From Writer Beware:
Scammers–the same Philippines-based Author Solutions copycats that I’ve featured numerous times in this blog (also see the long, long list in the sidebar)–are impersonating reputable literary agents and agencies in order to bamboozle writers into buying worthless “services.” Here are the misused names I’ve documented so far; the scam companies they work for are in parentheses:
– Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency (TechBooks Media)
– Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency (Writers Desks)
– Danielle Burby of the Nelson Literary Agency (Writers Desks)
– Nelson Literary Agency (some guy calling himself Jason Smith, Book Scout, with a fake Nelson Agency email address)
. . . .
These approaches are followed by opportunities to spend large amounts of cash. For the Jennifer Jackson scammer, it’s a “review” of your book plus “book insurance and returnability” for a total of $1,400. For the Victoria Marini scammer, the video trailer she’s shilling for “promotional” purposes costs $3,000 (an amazing discount!) For the Danielle Burby scammer, it’s “Submissions to Traditional Publishing Companies” by “Book Scouts” for the wallet-squeezing sum of $5,000.
Link to the rest at Writer Beware
PG usually doesn’t include live links in the OP’s he excerpts, but made an exception due to the potential danger of these types of operations to overly-credulous authors and other creatives.
PG has received other reports of scam publishers or author service companies, perhaps because some of the crooks have realized that a lot of people are being forced to stay at home and some have decided to write a book.
As a general proposition, PG suggests that your fraud phaser should be permanently set to stun (at a minimum) during these times.
If you want help with your writing, in the US, sign up for a writing class at your local community college (not one that’s just popped up). It shouldn’t cost you much.