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Thread: Mentors Harbor Magazine

  1. #1
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Mentors Harbor Magazine

    Did anyone else see today's episode of Judge Judy? The first case involved a someone hiring a "consultant," but I missed the name of the consultant and the publisher. The defendant was a "publishing consultant" who charged the plaintiff to help him "launch" his writing career. Even before he had found a publisher, she was talking about turning him into a "brand name," etc. What is a "publishing consultant"? Is that some kind of overpriced publicist, or is it a way of acting as an agent but charging a fee without actually being an agent? Sounds weird, whatever it was, and he paid $2,500 for what sounded like a lot of hooey.

    The plaintiff is a psychiatrist who had written a book about one of his patients. He attended a "publishing event." While there, he met someone who told him she could help him get published. Besides her fee, she managed to get him to pay $5,000 to write a chapter in a book by a publisher he had never heard of. He was interested in doing so because celebs such as Dr. Phil were going to be in the book. (BTW she said it wasn't a fee; he was actually agreeing to buy 1,000 copies of the book. Riiight.) The trick, however, was that there were to be three other chapters by non-celebs like the plaintiff, and the defendant got a fee from each of them for the "privilege" of appearing in this book. It sounded like there was some kind of conflict of interest.

    Dr. Judy did give the plaintiff a hard time for forking out all that money to write a chapter in a book by a publisher he'd never heard of, but she also raked the defendant over the coals quite a bit for not revealing all aspects of her agreements to the plaintiff.
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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    *snerk*

    http://www.judgejudy.com/episode/epi...p?dt=7/24/2006

    Case 1: A psychiatrist claims he was conned by an author who claimed she could coach him into getting his novel published.
    Anyone able to run the video clip?
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  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnneMarble
    Besides her fee, she managed to get him to pay $5,000 to write a chapter in a book by a publisher he had never heard of.
    This sounds so familiar to me. I'm positive I heard from (I think) a real estate agent who'd gotten sucked into a very similar scheme a couple of years ago. But I can't find the file. Darn.

    Wish you could remember the consultant's name!

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Rats. I can see the clip, but it's for the second case, not the first.
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Anonymisty's Avatar
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    I saw it, too. When the plaintiff started talking about how he was paying $5K to write a chapter for a book that would also have chapters from Dr Phil and Deepak Chopra, I was sitting here asking, "Did Dr Phil have to pay? If not, then why should you???"
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  6. #6
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    Judge Judy is on here in about a half hour (There's two episodes, actually). If that episode airs, I'll try to jot down the names involved.

    *edit*

    According to the guide channel thingy on my TV, it is that "A psychiatrist claims he was conned..." episode. I'll be back in an hour or so with all the zany details.
    Last edited by mdin; 07-25-2006 at 02:08 AM.

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  7. #7
    Midnight Reading MidnightMuse's Avatar
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    Ooh, that should be on right about now for me - I'll go check it out.

    ETA actually it's on in an hour and a half.
    Last edited by MidnightMuse; 07-25-2006 at 02:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  9. #9
    2 WIP? A glutton for punishment astonwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnneMarble
    The plaintiff is a psychiatrist who had written a book about one of his patients.
    I'm guessing the plaintiff isn't going to be a a psychiatrist much longer, then?

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  10. #10
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    Okay. It was a bit of a complicated case, but here's the rundown.

    This guy, Dr. Howard Richmond, has written a book called The Healing Field, and he wanted help getting it published. He contacted this woman, a lady named Susan Gilbert, who calls herself a "publishing coach" who, for $150 an hour, helps people get published. He ends up spending a total of $2,500 on these sessions.

    During the sessions, she suggests to him that he get an article included in the third edition of this book, coming out from a publishing house called Mentor's Publishing. Her reasoning is that it'll help his street cred and help him get his other book published.

    His dealings with this company are with a woman named Linda Forsythe (not present today in court). The book will feature other doctors and famous people, including Dr. Phil. The cost for having an article in this book is to promise to buy 1,000 copies at $5 each, which he pays directly to this Linda Forsythe. (Judge Judy went off on having too many copies of your book. It was pretty funny.)

    He gets cold feet when the book takes too long to publish and he learns there will be 70 other authors instead of 30 like he was originally told. He also learns his "coach" will have her picture on the cover of the book and her own article and was receiving kickbacks for recruiting him. He asks for his money back, but he never got it. He ended up suing Mentors Publishing for $5,000 in another case, and he won, but he said he can't collect because they claim to have no assets.

    Judge Judy ripped into Ms. Gilbert for not disclosing she was getting kickbacks on the book and that she was really working for Mentor, not him. Dr. Richmond was awarded his $2,500.

    So, in short, he spent a total of $7,500 (2,500 to the coach and 5,000 to Mentor Publishing) and has no book published, no article in a book with Dr. Phil. He does have two different judgments in his favor.

