Keeping an eye out for common scams

There are an awful lot of scams out there, some of which target freelancers. You are your only protection — thinking carefully about opportunities that seem too good to be true, doing some research and deciding whether an offer is a scam or an opportunity. Recognizing common scams can help you breeze buy them, and find the lucrative deals you need.

Common scams include:

  • Publishing with fees — This isn’t quite the same as self-publishing. A ‘publisher’ may agree to take on your book, but will ask you to pay a set up fee. This is wrong, bad, no good! Any publisher who does this is a scammer. Ditto to agents who require you to pay them a fee to send out query letters for you.
  • Contests — Poetry contests have a bad rep these days because of the high number of scammers. You may submit a poem, and you’ll immediately get a “You’ve Won!” response with a charge for some kind of publication fee, such as a bio fee. You’ll also be pressured into buying copies of the volume your work appears in. If you leaf through these books, they’re entirely unedited and unjudged. There are a number of anthologies showing up that operate on similar lines.
  • Anybody charging you a fee to publish your work — There are plenty of legitimate opportunities out there that will pay you to publish your work. Anyone attempting to charge you unreasonable fees are looking to make money off of you, not produce good publications.

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