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Thread: Smart Guide Publications

  1. #1
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Smart Guide Publications

    A writer friend of mine told me a cautionary story, and I thought I’d share it here, and solicit people’s opinions. My friend—let’s call her Dr. Z.---has written over 100 non-fiction books, including many for the Idiot’s Guide series, and edited many others. She’s been on “Good Morning America” and lots of other national shows as an expert commentator and to promote her books. She has a PhD and works as a full professor of English at a state university. Lately the n.f. market has totally dried up, as publishers are out-sourcing not only production but also writing and editing to foreign suppliers; so Dr. Z decided to respond to this post on Craig’s List.

    Dr. Z listed her credentials and bibliography and inquired about the project. The editor, Frank Jerome, responded by inviting her to submit a proposal for a book to be published in his series, designed to compete with the Idiots and Dummy's guide series. He mentioned that they don’t pay advances but as compensation they offer a 15% royalty on net from the very first copy.

    My friend responded that she already received 15% from book 1, along with an advance, and that she was very interested in writing for the new series but would require an advance.

    Frank Jerome replied that their business model didn’t allow for paying advances, but that she could possibly come on board as a freelance editor. He enclosed a “Dear Applicant” form letter informing her that she had been selected from many applicants to contend for the editorial position and asking her to evaluate and edit three full chapters to show her skills. The template he enclosed seemed to her identical to those used by “The Idiot’s Guide” series.

    Dr. Z emailed back: “I'd be delighted to edit the samples for you at the rate of $50 per hour. As a writer yourself, I know you'd never expect another professional to write for free, as that would be immoral and unconscionable.”

    Mr. Jerome was incensed. He emailed her back: ”This is a test as part of an interview. Clearly you do not want to be employed and we are putting you in the reject folder….You are hardly likely to gain employment with your attitude….As we said we have already made our determinations on the chapters we provided you - we are not looking for free work - we are looking to see if you are competent.”

    Dr. Z was, admittedly, incensed. Her reply reiterated her credentials and added: “On the other hand, I couldn't find any mention of you, your publications, or your company on the web, making your qualifications impossible to check. I am also aware that you are ripping off the Idiot's Guides, stealing their model and template. And having people write for free. Shame on you.”

    Mr. Jerome’s response denied that they were copying the Idiot’s Guide format (although his orginal Craig'slist ad seems to indicate that was the models for his series) and went on: “You have serious psychological problems and you should seek professional help. We are not having people write for free. Anyone who thinks so is an idiot. Shame on you for saying shame on you.”

    And that was the end of that correspondence. Now, here’s my question. Is Mr. Jerome’s business model fair and reasonable for writers and editors, or is it exploitive?

  2. #2
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    IMHO...Exploitative and a sham...

    Your friend is well informed, but most of those who WILL respond are not as well informed, or desperate. More and more, I feel writers are their own worse enemies...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

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  3. #3
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    I've been blogging about this phenomenon for years. It's not just writers that are being exploited, but other creatives as well.

    Not long ago a friend and I were approached to work on a project. It was a guaranteed moneymaker, according to the person who contacted us, but we had to be willing to work for free while it got off the ground. They were looking for close to a dozen people willing to help get started.

    I call this the "I will gladly pay you Tuesday" syndrome. This isn't asking someone to take on a little spec work or provide a sample, it's asking someone to work for nothing.

    And this gets worse every time the economy takes a nosedive because there is a glut of applicants - qualified and otherwise - for writing jobs. Also, there seem to be a number of clueless publishers who think this is how it works. There's always someone willing to do the work for free to get their foot in the door. And those publishers get what they pay for.

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    No, this is far from the norm. It sounds like a typical hang-out-the-shingle-and-call-yourself-a-publisher. However, it's not unusual for an editor to take a test when seeking employment, but it's not normally three chapters. Frankly, with your friend's platform, I'm shocked she would need go so far off the reservation in terms of looking for a publisher. There are lots of publishers who specialize in nonfiction. She has no agent?

