Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm a retired teacher turned writer. Ferradiddledumday (my Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story) and Stuck (my middle grade paranormal novel) are available from Cedar Creek Publishing.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Scam4You

I got an email last Sunday that reeked of scam. Just when I thought all the ways to scam authors had been exhausted, up pops a new one. (I put some of their errors in bold so you won't miss them.)

Good Morning,

We want to take this opportunity and invite you join us at Authors4Charity. We are an organization of authors from around the country conducting book signings and donating a portion of what we receive to charity. We’re expanding our old organization to include many new things for authors to choose from, made it better and will do extensive promotions in the next few months.

What “old organization”? A visit to their website reveals they don’t have many members yet. Book signing for charity? Oh, come on!

Members have found this organization has increased their own profits by allowing them to conduct book signings in locations where they may not be able otherwise. Additionally, readers seem more apt to purchase when they know a portion with go to charity.

Huh?

We support our members through personal contact, newsletters, web site and suggested contacts. Often our members ban together to conduct joint book signings at local locations. Many book signings are at Malls, bookstores, coffee shops and grocery stores, to name a few. Members have access to a listing of locations agreeing to conduct such book signings. Even if you belong to another writers group, Authors4Charity is different in that we place more emphasis on book signings, promotions and other areas than most other groups. So you can belong to more than one.

What are they banning? So far I haven’t seen any joint book signings at my neighborhood Minute Market.

AFC has a list of approved charities from which the author can select—or can submit their own favorite charity for approval by AFC. How much each author gives to charity is at the discretion of individual authors. Authors have different financial arrangements and constraints. Some have only an eight percent margin with which to work, others may have as much as thirty percent.

My favorite charity is Stop Scam Now. I just made it up. Send me money. (I will also accept real estate or certain breeds of livestock.) In return, I will sign a book for you. Send me the book you want signed with return postage. Doesn’t matter if I wrote the book or not. I’m not picky.

Some of the benefits of joining us is that you will receive discounts from businesses across the US, plus we’re working on updating our Authors4Charity Pamphlet which includes: ·The AFC Bookstore Database, The A4C talk radio shows database Lists 1500 shows (members save $199.00. The A4C Speakers Database allows members, who would like to be speakers, to be listed so that organizations may receive contact information, Discounts on A4C Seminars & Workshop, listing of media contacts, newspapers, magazines and libraries, and a listing of places for book signings for our members. This pamphlet will be updated as we get new things to include.

Oh, wow! What a bargain! Now if I could just find the closing parenthesis for the above. (What is the sound of one parenthesis enclosing?)

Authors4Charity will also have it’s own publishing and Promotions company later on this year for it’s members. With the publishing company, authors who use print on demand can buy books at cost using our own publisher. The promotions company will offer discounts to all it’s members as well.

I doggone well sure hope they have an editor somewhere. All the grammar/punctuation errors are giving me flashbacks to when I used to teach middle-school English.

Please, take a few moments to visit our website to learn more about our organization and join us today.

And it was signed by two people. I assume they constitute the membership of this group. Is anyone really lame enough to join this, uh, organization? If so, why?

I visited. I learned all I care to know about it. And I really don’t want to get involved with something like this.

But it was good for a laugh.

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