Yep, I sure did. I got suckered into another webinar, lured by their claim they could make me a best selling author. I’m hugely embarrassed to admit this isn’t the first time I fell for this scam. If you haven’t read about the first time it happened, you can do so HERE. If you enjoy snark, it’s well worth the read.
Given that experience, I’m surprised I tried again. To tell you the truth, I have no freaking clue why I signed up for another get-rich-writing scam, er, webinar.
It must have been the wine.
At any rate, it was an hour of my life, but it wasn’t wasted. Why not? Because the experience has turned into a blog post, for your enjoyment. Keep reading, you know you want to…
This webinar wasn’t quite as in-your-face-I’m-a-scam-and-you’re-a-sucker as the first one was. It was more of a slow burn. Like a good romance novel.
Maybe this time it would be legit. Or maybe not.
Besides the slow build, this one was different from the first in that there was a “chat box,” where attendees could ask questions and make comments throughout the webinar.
Except I couldn’t figure out how to get to the chat box. Which was too damn bad, because I had a few comments I would have liked to have made…
Anyway, here’s how it went down:
8:06pm – Webinar guy starts out saying hello, encouraging attendees to talk back, using the chat box, except I can’t figure out where the hell the chat box is.
Oh, by the way, if I make it to the end of the webinar, there will be a chance to download a book that will make me a best seller. At least he doesn’t toss around the word “guaranteed” as frequently as that last webinar. Although I can’t help but wonder if he’ll use the word “niche.” The guy in the last webinar made me want to gouge his eyes out with a spoon for the way he kept pronouncing that word.
8:08pm – I don’t have to spend a fortune to become a best seller. Sounds good, since I’m not remotely making a fortune at this point. #Letsdothis, webinar guy.
8:10pm – He’s giving me some legit tips now. How to build a fan base with solid communication. Oh, wait, first he’s gotta tell us how wonderful he is, how he’s doing so damn well at his career as a consultant. Wait, is that the secret? Not writing books at all, but running these webinars?
8:14pm – Now he’s telling me how to connect readers to my books. Want to know the secret? Build an AuthorCentral account. You know what that is, right? It’s your Amazon author page. You know… the one every published author has…
8:19pm – Adding a photo to your AuthorCentral account will give you lots of credibility.
Goddamn it, where is the wine? Not again… Why do I torture myself so?
8:20pm – The reason you should create an AuthorCentral account: Because readers are searching for YOU online, and they need someplace to go.
Hang on, let me hang out here in Fantasyland for a minute. Readers are searching for me? Me? Really?
8:21pm – 75% of the authors this guy works with do not have an AuthorCentral account. I smell a sales pitch coming… Also, what? Who the hell tries to sell books on Amazon without creating an author account? And how did I get suckered into this again?
8:22pm – How to communicate with readers in your nitch. No, that isn’t a typo. He fucking said nitch. And no, it isn’t the same guy who suckered me last time. What the fuck is it with webinar talking heads and their inability to pronounce words correctly? I swear, when I create my webinar about avoiding webinars, I’m going to deliberately work that word into it and say it a hundred times–correctly.
8:23pm – Best way to communicate with readers is through an email list (aka a newsletter). Okay, yeah, this is a legit piece of advice. Except, nitch please, I’m already doing this. Give me something I don’t know.
8:29pm – You should ask your readers to join your mailing list in your books—note it at the front and back of the book. Huh. More legit advice. Maybe I shouldn’t be quite so hard on this guy.
8:29pm – Use an image to lure readers to your mailing list. Uh, okay. Buuuuuuuuuut…. How do I find those readers to show them the image that will lure them into my trap, er, books?
8:31pm – Free promo through KDP Select. You’re an idiot if you aren’t taking advantage of free promo opportunities. Yeah, he really did say “idiot.”
8:32pm – Also, make sure you have a perma-free book. Readers love free books.
Wait, they do? Nitch, please.
8:33pm – And if you’re getting bad reviews, change your book cover. It will make all the difference in the world. Don’t worry about content, about storyline, about grammar or editing or writing anything interesting… Just change your book cover. There you go. That’s the answer.
At this point, it’s a really good thing I haven’t been able to figure out how to comment, because I’ve had a few glasses of wine, and am ready to call bullshit.
8:34pm – More about book covers. Another recommendation to change your cover, if your book isn’t selling. I’m a cover whore, so I actually get this bit of advice.
