I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and get a lot of queries asking about my writing service. Doing this for a number of years, I’ve come across different personalities, different requests, and a couple of ‘be careful’ moments.
The first tip is about your information and scammers.
One of the recent ‘watch it moments’ was from a woman who sounded very genuine. She had a great heart-tugging reason for wanting to have a picture book written.
I went through the process and sent her information on how I work. She agreed to use my services. BUT . . .
When I sent her an initial invoice through PayPal to get started, she told me she had a problem paying through PayPal. She went so far as to say she’d try her mother’s account.
I emailed back that if she still had a problem she could pay by check and regular mail.
She emailed back, very upbeat, that if I’d give her my banking information she’d transfer the money to me – it’d be super quick.
A light went off.
Why on earth would I give a complete stranger my banking information with all the identity theft and scams running rampant out there.
So, I politely explained that a check would be fine. I even gave her my PO Box address.
Well, I never heard back from her.
What would have happened if I didn’t think first and sent her my banking information?
It wouldn’t have been good.
The second tip is about your address.
A while ago, I got a query from a client who wanted me to read his manuscript and rewrite it. He didn’t have email and asked if he could mail it to me.
At the time, I didn’t have a PO Box, so I gave him my home address.
He mailed me the manuscript and when I read it quickly realized this guy was crazy and according to him, he was heading to prison. I politely explained that because of my work load I couldn’t take on his project.
He called me for a couple of months, all times of day and night. And, he had my address.
Fortunately, circumstances intervened and I ended up moving. I also got a different phone number. But, it was a little scary for a while.
These are two warnings to all you freelance writers and ghostwriters out there:
1. Be very careful of the information you divulge to strangers.
2. If you don’t already have a PO Box to use for queries and clients, get one today.
Remember, better safe than sorry.
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