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Author Beware!

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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 that states Balancing Act aka BrandStar Entertainment are not on the up-and-up. However, 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

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

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