Thanks to Debra L. Hartmann for pointing out pitfalls which Indie authors may come across. I receive many phishing emails and calls for submissions to writing contests. These days I always email Victoria Strauss ( before taking part in a writing competition that requires payment. Some of these competitions look genuine, but sadly they have no recognition as regards bona fide competitions, and are usually just wanting to profit from self-published authors. Victoria always responds with the real deal.

When the writing is done and it’s time to prepare your passion project for commercial distribution, it’s also time to fully enter the digital age. Becoming a published author means putting your brand name and contact information out on the world wide web for all to see. Obviously authors wish to attract buyers for their books, but that kind of exposure also comes with a very dangerous issue for neophytes to wade through—how not to fall victim to scam/phishing emails that all your new online activity will surely generate. You’ll be getting in front of new potential readers but also potential scammers. While creating ways for your fans to find and learn more about you, the scammers will be able to contact you just as easily as your fans. Public is public, good and bad. Be aware and prepared while establishing accounts and design your brand’s online presence safely and securely.

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