Sunday, April 01, 2012

Writer Beware's Swag Shop for Discerning Scammers

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Writer Beware's Swag Shop for Discerning Scammers
As many of you know, Writer Beware is a 100% volunteer endeavor. We do receive support from our sponsor, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and also from the Mystery Writers of America--but our finances are pretty tight.

Unfortunately, fundraising poses a problem for us. In order to avoid any possible conflict of interest, we can't accept remuneration for our services. We don't even take donations. And of course, we're absolutely committed to never charging a penny to the writers who contact us for information and advice.

So what's a watchdog to do? For some time we've been racking our brains to come up with fundraising ideas that don't conflict with our mission. What group of people can we bamboozle...er, persuade to give us money, and still feel good about ourselves?

And then it hit us: scammers. They bilk you--why shouldn't we bilk them? Plus, it's really an untapped market. Like any group of entrepreneurs, scammers are proud of their achievements--but the nature of their business makes open boasting problematic. Our nifty new range of products allows for private gloating, while being subtle enough to be used in public.

Introducing Writer Beware's Swag Shop for Discerning Scammers. Choose from these exciting options:

The "Really, You Thought I Submitted that??" T-shirt. We know you never send out the manuscripts your clients pay you to represent--but they don't. Commemorate this important facet of your business with our stylish, 100% cotton T-shirt in Small, Medium, or Large--or just say "Scammer-size me!" and we'll bump you up to Extra-Large. For men and women...because scamming is an equal opportunity profession. Only $15.99.

The "Your Money...My Vacation" coffee mug. Each time you use this handsome china coffee mug, you'll be reminded of your mission. At $10.99, you can't beat that.

The "We DO Fool Them All The Time" tote bag. It's the secret of your success, right? With our sturdy canvas tote bag, you can keep the secret and tell the world, all at the same time. You'll know who the fools are--but no one else will. Right-priced at $12.99.

The "Writer Is Just Another Word For Loser" mouse pad. Come on, you know you think it. You may even say it out loud sometimes to your staff (if you have staff, that is; we know that plenty of you are just manipulating a web of aliases). A bargain at $10.99, our useful mouse pad lets you affirm this uplifting truth on a daily basis, while keeping it absolutely discreet.

And coming soon...the Writer Beware calendar. You've never seen Writer Beware like this. Current and former staff members bare it all, with books and manuscripts placed in strategic locations.

Want to facilitate your agenda? Buy a month! Pick the staff member you prefer! They'll give your books the chance they deserve, with provocative displays and high-quality, full-color images. We'll be distributing our calendar from sea to shining sea, so don't miss this sterling promotional opportunity. Best of all: you can pass the expense on to your clients.

Contact us for pricing--discounts are available for 10 books or more.

Note: the Swag Shop is open only to scammers who publish in America. For obvious reasons, we'll need to verify your bona fides before filling your order, so be ready to provide us with documentation of your fees, falsehoods, or other fakery.

18 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

This could be the best one I've seen all day :-)

Michelle said...

Have you considered making these available on Zazzle or CafePress so that other colors and styles are available for the shirts? I realize the revenue for you would less, but I don't think they must be your only source of distribution for a product. So you might make additional sales with hardly any action on your part.

Etsy is another way to get more sales as it's easier for people to find them. Rates to post items are pretty low. And since you created the logo/design for the shirts, it qualifies as a handmade creation.

One suggestion: Post images of each item separately and zoomed in so that people can pin them on Pinterest. You'd be surprised by how quickly image/links spread to a bigger audience.

There are quite a few ways to get word out with only a bit of time spent up front.

Abra said...

Well, okay, this is hilarious, but I also need a new mousepad. Sooooo...maybe you could do a ThinkGeek and just make this joke a reality?

Lucy said...

You do realize that now you need to actually make a calendar??

C'mon, Richard!

:D

Michael W Lucas said...

Oooh, I want! But I'm not a scammer.

Obviously my scam will be to generate paperwork to show I'm a scammer.

Deb Salisbury said...

ROFL! Love the post AND all the comments!

Nicholas Ghost said...

I"m laughing at the post and comments but damn it some of those really look like they'd be fun to have in my writing area for a laugh.

Christine Tripp said...

>They'll give your books the chance they deserve<

CLASSIC! The whole post is, what a great laugh to start the day!!!:)

Liz said...

It may be an April Fool's joke, but consider this carefully: selling these to writers is a good reminder that there are scammers out there, who would dearly love to part a fool from his or her funds. Also, they're funny as heck.

The Morrigan's Pet said...

Um, I know, I know. But my wife wants me to get rid of my Peace Through Superior Firepower mouse pad. So. Please?

Victoria Strauss said...

Gee, I've gotten so many requests to do this for real that I may have to consider it. With the money going to charity, of course. I'd have to come up with some kind of logo for the Swag Shop, though. Hmmmmm.

Marian Perera said...

What an en-Deering idea!

Janet said...

Incredible and perfect!!

Morgen said...

I'm not a scammer, but I might buy the calendar...

I just want to support the mission of the blog!

Brett said...

10.99 for a mouse pad? Seriously?

Well, I guess on a scamer's budget...

Kel said...

To really make this work, you need to make it "Writer is another word for looser."

I think that captures the scammer-ness more completely.

Frances Grimble said...

Well, I do a lot of hand dyeing and fabric-related stuff. You can buy "blank" all-cotton T shirts and other garments, and heat transfer paper. Depending on the paper, you can inkjet-print or photocopy onto the transfer paper, your sale motto, book cover, or whatever. It's easy. Personally, I prefer to dye T-shirts a very light color first, because I don't like stark white. My favorite supplies website is called Dharma Trading, and I am not affiliated with them except that I buy dye supplies there.

Cafe Press will do mugs, and some authors have their book cover images printed onto mugs there, but I have never dealt with Cafe Press.

Frances Grimble said...

Sorry, what you do with the heat transfer paper after your image is on it, is position the paper over your T-shirt or other garment and press down with a warm iron.