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Thread: firstwriter.com

  1. #1
    Resilient and kind Absolute Sage Swordswoman's Avatar
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    firstwriter.com

    Please forgive me if there's already a thread on this subject, but while a forum search has given various individual posts on firstwriter.com, I've yet to find a thread devoted to it - and I think it may be time it had one.
    Many apologies also for the fact I'm rubbish at posting links. I've done my best with pasting quotes below, and hope someone cleverer than me will help out with post-links if they seem relevant.

    The subject of this site is not new, and Victoria has already warned us against it in the Morpheus thread, the Circle Literary Agency thread, and the big Hill & Hill thread, to which firstwriter.com itself subscribed under the user-name 'FirstWriter'. However, the two areas bothering me are these:

    The Writers' Literary Agency

    We know what this is. So does anybody else with any internet savvy. But firstwriter.com (a site dispensing wisdom to help new writers get published, and which on its home page says in boldtype Avoid the internet scams!) apparently does not. WLA is clearly advertised on the site.
    Yes, firstwriter.com has very properly protected itself. Above the advertisement appears the caveat 'Not endorsed by firstwriter.com'. Below it appears ''Concerns about any of these companies? Tell us', and a link is provided to do just that. And yes, it is possible, it is just, just possible that a site which professes to help new writers is really truly the last in cyberspace to be aware of the nature of WLA.

    It must be, in fact, since its Managing Editor said this in the Hill & Hill thread:
    If there's a bad agent out there I want to expose it -- not hush up and pretend it doesn't exist.
    So all we have to do is tell them, and the ad will disappear - right? Now, I'm nobody, and a UK nobody at that. But if someone of real stature like Victoria were to tell them to look at the WLA thread in this forum, then even firstwriter.com could no longer declare themselves ignorant. They know Victoria; by their own admission they've communicated. Let's see how truly determined they are to protect their members and visitors from exploitation. Please, could somebody press that 'Tell us' button, and let's see what happens.

    Copyright

    The firstwriter.com site is plastered in frightening advertisements pressing the need to register copyright. 'If you've written it, PROTECT it!', they say. 'NEVER send your work to anyone without protecting it first'. Those people (especially in the UK) who know there's no need to do any such thing know better than to click on the link. But if you do, what do you get?

    You get the copyrightregistrationservice.com. It has all kinds of official looking seals over it, and announces itself as the Intellectual Property Rights Office. Sounds dead legit - especially as the genuine government body in the UK is called the Intellectual Property Office. But the US government body is the 'US Copyright Office', which charges $35 for online registration (which in ordinary circumstances lasts the author's lifetime plus 70 years). The Copyright Registration Service linked from firstwriter charges $45 for copyright lasting 4 years, $80 for 8 years, $110 for 12 years and $125 for 15 years.

    Why on earth would firstwriter.com send its members to this site instead of the official government office? Maybe it has to do with this, taken from this 'Intellectual Property Rights Office' own site:

    Affiliate Program
    To promote awareness of copyright protection and to encourage more people to take out copyright protection for their work, the IP Rights Office runs an affiliate program whereby webmasters are paid US$10 for every new registrant they refer. The program is free to join and simply requires a webmaster to place one or more special links on their site.
    (bolding mine)

    Links such as firstwriter.com offers, for instance. And while no, of course they're not remotely responsible for the advertising on their site, I'd love to know why their free e-mail to subscribers always includes this:


    Have you protected your Copyright?Copyright piracy is estimated to cost millions annually. Before sending your work to agents, publishers, or contests, make sure you take out copyright protection. Click here for more information


    in the body of its articles, without so much as the header - 'Advertisement'.

    Although it's illegal in the UK to print something like this without stating clearly it's an advertisement (as opposed to a genuine piece of advice from the advisory body who includes it in their material) it may be perfectly legal in the US. All this may be perfectly fine and above board. I doubt there's even a law against people being asked to pay over the odds for a service they a) probably don't need at all, and b) could get much cheaper if they went to the official body. That's just 'good business', right?

