This whole new-author thing I’m experiencing doesn’t pay much, but it sure is educational. So the other night, I get home and check my voicemail. “Marco Morales” (at least I think that’s what he called himself) from BookWhirl (hrr?) tells me that he wants to talk about my book, and will I please call him at 877-207-1679, ext 378?
The hour being late, I do not call, but the next morning, I start Googling “BookWhirl” and the phone number, because I’m naturally a skeptical person. Lo and behold, according to here and here and here, and other places, BookWhirl is an outfit of scammers who specialize in separating budding authors from their cash by promising to help promote their books through e-mail spamming. I’m certain they got my name and phone number, and the fact that I’ve written a book, off the Internet.
Needless to say, I will not be returning the call to “Marco Morales,” nor will I be using their “services.” No, BookWhirl hasn’t gotten, and won’t get, a copper-jacketed cent from me. The scammers’ name seems to be inspired from a legit bookstore chain in the Midwest. Of course, BookWhirl has a website, but I dare not visit to link to it, lest it be full of all kinds of malware: there’s no telling, and actually, I don’t think I want to know.
What I would like to know is how the people who run or work for BookWhirl look at themselves in the mirror every day. Rather than provide a useful good or service to make a living, they fleece the gullible and the ignorant. I’m not naive, and I know that bad people are out there in the world, but I just don’t understand the mentality that justifies this activity to one’s self. Do they ever think to themselves, “I am a shitty human being because of what I do for a job?” Or are they just ok with that? Do these people have kids, and do those kids ask what they do at work? And are they honest enough to reply, “I rip off people?”
Yeah, that I’d like to know. As for anything else about BookWhirl, or other scammers who prey on wanna-be writers? No. No, I don’t.