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW KingM's Avatar
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    Playing devil's advocate, this might actually be the best time in history for artists. Do you think a medieval troubadour or a member of Shakespeare's company (or Shakespeare himself, for that matter), ever had the fame, glory, and wealth of a JK Rowling, or the Rolling Stones?

    Talented artists either lived hand-to-mouth, or wore the golden handcuffs fitted on them by wealthy patrons. Some of the most brilliant artists in history lived this model, people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Mozart. Among writers, Dante faced exile, Cervantes suffered bankruptcy and debtor's prison. Only in the last couple of hundred years have artists been able to gain independent wealth from their work.

    Writing is not the path to wealth for most, but more people are able to live on their writing now than any time in history.


    I welcome queries, but only when your book is ready.
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  6. #6
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    No, this is far from the norm. It sounds like a typical hang-out-the-shingle-and-call-yourself-a-publisher. However, it's not unusual for an editor to take a test when seeking employment, but it's not normally three chapters. Frankly, with your friend's platform, I'm shocked she would need go so far off the reservation in terms of looking for a publisher. There are lots of publishers who specialize in nonfiction. She has no agent?
    Craigslist is indeed off the reservation, but that's what it's come to. At least she had the good sense and experience to escape this particular trap.

    She and I have talked about the agent question. As a novelist, I've always been represented and thought she should be, too. But apparently it's a whole other world for non-fiction writers. Educational guides and how-to series like the Idiots guides pay shockingly little, and even those are being outsourced these days.

  7. #7
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingM View Post
    Playing devil's advocate, this might actually be the best time in history for artists. Do you think a medieval troubadour or a member of Shakespeare's company (or Shakespeare himself, for that matter), ever had the fame, glory, and wealth of a JK Rowling, or the Rolling Stones?

    Talented artists either lived hand-to-mouth, or wore the golden handcuffs fitted on them by wealthy patrons. Some of the most brilliant artists in history lived this model, people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Mozart. Among writers, Dante faced exile, Cervantes suffered bankruptcy and debtor's prison. Only in the last couple of hundred years have artists been able to gain independent wealth from their work.

    Writing is not the path to wealth for most, but more people are able to live on their writing now than any time in history.
    Devil's advocate indeed! What's changed is that the top ranks of artists can do very well indeed and reach a far greater audience. But as an agent, I'm sure you know that most of your clients couldn't survive on what they make as writers. I think the percentage who can are minuscule. Most people capable of writing publishable fiction could probably make a much better living in some other field, if money is the measure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara R. View Post
    Craigslist is indeed off the reservation, but that's what it's come to.
    Really? I guess it depends on what kind of nonfiction one writes. Since we specialize in nonfiction, I'm gobsmacked to hear such a tale of woe.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW KingM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara R. View Post
    Devil's advocate indeed! What's changed is that the top ranks of artists can do very well indeed and reach a far greater audience. But as an agent, I'm sure you know that most of your clients couldn't survive on what they make as writers. I think the percentage who can are minuscule. Most people capable of writing publishable fiction could probably make a much better living in some other field, if money is the measure.
    Oh, absolutely. I see skilled writers who are in the top 1% of writers and still can't quite get over that last publishing hurdle. Imagine if they were in the top 1% of most other fields, they'd do just fine.

    Even worse for writers is how solitary the business is. If you've spent years practicing to play the piano or doing theater, you can impress the pants off your friends and family, even if you're not ready for Carnegie Hall or Broadway. If you're an aspiring writer, there's no performance to give you periodic stokes as you work toward your goal. You have to do it because you love it, not for any other reason.


    I welcome queries, but only when your book is ready.
    michael (at) veritasliterary (dot) com

    Veritas Literary


  10. #10
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    With respect, this isn't about getting a novel published. It's about someone offering to hire someone, and then asking them to perform work that seems clearly beyond a simple test without compensation.

