Saturday, June 22, 2013

Suspicious nannies for writers in FB

Picture credit:

Despite the Indian Government’s interference in the privacy of individuals, on the Netzone, fakes, thugs and possible terrorist continue to thrive.
“Currently two government spy agencies — the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — plus seven others, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Narcotics Control Bureau, DRI, National Intelligence Agency, CBDT (tax authority), Military Intelligence of Assam and JK and Home Ministry — are authorised to intercept and monitor citizens’ calls and emails, under the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, The Indian Telegraph Act 1985, Rule 419(A) and other related legislation. (The Hindu, June 21, 2013, India’s surveillance project may be as lethal as PRISM by Shalini Singh. See Link below)

We are all disappointed by this. Our privacy is completely at stake. In fact, we have none. As citizens of India, we are appalled at what we have just read, but as Netzens we are facing another threat, of being exploited for deceitful purposes.
Take for instance, a recent happening when two authors wanting to go that extra mile, sought the services of an editor, found on Facebook. Apparently, the person professed that their skill at editing was good, because they had already been doing it for a while. Besides, they also had self-published books to their credit.
The Invoice sent to from a gmail account was not on a Company letterhead. It did not have an address but did have mobile number. There was no cause for worry it seemed although bills were asked to be made in Company letterheads, for payments to be received. These requests were not fulfilled.

Indeed, it became a matter of high probability that there is actually a ruckus going on, on FB. With all and everyone joining the band wagon as wannable authors, there is good money to be made by independent editors floating around in Social Media.
The modus oparandi , is very simple. For the uninitiated it gives out the stench a bit late though, which is exactly the reason for this post.
Imagine: Someone writes to you and says you have a great book; it’s bold and path-breaking. You respond with a quick thank you! But only if the editing was done better, the stories would have been more powerful comes the quick reply.  You hurry to say, you had too many rejection letters; the manuscript had been lying in your computer for more than 6 years; you needed to allow the book to see the light of day! And of course, you would take more care this time.
You realise that in a sunrise industry, like Publishing in India, editors don’t come cheap. With Indian authors writing in English, Literary Agents have mushroomed like never before. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, so why not your editor too?
After all, as much as they are greedy, so are you. You too want to become an author; a God out there! And they have what it takes to make you one. They can edit, format, help you upload your book on Kindle and then help you with the Digital campaign to increase the sales of your book. No, it does not matter, that there are spelling mistakes, language errors and really you had to spend two days to undo their mistakes, once the ms was returned to you.

Shell out the bucks and make quick bucks yourself, is the overall message.
The Netzone is for everyone. It takes all kinds to make the Netzone work. Even those who might not measure up to your standards, have a place in this Cloud.
Now that my manuscript is protected with my publisher, Contract signed and delivered, I don’t mind sharing a few lessons I learned myself, the hard way.
If you want to use the services of an editor, before you have sent your manuscript to your publisher, you need to watch these steps:
(a)    First and foremost, definitely prefer to go with someone you know, personally, or is recommended by a friend, whom you know well, not only on Social Media.
(b)   Second, the editor is from my city
(c)    Visit them, meet them and talk to them, not only on phone. FB Friends, LinkedIn, Twitter, it’s virtual, not real friends, so you need to watch out.
(d)   Insist on Invoice made out on Company Letterhead.
(e)   In case the editor is out of city and has sent an Invoice in a personal name, address is a must and the address has to be verified by someone living in that city, where the editor is.
(f)     Insist on bills. Pay only to Company account.
(g)    Pay only by Cheque
(h)   Accept no excuse for delay in your manuscript; they won’t accept delay in your payment either.
(i)      Insist on final payments only after you have received your final manuscript, AND, you are satisfied with their work.
(j)     Preserve all documents related to the interaction between you as an author and the editor. Email, is a legal document.
Hope this helps my friends in India, and the world, all of whom have a story to tell.
We need to watch over our work, before it sees the light of day. The Government is NOT the best nanny in this case, we can depend upon always. Nor is the nanny on FB, in wolves clothing.
Good luck!

Links and references:
The Hindu, June 21, 2013, India’s surveillance project may be as lethal as PRISM  by Shalini Singh
Just read: 8 Gmail Hacks That Will Change The Way You Use Email
Just released news: FB makes the start of verified pages for celebrities; the rest will follow soon:

No comments: