Monday, August 27, 2007

Cheaters, Cheapers, Creepers

Metal Tractors,
a device designed by James Gilray,
satiric print, 1801.
British Museum, London.

We've read of the types that write "requested on their slush submission when it isn't; and of those who allude to agent/editor requests/meetings at conferences they never attended.

Seems there's no level too low for bottom feeders.

Lynn Viehl ( Paperback Writer) - with over three dozen books published - is one of the most truly generous blogger-writers on the web.

She dispenses tips from her hard-won experience, has a list of freebies and useful links on her side-bar, and routinely gives away books, sometimes by the bag.

Her frequent give-aways are "open to anyone on the planet" even if they've already won before. Straight and simple. No hoops.

Seems some people have begun creating 6-30 false identities to up their odds of winning these freebies. Seems too, from comments, she's not the only writer subject to this petty cheating.

I do not understand it.

Quite apart from any ethical considerations - as well as the stupidity of a scam so easily identified - it seems to me the time spent concocting these fauxes would be better spent writing or reading.


writtenwyrdd said...

Seems to me they reap their just reward by doing this sort of scamming; because they use so much time and energy in the process. The reward is minimal in comparison.

word veri: tpmfukp
Not sure what the tpm stands for, but the rest is applicable to the situation.

Angie said...

Oh, good grief. :/ You really have to wonder about some people, cheating for such a petty reason. I'll bet they're really proud of themselves, too. [eyeroll]


Robyn said...

Reminds me of the people at RWA Nationals that took boxes into the book rooms and loaded up on several copies when everyone was supposed to get one freebie book per author.

December/Stacia said...

I regularly get warnings in my email about Yahoo loop cheaters who do stuff like that. I wish they would realize authors talk, and we talk to a lot of people.

Bernita said...

That's a satisfying thought, Written.

Boggles, doesn't it, Angie.

And I doubt the extra copies were for friends who couldn't make it, Robyn.

Don't know why they think they will remain invisible, December.

Jaye Wells said...

I'm always amazed at the lengths parasites will go. As you said, go read or write something. Or get get a hobby other than taking advantage of the generosity of others.

Bernita said...

I suppose it may be their hobby, Jaye, as you suggest - a "game" to beat even the simple, open system of PBW's draw.

Anonymous said...

Just think of the things they could do if they channelled that energy into something else....

Personally, I have enough trouble keeping one online identity straight.

Charles Gramlich said...

Another one of those things people do that would never have occurred to me.

Bernita said...

Seeley, in my dim way I find the passwords necessary for a non-pseudonymous identity a challenge!

Nor to most people, I imagine, Charles.

Church Lady said...

Me too, Charles. I've never heard of this.
I went to her blog (thanks for the link) and she discusses how somebody copied the entire contents of someone else's blog.
Who ARE these people?! I don't get it.


Bernita said...

She's a great resource, Chris.
You'll have to scroll down a post or two to see the one about contest cheats.

These people - in a word - are pathetic.

raine said...

I don't get it.

I know they exist, have also received warnings about such people via Yahoo groups. But I still don't get it.
What's the point? Chrissakes, books simply don't cost that much.
Does it makes you smarter than everyone else because you THINK you're beating the system?
No, it makes you a pathetic sort of leech, feeding off the generosity of others.

writtenwyrdd said...

splogging, where posts and websites are copied and then adverts are placed to earn the pirates money, are a huge problem on the web. Go ahead and google yourself and see when you catch your post listed on a web site. You go there and find that there is no post with your name. That's because it's a splog and they have developed the html to give a new ripped off post every time the page is loaded. Some of them do list the source; but many do not. Either way, I am against the use of my writing or anyone else's for profit. Not to mention it is against copyright laws.

Oops. sorry, soapbox.

Bernita said...

And further to that, Raine, they soon become known, as you and December have mentioned.
Why risk that sort of reputation?

Soapbox away, Written!

Sam said...

Well how stupid is that? I mean, won't the person giving the prize catch the fact that the guy has the same name and snail addy, but six different yahoo id's? If I were Ms. Veihl, and caught that cheater, I'd make sure that in my next book, the villan is well named.
And the saying 'get a life' comes to mind.

The Anti-Wife said...

Some people have way too much time on their hands! Thanks for pointing to her blog. It's great. Can't wait for me, my dogs and all my neighbors and friends to enter her next contest.

Bernita said...

Sometimes I think these types work under the delusion that everyone else is stupid, Sam.

Hope you find time to read her archives, AW. Lots of wonderful, witty stuff.

SzélsőFa said...

I don't get these scammers either - morals, hm?
How much free time these people have?
This must be the obsession about anything 'free'.
Some people are literally killing each other when a really cheap shop opens. Have you that craze in the States as well?

Ello said...

Now I know why I never win anything! These scammers are exponentially decreasing my chances of winning by their cheating! The only thing I cheat at is Scrabble, and only when I play against the computer because I suck at it! But this was interesting, I never realized people do these kinds of things. I guess I'm sort of naive that way.

Frank Baron said...

Pardon me while I don my Old Fogie hat but I see this sort of thing as a nearly-natural byproduct of the instant gratification generation. There's too many folk who feel entitled to bend/break rules in order to profit. They're strangers to hard work and I blame everyone from laissez-faire parents to an "education" system which puts good feelings above good learning.

(off soapbox)

Jeff said...

My grandpa would have said, "People who take advantage of other people give me a pain I can't locate!" Ha! Ha!

Greed and laziness are two words that come to mind.

kmfrontain said...

I've been a bit hesitant about book give aways for my FB books. I have enough free work out there for a reader to decide if I'm fit to read. I've given away one copy of Loved Him 1, and only because it was a rule of the forum that promos cost a book giveaway. I haven't promo'd there since.

spyscribbler said...

You're kidding?! (Obviously, you're not.) That's silly. I mean, if they want a book that badly, why don't they just go to the library? Or ... go sit at Borders and read it?

Or, *gasp*, buy it???

Bernita said...

"Bargain days" are a riot all over the world, Szelsofa.

Ello,seems no trick is to small for some.

And contains something of the jungle assumption that "everyone's doing it" too, Frank.

They may think "winning" is everything, Jeff.

Giveaways can help create a buzz, Karen, but only if the books arrive in legimate hands.
One doubts if these types would ever review/discuss the books they scam.

It's probably not the book that they really want, Natasha.

briliantdonkey said...

If they spend THAT much time to cheat that much to win like that it just tells me how little their time is worth. At the same time, I can't say that I exactly shocked by any stretch of the imagination.


Bernita said...

Puerile, indeed, BP.