    Whether it's a writer, computer programmer, a barista, or a brain surgeon, it's wrong.

    I decided to see what I could find on this publisher. I haven't found a web site, but have found evidence of literary agents handling sales to this publisher. If they don't pay an advance, as is stated in the OP, why would a literary agent be interested? (I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious. Without an advance, is there a guarantee of sales? A decent royalty? Is it worth the agent's 15% to negotiate a deal that doesn't offer an advance?)

  11. #11
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
    With respect, this isn't about getting a novel published. It's about someone offering to hire someone, and then asking them to perform work that seems clearly beyond a simple test without compensation.

    Whether it's a writer, computer programmer, a barista, or a brain surgeon, it's wrong.

    I decided to see what I could find on this publisher. I haven't found a web site, but have found evidence of literary agents handling sales to this publisher. If they don't pay an advance, as is stated in the OP, why would a literary agent be interested? (I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious. Without an advance, is there a guarantee of sales? A decent royalty? Is it worth the agent's 15% to negotiate a deal that doesn't offer an advance?)
    I also googled the publisher and saw some mentions of sales in Publishers Lunch. I think it's most unlikely any agent agreed to a deal with no advance; but it's common for publishers to offer different terms to agented and unagented writers.

  12. #12
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    Angry Smart Guide Publications

    Very timely, Barbara, as I have had a similar experience and received irate responses from self-proclaimed publisher Frank Jerome. Yesterday I got an email in regard to my query to a senior book editor position for Smart Guide Publications. Supposedly I was selected from more than 80 candidates, and Jerome sent me test assignments of 4 chapters from 4 different books to review/edit prior to a telephone interview.

    I wrote back, explaining that at this stage in my career--with an extensive background in publishing, editing, and writing (I also have published nearly 100 non-fiction books)--I only participate in paying projects. His test assignments would have taken hours to perform with no compensation. Plus they were dreadful (perhaps all written by Jerome?). I also could not find any mention of him or Smart Guide Publications on the Internet, which sent up warning flags as his "books" are due to launch March 2011.

    Jerome responded: "This is not a project - it is a test of your skills and abilities for a well-paying lucrative job. Your response indicates that you are not interested in getting a well-paying job."

    I fired off this email: "Let's hope your Smart Guides are more professional than your attitude. Judging from your sample chapter, the Complete Idiot's Guide and Dummies series won't have to worry about the competition."

    Then this morning I received this email from Jerome: "You have demonstrated that you have problems that require professional help. Anyone who wants to be paid for taking an employment exam is someone who is not employable. You should not be responding to employment ads if you do not want to have your abilities tested. Your gratuitous remarks about our series demonstrates that you would have been a real problem had be (sic) hired you. Heaven help anyone who does. You should grow up."

    Notice how the language mirrors the response he sent your writer friend. So now he's a publisher and a psychiatrist. I'll be interested in reading one of these Smart Guides, which he described as: "Smart Guides are the better alternative to the Complete Idiot's Guide and the Dummies Series. They are written in straightforward text without the ridiculous humor found in the other guides. They are otherwise similar in the look, style and format of these guides and are priced at $18.95."

    Just when you think that publishing has sunken to new lows....

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    Sounds like Mr. Jerome has some cranial-rectal inversion going on. Could be why he's so cranky.

  14. #14
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogwriter View Post
    Very timely, Barbara, as I have had a similar experience and received irate responses from self-proclaimed publisher Frank Jerome. ...
    Then this morning I received this email from Jerome: "You have demonstrated that you have problems that require professional help. Anyone who wants to be paid for taking an employment exam is someone who is not employable. You should not be responding to employment ads if you do not want to have your abilities tested. Your gratuitous remarks about our series demonstrates that you would have been a real problem had be (sic) hired you. Heaven help anyone who does. You should grow up."