    But I think people need to know about it. I briefly tried the free subscription to firstwriter.com, and in the foolish days before I found AW I actually looked at its writers' forum. While I am sure there are many talented writers who get lured in there (and indeed several AW members have said they belong) the general level of literacy is sufficient to make the PAMB look like a conference of Einsteins. There are some very, very vulnerable people out there, and if we can help inform them as to the dangers to which the site exposes them, then in my personal opinion it's worth doing.

    I for one have wondered a long time how the WLA and others of its ilk continues to find fresh victims, despite the many and prominent warnings on the net. A site which professes to help new writers, and comes up first in most Google searches for 'help for writers', but which also directs those new writers into the hands of people like these may just possibly be part of the answer.

    My apologies for such a long post. If it's inappropriate or in the wrong place, then obviously I hope the Mods will move or delete it, and accept my apologies for giving them the trouble.
    But I'd love to know what other people think about this, and if I'm the only one bothered.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Atani's Avatar
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    I belong to firstwriter.com, only because I found them when I was very much a 'virgin' writer and had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Fortunately I have managed to use what I can of their listings. Only if you take what you find on their site and then research it other places like on AW, is it at all helpful.

    I share your concerns, but honestly I ignored their advertisements & copyright 'warnings' even at the beginning. I just wanted a list of agents & publishers, and duh, I didn't know where to look (too bad I didn't find agentquery til much later).

    I would like to add to your concerns: they say that they depend on the comments that members post to help steer others away from potentially bad agents/publishers...but they edit those comments... I know because I tried to post about a publisher I'd had experience with. I referenced the thread discussed on AW & explained about my experience, but they deleted most of what I said & just basically left the wording to 'check out publishers before signing with them.' It seems they don't want to point anyone to another site that might offer better help & they don't like details about why someone should avoid a particular publisher/agent.
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  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Adding link: http://www.firstwriter.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by Atani View Post
    I would like to add to your concerns: they say that they depend on the comments that members post to help steer others away from potentially bad agents/publishers...but they edit those comments... I know because I tried to post about a publisher I'd had experience with. I referenced the thread discussed on AW & explained about my experience, but they deleted most of what I said & just basically left the wording to 'check out publishers before signing with them.' It seems they don't want to point anyone to another site that might offer better help & they don't like details about why someone should avoid a particular publisher/agent.
    What's always stuck in my craw was charging members for the privilege to clean up their lists. If they in turn blunt any warning .... just what do members get for their money?
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  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've always had a problem with the fact that they list questionable, amateur, and fee-charging agents and publishers alongside reputable ones, and rely on members' comments to identify which is which. This is an utterly unreliable system. The really egregious predators may get outed, but as we know from discussion here at Bewares, there's no agent or publisher so unscrupulous or inexpert that there aren't at least some writers willing to give them glowing reviews. Conversely, there's no agent or publisher so successful that there aren't some bitter rejectees to say they suck.

    Plus, it takes time for a bad agent/publisher to accumulate comments. A lot of damage can be done in the interim--the Christopher Hill affair is a good example.

    Given the number of free agent databases online, I don't see any reason to pay for this info.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Atani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post

    Given the number of free agent databases online, I don't see any reason to pay for this info.

    - Victoria
    That's just the thing! They make it sound like they offer so much more than is available for free online. But in the end it really sucks! I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a scam, but it certainly doesn't live up to expectations.
    Just remember, writing is fun!

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  6. #6
    Resilient and kind Absolute Sage Swordswoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Given the number of free agent databases online, I don't see any reason to pay for this info.
    - Victoria
    Me neither. It isn't as if they've even checked these people out themselves - on the contrary, their disclaimer is everywhere


    While every effort is made to ensure that all information contained within this newsletter is accurate, readers are reminded that this information is provided only as a collection of potential leads that the reader should follow up with his or her own investigations. Unless otherwise stated, firstwriter.com is not associated with and does not endorse, recommend, or guarantee any of the organisations, events, persons or promotions contained within this newsletter, and cannot be held responsible for any loss incurred as a result of actions taken in relation to information provided. Inclusion does not constitute recommendation.

