And here I thought I wouldn’t have anything to write about today!
I love when people reach out to me. Truly, it gives me great satisfaction to know that something that I’ve written or helped put together inspires enough of a response in a person for them to contact me directly. So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I received a direct PM this morning on Goodreads by a man we’ll call Sam the Scam.
Sam didn’t have a name I was familiar with, but boy, did he have a lot of great things to say about me! Just look at this:
Hi Alex Hurst. I just want to say hi and introduce myself – I’m a huge fan of your books! Your dialogue is snappy and it’s like I could physically hear every word. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.
As an aspiring author myself, I thought I’d send you a quick message to share a recently discovered website specifically designed for authors to increase the sales of our books. I’ve personally tried what’s offered on that website for the last month and honestly, I was blown away with the results I got! I love your work and admire you as an author, I want more people to experience your books! Everyone deserves to hear your stories so I’m excited to share this website as friendly act of kindness.
You can find it here:
http://goo.gl/Wkt2Fy.This website features only the absolute best products for independent authors and publishers.
I want quality work to receive the audience it deserves – nowadays it’s so hard to increase sales. P.S. I assure you – I’m not affiliated with this website in any way. Good luck, Alex Hurst!
Notice the bold at the bottom in particular. I put that there, but that’s about the biggest red flag there is––”I’m not _____, but ____” is almost the only sure-fired way to reveal your true intentions.
Of course, even if Sam hadn’t have put that last line in there, something smells fishy. And you know what it is? I haven’t actually written any “books”, and talking about ‘snappy dialogue’ is an easy, umbrella compliment for any writing style. I mean, besides for summaries, how many stories can you name off the top of your head that don’t have any dialogue?
But, you know, I’m the kind of person who likes to research things before I jump the gun. And there were a few instant hits that confirmed my suspicions:
- Google couldn’t index the site, because the site’s robots.txt prevented it.
- This thread over at K-Boards, started today, which shows several other people have received the exact same email.
Of course, my research wasn’t entirely fruitless.
It looks like authorhub.org (the scam site), is trying to piggyback off of theauthorhub.com, which is a more professional looking site, that claims to be the LinkedIn for the publishing world. Here’s an interview with one of their founders.
Now, I like this idea, and the optimistic side of me really wants this to be a real thing. I’m going to sign up for their launch, but I’m leery of the subscription costs on the author side. That reeks of vanity presses. However, in the interview, Obi Ochu was specifically talking about “vetted” presses, with global reach, so maybe it will be something more valid.
I’ll be curious to see where it goes from here. I’m certainly curious about how they will handle the publisher’s end of things––will they allow vanity presses like AuthorSolutions to use their service? I think it’d be pretty hard to weed them all out and still have a diverse enough platform.
So, for the time being, at least stay away from authorhub.ORG!