I figured I would post a beware for other authors out there since this opportunity is popping up literally everywhere, and will probably start again in a couple of months.
Indie authors like moi are literally starving for exposure, with bleeding hearts beating to reach and inspire all the doe-eyed children of the world. Think of the children!
A member of a Facebook group I'm in used my bleeding heart (and my frustration with book promotion) against me. This person's idea sounded great, and the pitch looked a bit (okay, a lot) like this:
Showcase your books at our January Virtual Book Fair!!! Elementary students will attend the morning session and part of the evening. College students will attend the evening and night session. Registration fee: $25.00. You will receive a webcam and 100 promotional flyers through the mail.
Once we registered, we received a questionnaire to set up our profile page. I'm not sure about the other authors, but I certainly wrote the most epic answers ever and then whisked that baby back in record time (okay, not record time. But the organizer said, "Sure, send it in," when I asked her if I was too late to participate. Hahaha. Oh, so ironic!). Then we waited with butterflies in our stomachs for the arrival of the doe-eyed children.
Except now it's January 9th and there are no doe-eyed children and no profile pages, webcams, or flyers. The organizer has abandoned our Facebook group and people have begun disputing credit card charges.
In other words, good times.
The moral of this story, doe-eyed authors, is this:
But I'm here to provide one piece of evidence where before there before there was none. If you learn nothing else from me--and I highly doubt you will--learn this:
*I've taken special care not share names and links above, even though I lost money and smarts. Karma, friend.