Sites like the Writer Beware Blogs and Writer Beware have been around for ages, doing an excellent job, warning wannabe published writers about the countless scams that try to cash in on their dreams.
The last thing I ever expected to see was an established publisher with a long publishing history – in this case Harlequin – jumping on the bandwagon of getting money from wannabe writers for what up until now was pretty much a scam. (Note: I do not consider PoD books a scam, and I see nothing wrong with getting your unpublished book printed for the benefit of friends and family. What I don’t like is outright scams that encourage writers to believe they are getting something else for their money: a published book they will see in a bookshop.) I think what Harlequin is offering is sailing very close to scam territory.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, this turns up: fork out 20,000 USD and let’s see what you can get as a book trailer, apparently to entice genuine film makers to your book, complete with a spam email campaign? If it was anything except a reputable publisher, I would be screaming: ‘Scam, scam!!’
Please Harlequin, tell me this is not associated with you.