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  11. #11
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astonwest
    I'm guessing the plaintiff isn't going to be a a psychiatrist much longer, then?
    I do hope he had that end worked out. It was a book about how he treated a patient with anorexia nervosa and saved that patient's life by going outside the traditional methods of treatment or something like that. And it probably would be suitable for a niche publisher or even self-publishing (real self-publishing, not vanity). Maybe he changed the name of the patient. Here's hoping he didn't use a name like "Rat Man" a la Freud.
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  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Move forward BOLDLY IN FAITH toward your goal; (never wavering) and MIGHTY FORCES will come to your aid.

    Anything great ever achieved, inventions discovered, or miracles
    realized was based on this one principal.

    Persist... until you manifest. ~~~Linda Forsythe, Founder, Mentors International, LLC
    Paging Dr. Freud....
    ICAO
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  13. #13
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XThe NavigatorX
    Okay. It was a bit of a complicated case, but here's the rundown. ...
    w00t!!! Here's to people with better memories -- and reception -- than me.


    I wonder if professionals sometimes get caught up in this sort of thing because they're so used to paying fees for things like advertising, sponsoring events, and even some professional publications. When someone comes along and says it will cost them $5,000 to publish an article, they may think it's acceptable. After all, it can easily cost a couple of thousand to publish in a science journal, depending on the length of the article, processing charges for photos, color charges, etc.
    THE Official FreakTM
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  14. #14
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Paging Dr. Freud....
    So you're saying she has no principles?
    (Ducks and runs)
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  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I think that some professionals consider themselves too smart to be scammed. They figure that if it were a bad deal, they'd spot it with their professional smarts. It doesn't occur to them that being an expert in one field doesn't magically confer expertise in another, or that the rules they know from their own experience don't apply everywhere.

    Thanks for the rundown, X. I've never encountered either the publisher or Susan Gilbert before, but I'm making a note of both.

    Frankly, I have much less sympathy for Mr. Psychiatrist Guy than I do for Ms. Clueless Newbie.

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    Midnight Reading MidnightMuse's Avatar
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    I just finished watching it - while this Susan Gilbert gave off the 'vibe', I have to say that Dr. gave off a vibe all his own. It spoke of professional dude who wanted to gain celebrity without hardly trying.

    Sounds like a book title in and of itself

    I have great sympathy for Newbies who get caught up, but little for someone who should have had more smarts than that. As a shrink, has he never published? No peer reviews? come on.

  17. #17
    Still Here! Alan Yee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Frankly, I have much less sympathy for Mr. Psychiatrist Guy than I do for Ms. Clueless Newbie.
    Clueless newbies are much easier to sympathize with. I mean, everyone, Victoria, Ann, Jenna, Jim, and Dave included, were clueless newbies at some point. Writers aren't born with all this knowledge about scams and how publishing really works. I know I used to be very clueless, but I remedied that not long after I started writing seriously. I still don't know everything, as I haven't been published yet myself, but I know the basics and can tell when something's a scam.

    While I don't think anyone deserves to be scammed into departing with their precious money, the "I'm a professional, I'm too smart to fall for a scam" attitude naturally gets less sympathy from me.

  18. #18
    newbie
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    Would you believe me if I told you?

    But what can I say that doesn't smack of self-defense?

    Suffice to say that I was naive to think that the real story would come forth (I actually thought Judge Judy would rule based on the merits of the case, not for the sake of sensationalism. Dah....).

    I received an email from one of your readers, quite outraged at what she saw on Judge Judy. At her urging I am posting here.

    I am quite sorry for the stir this has caused in the publishing community.

    But again, what can I say?

    If you choose to believe I am a scam artist, then so be it.

    But if you have any questions you would like to ask me, I would be glad to answer them.


    Susan Gilbert

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie
    Would you believe me if I told you?

    But what can I say that doesn't smack of self-defense?

    Suffice to say that I was naive to think that the real story would come forth (I actually thought Judge Judy would rule based on the merits of the case, not for the sake of sensationalism. Dah....).

    I received an email from one of your readers, quite outraged at what she saw on Judge Judy. At her urging I am posting here.

    I am quite sorry for the stir this has caused in the publishing community.

    But again, what can I say?

    If you choose to believe I am a scam artist, then so be it.

    But if you have any questions you would like to ask me, I would be glad to answer them.


    Susan Gilbert
    What are your success stories, writers and books? How much money have they made, and how much have you made?

    As far as I'm concerned, taking money form a new writer is always a scam.

  20. #20
    Fig of authority
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightMuse
    As a shrink, has he never published? No peer reviews? come on.
    That part is realistic. Many psychologists and psychiatrists in clinical practice don't write for publication. In fact, I think few do, and the only reason I'm not asserting it flatly is that I don't have data.

  21. #21
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    Cool

    Hey Susan,

    Can you tell us a little about how Judge Judy works? I would really like to hear how it pans out, especially concerning the judgments. Do you have to actually pay it yourself or does the show?

    And do the producers make those people in the audience stand around a talk before you come out?

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  22. #22
    newbie
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    "As far as I'm concerned, taking money form a new writer is always a scam."

    Suffice to say again, what can I say that would prevent you from being nailing me to a cross?

