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Thread: [Agent] Uwe Luserke

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Agent] Uwe Luserke

    Hey folks,

    Greetings all. Nice to be here.

    A few days ago I was approaches by a German agent called Uwe Luserke. My researches into his past have revealed a history that tantalizingly incomplete. Yet he does have clients (still checking with them), though the SFWA had something fairly rabid to say about him.

    I'm conflicted. I get a sense that he's OK, but at a distance you never know. Anybody around here have any background on the gentleman? Comments with relevant information—no unfounded opinions, please!—would be very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    Till Noever

  2. #2
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    What a blast from the past!

    Uwe Luserke ripped off quite a few clients, among them Andre Norton and Robert Jordan (though RJ got his money out of Luserke PDQ, he could be a scary guy when he wanted to be -- when he learned that Luserke had failed to turn over monies due him, he gave him 48 hours to produce the money, and Luserke coughed it up). Terry Pratchett and Ian McDonald were also ripped off.

    I worked with SFWA's Griefcom when the whole Luserke problem surfaced. I helped draft letters to Luserke letting him know his thefts had been discovered. Luserke gave some wacky-sounding story about the German mafia forcing him to steal from his clients or they would sell his son into white slavery. (I am not making this up, or even exaggerating.)

    Luserke ripped off at least 50 authors, many of whom were his "clients," and some who hadn't even signed with him to represent them, and had no knowledge of his actions.

    My two collaborations with Andre Norton were sold to Amber Books in Poland, but neither Andre nor I ever saw a dime of the money. Luserke took it all and kept it. I met with the Amber publishers on one of their trips to New York, and verified that they had indeed paid Luserke, and the amounts they had paid him.

    Luskerke said he was trying to rehabilitate himself, and, indeed, he did finally end up sending Andre some checks towards what he'd stolen from her -- a small percentage of her actual losses.

    Maybe I'm hard-hearted, but I wouldn't trust the guy as far as I could throw him. He ripped off so many writers, and also a bunch of artists.

    I helped with every facet of the combined Griefcom/Writer Beware investigation into Luserke's doings. I don't believe you'll find a more authoritative source.

    -Ann C. Crispin
    Chair, Writer Beware
    www.writerbeware.com

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wink Interesting

    Thanks, Anne, for the info. I appreciate your time and input.

    Right now, I shall continue my email communications with Mr. Luerkse, which are presently including some probing questions. It'll be interesting to hear how he responds.

    This world's an interesting place, is it not?

    Kind Regards
    Till

  4. #4
    figuring it all out
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    Why in the world would you continue communications with a scam artist? I strongly suggest you follow the Writer Beware link and use it as your 1st litmus test for prospective agents. JMO
    Rest in peace Don LaFontaine, the real movie announcer guy. Can you imagine the symphony of Don, James Earl Jones and Charlton Heston having a conversation?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatMovieAnnouncerGuy View Post
    Why in the world would you continue communications with a scam artist? I strongly suggest you follow the Writer Beware link and use it as your 1st litmus test for prospective agents. JMO
    I appreciate what you're saying. But look at it this way:

    You're a writer, yes? Otherwise I suspect you wouldn't be on this forum. You write fiction, yes? Cool. Well, so do I. Probing deeper into the infrastructure of what superficially is called 'fact' is an endless wellspring of inspiration, at least to me.

  6. #6
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    Well, I tried.

    -Ann C. Crispin

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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    Probing deeper into the infrastructure of what superficially is called 'fact' is an endless wellspring of inspiration, at least to me.
    So you're corresponding with a scam agent to inspire your fiction?

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Well, if Till "Owlglass" can live up to his name, maybe he can outsmart Herr Luserke. (Till Eulenspiegel is a legendary German rogue and trickster, immortalized in Richard Strauss's musical tribute of the same name. Maybe it takes one to know one, so to speak?)

  9. #9
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    Probing deeper into the infrastructure of what superficially is called 'fact' is an endless wellspring of inspiration, at least to me.
    Superficially is called fact? Oh, my...

    Good luck.
    Last edited by brianm; 05-25-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hey again,

    I must confess I'm somewhat taken aback by some of the responses and commentary here. All of them, except for Anne's, were basically pointless, and some were outright petty.

    The notable exception was Vomaxx, who at least exhibited a sense of humor. And, yes, I do identify with Till Eulenspiegel, who is often labeled a 'rogue' and a 'trickster', but whose main mission in life—or so the legend goes—was to 'expose'. Expose what? Well, all the follies of village and urban man, in this particular case. The only way to do that though is to look for the 'why' behind even the most self-evident things; or maybe especially behind those things. That is, after all, the true reason-for-living (the one that lies behind and supports the 'entertainment' facade) of good story-tellers.

    And as we tell our stories, so we should maybe treat our everyday lives as well. Assume only that which you have no choice but to assume. Question everything else. And don't deny yourself listening to that small inner voice that tries to remind you that few things are what they seem.

    Having said all that, I do want to thank Anne again for her comments, which, I am certain, were as authoritative as you can get. And should I decide to do something that would make her throw up her hands in despair—it's possible; I haven't finished deciding yet and I'm still investigating with Uwe's current clients—then rest assured, Anne, that it's just a very typical Till Eulenspiegel-esque bit of twisted decision making.

