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Thread: The Lies Scammers Tell About Us

  1. #26
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Another common lie by scam agents/publishers: They never submitted anything to us. How can they possibly know anything about how we do business?
    Is that the corollary to lie no.9? The combination would seem to cover all eventualities.
    -Barbara
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  2. #27
    Thank you all, very much. It's partly through the information on the scam-busting sites that have been mentioned in this thread that I finally decided that Authorhouse was a completely lost cause. So you guys can all pat yourselves on the back for helping to rescue me.

    However, I would never have got sucked into Authorhouse in the first place if supposedly reliable journalists hadn't been praising POD vanity presses and acting like it really did have a chance of revolutionizing the publishing industry. The articles I see these days aren't quite as bad as they were back in 2003, but I still see too many articles with lots of clueless praise and mindless repetition of the same propaganda that is found on POD vanity press websites.

    Is there any way that the scam-busting community can better educate journalists about the reality of author mills and POD vanity presses?

    I'm a person who knew about regular vanity presses and scam agents for years, but I still got pulled in because I believed journalists who said that vanity press POD wasn't vanity at all. I really hope that others don't get fooled too just because many journalists don't know the difference.

  3. #28
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanneTGC
    I also had NO idea that just because someone was listed in the NSSW and/or Jeff Herman's guide that this didn't mean they weren't necessarily legit. I took those books, and the other published writing reference guides out there, as being "blessed" and safe to use, since they would surely only have legitimate agents, publishers, etc. listed in them, no?
    Jeanne, me too. That's exactly how I got in trouble. I signed with a fee-charging agent many years ago because he was listed (with a full interview) in one of these guides. I thought it was a reputable guide, and figured that if they "endorsed" the agent, the practice of charging an upfront "retainer" must be acceptable and standard, like the agent told me. I've since learned that all of these books contain some questionable agents. And as far as I know, Victoria and Ann have repeatedly offered to vet the guides before they go to press, to no avail. Currently, I think www.AgentQuery.com is the most reliable directory-- and it's free, to boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiehall
    I still see too many articles with lots of clueless praise and mindless repetition of the same propaganda that is found on POD vanity press websites.

    Is there any way that the scam-busting community can better educate journalists about the reality of author mills and POD vanity presses?
    Jamie: First off, sorry for your disappointing experience. Second, yes, we do try to educate journalists... problem is that we usually get there too late. We don't have any clue who's going to write an article about POD/vanity publishing until the article is already published. Then we often send the writer letters, trying to point out the difference between the sales hype and the truth, but it's *very* rare for them to do a follow-up or issue a correction.

    We've been successful in alerting the media about specific scams, but it's much harder to teach journalists in general to be savvy about the realities of the book publishing industry. I'd love any suggestions you have about how we might better accomplish that, because I'm sure you're right that many writers get into the same situation as you did because the articles don't give an accurate picture. Even local papers do no one any favor when they print the "Local author gets published!" stories that make it sound like it was some great accomplishment to be "accepted" by a vanity press. That just leads other "local authors" to think it would be nifty to follow the first author's footsteps and get their picture in the paper, too...
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  4. #29
    figuring it all out
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    Thank heaven for watchdogs!

    I'm new to the group, but I'm thankful there are sites like this that provide so many features to help fledgling writers through the pitfalls of writing and getting published. I almost fell for the Publish America quagmire. Fortunately, I got into a chat with someone who'd been stung by them. I sent them the entire 480 pages of my first book, not realizinhg that it was the wrong copy. It had errors that had been edited on my laptop but not transferred to my desktop. They quickly sent me a contract. Then, my chat buddy told me about PA's print-on-demand nature and that the book stores don't buy from them because they don't take back unsold copies. He said they didn't even edit the books as long as the first three chapters were well done. That's when I tore up the contract and went bacj to my AAR lists. A few months later I received an e-mail from a representative of a vanity press . I tore it up without opening it. I have a queryout to an agent that is an AAR member and a WGA signatory.

  5. #30
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Way to go, Tau Ceti! You're on the right path now.

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  6. #31
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Interesting thread. I heard this before, "sometimes businesses do things that ain't nobody's business' this was after I mentioned that my book was badly put together and expressed my concern for barely any money being put into the production. til this day, that comment is very vague and didn't tell me nothing. lol.

    good luck!

    Shar

  7. #32
    He ain't right... dub's Avatar
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    I am fortunate to have a wonderful agent - that said, she often speaks at writers conferences, saying much the same things listed above. I think, as I revise my webpage I will put a link to this AW thread. Thanks for sharing this information.

    dub
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  8. #33
    requiescat in pace Requiescat In Pace
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    Jenna,

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm currently in query hell and I know how it feels to get rejections. I look for preditor agents and editors. There are scams out there to take my money and the money of other writers who are in the same boat as me. Of course I want an agent, but not enough to pay for one--

    ILSinTexas
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    Irene's system will only be up infrequently for the next few weeks, and her mail will not be checked regularly. Any messages of condolence can be sent to her husband George at schaft@schaft.com

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  9. #34
    Write the Damn Book! Wolvel's Avatar
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    All I have to say is thanks to AW. I was one of those robert fletcher scams until it didn't sit right in my gut. After arriving here I have gotten rid of the scammer and I am moving towards the right direction.