    Notice how the language mirrors the response he sent your writer friend. So now he's a publisher and a psychiatrist. I'll be interested in reading one of these Smart Guides, which he described as: "Smart Guides are the better alternative to the Complete Idiot's Guide and the Dummies Series. They are written in straightforward text without the ridiculous humor found in the other guides. They are otherwise similar in the look, style and format of these guides and are priced at $18.95."

    Just when you think that publishing has sunken to new lows....
    Thanks for sharing that. My friend Dr. Z will be fascinated. Can you believe this guy even has a form letter for abuse?! But I guess he'll need it for when the poor shmucks who accept his offer start clamoring for their money.

    What worries me is that some apparently reputable agencies sold him material. The market's tough these days, but even so...

  15. #15
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    Sounds like Mr. Jerome has some cranial-rectal inversion going on. Could be why he's so cranky.
    LOL. That would do it.

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    It will be interesting to see what transpires with Mr. Cranial-Rectal Inversion (ROTFLMAO) and his faux publishing company. In the meantime, I wonder if Dr. Z should contact her publisher at the Complete Idiot's Guide series and make him/her aware of any copyright issues as Jerome admitted that his template was identical to their series. I believe he also lifted their wine guide as his sample chapter (I've deleted his files). The only information I could find on Smart Guide Publications was an agency representing the author of the Bachelorette Parties. For shame.

  17. #17
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogwriter View Post
    It will be interesting to see what transpires with Mr. Cranial-Rectal Inversion (ROTFLMAO) and his faux publishing company. In the meantime, I wonder if Dr. Z should contact her publisher at the Complete Idiot's Guide series and make him/her aware of any copyright issues as Jerome admitted that his template was identical to their series. I believe he also lifted their wine guide as his sample chapter (I've deleted his files). The only information I could find on Smart Guide Publications was an agency representing the author of the Bachelorette Parties. For shame.
    I'm keeping her updated; wouldn't surprise me if she did.

  18. #18
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    RESPONSE TO BARBARA R BY SMART GUIDE PUBLICATIONS

    This is Frank Jerome of Smart Guide Publications, Inc. What is reported below is not accurate. Dr. Z is actually [name redacted] a professor at a college in [name redacted]. She did seek out Smart Guide Publications to write a book as described below but responded to a CraigsList posting for a part-time Senior Editor job seeking $35 - $50 an hour. We had 80 applicants for the positon and to weed out the curious and to find a qualified applicant we had a job competition where the applicants were asked to review the first chapters of three books and tell us if we should accept them, reject them or send them back to the author for additional work. This would require about two hours of work, far less than taking a shower, getting dressed, traveling to an interview and being interviewed for the first time. [name redacted] demanded that she be paid $50 an hour to take the test. Employers do not pay applicants to take an employment test. In actual fact, civil servants, firemen, policemen and others actually pay to take their employment tests. From those who passed the test, we then had the applicants (8 individuals) actually line edit a chapter to determine their editing skills. This narrowed the pool down to 4 applicants. After that, we had the remaining applicants edit another chapter which narrowed the selection to two. We hired one of these with the other remaining as a backup editor. The applicant devoted about eight hours in the testing process, far less time than coming in for interviews and return interviews, etc. She has a lucrative position and demonstrated that she really wanted the job.

    [name redacted]'s attitude and her hostility demonstrate that she has personal problems with those who seek to determine if she has the skills they require for the jobs they need to fill. She said shame on us which was inappropriate in light of the fact that we were conducting a ligitimate employment search.

    We did not send [name redacted] a Dear Applicant letter as described - she responded to a CragsList posting for a job position when she was looking for employment in the $35 - $50 an hour range. The discussion of her writing a book for us came as an afterthought. She required an advance. We do not pay advances with the exception of extraordinary authors who have books we really want. We are publishing 46 titles this year from authors who are not getting advances but are getting royalties three times the industry standard.