    Kind Regards
    Till

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    I must confess I'm somewhat taken aback by some of the responses and commentary here. All of them, except for Anne's, were basically pointless, and some were outright petty.
    For what it's worth, my question was a genuine one, sparked by curiosity and a little bit of confusion over the wording in your post.

    Please understand that we've seen too many writers fall for scammers, even after they were warned. They all made posts very similar to yours--that the scammer has reformed, that they can't believe the warnings, that it's all petty negativity, and the like. It's hard to stand by, silent, when it looks like a new victim has appeared.

    Whatever your final decision about Uwe Luserke, do consider reporting back here with your findings. The more information writers have, the better decisions they can make.

  12. #12
    ideas are floating where they will Stlight's Avatar
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    Now I'm confused was there an agent who was a professor or academic of some sort named Uwe? I mean it's the sort of name you remember, or at least I do, but I can't remember anything else. Perhaps there was another thread about Uwe Luserke.

    Stlight

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    Isn't Tri's agent named Uwe? I could be wrong.
    Toni
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  14. #14
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    I think you mean Uwe Stender with TriadaUS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prog View Post
    I think you mean Uwe Stender with TriadaUS.
    Who is totally legit.

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  16. #16
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Stlight, you may be thinking of completely legit agent Uwe Stender (as already mentioned) or of the filmmaker Uwe Boll.

  17. #17
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    ... or of the filmmaker Uwe Boll.
    Is he legit?
    Ghost : Christmas Past. With beta!
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  18. #18
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Is he legit?
    He's certainly a source of tremendous controversy. Some have called him "the Worst Filmmaker in the World," and he's been accused of exploiting tax loopholes to make purposefully bad movies in a real-life version of the scam depicted in The Producers.

    I will not comment on these allegations, because I am currently out of training as a boxer and don't want to fight him.

  19. #19
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Yes, Uwe Stender is my agent and he is totally legit. He has a Phd in literature and runs TriadaUS.

    Tri

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth Bernobich View Post
    For what it's worth, my question was a genuine one, sparked by curiosity and a little bit of confusion over the wording in your post.

    Please understand that we've seen too many writers fall for scammers, even after they were warned. They all made posts very similar to yours--that the scammer has reformed, that they can't believe the warnings, that it's all petty negativity, and the like. It's hard to stand by, silent, when it looks like a new victim has appeared.

    Whatever your final decision about Uwe Luserke, do consider reporting back here with your findings. The more information writers have, the better decisions they can make.
    I understand completely. And, no matter that you might think, I am not a fool either. Thing is—sorry, but no names—that current clients of his appear to have no beef with the man.

    It's a tough one, I know. However, the Catch 22 thing is that I couldn't possibly tell unless I tried...

    Yeah, a tough one, all right. To tell apart the redeemable ones from those who aren't. Who dares to choose? Should one venture forth? Should one go 'safe'?

    A ship is safe in harbor; but that is not what ships are for. (J H Shedd)

  21. #21
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    It's a tough one, I know. However, the Catch 22 thing is that I couldn't possibly tell unless I tried...
    I don't see why you should "try" at all. Seriously, why would you want someone with a proven record of defrauding clients as a business agent, when there are so many other people to choose from?

    One of the things that confuses me on this board is that many people seem to come here with an attitude of "Why should I rule this person out?" To me, a more important question is "Why should I rule this person in?" If you were selling your house, would you choose a real estate agent who had a proven record of defrauding clients? I know I wouldn't consider such an agent, no matter how much they said they'd changed their ways--I wouldn't need to, because there are plenty of reputable agents to choose from.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    I don't see why you should "try" at all. Seriously, why would you want someone with a proven record of defrauding clients as a business agent, when there are so many other people to choose from?
    True enough. Thing is that personally my experience with an agent qualifying as immensely reputable was bad—so I do not necessarily assume, as others appear to, that 'reputability' equates with any assurance of decent treatment. Said agent collected his fee for acting as a legal kind of intermediary between the publisher and myself (with me doing the actual publication arrangements) but did diddly-squat, nada, nothing, nichts, zero, null, rien to try and sell (or even look at!) the work I placed before him subsequently; and if you look at my website you'll notice that after KEAEN, there was a lot, but he didn't even trouble with the first two. Indeed, he hinted that I was too small fry for him and that he basically had more important work to do.

    So: reputability=reliability? Hmmfff...

  23. #23
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    Thing is—sorry, but no names—that current clients of his appear to have no beef with the man.
    It depends who those clients are. If they're successful writers who know the publishing business well, then they're useful references here. If, on the other hand, they're inexperienced writers, with little knowledge of how publishing works, then it's likely they've been duped by him. A little savvy Googling might help.

    If you don't want to list names, Till, by all means send me a few of those names by PM and I'll see what I can find. I'll be tactful, I promise.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillOwlglass View Post
    True enough. Thing is that personally my experience with an agent qualifying as immensely reputable was bad—so I do not necessarily assume, as others appear to, that 'reputability' equates with any assurance of decent treatment.
    To me, reputable means one with a record for making many good sales and for treating their clients well. That's why, when I was looking for an agent, I not only researched their sales history, I also talked to current and ex-clients.

    As IceCreamEmpress said, it's best to look for good reasons to include an agent in the search pool, rather than for reasons to exclude them.

  25. #25
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    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him use his freakin' head for more than a place to mount his ears.
    Rest in peace Don LaFontaine, the real movie announcer guy. Can you imagine the symphony of Don, James Earl Jones and Charlton Heston having a conversation?

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