authors to leave the ‘big greedy publishing companies’ and publish with them instead!
They write as though they are doing favors to writers and sadly, once again, some writers are believing it.
But, think about it. How is it a favor to hand over your book to some website who will then give it to their members in exchange for these ‘free credits?’
There are different versions of this scam around the net and you need to be vigilant.
I have found my own books in ‘libraries’ which encourage people to become members to get free books.
At no time have they asked me – the writer, for permission, and at no time have I received royalties.
It is illegal. It is theft pure and simple.
The people who join these libraries are also taking the risk that they could receive something nasty – like a virus or having their credit card details scammed if they download mine or other author’s books – so please don’t join these scam libraries.
There is no such thing as free books – just stolen books and your stolen credit card details, unless the author is personally giving them away as a promotion.
These libraries/book clubs etc. come in many forms – you have been warned.
If you want to read my book of creative writing exercises you can – for a small fee. No matter what the scammers say us writers gotta pay the rent too.
Take care out there.