As much as I and other indie authors talk about scammers, there’s one positive note to it. Are you ready for it? What could possibly be positive about being the target of any scam? Well…it’s definitely the flattery for me.
Think about it.
We might not be selling huge amounts of books, but it’s nice to open your email and find someone telling you how big of a star you could be – even though it’s most likely a scammer. My account is flooded with emails about boosting book sales, social media sponsorship, and posting my stories on websites. It’s all in good fun, but beware.
Indie authors have a habit of falling prey to these “get rich quick” schemes that people are trying to sell. Some of them even claim to guarantee readers, followers, and reviews. Amazon is a major retailer for all types of authors and they have algorithms in place to weed out fake or paid reviews. If they suspect any foul play, they’ll ban your account in a heartbeat. That’s why it’s important to remain honest and diligent in our work.
I’m not saying that trying to boost your social media presence is a bad thing. There are plenty of legitimate companies that help increase foot traffic to author websites and social media pages and these can lead to organic customer reviews. However, those types of companies aren’t reaching out via email, and I’m pretty sure they would check their grammar before hitting the send button.
As with any solicitation, check the source. Research the company, read reviews that aren’t featured on the company website, search up their rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). You might find out they’re full of crap or you could be pleasantly surprised. It’s all about being inquisitive and remaining skeptical before proven differently.
I try to share information with my readers about websites that I’ve tried and vetted. Of course, I’m just one person. If you have any indie author friendly websites to share, leave a comment and help out a fellow indie author!