Growing Pains…Look Out For Scammers

In the community of writing, there are many that are willing to help. They are looking for nothing more than a thank you. One thing I love about this group is the willingness to help for nothing. Every so often, you will find yourself in a situation that may not seem so friendly. Your head might tell you it is a no pass opportunity, but your gut says…hold up, wait one second.

Very often there are helpful professionals that send you information for free. It is more the norm that these individuals have the integrity to help those that can’t afford their services. One of their wishes is that someday when you can, you go to them and not a competitor. This is where you will find even more information on how to get from point A to point B more efficiently and effectively. The free information gives you very helpful tips but you have to figure a lot of the information on your own.

Honestly, you can’t blame the gurus for leaving out the juicy stuff. How can they make their living on giving it all away? You wouldn’t be selling books if you sat there and told the story to everyone and then said, “Here, read it,” after the ending.

Some of these so called coaches try to give deals and maybe one or two tips. Then they will email you with a somewhat enticing statistic or two. I have seen these and I’ve been very intrigued. I don’t have the money to go to Lobsterfest this week so buying a program no matter how enticing or awesome it sounds, my bank will probably yell at me if I tried. I will be grounded for two weeks with no Netflix (might happen anyway, that just went up in fees).

Anyways, these so called statistics can be easily manipulated. I am no Math wizard but they like to use percentages. Let me tell you about percentages. I have two books on my one book has had over 2,000 views and my other book has had only 9. Guess which is doing better in the download department? The one with 2,000 views. BUT if we use percentages, my book with only nine views is killing it compared to the other.

I saw that as a red flag for one of the coaches I was following and deleted him right away after I noticed the slick measures he tried to pull. I unsubscribed from him and that is that.

I was reading an email from Bryan Cohen one day and I asked him a question about mentors, his definition and what not. He replied with one of the best answers I could have read. It was about me and not about selling anything. He asked me what I thought made a great mentor and that sometimes mentoring is not necessarily a coach. I thought this was sincere and he was honest.

I got to know Bryan Cohen’s name from his reputation as one of the best blurb writers in the business. If you look him up, make sure you check out one of his videos or blog posts on how to execute a blurb for your book. It will improve your blurbs, I can almost guarantee it (newbie and experienced authors alike).

Enough about Bryan and decent gurus, let’s look at red flags to con artists.

First red flag, obviously your gut…do you get that pit in your belly? Then the answer is no! Don’t give this person the time of day. Unsubscribe, spam, get outta there!

Second– is it all about the money? Did you subscribe for that quick five minute tip and now there’s nothing about tips but all about buy this and buy that? No hello, here’s a free guide on how to turn on a computer…well, if that’s the case then let them know. Honestly, some of these authors are not as smart as they think they are. Many are just trying out what they’ve been told to try. If you give them feedback, they might take that to heart and learn for next time (the future clients will thank you for it…well not really but you know).

Third– have you noticed them before or have they mentioned other authors in the business? If this is a no, I would be wary. Sometimes it is a run far away for me and other times it is a wait and see game. If someone with integrity is seen with a person that is flat out deceitful, the good person will get a reputation by association. Most often, authors can’t afford that type of reputation and steer clear. But there are times you haven’t heard of this person because you are new to the scene. This is when research comes in. Look into the last time that person interacted with any of the authors you trust. The better the reputation, the more names you’ll see on their interaction list (if they’ve been around a while).

Writing is a small community. It is possible that Joanna Penn (awesome podcasts) has been around a few authors that may have seemed on the up and up at first then maybe not after. I can’t honestly say if Joanna Penn has or hasn’t, I am using her as an example. She is a well known pod-caster so this is my assumption. How could you have so many people and all of them be the real thing? So if the author knows only one or two others or knew a bunch and then stopped interacting with authors all of a sudden, think long and hard for reasons why.

Well, I give you this, I failed number three tonight. I am not well known in the community of writing. I may have your gut in knots (good or bad, depending on what you ate), so it is all about the money. Since this is a free read, I passed by the skin of my teeth. Oh yeah, I’m not an expert on anything. Move along, newbies. Nothing to see here.

Well, see you again soon. Stay fabulous and good luck finding that person (if you’re looking) that clicks. Hope all works out well.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie


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