    If we have to investigate it ourselves, what's the point of paying to get that info in the first place? Writer Beware and P&E give information they will actually stand by, and they do it for free.

    There's nothing firstwriter.com really offers. The newsletter contains author interviews - but with whom? Marcella Simmons is featured in newsletters 67,68,71 and 72 (at least) - and...er... who's heard of her? I also found a rather tragic interview with a Malcolm Stewart arguing against vanity publishing - and his book, 'High Spirits', is actually with Comfort Publishing, a softer PA type model described in P&E as 'apparently a vanity publisher'.

    I'd still agree with Atani:
    Quote Originally Posted by Atani View Post
    I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a scam, but it certainly doesn't live up to expectations.
    I wouldn't say it's a scam either, but what worried me sufficiently to post this is that it acts as a gateway to scams. No, like Atani, I took no notice of the copyright ads because I know I don't need to pay $125 for something I don't need or could get for $35 if I did - but does everyone know this? We know the WLA is a scam - but does everyone? Yes, all writers' sites know it (except firstwriter), but does the green and fresh newby writer know?

    As Atani said, we go to firstwriter when we're 'virgin writers' who haven't a clue what we're doing. A site that delivers these people into the arms of scamsters and gets paid for doing it seems to me decidedly on the dodgy end of shady.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hmmm... do you guys actually know what you are talking about?

    WLA is clearly identified as a scam by firstwriter - check out their listing:

    http://www.firstwriter.com/Agents/ag...cordNumber=833

    It's got red crosses (literally) all over it... it says:

    "This agency is reported on another website as not having made any confirmed sales to royalty-paying publishers. The website also reports having received complaints about its business practices."

    "Another website lists this agency as not recommended."

    "This agency appears on a list of the 20 worst agencies."

    And also says:

    "this agency makes its money from referring authors to an editorial company that is a part of the same group of companies as this agency, which is said to include:

    -Christian Literary Agency
    -New York Literary Agency
    -Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques)
    -WL Children's Agency (a.k.a. Children's Literary Agency)
    -WL Poet's Agency (a.k.a. Poet's Literary Agency)
    -WL Screenplay Agency (a.k.a. The Screenplay Agency)
    -Writers' Literary & Publishing Services Company

    Other sites advise avoiding all these businesses."


    According to the listing it has been like that since August 2007, more than a year and a half before these comments were posted, so what the hell are you talking about???

    What's more, firstwriter appear to have been on their case since as early as 2004 -- see their article outing ST Literary Agency here:

    http://www.firstwriter.com/newslette...7.htm#article2

    According to this, they even successfully lobbied Google to remove ST's adverts from their search results.

    I found this article on another useful site I use, Winning Writers, where firstwriter is credited a couple of times on their page of "scam busting sites": http://www.winningwriters.com/resour...gory_code=SCAM

    And Victoria... they rely on members comments to distinguish between good and bad agents? Excuse me? Have you even SEEN this site? They say they do background checks on all their agency listings against at least three different assessment services, and include the results for all to see -- AND they filter out bad agencies (like Google filters out offensive images in their image search), and to be able to see something like WLA you actively have to turn that filter off!

    And how ironic that your (apparently unfounded) criticism that firstwriter doesn't do background checks should do nothing but expose the fact that actually you don't do yours! I've seen a lot more errors on this thread than on firstwriter itself...

  8. #8
    smart enough to know better
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    Golden Rule of Write: Don't give anybody any money!!

    I say to writers, stick to bookmarket.com and marketlist.com if you are looking for markets for your writing. They are free, and many of the publishers listed require no agents.

