A Word to All Scammers/Spammers/Spambot Followers (And Some Basic Writing/Editing Industry Advice For Good Measure):

I fucking hate spambots/spam followers. Especially those who prey on writers who simply don’t know any better than to give you ambulatory sacks of excrement  their money.

So this post is for you “Writing Jobs” (<- DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THEM). And also for those of you who are looking to write/edit and don’t know how to get into the industry (I’m not providing a step by step guide, I’m just talking).

 

I have apparently acquired a follower who believes that I’m stupid enough to pay them to provide me with a “list/job listing board” of freelance writing jobs.

For the record, yes, I work as a professional freelance editor (I don’t generally do freelance writing, though). So, I’m fairly touchy when I see writers who just don’t know any better get exposed to online predators who offer a “magic key” to the door to the publishing industry. Especially when these bastards promise access to impossible things – no film company is going to pay an unknown writer money to touch up their scripts. This does not happen.

Guess what? There is no “magic key”. This is probably the single most often asked question new writers put to professionals. It’s the notion that there actually is one magical key or item of understanding that will allow a new and untested writer to break into the publishing industry and make oodles of money. There isn’t one.

Luck, being in the right place at the right time, knowing how to write (and write well), and being able to network (yes, this includes being able to acquire an agent – though you don’t need an agent for all types of writing, and this comes with its own dangers) are what get one into the publishing indsutry.

If you believe otherwise then I have some magic beans I’d love to sell you.

Professional writers are professionals because they know their craft. They write exceptionally well, or in the case of bestsellers, either they’re extraordinary writers/have written the right book at the right time/have created their own formula that appeals to readers time and again (Dean Koontz is probably the best example of this last type of success), or a whole host of other thoroughly intangible factors.

There are places those of you who want to be freelance writers/editors can go to get your start. I’m not a big fan of “Freelancer.com”, but it’s a real site. It’s free. You have to bid for any jobs you want. If you’re desperate to work for someone else go look there for work.

But even at Freelancer, there’s no guarantee that you are going to find 100% honest jobs.

The best way to find real work writing/editing? Listen to good advice from people who do it professionally. Listen to writers like John Scalzi, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, James D. Macdonald (who coined “Yog’s Law”), and I don’t care what genre you write in/aspire to write in, you need to be following SFWA‘s Writer Beware watchdog arm (maintained primarily by Victoria Strauss, A.C. Crispin and James D. Macdonald), because they take their work seriously and know what the  hell they’re talking about.

There’s no quick and easy way to make money. It always involves a significant investment of time (and usually requires you to be able to, you know, have some kind of saleable skill).

There are a number of resources out there available to you. Some good. Some bad. You need to be willing to invest the time to find the one that works best for you.

Good luck to you.

 

And if any other fucking spammers follow my blog, I will draw people’s attention to you in the most negative and vituperative light I can provide. You have been warned.

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5 Responses to A Word to All Scammers/Spammers/Spambot Followers (And Some Basic Writing/Editing Industry Advice For Good Measure):

  1. Amusingly, after posting this, the entry was hit with a spam ping from a “money-making” site talking about freelancing. The entry’s title (most of it), and six completely out of context words (including “guide”) has been cross posted on the spam site as a “recommended link” … for making money.

    Irony in action.

  2. Scriptor Obscura says:

    The same thing just happened to me. I just got the exact same spam follower subscribed to my blog, and I feel exactly the same way that you do about it!
    And apparently there is no way to remove unwanted subscribers from wordpress.com blogs, as I learned here:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/unsubscribe?replies=24

    and also by asking in the forums myself here:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/unsubscribe-a-spamunwanted-subscriber-from-my-blog?replies=5#post-756062

    I sure hope that WordPress adds a feature to remove unwanted subscribers soon. Just wondering, how have you dealt with this particular spam subscriber? Did you blacklist them in your discussion settings? I am just wondering because I do not want this spammer to be subscribed to my blog and to receive a copy of each of my posts.

    • At this point I’ve found absolutely no redress in terms of being able to purge this follower from my list. I suspect the lack of ability to remove followers stems from WP’s admin sections not having been set up like a Forums management system – which admittedly is a function of the overriding focus WP places on sharing information and accessibility. It`s a bit of a double-edged sword I`m afraid. In seeking not to allow users to block other users on a `whim`, WP has left legitimate users wide open to spammers.

      For now, my sole course of action is to ignore the offending `follower`. I’m sorry that you find yourself in a more difficult position – given that you use your blog’s blog posts to showcase your work. I understand, from having browsed around the WP site, that it is possible to contact WP’s administrative/customer support staff and request that a follower be denied access to the site. True, this requires sufficient provocation, but there is grounds enough to go to the Support staff and request this “user/follower” be blocked/banned from accessing WP based on their site and the nature of their business – i.e. that they only troll WP blogs in an attempt to con money out of writers who do not yet know how to spot these scams.

      I do not know if this can be done as a full access block, or even if that would work since it’s not terribly difficult to change ISPs/access points/e-mails, but it is worth asking anyway. Though, I think you need only worry for now about the invasiveness of this spammer’s actions. Given the nature of their business, I do not think they will be stealing your work. I know at this point that that’s not much consolation, but it’s something.

  3. Scriptor Obscura says:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and considerate response. I really appreciate it. It seems that wordpress support staff is unwilling and refuses to do anything about this problem, as evidenced by my interactions with them about it here:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/can-someone-please-unsubscribe-an-unwanted-spam-subscriber-from-my-blog-for-me?replies=6#post-758379

    This is very, very unfortunate that they refuse to do anything about this problem, let alone recognize the serious risks that this problem presents to users and take its users concerns seriously, or even, at the very least, treat its users with respect!

    Again, thank you very much for your reply. You are the only one that has given me a considerate, thoughtful, reasoned reply, and the only one who has taken the time to address this significant problem with the time and serious attention that it deserves.

    You should be on the wordpress support staff. You would do a much better job of addressing this issue than they are. At least you bothered to take it seriously and address it at all, unlike they are doing.

    Thank you very much.

    • You’re very welcome. I’m just sorry there isn’t a better resolution to this issue yet.

      Also, I have to wonder if the reason that WP is not yet taking steps to prevent this kind of intrusive behaviour on the part of spammers is that they are approaching this from a freedom of information/access position, while we, as writers, are approaching it both from worry for fellow writers who are just now wading into the exceptionally deep end of the internet pool (indeed, there are no shallows here with so much information, and misinformation, readily available), and from an intellectual copyright standpoint. Though I still say that that aspect of your work will be fine and untouched by this particular individual/consortium.

      Whoever, or whatever – since I suspect this particular spammer is using bots to produce “likes” and “follows” on keyword defined posts – this person/program is they appear to be soliciting, not thieving. That, at least, offers some, if minimal, comfort. Better an annoyance than a plagiarist or an outright thief.

      Luck to you with resolving your end of things. Something with this will have to work in your favour eventually.

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