One of the downsides for those of us who self-publish is that we are often seen as being desperate for help in editing and marketing our works, and “cold-contact” such authors with offers to market their books… for a fee. Indeed, Amazon is a prime hunting ground for such thieves.
The main reason I self-publish with Kindle Direct/Amazon is that they do NOT charge upfront fees. I don’t have to pay over-inflated fees being demanded by people I neither know nor trust.
One of the aliases of the outfit that contacted me is Green Sage Agency. A simple internet search will reveal hundreds of complaints about over-inflated fees for little or no actual service. They are also unwilling to take “no” for an answer. Despite repeated demands to be left alone, the “agent”, going by the name “Jeff Ross”, continued to pressure me to do business with his organization..
That is not a solicitation. That is desperation. It is a tactic not used by legitimate businesses. A legitimate business merely states “Thank you for the opportunity. We understand your desire not to do business with us. We will not contact you again. Good day.”
I will admit that I may be mistaken about Mr. Ross and his organization. If so, I apologize with a bit of advice: Don’t come across as desperate. If a potential client says no (in whatever way), accept it and move on. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ARGUE. That is a guaranteed way to convince the very person you wish to do business with that you are NOT a legitimate business.
This is a warning to my fellow authors. If someone cold-calls or emails you out of the blue offering to help you sell your book, it is far more likely that they are criminals seeking to steal your money and ultimately your works.
Intellectual Property theft is real, and not just what the Chinese do. If a scammer thinks he can get his hands on your copyright, he will do whatever it takes to convince you to sign it over.
Do your research, and if it doesn’t smell right, run.