This will be a fairly short post I think, but one that is going to help a lot of people potentially. One of the biggest things you need to be on the lookout for as an author, especially if you are looking into trying to use online resources to get your name out there, is fraud. There are countless websites and individuals out there who would love nothing more than to take your money and leave you high and dry, and worse off than you were to begin with. If you are searching for online publication you have to be very very careful about who you trust.
One thing that is very beneficial to you in this field is caution. Google, although perhaps not the absolute most reliable 100% of the time, can be your best friend here. You need to Google the name and stats of any person or website you are considering before you entrust your work to them. If they are fraudulent there is a good chance you aren’t the first person they’ve tricked- but they’d love you to be next. An easy way to tell if these sites or individuals are trying to pull one over on you is whether or not they try to charge you before even looking at your work. This is something that can easily be forgotten when you’re being given a great pitch, believe me. I recently fell victim to one of these too-good-to-be-true situations and very nearly wasted my money trying to get somewhere with it.
Research is going to be your absolute best friend as you are starting out in this business, and a very reliable companion once you’re name is out there. Success can be ruined by falling into a scam. I don’t want to see it happen to anyone of you anymore than I want it to happen to me, so take heed here. 99% of the time Professionals will not charge you money to read your work, and they will not ask for a fee just to talk to you or give you opportunities. Do your research and enter this with caution, or you may well end up at the bottom of a deep dark whole of scam and trouble.