The written word bares the naked truth. And unlike knock-off products that only the trained eye can tell a forgery of, a book—poorly written—will not go unnoticed by the populace.
Speaking of the trained eye, it is too often that aspiring authors have the wool pulled over their “untrained” eyes. This would be no fault of theirs except for the fact that they were the ones who hired the wrong book writer. Ouch! The truth hurts, doesn’t it?
Even worse, many aspiring authors don’t even end up with a poorly written book but are instead ripped off, scammed, and swindled into giving money to someone who runs off with it!
Though the latter scenario may appear more horrifying than the prior incident, I actually see the latter by far as the lesser of evils. The person who had their “book writer” disappear at least was able to avoid further detriment. The poor sap who receives the poorly written, worthless manuscript is then pulled further into the ditch by continuing to have their book edited ($2500 – $13000), proofread ($250 – $2000), and then spend more money on either a book proposal ($5000) or a book cover ($500 – $2000). And this doesn’t even consider in the time and energy spent. Oh no, by far, the person who had their money stolen in cold thievery, never seeing their money or book writer again is the lucky one in relative comparison.
Though getting ripped off or receiving a poorly written manuscript may seem rare, even unbelievable, it happens far, far more than it should. How do I know this? Because I have met scores of good people who have had these things and more happen to them.
Poorly written books can be verified easily by noting the sales statistics of how many books fail and the fact that only a handful of books ever do well each year.
So how do you keep yourself from falling into the wrong hands? You either find a trustworthy company with a proven track record and verifiable customer performance from a reputable entity such as the Better Business Bureau, or you go it alone and heed the following advice from someone who knows and understands the industry cold. Huh-hum,… that would be me.
Here are some of the main RED FLAGS to watch out for. And if you find one, DO NOT deal with that book writer:
If the book writer boasts about having inroads to publishers and agents. This is a tactic used to tell the customer what they want to hear. Don’t believe it, because even if they did know an agent or two or an editor of a publishing house, they have absolutely no pull and will not be able to help you with their “connections.”
Many aspiring authors I’ve met over the years actually ask if we have connections to agents and publishers. This is a self-setting trap. Do not, as an aspiring author, even bother to ask for such inappropriate requirements,… unless you want to catch your potential book writer in a sting operation. If they say they can get you in,… you get out of the conversation by hanging up the phone.
Promises of completing your book in 2 to 3 months. If your book is over 150 pages, this is a red flag. It tells you that this book writer is going to do a rush job. It is also an indication that your potential writer might be planning on plagiarizing someone else’s work and pasting it into yours. This is committed more than any other “literary crime.” You do not want to get caught up in plagiarism lawsuits. That’s right, plural lawsuits. These writers steal from numerous sources without the slightest bit of remorse.
In most cases, a good book, well written and worth publishing, selling and reading takes a good year or longer to write. Realize that the average book created by a bona fide publisher takes approximately 2 1/2 years from concept to being ready for the printer.
No visible business establishment. This means that if your potential writer doesn’t have a very impressive website or a real office, walk away. If you can find their address, is it a P.O. box or a hard address? If a hard address, when you MapQuest it, does it show up in a residential neighborhood or a city district? Does the writer always answer the phone, or does he/she have a secretary? If they have a website, do they include their address? Phone number? Or does it seem like they’re more so hiding?
No verifiable proof of being in business for any length of time. The longer a business is in existence, the more trust is granted to it by wholesale suppliers, bankers, etc. So why don’t you take the same precaution? It’s a cold hard fact that nearly 50% of all new businesses fold within the first year, and even more fail the second year. Some assert that 95% of businesses fail within the first 5 years.
Longevity is proof of stability, ethics, quality, pride, and many other admirable qualities. A business that has been around for a while tells you unequivocally that a company is doing something right. So if you can find a book writing company of age, marry it.
Is the company a member of any business entities like the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce? If not a company, does this person have a day job or write full time? The latter at least shows commitment. If not that, they’re simply out of work.
And here is the most obvious proof of whether the person you’re speaking to is a book writer of any value to you: DOES THE PRICE SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE? How much does he/she want to charge you? Realize that we’re not dealing with used items on auction or fast food specials or yard sales. And we’re certainly not dealing with factory seconds. So realize that if you are offered too low of a rate, it IS definitely “too good to be true.”
The old saying, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, is very true in book writing. Again, you cannot disguise a poorly written book, and guessing whether you’ve got something good or not is NOT the way to go. Is your lifelong dream worth taking such a haphazard risk? No, it is not.
How much should you expect to pay? If you are offered anything less than $50 per page or no upfront charge in exchange for royalties, DO NOT HIRE THAT WRITER. If you are offered less than $100 per page, realize that you are getting a mediocre book writer, and you cannot expect anything stellar. Understand that good writers worth their weight charge $150 per page plus royalties, and great writers who have written best-sellers charge $200 – $250 per page and higher.
A well written book, one that millions of people would read in a heartbeat, takes very special skill—skill very few people on this entire planet possess. A book is a product—one of the best possible products you can ever pursue. And once you have your own book—a quality book—you have great potential for not only making your investment back but earning a great living. The sky is the limit if you know how to go at it. Don’t fret. People like myself and a few others know how and can show you the way to success with your book(s).
This article is not to paint a morbid picture of the book writing world; true writers are the most ethical people you’ll ever want to meet. It is to warn you about those who “claim” to be book writers but are imposters, scammers and hacks.
Without stereotyping or prematurely condemning everyone, use these main red flag warnings to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. If you want to read about or hear actual recordings from some of our clients who had the misfortune of meeting up with one of these varmints, I’ve posted a few at our website at the following web page. Click here: Buyer Beware: Ripoffs