    Yes, it takes a lot of time to slog through all of those lists. Both lists have direct links to the websites, or if not, just type the names in your Go-slot and find them. Do a few each day and really study the websites. Make notes and print out the submission instructions. Make notes on those, too, and keep them handy.

    If you want to be a published writer, research is your most important tool.

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rb View Post
    And Victoria!...And how ironic that your (apparently unfounded) criticism that firstwriter doesn't do background checks should do nothing but expose the fact that actually you don't do yours! I've seen a lot more errors on this thread than on firstwriter itself...
    firstwriter.come does not filter out bad agencies or do background checks--they state this right on their website.
    It must be remembered, however, that firstwriter.com (like any other directory service, such as the Yellow Pages) does not investigate, assess, endorse, or recommend the subjects of the listings it provides...Being listed on firstwriter.com does not mean that a company is reputable, and we are no more able to provide guarantees regarding this than the Yellow Pages is able to guarantee the integrity of every builder they list.
    I say again: with the large number of vetted, free agent listing resources out there, there's no reason whatever to pay for this information.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Erm... geez, Victoria, where do you get off telling me they don't filter out bad agencies or do background checks when I've just told you that they do and I use this feature myself regularly? Ignorance is one thing, but this is bordering on arrogance...

    Now maybe I'm just being stupid, but when I go to http://www.firstwriter.com/Agents (have YOU been there...?) I see a "FILTER" which allows me to filter out bad agencies. They call it "SafeSecurity" and it's automatically on, which means scams don't show up in the results. If you want to see the scams, you have to turn it off.

    And when I search for agencies, as I quoted above, there are direct references to the background checks they do on all the agencies they list. I actually use the site -- which you clearly don't -- and I know they do background checks because I've seen hundreds of them with my own eyes!!!

    They may not assess the agencies themselves, but they provide multiple reports from people who do, as they say on their subscribe page:

    "Our agents database also includes independent reports from at least three separate sources, showing you which are the top agencies and helping you avoid the scams that are all over the internet."

    You can read the article about the launch of this feature (back in 2007) here: http://www.firstwriter.com/newslette...2007/fwn53.htm

    Now why have you ignored the features that are right in front of your face as soon as you open the page, and gone to a legal disclaimer that is tucked away in some obscure corner of the site and is probably just written by some lawyer to be a "may contain nuts" catch-all...? Do you have some kind of agenda here?

    It's a shame, because I'd always assumed you were a voice that could be relied upon.

    Oh and Donna, I think it's a bit hysterical to say that writers shouldn't pay for anything. They've always traditionally paid for print directories, and we pay for paper and postage and SASEs, and magazines and books on writing and writing courses... I think it's whatever works for you. You say you like printing guidelines and making notes on them... I prefer to make notes using the firstwriter notes system, because then I can search them electronically and organise them better. I think you're usually paying somewhere down the line... it's just whether it's up-front or by someone selling your email address to spammers behind your back...!

  11. #11
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    1rb, it makes sense for Victoria to take firstwriter.com's own words for what they do or do not do over yours.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    I say again: with the large number of vetted, free agent listing resources out there, there's no reason whatever to pay for this information.

    - Victoria
    1rb, what part of this statement AREN'T you getting?

    Forget everything else, firstwriter.com isn't filling a need. The information's out there, for free. I can't see any ethical reason to charge for that information. If a writer's too lazy to do the work, they're in the wrong business. There are necessary expenses, and there are unnecessary ones. Paying for information that's free on the internet (and easily found with a quick search) is an unnecessary expense. So is registering copyright before publication which is something they like to advertise on their site. Unless and until they provide something useful, people around here aren't going to find any reason to advocate them
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  13. #13
    I am a mighty viking! TheTinCat's Avatar
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    1rb: While they may filter out agents that are verified "scams", that is not the same thing as extensively checking and evaluating each agent. There are many agents who are not exactly scams, but who also have no sales, no experience, no contacts etc. Agents who are not a good choice and shouldn't be recommended.

