This one is more of a prank than yesterday's scam, also from Shelf Awareness:
Kerry Slattery, general manager of Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif., has another cautionary tale about an author appearance scam (see yesterday's Shelf Awareness), one that happened a few years ago. She writes:
"The author Eric Alterman [a columnist at the *Nation* and author of *What Liberal Media?*, *When Presidents Lie* and more] was scheduled to appear at our store, and C-Span was planning to cover it. I got a call that morning from 'Eric Alterman's assistant,' who told me that he was terribly sorry, but that Eric woke up with a serious case of bronchitis and would not be able to catch his plane to do the event and wasn't able to talk at all--and that he felt just terrible about it. It was a very busy moment at the store and I didn't think to get the number, etc. The first thing I thought of was to call C-Span and let them know. I don't know why I didn't think to call the publicity person at the publisher, but I didn't have it handy and I was really busy, and the call seemed convincing to me. When I called C-Span, they contacted the publisher and found out that Alterman was indeed planning to appear and that the call was a scam (apparently from someone who didn't agree with the author's political views)! Fortunately, I hadn't sent out a cancellation e-mail, and everything was fine, but I felt so foolish for being taken in."
Yesterday's scam directed at Diesel bookstore.