where the writers are
AUTHOR BEWARE!

I'm playing catch-up, as last week was short a day. Lots happpened, I just didn't have time to blog.  

I'm HISSED OFF about "The Balancing Act." It's a morning hour-long show on the Lifetime network that contacted me June 1st to be an expert/author on a pet segment they air on Tuesdays. Great news, right? I thought so, at least initially.

He "pre-interviewed" me (common) to be sure I passed muster and explained that not everyone was chosen and there was a selection process to go through. Okay. That's not unusual. After half an hour or so of chatting, answering pet questions and telling him about my books, he thought I'd passed muster--but of course, the decision wasn't up to him. But he wanted me to know what to expect if chosen to be on the show.

I'd be required to include an interview/blurb about the segment and my book in a newsletter distributed to 20-million viewers (oh, darn!), with a link to my website (double darn!) and my books (yee-haw!). Then mentioned companies pay $40,000 to "brand" the segments with their products, and name-dropped several that I've actually worked for as a spokesperson. He explained that their writers script the three-minute segment but the author has the chance to vet the script--

Now, I'm starting to wonder if they expected authors to endorse products, and if so, might I also be offered $$ to do so? But no, instead he had quite a finish. Although companies had to pay 5-figures, authors were given this great opportunity for only $4900.

And we were done.

Uh, right! I have NEVER, EVER paid to be an "expert" in any print, or TV/Radio venue. This is a bait-and-switch done badly. I posted a warning on my Facebook page, and sent similar alerts to the CWA, DWAA and ITW lists and discovered Tim Razor  or his associates contacted others of my colleagues.

If you're an author of any subject, they may reach out to you, too. Is it worth $4900...? Well, for that amount you can purchase a lot of other marketing options, as well as have control over the content of your advertisement. So be careful!

Others have also experienced suspicious pitches, and recorded those at places like Complaint Wire and Scam.com that states Balancing Act aka BrandStar Entertainment are not on the up-and-up. However, JustAnswer.com opines that it's simply an advertising venue, and additionally, one of the BrandStar entertainment shows claims to be a scam-investigator.

Hmnnnnn. I know what I believe.

amy-feeling bitchy

Comments
4 Comment count
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scam TV

I hear you Amy - he called me as well, but conveniently neglected to tell me about the 4900 bucks. After seeing your post on the list, I called him back and gently chastised him for not letting me know about the money up front. I told him for that amount, I would want an hour, not 3 lousy minutes.... Then he went on this warm fuzzy nonsense babble about "partnering" etc. I told him...NOT.

Pam Dennison

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Hi Pam, I know of at least

Hi Pam,

I know of at least two other dog writers and one cat writer he either spoke to or left messages to call him back. And a very well known thriller writer also was contacted by him...a very SAVVY TV-news thriller writer at that, and landed on him hard!

Probably they've learned if they mention the $$ up front, they get an immediate "hell, no!" but stringing folks along increases their odds?

So I suspect that as the $40,000 paydays get harder to land, they're going after authors for the $4900 amounts.

Amy D. Shojai, CABC
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
http://www.shojai.com
************************************
Author, 23 nonfiction pet care books

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in this economy

you'd think they would either charge allot less or give more value - more time - like my aforementioned hour. That I would have paid for, but 3 minutes - nope. Better some money than none at all. It seems to me that the entire show is just one giant "info-mercial." Glad I don't get TV and haven't watched it for 8 years now. BORING!

I did forward the info to one of my publishers to see if they would pay the money. I doubt they will though.

Pam Dennison

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Interestingly, I saw in

Interestingly, I saw in their "samples" of previous shows, one sponsored by Purina Cat Chow with one of my co-mentors as spokesperson, regarding their partnership with breast cancer awareness. And another from ProPlan with the spokesperson from Survivor...and yet a third from Sergeants about their new pet "calming collar" -- so they are actually getting some legit companies to pony up the funds, if they actually DID pay that amount. You never know.

Amy D. Shojai, CABC
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
http://www.shojai.com
************************************
Author, 23 nonfiction pet care books