Newest Another scam on indie authors?

AuthorOfferAnother scam targeting self-publishing and has apparently surfaced alongside the Penguin Random House-backed Author Solutions crowd:, which apparently is soliciting payments from authors to “offer your Kindle Books to our 635,148 hungry readers , and get up to 24,350+ free downloads or 3390+ purchases for your book.” Exactly how it’s supposed to be doing this is not clear, because it seems from the site that all does is to duplicate Amazon’s updates of free and cut-price titles available on Kindle, and email that information out to its subscriber base. “Once you set your reading preferences, you’ll get a free email every day highlighting the best free-for-a-limited-time and deeply discounted Amazon Kindle books,” says the site literature. Fine – except that there are any number of algorithms and totally free websites that will do that for you, without even the trouble of an email subscription.

What really alerted the independent author community up in arms, though, was the highly suspect series of “author testimonials” like those that Julie Ann Dawson highlighted on her blog. These were sent via the messaging system on, and supposedly came from satisfied authors who had used the service but, for one reason or another, were unable to use a $30 advertising discount coupon that the service had given them. Authors soon twigged what was going on, and were not pleased. But the company doesn’t seem to have issued any rebuttals or otherwise tried to convince people that it’s bona fide.

Also, for a service supposedly “created by people with experience in book retailing, book publishing and online media,” is blissfully devoid of any actual information on who its founders and senior executives are, which ought to create some suspicions. In their launch press release, in the form of a “One-Time Advertising Promotion for Authors and Publishing Agents,” Editorial Manager Sally Anderson is mentioned, but there’s no clear idea of what her track record is, or even if she’s a real person.

And you’d think that any self-respecting scam would at least try to go out the door with a less transparently pointless value proposition. But the one-born-every-minute principle is apparently alive and well, and out there living in self-publishing-land.

About Paul St John Mackintosh (1555 Articles)
Paul St John Mackintosh is a British poet, writer of dark fiction, and media pro with a love of e-reading. His gadgets range from a $50 Kindle Fire to his trusty Lenovo cell phone. Paul was educated at public school and Trinity College, Cambridge, but modern technology saved him from the Hugh Grant trap. His acclaimed first poetry collection, The Golden Age, was published in 1997, and reissued on Kindle in 2013, and his second poetry collection, The Musical Box of Wonders, was published in 2011.

2 Comments on Another scam on indie authors?

  1. I wonder, Paul, could this be our mysterious Sally Anderson?

  2. I received an email last month from an “author” through GoodReads saying she had a $30 coupon from that she couldn’t used and wanted to give it to me. She swore AuthorOffer was selling her book like hotcakes. When I checked out this person’s profile on GoodReads there was no photo and no books. Hmm, that seemed odd. We all know how desperate we writers are for attention. They would have at least posted their book. I sent this information to GoodReads who promptly looked into it and pulled this fictional person off.

    Don’t blame GoodReads. It makes me mad that these con artists are using their good name for their scam. If you get an email like this from another author, check them out and see if they are real. And be sure to report them to GoodReads!

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