Update: The @am_writing account abusing the #amwriting tag is now gone. YAY!
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A marketing company on twitter is using the name @am_writing to sell author services to self-published authors. I keep getting DMs from members of our community, asking me why I’m limiting the scope of our group and how I could sell out like this.
Let me make this perfectly clear: this marketing company has nothing to do with me or the group I created on Twitter.
They are using a logo that looks remarkably similar to the one I used on our Facebook page only a few months ago. They list no personal, real name with their @am_writing account, instead using the hashtag as their “real name” and linking to a marketing company where they again refuse to be identified.
It’s understandable why people who don’t know me might think this could be me, but it’s not. THIS IS NOT ME.
If someone asks you for money, claiming to represent this group, you will always know: IT’S NOT ME. I believe in the integrity of writers helping writers and I have kept my leadership role non-commercial on purpose.
I have filed a complaint with Twitter for impersonation. I believe this is a valid point, since so many people are writing to me to ask me why I’m doing this. I’m frustrated and I’m especially upset that I’ve spent so much time on this group, working on it every day for over three years, and people still think this could be me. IT’S NOT ME.
Please, please, please block and report this user for spam. They’ve linked me to a commercial venture that has nothing to do with me or the group I’ve created—and it looks like they’re going to win.
Update: Many thanks to both Jane Friedman and Heather Quinn for pointing me toward this information. The domain registration for the marketing company listed for @am_writing leads us to @Kevin_Lazarus, an author who never uses the #amwriting hashtag. It looks like he rarely uses Twitter at all since most of his @am_writing content is scheduled or automated to repost from other places. Still, he’d like to take your money to market your book. In fact, he has a “Twitter Promotion package” where he promises this: “We bring your website and Twitter account lots of targeted traffic and followers. Only $30/month.” Do note that the success story listed for the company is none other than Kevin Lazarus himself.
One More Update: In the comments below, Amanda Wilson points out the links to Jesse Fisher, the “Twitter Marketing Expert” linked from Kevin Lazarus’ Twitter Promotion Package. Fisher calls himself an “internet marketing strategist.” You can judge for yourself his claim that this website represents, “the future of internet marketing.” (That’s a lot of quotes, I know, but just go look—ugh.) Fisher’s twitter account is @toptentraffic.
For those of you asking, domain information for TheAuthorsAlly.com is publicly available through WhoIs at Network Solutions. Kevin Lazarus is listed as the administrative and technical contact for the domain and his site was registered through JesseFisherDomains. According to Network Solutions, Kevin Lazarus also owns DreamStream Productions from Payson, Utah. I won’t link to those books, but you can do a google search to see if this is how you would want marketing handled for yours.