    According to firstwriter.com's own guidelines they are willing to list any agent their users submit to them.

    The agents can also get themselves listed by sending in their agency name along with a few other bits of info, that seem to have nothing to do with sales or credibility.

    And, as Victoria pointed out, firstwriter.com clearly state that they do not filter out bad agentcies:

    It must be remembered, however, that firstwriter.com (like any other directory service, such as the Yellow Pages) does not investigate, assess, endorse, or recommend the subjects of the listings it provides.

  14. #14
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    I am curious why a "user" is so sensitive about questions or critique that you feel compelled to defend it so vehemently (and confrontationally, particularly in your responses to Victoria), though. If someone thinks AgentQuery sucks (which I would not agree with), it doesn't actually alter my experience in the least to let them think so.

    Good luck with the site. Glad you're happy.
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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sorry -- it just annoys me when someone who knows less about a subject tries to tell me I'm wrong when I know I'm right. I use lots of resources -- AgenctQuery among them -- as well as paying for writersmarket and firstwriter. It's good to be informed. firstwriter is among the better because it brings together information from a variety of different places. You'd be surprised how often those independent assessment services disagree. It's not as black and white as often portrayed.

    For firstwriter's own words see their article I referred to above:

    "Historically, firstwriter.com has provided information on literary agents in a neutral and impartial environment: we haven't assessed or endorsed any of the agents we've listed. We think it's important to maintain this impartiality, but we also think it's important to provide users with as much information as possible with which to make their own judgments about agencies – and that includes providing a summary of informed opinions from around the web."

    So they don't check themselves -- that's true -- but they give the results of those who do check -- and they filter out the suspect ones based on those checks. I don't know who those checks are against, but I suspect at least one is P&E.

    Anyway, I don't want to go on about it, I just saw some statements which I knew from my own experience to be ill-informed and thought people would appreciate extra info from someone who is perhaps (in this instance) better informed.

  16. #16
    Resilient and kind Absolute Sage Swordswoman's Avatar
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    Hi, 1rb, and welcome to Absolute Write.

    I see you've posted on other threads to warn writers away from dodgy areas, and that suggests to me you're genuinely a writer and genuinely interested in helping other people. If so, welcome indeed.

    But I'm afraid I still have issues with firstwriter.com, and indeed with some of the discussion here.

    1) Just to make clear - Victoria Strauss is not a moderator or administrator for Absolute Write, she has no agenda whatsoever except to help writers avoid traps for the unwary - which she does every day free and for nothing through 'Writer Beware'. There is no possible conflict of interest or agenda here. If you're really a writer, Victoria Strauss ought to be your hero.

    2) The WLA - while it's good in a way that firstwriter.com is aware of this scam, it raises a lot more questions than it answers. If they knew it to be a scam, why did they advertise it on their site? If that's because the nature of their arrangement with Google makes that kind of filtering impossible, then what is the point of their asking subscribers to report suspicions about their advertisers?

    3) The 'background checks'. I'm afraid that disclaimer is not tucked away in an obscure corner of the website but prominently displayed all over. It's almost as if the lovely Mr Dyson knows he could get in trouble for promoting downright scams, but has decided the answer is not to eliminate them from his lists but cover his own back instead.
    And as Victoria, the TinCat and M.R.J. Le Blanc have already pointed out, why would a writer want to pay for something they can find for free?

    4) The copyright issue. This is what first impelled me to post and to me it is the most sinister sign of all.

    The site advertised on firstwriter - and actually given centre billing without any advertising disclaimer in its e-mails - IS effectively a scam. It charges massively over the odds for a service available through a government office for very little. It implies heavily that writers who don't need it do need it, actually saying it will protect even writers in countries which are signatories of the Berne convention - who do not need it at all.

