Skip to content

Five words to scam-proof your writing career

November 11, 2014

~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Writing Etc. subscriber,

Well, I’m heading into my 1.5 year cancerversary tests. It pretty much sucks. While I’ve had a few wonky liver numbers, nobody’s real concerned. We’ll get the latest update in a couple weeks.

Ah, but if you recall, last time I told you about Luna, the stray cat who adopted our family. That little girl has pretty much taken over the house. She’s queen of the puppies and has captured our hearts.

During the day she sits on my desk. If she’s not there, she’s on my lap. This has caused a bit of concern for the veteran canines. Strangely, when the cat’s away, they’ve taken to crawling up my leg to test drive this new seating arrangement. Unfortunately a 15 pound critter doesn’t really fit the same way a five pound kitty does.

Let’s just say my desk is more of a mess than usual due to all this new animal traffic. My lap is scratched and bleeding. I’m in heaven.

Life changes in an instant. I’d advise you to be ready for it, but there’s really no way to prepare for some of the twists and turns. It’s the same for your writing career.

Oh well.

Talk later,



Got questions?

How do you land writing assignments? How do you get published? How do you gain a readership? What makes an effective query? How do I sell my writing? All these questions (and many more) answered here: “Advice to Freelance Writers: Insider Secrets to Effective Shoestring Marketing, Managing a Winning Mindset, and Thriving in Any Economy, Volumes 1 – 3.” Get the scoop here.

~~~~ Feature Article ~~~~~~~~

Writing Etc: Five words to scam-proof your writing career
Beth Ann Erickson

I get email. Tons of it, in fact. Many times, aspiring writers write to ask if a particular website, a plan, or publisher is legit.

“This person tells me if I pay them $350, they’ll help me sell a ton of books!”

“This website says if I send them (insert cash amount here), they’ll send me a LOT of work.”

“This publisher will offer me a contract. All I have to do is pay them…”

While each scenario is generally complex, there’s an easy way to know if any particular scheme will help you advance your writing goals or will simply leave you with empty pockets. Just ask yourself this:

Does the money flow towards or away from me?

Better yet, tattoo this on your forehead: Money flows towards the writer.

If you remember this, you’ll pretty much scam proof your writing career.

Someone wants $350 to help sell your books? Nope. Calculate how many books you’d have to sell to recoup that investment and you’ll realize the seller will likely come out ahead on that deal.

If you land a writing client and they need you to send money to “get started,” run, don’t walk, away. The day your doctor pays you to visit his office is the day you should pay for a writing assignment.

Finally, if a publisher says your book is brilliant and will happily publish it for a fee, realize that this publisher likely makes money from their authors, not from selling books. Your publisher should write checks to you… not the other way around.

Money flows towards the writer.

Remember this. Post it to your computer monitor. Then get writing.



You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”



You received this email because you subscribed at You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

You’ll receive between 1 – 4 emails per month, lots of tips, articles, and announcements of our latest titles.

I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message with your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.


PRIVACY STATEMENT: We will not distribute your email address to anyone. Ever. Period.

Please send your news items, ideas, comments, etc. to
Writing Etc.
Box 326
Kandiyohi, MN 56251
Maurice and Beth Erickson, Publishers


(c) 2014

Published inWriting Etc.