Community, Ponderings

Don’t let anyone trample your meadow – An Upwork Story

 

Normally, I would not give such power to certain things as it only can fuel a fire. But this time I am making an exception.

I have been a member and provider for Upwork, and although I have been unhappy with the platform, I have never had an experience bad enough to warrant posting about it.

Until now…

This is not even something that was necessarily their fault, but because of their indirect negligence to monitor would-be clients, subjecting freelancers to frauds and failing to shut down these people immediately, what happened to me yesterday is going to become the norm if they do not change their policy and hire personnel capable of handling such things.  But that’s another story for later.

I received an invitation to submit a proposal on a project by a man who claims to be an author. I say ‘claims to be’, because as we all know, that to truly be an author, you should abide by certain ethics and possess a level of self-worth that matches your intent. This person has failed on every count, and then some.

His job post said one thing, his private message to each of us said something else. It was beyond the scope of the original post, and therefore, I refused his invitation and explained that had he actually reviewed my work history, he would see that my hourly rate and expertise surpassed his requirements. Besides, I do not write fake reviews for Amazon and I know of no beta-readers that accept payment and post reviews without mentioning they received a copy for free.

I offered a professional editorial review and a consult, to get him on the right track. He refused. Of course he did. Why hire a professional when you can cheat the masses?

I discovered in the process of investigating this jerk that he used the name of a popular author, speaker and TV producer and scrawled a fake quote from the man across the cover of his own book. Then he posted to the public that the producer “endorsed” him. Mr. Producer has no clue who this Indie Clown is – well, he does now. My attorney contacted the man directly and alerted him.

This is why I refer to it as ‘Fakebook’.

Here is his original invitation:
(I have underlined some of the more amusing things he said)


 

I am looking for ONE Beta Reader for my debut novel in my ***** book series.
Book 1 ******* was published but I still need that both beta to cross the finish line.
[I hope to publish Book 2 ****** in April 2016.]

I look to start Beta Readers for this announcement ASAP.
I am looking for one person currently (here is your chance to get on the ground floor!

This is what I am looking for:

You are asked to assess in great detail: Plot Direction, Continuity, Characterization, Author Voice, Fact-checking and basically, Are you excited?

Edit/proofreading is optional, since I have a team that I will  hire separately. If you want to lend your pointers, however, I’ll be more than happy.

These are Deal breakers: You are in for a marathon, not a leisure walk. Your deadline is strict in order for me to meet my own. Thorough effort is involved! If you cannot improve my book with your expertise, you should not sign on.
HOWEVER, there is a monetary bonus should you complete this in a fast pace    
[by February 14th],

There you go! I think we both will be compensated in this process.
All you need to do is tell why you should be one chosen.

I will give you the pay scale/parameters once I contact you. The amount presented in this contract is just a placeholder; you can earn far more or less based on your skills and proficiency.

Good Luck! Budget: $50


 

Here is the actual job:


 

“Here are the Parameter/Pay scale of the job proposal at Level 1.
Please review carefully and, if you accept the terms, you will move a step closer to Hire.

Here are my Parameters/Paygrade for a Level 1 Reader:

Read the given Chapter & Provide your opinions on everything that is working and not working [6 days]
[Your initial assessment will be awarded bonus/penalty points that will curtail your score.]

Test of knowledge of each Chapter with a 10 question, 100 pt quiz [5 days]
[It is open book.]

You will received a signed paperback if you finish the novel no matter what my assessment is.

FINAL READING PAYGRADE

105+ = $ 100
100-104.9 = $ 50
95-99.9 = $ 25
90-94.9 = $ 20
85-89.9 = $ 15
80-84.9 = $ 10
75-79.9 = $ 5
70-74.9 = $ 0 but still allowed Beta-Reading status

Running sub 70% at any time: Replacement with dignity
Any late deadline of Analysis/Quiz will be a -10% per day.
Quick Finish: Earn $25 bonus if completed by the close of Valentine’s Day
Medal Finish: Earn $25, $10, $5, respectively if you are one of my Top 3 Beta Readers [of 32]
Good Luck! Please accept by Noon tomorrow to activate your spot. 

 


 

What an opportunity to get in on the “ground floor”, of what, we do not know.

He’s all into this “beta reading” trend. And of course if we do all the extra work, he will be happy.

He received 7 proposals in response to his “invite”. All of them from rather young females, with myself and a couple other mature professionals. (I don’t know – I found it creepy how much we all resembled each other.) I guess there were no male editors available? Hm. Anyway…

This person proceeded to spend a lot of time searching for me online. He went to my website here, looked at my Books, and then moved on to Amazon and Goodreads and marked down every one of my books – just as one would expect from a vindictive little hack writer troll. (He even attempted to comment on this post to “tell his side of the story”.  I contacted the head of the local police department’s internet crime division. That’s the only other side of the story, lil guy.)

The nail in his coffin: my books are out of print. He doesn’t own a copy. He even stated in one of his public remarks: “I wouldn’t buy anything from you.” He’s like one of those “dumb” criminals you hear about on the news who signs his own name while using a stolen credit card.

Thank you for leaving evidence of your fraud. Amazon has been alerted to your stupidity. And anyone reading your post will see that you are a fraud simply because my books are clearly marked “Out of Print”, and yours, are, well, failing in sales today because of your attacks on me and others who called you out.

Needless to say, my dear friends, he is having trouble accessing his client account today on Upwork, with Amazon and Goodreads to soon follow.

Yes, I fired back. His own profiles are now marked with a Cease and Desist Notice – music and lyrics by my attorney, forwarded by myself. He has 10 days to comply.

I truly hate to be so forceful, but sometimes, you have to defend yourself, your work, your reputation and your livelihood when someone like this comes along and believes they can destroy it.

This person has nothing to contribute as a writer. There are a few honest reviews on his page, and they state that his writing is, well, pretty bad. Now this could be because he does not know anything about publishing, marketing or real writing, and is one of those “Buy My Book!!” people. Or maybe he didn’t even write the book? He may have paid someone $50 to do it on Elance. He also bragged on his Amazon page that he can’t keep an editor, and has hired many and looking to hire a ‘team’ now (I can hear the snickering from editors across the globe right now).

I have never heard of hiring a team of editors for an 18-page self-published book of self-indulgent drivel, but hey…to each, his own. Go for it, lil buddy. Land that hundred-dollar Amazon non-contract!

But stay off my coattails. Leave my friends, clients and colleagues alone.

Read my Bio again – you missed something. Actually, you missed a whole bunch. Post my email publicly again, and the next time we meet will be in front of a Judge, with you paying my legal fees + damages.

You cannot darken the doorstep of myself or other indie authors. You simply haven’t done the work necessary to become an author, as evidenced in your threatening emails and your social accounts (what there are of them). You have embarrassed only yourself and made any future readers question your integrity and your self-worth is, sadly, absent.

I’m someone you should have hired. You would be in a much better place today. Instead, you are struggling to keep up with the rest of us who have far surpassed even our own goals and expectations in writing and publishing.

Try to keep up and Good Luck, lil guy.

Blessed Be, friends. Don’t let anyone trample your meadow.

 

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