Freelance Authors: Avoiding Scams

Scamming Authors….BEWARE!

If you have to pay them to publish your creative works or to send you a book…it’s a scam! If you are a well developed writer, a publishing house will give you money and copies of your creative works.  As a struggling freelance writer, you must beware of publishing scams that exist on the internet. According to Mrs. Allen (2007), you should investigate the publishing company that you plan to sell your work too.  So many, gifted writers actually get caught up in these types of scams.

Before signing any contract with a publisher, please take time to investigate the history of the company. First, by calling the Better Business Bureau and ask them about the company’s history of complaints. Then, look for local or online writing communities and ask other writer’s about the publisher that approached you. Many of these writing groups have information about current scams that exists and can help you avoid new ones.  

Next, take time to do your homework and research the many paying markets, which are waiting for a talented writer to come their way. Your writing should speak for itself and it will, if you treat it as a career and keep learning as you continue writing. Keep submitting your work often and listen to the editor’s notes, because they know what they want or need. Never allow other people to edit your work that you do not know or who do not have reference. Instead take writing course online, in college, or at a local community center.

Begin searching the internet or your local bookstores for books that list the current paying markets like the Writer’s Market for the current year. There are many books that deal with every writing market like: magazines for children and adults, novel and short stories, poetry, and song writing. You may find a home for all of your writing and you won’t have to deal with annoying scams. Additionally, you may find some freelance markets or communities on the internet that will pay you to write for them.

However, watch out for the freelance communities that exist on the internet that charge you money, but don’t bring you any work.  Always look for communities, which allow you to speak with their other authors through discussion forums or chats. Only you can protect yourself from being swindled, by the phony promises of a scammer. As an author, it is your job to sell your writing, so spend an abundant amount of time researching the market and its current preferences.  

Finally, never sign any type of contract without reading it first and seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer. This way, you will know, whether it’s a scam or a reputable publishing company, who is ready to give you a chance to let your writing shine. It doesn’t matter, if you are a struggling freelance writer or a passionate hobbyist, scams are out there and please do your homework so you can avoid becoming a victim.      


Allen, M. (2007) Avoid Writing Scams

Retrieved on the World Wide Web July 7, 2007