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Publishing News Roundup Series: Scammers Target Authors on Facebook

How can authors protect themself from social media scammers?

Scammers are all over the Internet. They are even in the publishing sphere. How can an author keep their work and identity safe?

The Sharks and The Scammers

This week in publishing,

Scammers and their scammy ways have been filling my social media this week.


Long Time readers of this blog will know scammers are out there. They prey on the dreams of authors and change their names and methods frequently. The hardest conversation, the one we don’t want to have, is the one where we know we are going to be pouring cold water on the dreams of Newbie writers. None of us like to do that and so many of us just stay quiet and hope they won’t be burnt too much. But these conversations are necessary. Newbies don’t know the ropes like we do. At the very least tell them to google the offers with the search term scam or complaints. 


A Tale of Woe was shared with me this week as a warning to authors out there. This is an Author Beware situation involving scammers targeting authors on Facebook.

Authors like to run giveaways for their fans. They use their Facebook author pages. Everything is fine until a book scammer targets them. Very quickly the author’s page is cloned. A fake page is created using copy/paste from the author’s page so that it looks genuine. The scammer starts targeting page followers and giveaway entrants with friend requests. From there it’s a quick hop to asking for credit card details for book sales or sending them to fake book sites. Meanwhile, the author has no idea this is happening until the complaints come in. Facebook yanks their author page and they lose all their social media accounts. A devastating blow. What can you do?

The author in this situation shared with me their plan to save their business. Read it carefully and check your privacy settings on Facebook. These scammers are targeting authors specifically.

“If an author or artist discovers they’ve been cloned they need to act swiftly. The first 24-48 hours are one of the only opportunities to contain the problem. One emergency containment method is to temporarily make an author/artist’s business Facebook page only viewable to their country. Seek guidance on methods to identify the imposters and request action from Facebook and Google to delete them from the system. Once some sort of normality is resumed then gradually different countries can be added back to the page viewing list.

Note – if the country where the imposters are based is identified it would be advisable to not add that country back to the viewing list for as long as possible. 

Google can remove ‘phishing’ sites within 12 hours, but Facebook offer no guarantees as to whether they can remove a profile or not. If an imposter is using a private VPN to access the internet, then they may never be found.”

Anne R Allen has a great post on how to stay safe from scammers.


Brenda Pollard revived an old post on how to figure out if you have received a genuine publishing offer. 


There are rumours on KBoards- Is Vella over before it got started? There have been grumblings about Vella from authors lately. Where are the readers for serial content on Amazon? Occasionally news does break on Kboards – Take with a grain of salt.


Staying with Amazon- Two publishers have filed class actions against Audible for irregularity in payments. Audiblegate is now before the courts. It promises to be an interesting court case. Here is hoping that Audible sorts out this mess that is hurting authors’ pockets.


Kris Rusch has another great post in her series Jumping The Digital Divide – When should you get behind the hot new thing in publishing. Kris gives her reasons for a carefully considered approach. 


Publishers Weekly takes an in-depth look at the power of BookTok recommendations.


Substack- the darling of the subscription newsletter community claims the prize of Salman Rushdie to their platform. Should we take them seriously now?


Audiobooks wars are about to hit India with two big players eying up the 3rd biggest market for audiobooks. The New Publishing Standard takes a look at the Indian Audiobook market.


Suzanne Lakin has a great post on nailing the purpose of your scene. It is a must-read.


In The Craft Section,

10 ways to write better plots– Now Novel- Bookmark


3 ways to strengthen a scene-James Scott Bell- Bookmark


3 rules for raising story stakes– Laurence MacNaughton- Bookmark


Revising your plot– Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


Pacing and character changes– Linda Clare


In The Marketing Section,

QR Code generator for authors– Dave Chesson- Bookmark


Book promotion language can attract or repel readers– Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Interactive storytelling -Alliance of Independent Authors transcript of conference session


A checklist for in person events– Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


30 Book Marketing ideas – Nathan Bransford


To Finish,

Sometimes all you want to do is run away from the world and write. Headphones might block the world out but sometimes you need a little bit more. Kate from Wordsnstuff blog has made a list of writing music. She has a mix of classical white noise and film tracks. If writing to music is your thing check it out.




Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full of marketing notes as a thank you. 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Martin Fisch


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