    But this isn't another WLA. It isn't a grey area of 'well, they advertise it but don't support it'. The relationship between firstwriter.com and this spurious Intellectual Property Rights Office is cosy at best - or why does it offer a reduced fee to those who take out a subscription to firstwriter.com?

    Here:

    If you're sending your work away to publishers, competitions, or literary agents, it's vital that you first protect your copyright. As a subscriber to firstwriter.com you can do this through our site and save 10% on the copyright registration fees normally payable for protecting your work internationally through the Intellectual Property Rights Office – potentially saving you more than the cost of subscription itself!
    1rb, if you're a writer, you DO NOT NEED TO TAKE OUT COPYRIGHT. There are many threads on the subject right here in AW, quoting publishing lawyers and official recognized bodies to protect authors. If firstwriter.com doesn't know that, then they know nothing whatsoever about publishing. If they do, but encourage writers to spend money on it - then what does that make them?


    Have a think about it.


    Louise
    Last edited by Swordswoman; 02-16-2010 at 03:02 AM. Reason: Just spotted some people DID comment on the copyright issue. Duh...

  17. #17
    I am a mighty viking! TheTinCat's Avatar
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    If you're sending your work away to publishers, competitions, or literary agents, it's vital that you first protect your copyright. As a subscriber to firstwriter.com you can do this through our site and save 10% on the copyright registration fee
    God, I meant to comment on the whole copyright issue, but it slipped my mind as I read the other responses.

    You're right: That IS sinister, and if firstwriter.com truly has some sort of involvement with this other outfit, it would make me question whether they have their users' best interest at heart (or alternatively if they are painfully ignorant).

  18. #18
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swordswoman View Post
    But this isn't another WLA. It isn't a grey area of 'well, they advertise it but don't support it'. The relationship between firstwriter.com and this spurious Intellectual Property Rights Office is cosy at best - or why does it offer a reduced fee to those who take out a subscription to firstwriter.com?
    Copyright Registration Service has an affiliate program outlined here .

    When a person clicks on the Copyright Registration Service link provided to them by FirstWriter and pays for their services, FW gets $10.00.

    Niffty, eh?

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  19. #19
    I am a mighty viking! TheTinCat's Avatar
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    When a person clicks on the Copyright Registration Service link provided to them by FirstWriter and pays for their services, FW gets $10.00.
    Nifty indeed. Sheesh.

  20. #20
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    1rb:
    Erm... geez, Victoria, where do you get off telling me they don't filter out bad agencies or do background checks when I've just told you that they do and I use this feature myself regularly? Ignorance is one thing, but this is bordering on arrogance...
    And this is bordering on stupidity. People here have linked to the relevant parts of the firstwriter site where they say themselves that they don't filter out bad agencies.

    The fact that they offer a "safesecurity" filter is neither here nor there. If they really cared about writers, they wouldn't list the scams in the first place.

    1rb:
    And when I search for agencies, as I quoted above, there are direct references to the background checks they do on all the agencies they list. I actually use the site -- which you clearly don't -- and I know they do background checks because I've seen hundreds of them with my own eyes!!!
    And if you actually read those "warnings" you'd see that Firstwriter disclaims any responsibility for claims or reports made by other sites and suggests that comments made by such other sites may be unreliable. In fact, right at the bottom to the listing for WL Agency - which you linked to - is this little gem of a statement:

    Reports on the internet are unsubstantiated and do not reflect the opinions of firstwriter.com. They are provided for information only.
    Ergo, Firstwriter is disavowing any reports made on the site.

    1rb:
    Now why have you ignored the features that are right in front of your face as soon as you open the page, and gone to a legal disclaimer that is tucked away in some obscure corner of the site and is probably just written by some lawyer to be a "may contain nuts" catch-all...? Do you have some kind of agenda here?
    1. The disclaimer I've quoted is at the bottom of the listing - not tucked away.

    2. Legal disclaimers are only ever put up there so that a site owner can seek to avoid liability and responsibility for their actions.

