352 234 6293

This number has been calling my cell phone which is on the national Do Not Call list most days around lunch time for a while now. Today they actually left an accidental voice mail with the sound of lots of electronic equipment in the background. No voice. Almost sounded like someone was listening to a HAM radio. I waited half an hour before calling the number back.

“Please state your name and Google Voice will try to connect you”

You will notice there was no announcement about who or what would be on the other end of that line. Legitimate companies don’t use any kind of VOIP that doesn’t let them record an outbound message. For those of you who don’t know what that means:

“Thank you for calling ACME Motors. Please state your name and you will be connected to our next available customer service representative.”

Legitimate companies have something like that. They don’t hide.

The Scam

They called back again and this time I made the mistake of answering. Claim to be a “publishing company” named Ethan something or other. “We have received a letter of recommendation for insert-title-here and our buyers think it will do really well at an upcoming book fair. They were really impressed by your title.”

This scam has been following me around for over a year. They prey on people who self-publish a book without knowing anything about the publishing industry. Most likely the book fair/show/whatever doesn’t even exist. It is supposedly held on some college campus. IT MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT FREE! Basically they want to separate a wet behind the ears author from what little money they have left. You pay for some marketing which doesn’t come with an iron clad number of units to be sold and that’s the last you see of the money.

There are lots of marketing scams preying on new authors. They only promise exposure, not physical sales. When you hear this you need a Universal Translator from Star Trek. It will translate to “they promise to take your money and run.”

The reason I believe this is a scam is they seem to always be picking a really old title of mine.

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