8:35pm – Write a good synopsis (not that he’s going to tell you how), choose the right key words, and make sure you include them in your title, sub-title, series name, and sprinkled throughout the book.
I’m naming my next book Contemporary Paranormal Shapeshifter Magic Love Triangle Suspense Romance. Sell, book, sell!
8:36pm – It’s niche, for the love of God. The misspelling of the word “you’re” has always been my biggest pet peeve, but I believe nitch may have now replaced it.
8:37pm – You need a description that pops.
8:40pm – Something about HTML code. My eyes just glazed, and it’s not entirely from the wine.
8:41pm – Something about HTML code selling more books. Sounds like I’m not gonna sell more books, since I don’t have a damn clue how to do much more with HTML than copy and paste what someone else created. Anybody want to write HTML code that will sell more books for me?
8:43pm – Back to book covers. “We’re gonna go a little deep here.” That comment makes me wish I were reading a good book right now, instead of listening to this crap. I’d like to go deep with my latest book boyfriend…
8:43pm – Check out this guy’s cover. He changed it and his sales went up 600%.
Holy shit. (That was not, for the record, an “Ohmigod, that’s amazing” holy shit. It was more of a, “I don’t believe this crap for a second” holy shit.)
8:44pm – Don’t be emotionally attached to your covers. Fucking change them if they suck, even if your mom designed them.
8:49pm – He finally acknowledges that content is also important—although not as important as a good cover. #notmakingthisshitup
8:50pm – Flashes a few covers on the screen, disses a few. Ouch. That’s brutal. Do you think he warned those authors he’d be making fun of their books in this webinar?
8:51pm – IF YOUR BOOKS ARE NOT SELLING, CHANGE YOUR GODDAMN COVER. Yes, that was meant to yell at you. He yelled it at me, after all.
8:51pm – A reminder that what he’s telling us works, it really does.
8:52pm – Implement everything he says, and you’ll become a best seller. Any book, any genre.
8:53pm – Here we go with the sales pitch…. Huh. This guy could be attractive if he had a decent haircut. Oh, wait, I’m supposed to be paying attention here.
8:54pm – Holy shit, he’s a fucking book cover company!
And he just said nitch again.
8:54pm – Wait, his covers only work if you are already published and your book isn’t selling. That’s when it’s time to call on the book cover gods.
8:55pm – Jezuz, can you lay off the nitch, bitch?
8:56pm – This entire buildup was all about selling book covers. And saying nitch. I need to quit these things. I really do.
8:57pm – Oh! A bonus!
8:57pm – A free revision within 30 days.
That’s a bonus? That should be standard. Or maybe do it right the first time, since you profess to be book cover gods, after all.
8:58pm – If I started a new drinking game and everybody had to do a shot every time this guy says nitch, we’d all be wasted right now.
8:58pm – He just announced the price for his outrageously spectacular book covers. I’m not quite snarky enough to post it here, but I will say it is absolutely and utterly ridiculous and I would never recommend any author pay that price, unless the cover is carved from gold.
9:00pm – First ten people who do something or another get $100 off their cover. (To put it into perspective, that’s not even 10%.)
9:03pm – If you want to use this guy to create your book cover, you have to come to him with your cover already designed. And still pay him the insanely stupid price he quoted a few minutes ago.
But you get $100 off, if you act now!
What. The. Fuck.
9:09pm – I wish I could see the comments. It sounds like other attendees keep asking non-cover related questions–since, you know, the webinar was presented as a get rich quick scheme–but our lovely presenter keeps looping us back to the covers. I can’t figure out if the attendees are clueless, or trying to give him a hard time. I’m going with the latter.
9:10pm – “Do you have any questions about covers?”
Ha ha, I’m now totally convinced the attendees are trying to harass him. I have new respect for these people.
9:13pm – I’m about to shut down this ridiculous webinar… No wait! There’s more! If I purchase HIS cover, it will pay for itself through sales. Again, don’t worry about content. Just buy his cover.
Holy shit, how did I not see this scam coming? Sometimes, I worry this publishing gig is making me dumber…
And—done. Where is that bottle? What do you mean, it’s empty? Son of a bitch. Well, I suppose since I’m not buying one of that guy’s book covers, I have plenty of cash to purchase another bottle of wine. Or twelve.
Always finding the bright side, that’s me.
Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, attender of bad webinars, and occasionally snarky blog writer. If you want to hang out, she’s often chillin’ and drinking in her Facebook group, Come Wine With Tami.