    1rb:
    it just annoys me when someone who knows less about a subject tries to tell me I'm wrong when I know I'm right. I use lots of resources -- AgenctQuery among them -- as well as paying for writersmarket and firstwriter. It's good to be informed. firstwriter is among the better because it brings together information from a variety of different places. You'd be surprised how often those independent assessment services disagree. It's not as black and white as often portrayed.
    You'd be surprised how black and white it actually is with scam artists who take your money and can't sell your book because they don't know how and it's not their business to know how.

    1rb:
    So they don't check themselves -- that's true -- but they give the results of those who do check -- and they filter out the suspect ones based on those checks. I don't know who those checks are against, but I suspect at least one is P&E.
    Well it's good to know that you're finally acknowledging that they don't check listings themselves because in your first post here you said: "They say they do background checks on all their agency listings against at least three different assessment services, and include the results for all to see -- AND they filter out bad agencies (like Google filters out offensive images in their image search), and to be able to see something like WLA you actively have to turn that filter off!"

    So perhaps you'd like to apologise for being repeatedly rude to the other posters here when clearly you didn't know what you were talking about.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 02-16-2010 at 03:09 PM.

  21. #21
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rb View Post
    Now why have you ignored the features that are right in front of your face as soon as you open the page, and gone to a legal disclaimer that is tucked away in some obscure corner of the site and is probably just written by some lawyer to be a "may contain nuts" catch-all...? Do you have some kind of agenda here?
    This reminds me of some of the bad-publishing-contract rationalizations I've seen writers make. "Why should I be concerned about some boring old contract legalese, when the publisher told me not to worry about it?"

    I confess I do have an agenda--to warn writers about practices and companies that don't necessarily serve their best interests.

    - Victoria

  22. #22
    I am a mighty viking! TheTinCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    I confess I do have an agenda--to warn writers about practices and companies that don't necessarily serve their best interests.
    Well, shame on you!

  23. #23
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rb View Post
    Sorry -- it just annoys me when someone who knows less about a subject tries to tell me I'm wrong when I know I'm right. I use lots of resources -- AgenctQuery among them -- as well as paying for writersmarket and firstwriter. It's good to be informed. firstwriter is among the better because it brings together information from a variety of different places. You'd be surprised how often those independent assessment services disagree. It's not as black and white as often portrayed.
    You have yet to demonstrate English competency, or basic courtesy, never mind that you know anything at all about the world of publishing.

    You certainly do not understand the basic principles of Absolute Write. I suggest you remove the giant log-sized chip on your shoulder, and go read the Newbie's Guide.

    Moreover, you are assuming that you know "all" that Ms. Strauss knows--without having access to her history in the industry, industry contacts, and files of documentation.

    As a writer, it behooves you to cogitate a little more on presentation of self, and the rhetorical principles around audience--because you've just managed to alienate a large chunk of yours.

    AW Admin: This account is rarely active
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  24. #24
    You Snooze, You Lose! Allaboutwords13's Avatar
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    Was just passing through a google search for reviews for FirstWriter because i'd come across it and.. well.. let's just say I was one of those newbies that thought it was a cool site and signed up - but thankfully just for the month - and saw your interesting discussion. It made me realise the site maybe wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and so i hastily cancelled my subscription, and went looking for other writer forums as well as signing up to this one (obviously!) because as a new writer (well, new at taking it seriously!) i can do with all the advice and feedback as i can get. So thank you for opening my eyes on firstwriter.com
    Despite how old this topic may be...

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allaboutwords13 View Post
    So thank you for opening my eyes on firstwriter.com
    Hey, thanks for replying to this thread and thus bringing it to my attention.
    I'll pay you back by encouraging you to read on - there's loads of useful info on AW
    It's not only First Writer you should beware of - there're so many traps and many of them have been mapped out in the AW forums.
    I know I'm not signing up for anything before I've checked it with AW first.

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