Welcome to Look Before You Leap
- Are you an aspiring author?
- Want to get your author compass out to allow you to watch your back and keep safe of predators in the publishing industry?
Literally the day I am posting this page on the website (March 23, 2017) I got an email from a friend who asked for my advice. He was contacted by a internet radio station that asked him to pay them $150 per episode to have his own show. I said, "run!". You can host your own podcast for $20/month on Libysn, own your content, and eventually get sponsorships to not only cover your costs but allow you to monetize your time and expertise.
Voice of America is, in my opinion, a scam. They reached out to me to stroke my ego about having my own radio show (when I already had a show at my local radio station plus my own podcast), and they wanted to charge me per month. Ugh.
I was contacted about being on TV with one of my favorite actors (bummer) for a cost of $20,000. Scam, in my opinion.
When someone asks you for money in order to share your expertise, ask around, and take a gut check.
Resources (constantly being updated)
- This list of contest scams from ALLI will help you identify those contents/award programs that are taking your money yet perhaps not giving you much benefit.
- My GO-TO resource is the Independent Book Publishers Association. They have an amazing team of people that you can call (and talk to in person) to find out if there are any rumors on the street about particular service providers in the publishing industry. They have providers that offer discounts to members, and they are constantly vetting these providers.
- The Association of Authors’ Representatives, a professional organization for agents whose members abide by a stringent code of ethics.
- Winning Writers compiles lists of contests and agencies to avoid.
- Agent Query is huge database of reputable, established literary agents.
Questions you should always ask
- Do the service provider asking you for money have a real website?
- Do they have a business card on nice cardstock and not scribbled on a napkin/scrap-paper?
- Have you done a Google search ("name of provider" + scam), ("name of provider" + dispute) etc.
- Have you asked for a client list. Can you talk to a previous client?
- Is the payment plan PARTIAL payment upfront plus payments upon agreed-to deliverables?