I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone that came forward, as well as a thank you to everyone that was brave enough to share their story with me. In the indie world, it’s hard to know which move will be the move that kicks the hornet’s nest and ruins your career, especially with this outrage culture that we live in. So, I appreciate you guys for your courage. Going against a faceless entity can be scary, especially when you’re a new author just trying to make it in this very competitive business.
I didn’t do this for publicity(Though any publicity helps), or for any financial gain. I only did the article to help protect the indie community that I hold dear. Not all of us are on the same level with computers, and not all authors are tech savvy. So, to a potential con, this community is a gold mine. My article was made to put them on notice, to say “some of us are watching.”
I have thought about it, and I have come up with a list of ways you can protect yourself if you plan to do business with someone online.
- Ask for identification. You should never feel ashamed to ask to know the identity of the person you’re handing hundreds of dollars to. This also goes for PA’s. Ask for identification from the author you’re going into a business arrangement with. Some people like to remain anonymous, and that is fine if they are putting out a book, but not if they are handling your money.
- Once you have their identity, have them sign a contract. You can either draw up a contract here, then print it out and have them sign it and get it notarized, or you can go here, and do it all electronically.
- Ask for referrals and references, then ask about those references. Make sure those people exist. As a rule, I wouldn’t do business with any freshly made accounts(accounts made within the last year, unless you can confirm their identity), because most people have at least had some form of social media for years, especially if they do online business.
- Don’t just go off of reviews on their sites. It can be totally fabricated and made up by them themselves. Instead, look at the reviews and follow them back to the people listed, and ask if they wrote the review themselves. Usually, they will be able to give you a good idea of the service they received.
- Finally, always have a paper trail, that way if everything goes wrong, you have their name, address, and everything you did together on paper. That way, if you need to take legal action, it is a lot less of a hassle.
I hope this helps a few people, and I am glad we all got at least one of these people to go away(for now). See you all at the next one! lol