Ahhh, the story about how a "literary company" tried to bamboozle me out of $2,500. I was excited to write a blog post, but I must admit, while the ordeal occurred, I was far from excited. I was LIVID, beyond livid, actually.
Get ready for a little story time...
So, as I'm sitting at my computer doing my work, my phone rings to display a North Carolina phone number. I usually do not answer for unprogrammed numbers, but I have family down South, so I decided to pick up.
"Hello, this is Chloe Slate, the Senior Literary Manager for Brilliant Books Literary. I'm looking for Tellie Simpson." With my curiosity stricken, I answer with much enthusiasm. During the conversation, Chloe asked me a few questions about my book, my mission, etc. She then explained how Brilliant Books Literary would love to feature my book at the Miami Book Festival this November. Specifically, they would love to "co-invest" in this venture. That was Red Flag #1. Literary Agents do not directly ask/accept money from authors.
"Chloe," if that's even her real name, proceeds to inform me that she will email me more information regarding the proposals and that she needs my final decision by the end of the day because they have many authors interested in this "amazing" opportunity. A few minutes later, I received an email with grammar errors, horrible formatting, and a PDF filled with tons of stolen images from legitimate literary agencies. (Red Flag #2). I googled the address of this company and you guys, Google Maps displays what looks like an abandoned shack. There are also tons of negative reviews online warning authors and creatives to beware! One victim explained how they charged him $2,000 with the promise of marketing assistance, but he never heard from them again. Check out the reviews and their rating on Better Business Bureau. Oh, and their Facebook page, where I also posted a warning message.
By this point, I feel insulted. BUT I was in the mood for some entertainment..."I'll gladly accept this wonderful proposal." I typed to Chloe. Within the hour, Chloe called back to spit out more lies. Ultimately, she and the company would love to invest $2,500 for my book to be featured at the book fair.
Here's the kick you guys:
- There's no need for me to be present at the event. There will be a marketing team to represent my book. (Umm, what?)
- If people want to buy my book, they will direct them to Amazon and send me the royalties. (Eye Roll.)
- Here's the best one! They need $2,500 from me. That's where the "co-invest" comes from. They will pay $2,500 and I pay $2,500. (Eye Roll #1,000.)
Are you guys shaking your head by this point? Would you believe me if I said there's more? Buckle up! After "Chloe" goes over the bullet points for what's included in this $2,500 scam, I explain that, "I would love to be a part of this, but it gives me scam vibes." Those were my words verbatim.
"Oh, no, Tellie, this is not a scam. Let me transfer you to my manager." Of course not, I think to myself. You might be asking, "Why did I go on for this long?" Well, I needed to collect as much dirt and information as possible to send them to ScamPayback. Anyway, I spoke with a "Manager" who repeated everything Chloe perviously said, but with a more serious and professional tone. This manager could not mention a single success story for this company or address the that fact GPS pulled up an abandoned shack as their office. The "Manager" failed to convince me that Brilliant Books Literary is a legitimate business. This entire ordeal lasted for about 2 hours. It was very entertaining. Ms. Manager did what most scammers do when they do not get their way: name-calling, verbal assaults, etc. So professional, right? Is it wrong that I felt pleasure in making them frustrated and for wasting their time?
Thank you for speaking with me, but I will not be moving forward with this Scam."
So, once the moment was over, I realized my anger was not driven by just mine but by other authors who unfortunately fell for this scam. I am sharing this to help save as many creatives as possible. This company preys on eager self-published authors, and it's sickening! Please share this post with any aspiring or self-published author you know so that they are aware and can save time and money.
Stay safe friends!