Weekly Update – September 27, 2022

This was going to be another “slow week, nothing to say” kind of post, but then I opened my inbox Sunday evening and found an edited manuscript waiting for me! Starting this week, I begin final edits and formatting on Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day!

I’ll also be waiting on cover art from Tricia, who, sadly, is going through one of those “Ah, the joys of being a homeowner” phases, so I’m going to remind folks that she sells a lot of her cover art, plus original pieces, on RedBubble, so jump over to the art store page for additional details, and then go support an indie artist in a time of need. Maybe get some holiday shopping out of the way?

Speaking of helping friends, my buddy Al Kholi — who, as I mentioned last week, recently released his debut novel, Blue Light, which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords — pinged me for some advice regarding an invitation he received to participate in an upcoming authors expo. The expo seemed legit at first, but then Al mentioned a rather stiff price tag to get in and dropped the name of the company reaching out to him: ReadersMagnet.

Right now, there are indie authors reading this and cringing at the mere mention of the name.

ReadersMagnet promotes itself as a self-publishing service that also offers promotional services, which includes getting authors’ books into major shows and expos — for a fee, which, according to several firsthand accounts (like this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one), is much higher than the fee if the author were to apply directly to the show in question.

Now, the company declares rather explicitly that it is NOT a scam — by which I mean, the website has a full page titled “ReadersMagnet is Not a Scam” that explains how non-scammy it is. Personally, I think if you have to put that much effort into telling people you’re legit, you almost certainly are not legit. That is generally a HUGE red flag, along with charging fees well above the going market rate for any service the company offers, grand promises that feel too good to be true, and dicey contract stipulations like requirements to purchase so many copies of your own book, claiming full rights to your work…

I’ve written about the differences between publishers, small presses, and vanity presses before, but if you ever need a more reputable source for determining whether anything you encounter is a scam, hit Writer Beware. They do an outstanding job of sniffing out the bad actors in the industry — and there are countless bad actors out there.

Always do your research before doing business with any company offering to work with you to promote your book, and don’t let your dreams of hitting it big overrule your gut instincts. If something smells off, you’re probably right.


Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft three is complete and the manuscript is with my editor. Scheduled for a mid-to-late 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.


  • Arisia 2023: January 13 – 16, Westin Boston Seaport District Hotel.


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