Author Beware

Below is a list of events I believe to be reputable and the information I have that leads me to this belief.

When looking for reputable events it may be helpful to consider the history of the event as well as the reputation of the author.  Authors who are well known and respected, with a history of producing books and an established brand, have a lot more on the line when they choose to host events.  They also have experience that may help them plan a successful event.  The same applies to events themselves:  Events that have been held in the past and have been successful may be more reliable.  If you’re unsure, you can always reach out to individuals who have worked with the organizer or attended the event in the past.  I’ve chosen to attend as a reader before in order to get a feel for an event and the organizer.

Paypal will only refund payments for cancelled events within 180 days.

Lucky 13 Book Reviews & News keeps a great list of reputable events and has a detailed post on how to avoid scams.

  1. Sheer Bliss Events:  Event organizer recommended by #RRRsurvivor Hilary Wynne.
    1. The organizer, Taira Wilds, has a new event in Destin FL planned for September of 2017!
  2. The Hype PR:  Event organizer also recommended by #RRRsurvivor Hilary Wynne.
  3. UTOPIA :  June 22, 2016 is in Tennessee.  The organizer was kind enough to reach out to the RRR survivors and offer spaces.  Several RRR authors have gone in the past.
  4. Cleveland Author Event:  June 25, 2016, but this is held every year.  Recommended by Just One More Page.
  5. SASS Norfolk 2016:  July 9, 2016 in Norfolk, VA.  The author list is full, but tickets are still available.  This event is organized by Lisa Honorio Sproat and Amy Marie.  I know them both personally and have found them very supportive and involved in all aspects.  SASS 2017 will be in Baltimore, we’re still waiting to hear re. available
  6. Authors With Southern Charm:  July 23, 2016 in Charleston, SC.  Author AF Crowell is a friend and RRR survivor who has been helping with this event.
  7. Authors At the Opry:  September 17, 2016 in Nashville, TN.  The event is being thrown by Elizabeth York (you might remember her thanks to her recent attempts to advocate for author with Amazon re. return policies and readers who finish a book, then return).  She’s a well respected author, an RRR survivor and the event is back by the following blogs:  Hookers Hells Book Blog, My Blissful Books and Southern Charm Book Blog.  She’s also been very transparent with financial records.
  8. Indie Bookfest Orlando:  October 7-9, 2016.  This event is recommended by #RRRsurvivor and author Melissa Lummis, who has participated in the past and is participating this year.  Daniel Lazarotta joined in the recommendation.
  9. Glass City Author Event:  October 8, 2016 in Toledo Ohio.  Recommended by Just One More Page.
  10. Arch City Author Event.  The organizer Petra Gleason, is very well known and respected.  She’s stated the following with respect to her event:   “You can be assured that the Arch City Author Event, in Columbus Ohio is going to happen on October 15, 2016 and any and all of our financial records for the event are available for you to view if you have questions or concerns.”
  11. Books Are My Eye Candy:  October 15, 2016 in Las Vegas.  This is author Parker Sinclair’s second year organizing the event, which was very successful last year.  Parker is a friend and an RRR survivor.
  12. Ready to Read Romance November 5, 2016 in Omaha, NE.  This event is being planned by my good friend and critique partner Jules Dixon who is an excellent person and trustworthy.
  13. Rebels and Readers:  November 5, 2016 in Huntington, WV.  Recommended by Just One More Page.  RNR 2017 is also in WV.
  14. Angels & Sirens March 4, 2017 in Washington, PA.  Recommended by Lucky 13.
  15. Authors in the Blue Grass:  April 22nd, 2017 in Kentucky.  Recommended by Lucky 13 Book Reviews.
  16. Books in Bourbon County  August 19, 2017 in Kentucky.  Recommended by Lucky 13 Book Reviews.
  17. Rebels Hit the Road February 10, 2017 in Annapolis, MD.  This event has been held very successfully multiple times in the past and as of June 15, 2016 there are only 16 VIP tickets left.  I will be here and would love to see you!
  18. Authors in the City March 12, 2017 in Raleigh NC.  Recommended by RRR survivor Stephanie Summers who has attended multiple years in a row and loved it!
  19. Roanoke Author Invasion:  This event has been recommended to me by multiple authors who have participated in previous years.  It can be hard to get a spot, but I’ve applied for 2017 and will keep you all posted!
  20. SASS Baltimore  July 7, 2017 in Baltimore!  Lisa and Amy Marie, the organizers, are a blast to work with.
  21. Once Upon A Book, in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Per author Amy McClung, “Once Upon A Book…is run by Stacey Rourke. She is an author as well as the owner of Anchor Group Publishing. I attended the first year of this one in August and it ran perfectly. Stacey is incredibly wonderful to work with and keeps all the authors up to date on every step of the details.  August 11-12, 2017 is the date for the signing next year and tables are available now.
  22. Penned Con St Louis,   Per author Amy McClung, “It is run by Amy and Rick Miles who are both well respected in the author community. Amy Miles is an Author and Rick Miles runs Red Coat PR, also their son just published his first book.  September 29-30, 2017 is the date for the signing and they always donate a large portion of the proceeds to a charity for Autism.”