    Having said that, let me say that I do not 'consult' regarding publishing. What I do is more entrepreneurial based. I have created very successful businesses - both brick and mortor (I am the co-author of the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Coffee Bar, and sold my successful coffee business for 6 figures) and real estate (note the quote on my website: www.susangilbert.com from Robert DeLaurentis).


    Dr. Richmond is employed by a health organization and wanted to create several businesses including his "Comic Shrink" persona. (No, this isn't funny). He attended my Infopreneuring classes and we spoke at great length before he hired me to teach him how to build a mailing list, create a brand, build a business. I put him in touch with a book editor who he loved. He was running with his book separately. Do I need to mention that he rarely applied anything I taught him?

    When a publisher who I had written a foreward for (Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur) asked me if I knew of anyone who might like to participate in the anthology, I asked Dr. Richmond. (Note: I asked three people to participate in this project, and my picture as well as writing the foreward was not dependent on any of this). He was well aware that my picture was going to be on the cover, and in fact, originally, it was to be in the place of Chuck Norris. When the publisher changed things and notified everyone that Chuck's picture was to appear there, Dr. Richmond was upset. Here is a quote from an email he sent to me: "i have to say that i am very surprised, and disappointed to hear that chuck norris is going to be on the cover instead of you/ this is not what we were led to believe"

    So there is much to this story that is different than what was portrayed on air. In fact the last letter and email I received from him thanked me profusely for all that he learned.

    The problem that ensued was when he decided he didn't want in the book anymore, wanted his money back, then blamed me when he couldn't get it. Dr. Richmond is not a business minded person and is quite reactive. Needless to say, even though I deeply care about the success of my clients, I should have thrown in the towel and let him do whatever he wanted. However, I take it seriously when someone pays me for my advice and felt compelled to give it to him. Judge Judy saw otherwise.

    I have coaching clients who fly cross country to work with me, and are all quite satisfied. Dr. Richmond is the first and only person who has been unsatisfied in 25 years of business.

  23. #23
    Sockpuppet Hunter MartyKay's Avatar
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    Having said that, let me say that I do not 'consult' regarding publishing.
    Oh no? From http://www.susangilbert.com/newslett....html?cid=4946
    Think you've got a book in you?

    If you are confused about the many options of becoming an author: finding a publisher, self-publishing, print on demand - help is on the way!

    "The Land of I Can" is a small press success, and I can help you become one too!

    Self-publishing isn't for everyone. My coaching will step you through the options available to you, and which one is the best match. If you choose to self-publish, we can continue to work together on the process of producing, rolling out, and making YOUR book a giant success!
    What would that be then?

    From the earlier post:
    I received an email from one of your readers, quite outraged at what she saw on Judge Judy. At her urging I am posting here.
    Uh-huh. Support you. In email. Lurkers do. Right. Okay then.

    Why would ANYONE in a business such as yours agree to having Judge Judy judge you? It would have to be a lose-lose situation: even if you won you would still appear to be a scammer, and by losing you just make it worse. Surely your lawyer could have done a change of venue? Don't you have to agree to it?
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  24. #24
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Hi Susan. This is what I don't understand:

    When a publisher who I had written a foreward for (Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur) asked me if I knew of anyone who might like to participate in the anthology, I asked Dr. Richmond.
    Now, you are supposed to have Dr. Richmond's best interest at heart, right? He's your client, and has paid you a good amount already to teach him about publishing. So, why in the world would you encourage him to take such a tremendously shady deal as to have to pay $5,000 to have his essay appear in a book (thus falsely inflating the presales numbers)? Surely you know that writers are not supposed to have to pay anything for publication. Surely you've heard of Yog's law ("Money flows toward the writer").

    The problem that ensued was when he decided he didn't want in the book anymore, wanted his money back, then blamed me when he couldn't get it.
    Well, yes. You did steer him directly into this lousy deal and even took a referral fee for it. And considering he hadn't received the goods he paid for, the fact that he couldn't get his money back is infuriating.

    Did you advise him that paying $5000 to be in someone's anthology is a terrible idea? I sure would have... in fact, if he'd have come here to say, "I just got this great offer," about 50 of us would have jumped up and down to point out the red flags.

    Nonetheless, here we are, all ears, waiting to be fair the way Judge Judy supposedly wasn't. Did you think it was okay to get kickbacks from this deal and to keep that hidden from your clients?

    By the way, it's spelled foreword.
    Last edited by JennaGlatzer; 07-25-2006 at 12:13 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie
    But what can I say that doesn't smack of self-defense?
    Well, aren't you trying to defend yourself?

    I received an email from one of your readers, quite outraged at what she saw on Judge Judy. At her urging I am posting here.
    Oh, please. Nobody believes "The lurkers support me in e-mail," okay? Nobody. You Googled your name, came across this forum, and posted. Starting off with a lie--especially such a lame, cliched one--just undermines your credibility from the very beginning.

    That you go on to tell more whoppers--like "I do not 'consult' regarding publishing"--and to claim you're being crucified just makes you look worse and worse. Surely you're aware these are such message-board cliches that there are Bingo games based on them.

    I predict ad-hominem attacks next, including "What do any of you know about publishing" and some snarky comments about screen names.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

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