While I am new to being published, I’ve been writing since I was wider than I was tall. Even back before self publishing was a legitimate route there were a great many traps and pitfalls for the aspiring writer, and the internet has only bred more predatory individuals and organizations.
Profit is the driving factor for most players in the writing world (understandably), and some bottom dwellers see writers as easy prey for a quick buck. Unfortunately, even the well established and seemingly legitimate giants of the industry are not free of questionable practices.
It was actually stumbling across the Writer Beware section of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website that gave me confidence in navigating the mine field of traps, schemes, and scams that abound for self published authors.
Their Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date on newly found dangers, although thanks to Facebook’s new advertising system not-for-profits are reaching a smaller audience. To sum it up, the metrics have been changed such that it is harder for people to view your posts and find your page unless you are paying for advertising. I get it, but there goes the freedom of information.
Don’t take my word for it. That’s the biggest trap people fall into. You read one guide on someone’s blog and then some Russian guy owns the rights to your novel and somehow, your first born. I can say Writer Beware is the real deal after watching their posts for about a year, and comparing them with many other voices in the industry.