    Smart Guide Publications does not run employment competions with the intention of having potential employees edit or proofread manuscripts for free. We assign these editorial tasks as tests to ascertain the skills of the potential employee as well as their determination to be employeed. We recently had a proofreader ad on CraigsList which resulted in 223 applicants for the position. We doctored a two chapters of a forthcoming book creating deliberate mistakes and asked the applicants to compare the chapters with the manuscripts - a task that required about an hour or so to complete. Out of the 223 applicants only one respondant passed the test - everyone else failed the test. Obviously, the lady who passed the test got the job. Everyone who applied will get free downloads of our first two books when published in March.

    There are angry, disturbed people out there who think that if someone needs to test their skills that they are being exploited by some scam artist that seeks to get something for free. Nothing can convince them otherwise and they use forums like this one to try to destroy the business of those who offer employment.

    We wonder why [name redacted] misrepresented the facts and circumstances of what transpried with her seeking part time employment as a senior editor with Smart Guide Publications. Was she miffed that we found her not to our requirement? Or what?

    Frank Jerome
    Smart Guide Publications







    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara R. View Post
    A writer friend of mine told me a cautionary story, and I thought I’d share it here, and solicit people’s opinions. My friend—let’s call her Dr. Z.---has written over 100 non-fiction books, including many for the Idiot’s Guide series, and edited many others. She’s been on “Good Morning America” and lots of other national shows as an expert commentator and to promote her books. She has a PhD and works as a full professor of English at a state university. Lately the n.f. market has totally dried up, as publishers are out-sourcing not only production but also writing and editing to foreign suppliers; so Dr. Z decided to respond to this post on Craig’s List.

    Dr. Z listed her credentials and bibliography and inquired about the project. The editor, Frank Jerome, responded by inviting her to submit a proposal for a book to be published in his series, designed to compete with the Idiots and Dummy's guide series. He mentioned that they don’t pay advances but as compensation they offer a 15% royalty on net from the very first copy.

    My friend responded that she already received 15% from book 1, along with an advance, and that she was very interested in writing for the new series but would require an advance.

    Frank Jerome replied that their business model didn’t allow for paying advances, but that she could possibly come on board as a freelance editor. He enclosed a “Dear Applicant” form letter informing her that she had been selected from many applicants to contend for the editorial position and asking her to evaluate and edit three full chapters to show her skills. The template he enclosed seemed to her identical to those used by “The Idiot’s Guide” series.

    Dr. Z emailed back: “I'd be delighted to edit the samples for you at the rate of $50 per hour. As a writer yourself, I know you'd never expect another professional to write for free, as that would be immoral and unconscionable.”

    Mr. Jerome was incensed. He emailed her back: ”This is a test as part of an interview. Clearly you do not want to be employed and we are putting you in the reject folder….You are hardly likely to gain employment with your attitude….As we said we have already made our determinations on the chapters we provided you - we are not looking for free work - we are looking to see if you are competent.”

    Dr. Z was, admittedly, incensed. Her reply reiterated her credentials and added: “On the other hand, I couldn't find any mention of you, your publications, or your company on the web, making your qualifications impossible to check. I am also aware that you are ripping off the Idiot's Guides, stealing their model and template. And having people write for free. Shame on you.”

    Mr. Jerome’s response denied that they were copying the Idiot’s Guide format (although his orginal Craig'slist ad seems to indicate that was the models for his series) and went on: “You have serious psychological problems and you should seek professional help. We are not having people write for free. Anyone who thinks so is an idiot. Shame on you for saying shame on you.”