 

AUTHOR BEWARE:  Below are listed organizers and events that have had issues, as well as a reason and reference for how they made it onto the list.  I’m not saying all of these people are scam artists, simply giving you public information so you can decide where to spend your money accordingly.

  1. Jess Haney.  According to an RRR author she organized an event called SNS.  She was diagnosed with cancer and started treatment, but never secured the venue (authors called to check) and never refunded the money she collected.
  2. Tiffany Fox:  Per an author email, “You should also add Tiffany Fox to the list.
    She ran the Angels and Sinners book show in Detroit in 2015.
    She changed the venue 6 days before the event because she didn’t get enough hotel rooms secured and would have had to pay out of pocket.
    She did no advertising about the new location – which was not at the airport.
    She defaulted on the after party and didn’t hold one.
    She refused to let authors back out of the collaborated book and stole the 4k in donation funds instead of delivering them to the hospital- claiming a car accident kept her from making the journey when authors wanted to go with her.
    She also refused to given any receipts to the authors from the amazon sales.”
  3. Dawn Pendleton, per an RRR author, “she did the Authors in Atlanta where she cancelled last minute and disappeared from sight. HS even had a post about it last year because they were still trying to get their money back as well as refund the tickets.”
  4. Lauren Calhoun:  This is the RRR organizer who scammed 50+ authors out of thousands of dollars.
  5. Heather Danielle Snodgrass, A Royal Affair in Winchester, VA.  The event was supposed to occur May 21 and was cancelled due to low ticket sales and re-scheduled for next year.  From an RRR author who had bought a VIP reader ticket:  “There have been no posts about refunds or apologizing for this inconvenience. The only thing that she keeps posting in the group is information regarding next years event. The only comment made regarding refunds is a comment she made saying, “when invoices start getting paid.” So I’m guessing that’s when she will start issuing refunds.”  From an RRR author who paid for a table, ” I asked for my money back a month ago. I can’t go next year. She told me the same thing. Haven’t seen a dime back.”  *******UPDATE**********  Lucky 13 Book Review filed for a refund through Paypal and after the dispute period ran, was granted the refund.  However they tell her they’ve been unable to process it through the organizer’s bank account for lack of funds.
  6. L.A. Randar (Lauren A. Randar), MBBFG Promotions (mbbfgpromotions@gmail.com), and M Foura who have organized and promoted WILD IN WEST VIRGINIA and BEWITCHING BOOK BASH: The RRR author who brought this to my attention states she signed up for Wild in West Virginia back in late 2015. “I paid the remainder of the fee in December 2015. As of this morning a few things have happened…- We have not heard from or gotten a response to any of our emails or facebook posts from the coordinators and the last facebook post was on May 18, 2016.- I signed (pen name redacted) up for BEWITCHING BOOK BASH in Salem MA for 2017 and paid the $50 deposit to hold his spot. Their email said that they would have a facebook page and a website up within 3 weeks of that email date. To this day, there is no facebook page or website. Unfortunately, they are the same coordinators as the Wild in West Virginia group. I have had no response to my email to them placed on April 25, 2016.

    – All of a sudden the coordinator is in the hospital.”

     

    Please note, the hospital claim is of particular concern because this seems to be an excuse several organizers have used to justify cancelling events, delayed communication and lack of refunds.  We all genuinely hope the organizer is well, or her health improves soon.  We are not saying that her claim is false, only that other authors who are inclined to sign up and authors who may be reaching the end of their 180 day Pay Pal refund window should proceed accordingly.