Why do people assume the worst?

In the last two days Kobo Writing Life launched in North America. The “OMG they are going to rip us off” and “they are trying to destroy indie publishers” Chicken Littling has started.

chickens

What I’ve seen so far

A few discussions on LinkedIn and a few questions on people’s blogs. For the most part, it’s been positive and curious. But there have been comments that lead me to believe people don’t even attempt to read the terms and conditions, they just want someone to do the work for them.

“When do I get paid?”

“How do I get paid?”

“How do I upload”?”

All of this is in the Terms and Conditions and you are presented with the highly readable document before you sign up.

Is the sky falling?

Well, I think you need to make that decision yourself. Take Amazon, they provide access for self and indie publishers to a huge market. They let you set your price and pay you a royalty based on that price. But there are people who think this makes them an evil empire out to destroy the competition and then drive prices up, while others see it as a great opportunity.

So, no things are not completely safe, but then again you aren’t forced participate.

My advice

Before you crawl into a closet to avoid the world full of scams, throw a healthy dose of analysis at the information – yes, I know you thought I was going to say common sense, but that’s an oxymoron.

The hallmarks of a scam – Nigerian princes who need you to send them your banking information to collect money.  Lawyers settling the estates of unknown relatives – who require you to send them your banking information. Lottery winnings when you didn’t buy a ticket.

Hallmarks of probably not a scam – Terms and Conditions, effort on your part to produce something, clear linking to a valid site. Validations and follow up. Help desks. No request for information to collect something better than you’ve earned.

The bottom line is if you really think it’s a scam, don’t participate.