    And that was the end of that correspondence. Now, here’s my question. Is Mr. Jerome’s business model fair and reasonable for writers and editors, or is it exploitive?
    Last edited by MacAllister; 02-22-2011 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Redacted real name and identifying employment characteristics

  19. #19
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    You wrote:
    Clearly you do not want to be employed and we are putting you in the reject folder….You are hardly likely to gain employment with your attitude….
    It's impossible to determine who's telling the truth, but the thing that disturbs me is your rude replies to her. Was that absolutely necessary? Then there's your reply to "dogwriter":
    "You have demonstrated that you have problems that require professional help. Anyone who wants to be paid for taking an employment exam is someone who is not employable. You should not be responding to employment ads if you do not want to have your abilities tested. Your gratuitous remarks about our series demonstrates that you would have been a real problem had be (sic) hired you. Heaven help anyone who does. You should grow up."
    It could be a case where you might consider taking your own advice. This is far from a professional reply, and if you're in this business for any length of time, you'll realize it's best to simply ignore correspondence that angers you. After all, what did you gain?

    And might I add that it was extremely poor taste to expose the author. Clearly she preferred to remain anonymous. All you've done is expose yourself as a loose canon who reverts to rudeness instead of maintaining a higher ground. This exchange is a revealing advertisement for your company.
    Last edited by priceless1; 02-21-2011 at 08:56 PM.

  20. #20
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    frankjerome:
    There are angry, disturbed people out there who think that if someone needs to test their skills that they are being exploited by some scam artist that seeks to get something for free. Nothing can convince them otherwise and they use forums like this one to try to destroy the business of those who offer employment.
    I don't see anyone here trying to destroy a business. I do see people sharing bad experiences of dealing with your company.
    Now there are always two sides to every story and you've just posted your side. That's fair enough.

    However, I will say that your attempts to smear and/or belittle people who've had bad experiences with your company - particularly your repeated assertion that they are "disturbed" - ultimately does you a disservice and would certainly make me leery of advising anyone to try for a position with your company. There are ways of putting across your story without trying to make it descend to personal name calling. Your post here fails to achieve that.

    frankjerome:
    We wonder why [name redacted] misrepresented the facts and circumstances of what transpried with her seeking part time employment as a senior editor with Smart Guide Publications. Was she miffed that we found her not to our requirement? Or what?
    Given the spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors that litter your post, I do have to wonder how stringent your "requirement" is and how it could possibly take an 8 hour process to assess whether someone meets it.

    But hey, that's just me.

    MM
    Last edited by MacAllister; 02-22-2011 at 04:18 AM.

  21. #21
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    Smart Guide Response

    The following emails from the author confirm that we are telling the truth.

    This is her response to our CraigsList posting:




    This is a response to the ad posted at http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wri/2113622415.html.

    I have written more than a dozen books in the Complete Idiot's Guide series, including
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Well
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar and Style
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Research Methods
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Interfaith Relationships
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dealing with Your In-Laws
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freelancing
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying and Selling Collectibles

    Several of these books have been printed in more than one edition. In addition, I wrote Vocabulary for Dummies.

    My editing fees range from $35-$50 per hour, depending on the shape of the manuscript. However, I am more interested in writing than editing.

    My full qualifications are available on my web page at [LINK REDACTED]

    Sincerely,

    [name redacted]



    this message was remailed to you via: job-xamca-2113622415@craigslist.org


    This was her reponse to our request that she review the first chapters of three books as a test of her editing skills - task that would take two hours at the most (which the editor we hired did without complaint):


    Frank,

    I'd be delighted to edit the samples for you at the rate of $50 per hour. As a writer yourself, I know you'd never expect another professional to write for free, as that would be immoral and unconscionable.

    [name redacted]

    She attacked me calling me immoral and unconscionable without justification for asking her to take a test of her abilities. What kind of person is that.

    Then she has a "friend" come to this forum with a distorted story as described in my posting in a attempt to damage our reputation.

    Was this really a friend making the posting?

    Clearly she has problems.

    Frank Jerome


    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    You wrote:
    It's impossible to determine who's telling the truth, but the thing that disturbs me is your rude replies to her. Was that absolutely necessary? Then there's your reply to "dogwriter":
    It could be a case where you might consider taking your own advice. This is far from a professional reply, and if you're in this business for any length of time, you'll realize it's best to simply ignore correspondence that angers you. After all, what did you gain?

