It was an opportunity to write a couple of magazine articles. A chance to have a couple clips. I didn’t know I’d be celebrating the coming of fall by emailing the authorities about a scam. I thought I was getting published.
I frequent a website that has a job board. The website is a great website; however, they don’t check out all the jobs so there is no guarantee on the quality of the jobs.
One day I decided to send some writing samples to a publisher that was publishing some new magazines. I got a response telling me that I should send my samples to another person. I sent them off. This person responded with an attachment with a list of magazines they were to launch and the articles needed for these magazines. She said I could write about anything I wanted to, but they were launching on September 20th and needed the articles in 3 days. This is when I should have realized that something wasn’t quite right. I should have, but I didn’t.
I looked through the choices, and picked three magazines. I emailed my contact at the publisher and told her I would write three articles, one for each magazine I chose. She said that she had the articles for one of the choices, but she would gladly take my other two submissions by the following Monday night. What magazine lets you write whatever you want to write about and accepts the articles without reading them? Yes, this should have been my other warning!
She emailed me a contract stating that if my articles were assigned (which they were) I would be paid by publication date on September 20, 2007 by certified check. The pay was much less than average magazine articles so that is probably why I thought it was legit – in other words, it didn’t sound too good to be true.
I worked hard all weekend on my two articles. I had my husband proofread many times; I proofread and made sure I followed the contract directions exactly. By Sunday night, I was pleased with my work and was looking forward to seeing my articles in the magazines. I sent in my articles, and received an email from my contact that she had gotten my articles and thanked me for sending them in before the deadline.
A couple of days later I decided to do a search on Laray Carr Publications. I had done one previously and nothing had turned up. Yes, that should have been another warning, but I thought they were so new they hadn’t gotten it up yet. This time I found some information on a couple of writer’s blogs concerning Laray Carr. A few writers were voicing their concern that it was a scam. A consultant commented on one of the blogs that she was familiar with the publisher and said that they were new in the business and she had recommended that they not try to publish so many magazines at once. She also recommended a printing house for them. She dismissed the claims and said, as I thought, why would anyone go to such lengths to scam writers? Although there were some crazy things going on it still seemed more logical that they were disorganized rather than corrupt.
As it neared September 20th, more information started to be written on the blogs. Other writers had emailed the publisher asking more questions about the pay. They were told that the launch was moved to October. When asked about when we would get paid, they were told they would find out later. More and more people started commenting on blogs that they had worked for Laray Carr but hadn’t gotten paid. Graphic artists admitted to creating mock covers for a website with stock photography or pictures stolen from other magazines.
All writers received a notice on September 25, 2007 stating that all articles were going to be rejected and no one would be paid. By then, I wasn’t too surprised; I knew I had been duped when the other people came into the conversation on the blogs.
The consultant that had been defending Laray Carr was hired to help them out of their big mess, but was now starting to be concerned. She asked for everyone who had been hurt by the publisher to send her an email and she would go to the owner herself with the information. I sent an email to her, and a couple of days later she confirmed that they were indeed not planning on paying anyone that had worked on the “publications”. She said that she had heard from so many people and none of them had been paid, some having worked for weeks on projects. After collaborating with these people she found out that it was a 1 man scam operation. The scam wasn’t intended to scam writers as much as advertisers out of their money. She ended the email with a letter for us to write and send to the FBI and Texas authorities. Needless to say, I won’t be seeing a dime.
Here I was trying to publish a couple of articles and end up writing a letter to the FBI. Isn’t life interesting? Warning and moral of this story: writer’s, artist, etc. beware. Do not work for anyone with the name of: Laray Carr Publications, Quincy Carr, Roger Owen, David Person, Dean Person, LCP, LC Publications, CMC Group or LC Media.