I'm finishing up The Street-Smart Writer (my next book for Nomad Press), and it deals with scams and bad deals in the writing world.
I'm looking for anecdotes from writers about bad situations they've fallen into. I don't need stories about the usual suspects (PA, Poetry.com, etc.), but am particularly interested in...
-Publicity-related ripoffs. Did you pay a site to put up reviews/interviews/etc. and it did nothing to help sales? Did you pay a useless publicist? Did you spend most of your advance on advertising and later regretted it?
-Problems with book contracts. Did your publisher keep delaying publication, and there was nothing you could do about it because there was no time restriction on your contract? Were there confusing clauses in your contract that you signed and later regretted once you understood what they meant?
-Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Any good experiences I can report about using this service or similar services?
-Getting paid. What methods have you used to get a deadbeat to pay up?
-Plagiarism/unpermitted use of your work. What methods have you used to stop people from using your work without your permission?
-Songwriting rip-offs. Have you paid to have your lyrics set to music? Did anything come of it?
-False credentials. Have you paid for a course, bought a book, etc., only to find that the "teacher" had puffed up his/her bio and had no real experience?
-Spec writing. Did you do multiples rewrites on spec for someone, only to have your time wasted?
Those are just some examples... really, I'm looking for brief stories about any of the less-obvious and less-talked-about scams and bad deals writers face.
My PM fills up too quickly, so please e-mail me at jg @ jennaglatzer.com with responses. Up to you if you want me to use your real name or not. In most cases, I have to leave the names of scammers out of it, and just use a description (like, "an unscrupulous agent in Toronto").