I fell for a writing scam. It’s embarrassing, and I feel quite stupid.
While I’ve spent more money for the booze tab on a cruise, I still feel the dollars were flushed down the proverbial toilet. I learned an expensive lesson. Hopefully, sharing my experience will help someone else avoid the profound regret I feel today.
For those of you who haven’t used Writer’s Relief, they offer services to help with the agent query process, self-publishing, and author websites. I found them through a web search for the agent query process.
I chose to participate in one round of agent querying for a short YA novel titled Daughters of the Mayflower Universe, a dystopian romance series I’m using as a guinea pig for my journey through the publishing meat grinder.
The premise is simple: you pay a $250 setup fee and an additional $450 after they create a query letter, proof the first fifteen pages of your manuscript and synopsis, and send you up to twenty-nine agent names to query.
I wanted to see if I could find an agent to represent my YA novel and hopefully my paranormal werewolf, demon smut too. Not knowing anything helpful about the agent querying process, I looked at this as a $700 problem. Why not solve it and move forward.
I sent in my information via an online form, a copy of my book, my one-page synopsis and my first attempt at a query letter. They ran the first fifteen pages of the book through an edit. The forms and copy I sent all showed the title, Daughters of the Mayflower Universe. They, or most likely the software used for their edits, renamed the book Dystopian Romance, the genre not the title, and sent it back to me for edit approvals.
I found several items I didn’t agree with in the edits, but the biggest thing was the name being wrong. Title, headers, everything showed the wrong book title. I asked Writer’s Relief for corrected edits to work from, but they refused. I had to approve or deny all the proposed changes on the file even though the work product they provided me was flawed.
Strike one: I thought maybe this would be the only problem. In for a penny, in for a pound — right.