    And might I add that it was extremely poor taste to expose the author. Clearly she preferred to remain anonymous. All you've done is expose yourself as a loose canon who reverts to rudeness instead of maintaining a higher ground. This exchange is a revealing advertisement for your company.
    Last edited by MacAllister; 02-22-2011 at 05:10 AM. Reason: real name redacted

  22. #22
    Honestly, this sounds like individuals with two different sets of expectations having a disagreement as much as anything.

    There is nothing wrong with having a test for potential employees. I used to do extensive testing when hiring programmers. When I applied for developer positions, even with a decent resume, I often had to take a test.

    There are plenty of legitimate businesses that require similar tests to the one proposed. For example, About.com puts several people through a training period whereby they write a half dozen articles for their topic and the top candidate is chosen. About.com also owns ConsumerSearch, which requires a sample to be written that takes around 2-4 hours to write.

    A number of legitimate epublishers require a test to become an editor. (Including Samhain).

    None of this makes the person/company asking for the sample anything less than legitimate.

    Are there unscrupulous people/companies that use these type of scams on craigslist to get free work done? Certainly. I certainly think people should be wary when responding to advertisements (both on craiglist and other places). But that doesn't mean this particular example is less than legitimate.

    I think we should all be wary of jumping into the pool without all the facts.

  23. #23
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    frankjerome:
    The following emails from the author confirm that we are telling the truth.
    Actually, nothing in those emails supports the assertion that you made here:

    frankjerome:
    [name redacted] attitude and her hostility demonstrate that she has personal problems with those who seek to determine if she has the skills they require for the jobs they need to fill. She said shame on us which was inappropriate in light of the fact that we were conducting a ligitimate employment search.
    Firstly, this statement is, on the basis of your 'evidence', a blatant and baseless attempt at character assassination.

    Secondly, the fact that you would reproduce personal correspondence on a public website is further evidence that you are not a professional who is worth dealing with.

    For what it's worth, those emails are civil and polite. It seems to me that you're looking for attacks that simply aren't there. That speaks more to your state of mind than it does the correspondent.

    frankjerome:
    She attacked me calling me immoral and unconscionable without justification for asking her to take a test of her abilities. What kind of person is that.
    No, she did not. She said that the act of expecting a professional to work for free would be immoral and unconscionable.

    frankjerome:
    Then she has a "friend" come to this forum with a distorted story as described in my posting in a attempt to damage our reputation.
    In my opinion, it was an attempt to report an experience with your company, not an attempt to damage your company.

    On the other hand, your posts here are severely damaging the reputation of yourself and your company. You might want to step away from the keyboard for a while as you're not doing yourself any favours.

    frankjerome:
    Clearly she has problems.
    And clearly, so do you.

    MM
    Last edited by MacAllister; 02-22-2011 at 04:21 AM. Reason: redacting real name

  24. #24
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    These guys advertise for editors on CraigsList?

  25. #25
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankjerome View Post
    This was her reponse [sic] to our request that she review the first chapters of three books as a test of her editing skills - task that would take two hours at the most (which the editor we hired did without complaint):
    I would have had exactly the same reaction she did; this is not the way a professional, legitimate publisher works.

    There's fairly well-publicized scam on CL and other sites involving an editing test or writing test wherein the would-be applicant is conned into providing work for free--because the job offer isn't legitimate.

    You read so poorly that you take a rather gentle reminder

    "I'd be delighted to edit the samples for you at the rate of $50 per hour. As a writer yourself, I know you'd never expect another professional to write for free, as that would be immoral and unconscionable."

    as a personal insult; it's nothing of the kind.

    Also--you have taken it upon yourself to make the attack personal--right down to revealing email that you do not have permissions to publish.

    This is also not professional or standard conduct.

    It's also not acceptable here.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 02-22-2011 at 10:29 AM.

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