As I’ve mentioned previously, everyone wants to rip you off as an author by taking advantage of your hopes and dreams. Scammers make me sick. I’ve had a few calls from them lately pretending to be huge media companies that offer promotion for authors. These scammers do their homework, and so I assume they work on commission. They reference your book by name and will give it praise when they call and might mention that it was found by a Literary Talent Scout (as if those exist—agents and publishers get so many queries every day that they don’t need to go looking for talent! Talent goes to them. It’s a system that has been long established.)
I listened to the first guy’s spiel so I was familiar with it; they wanted between hundreds and thousands of dollars to do worldwide promotion on a book of mine that was far from my best one (so zero quality control) and when pressed, the agent knew nothing about it. (It is fun to toy with these guys, “oh yeah? What did you like about my book specifically?”) Just like any scamming vanity press, these sorts of things are easy to spot, and with a phone component, poor English skills are often a giveaway (hence the “international interest” I suppose.)
Straight up scam. I told them to put me on their do not call list. I got called again today by a man from Reader’s Magnet. I know the drill and rattled off my request so that the caller could not get in a word edgewise—I want as little of my time wasted as possible. “I’m familiar with your company. I do not want to buy or sell anything through you and do not want your services; please put me on your do not call list. Thank you, goodbye.” I hung up with the guy trying to talk over me on the other end. He actually called me back and started yelling at me about being rude and unprofessional. I responded, “I am familiar with you. You guys are rip-off artists and a predatory company trying to sell me something I don’t want or need.” I shouted him down and when he said he’d put me on their DNC (while chastising me about being unprofessional—even though he interrupted me with an unsolicited phone call to my personal cell) I said “good” and hung up on him again. He was pushy and rude. I wouldn’t buy something that I wanted from someone like that. Don’t let a bully manipulate you into buying something… especially when that something is a giant, squishy turd.
Thanks to the internet we can check out companies like this one (you might be familiar with my report many months ago from the scamming email services that promised contact info for thousands of bookstores—the folks I tracked down as operating out of the back of a taco joint.) Reader’s Magnet has a good looking website and social media. They do their best to represent themselves as a legit company and seem to have followed the same online platform building guides that Indie authors do—I guess they know their audience/prey well enough to look the part.
I found a response to the company’s cold calling on Ripoffreport.
“Being a book author is no easy task and marketing your book once published, mostly self-published these days–is near impossible so these kinds of scammers prey on authors who usually have huge egos and desperately want their words read.”
Here’s a second statement, also from Ripoffreport
“urged me to pay the registration fee of $650 to get my book in their catalog. He claimed 200,000 people would attend the Book Fair in Frankfort Germany in October. Those attending include librarians, owners of bookstores, teachers, students, parents. I was reluctant to pay such a steep fee, so he quickly re-calculated and said $550 would be acceptable. He claimed this Book Fair is the biggest display of books in the world, with people coming from every nation on earth. He estimated 200,000 would attend, and perhaps 1% of them would buy my book. That would be 2,000 books sold then and there. However, he only asked me to send him one book, so whoever wants to buy my book would need to contract me and buy directly from. The more we talked, the more skeptical I became. He spoke with an accent…”
People across Goodreads have gotten the same phone call. Apparently cold calling must be their primary MO. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18715656-anyone-here-ever-contacted-by-readersmagnet
Really, the company uses temptation to try and part author’s with their hard earned cash, like this Reddit user noted.
“I looked them up while I was on the phone with them and a lot of people have listed them as a scam. I know no one is really interested in my books which is what tipped me off, but also was tempted to listen to more because hey, we all want to have our work read by people!”
Nobody is looking out for you except for you and those other Indies in your network who have become like your family. You certainly aren’t going to be cold-called by top-shelf talent recruiters as an unknown. You can even be a faith-based author (believing that your book success is the high-and-perfect plan of God Almighty—this isn’t how God would operate: you still have to go through the steps established by the Industry). If you’re walking out the plan and following the steps properly, the regular doors will open. Query an agent, don’t drop hundreds of dollars on a poorly executed scam.
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