  10. #35
    figuring it all out
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    Cognitive Dissonance

    Quote Originally Posted by AC Crispin View Post
    Great article, Jenna!

    I wish some of those poor PublishAmerica still-faithful would read it.

    -Ann C. Crispin

    It's just cognitive dissonance. They probably know on some level they made an enormous mistake with PA, signing away an excellent manuscript for seven years for nothing. People are going to be very reluctant to accept that-- I know I'd be positively crushed.

    Is there any way they can break those contracts? Because the more I think about it, the more appalling it is. What utter bastards to take advantage of new writers like that!

  11. #36
    Tossing Elves in bed with Unicorns PinkUnicorn's Avatar
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    LOL! great list. I esp like #7... wouldn't it be great if that were true? I'd be posting so much more that I do if we got paid to post! LOL!
    Be a unicorn, write Yaoi, have a glorious sunshiny day!
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  12. #37
    JGoldberg
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    Wink Thank you Jenna!

    Jenna,

    You do excellent work! Thank you for protecting us writers. And thank you for all the details you include here.

    I have been *RIPPED OFF* and *SCAMMED* soooooo many times. It is ridiculous. I am sick of it.

    It is good to have this community as a resource to protect us.

    Thank you!

  13. #38
    Banned
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    I'd like to know when I can expect my check for posting on AW.

    :-)

  14. #39
    Moonflower Menyanthana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennaGlatzer View Post

    11. “They’re elitists!”
    Now, that's really funny. I am here because an equally good German forum for writers wanted me to send them a manuscript before they would allow me to post there. (and even to read some threads)

    That is what I call elitists

  15. #40
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    Since I began writing in earnist I have always used this sites opinions and faithfully checked out Preditors and Editors for guidence. This site has enriched my writing because I know what editors are looking for from reading different writer's comments. Thank you all for helping me become a better writer!!!!!! You all deserve a pat on the back.
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
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  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JeanneTGC View Post
    I echo Declan's sentiments!

    Also, I can't agree enough that all those with blogs and websites should link here, P&E, Miss Snark, Writer Beware and to any and all other watchdog sites. I've mentioned in another thread that I stumbled upon P&E by accident, and stumbled here by an even larger accident. I have been to 6 writing conferences and have read many blogs and websites, but never knew that these kinds of watchdog sites were both out there and FREE to anyone who needed help. I'm very sure that I'm not alone in that, either.
    I agree. I'm new here, but this site if full of valuable information. I'm going to link up and try to herd anyone this way before they are hurt my misinformation or scammers.
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  17. #42
    Fear no darkness. Ulee_Lhea's Avatar
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    Thanks Jenna

    Jenna, thanks for your informative article and your dedication to educating us fledgling writers about the dangers lurking . . .

    This site has truly opened up a new world for me. A few months ago, I was telling some girls in my book club that I was writing a book and that I had already connected with an agent. Everyone was thrilled for me! Not one of these highly-educated, literary-minded women asked the right questions, e. g. why is this agent talking to you before you even have a manuscript completed? Nor had I asked myself this question! It was only through casual surfing that I landed about a week later at "Writer Beware," where I really started to educate myself about how the business should (and shouldn't) work.

    I'm sure if I had just announced that my book had been accepted by Publish America, the book club would have been equally impressed. People just don't know about this stuff, even people who gobble up books like chocolates!

    The word is far from out on the myriad of scams and predators that inhabit the book business. Here's to all who are leading the charge! When I get this blogging/website thing figured out, I will link to all of you!




  18. #43
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Dominic:

    Just as a FYI: Bobby Fletcher did in fact sue me for calling him a scammer.

    In the lawsuit: I prevailed.

  19. #44
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
    I'm glad to hear you won out. You then understand that the burden of proof was on you. Many can only say, "I hear it (or read it) from so and so." In that case, one better hope so and so can proof it.

    Who is Bobby Fletcher?
    Probably this guy: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...Bobby+Fletcher
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  20. #45
    Banned for Spamming
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    Depends on what scammers you dealing with, if scammers over the internet, they usually show us fake statistics.

  21. #46
    Writer. Bookworm. Idiot. Kathryn W's Avatar
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    LOL

    That certainly puts an end to some of their ridiculous arguments. Well said.

  22. #47
    Hakuna Matata Little1's Avatar
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    wow. I can't believe someone would say those things. I have not even realy been on here for a week yet and I can already tell how much the AWWC folks love newbees and love to help them grow. I have already gotten some good cretique for my work. I only spent two minutes the first day I found this site before I decided to join. I felt the welcome and the that strongly. I me you even have a nooobs thread!

    As for the hating new agents I have never seen it. They will point out that the agent is new and list there credentals. But never have they said "oh, this guy is new don't go to them". They have even said a few times "This agency is new and estabilsihing them selfs. I wish them luck."
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  23. #48
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max View Post
    I recently had a negative experience with a publisher and editor. The publisher has made numerous threats, via email, if I put my complaints on this website, he would litigate foir slander and ruin my reputation.
    First off, he can't litigate for slander; slander is spoken false allegations. Libel would be the more accurate term, libel is written false allegations. If what you have to say is true it is neither libel or particularly actionable, and the publisher can neither ruin your reputation or take you to court over it. Often scammers will threaten lawsuits purely as a scare tactic, seldom do they actually follow through with it. Have a look in the index and see if this publisher who threatened you is listed there. Chances are you're not the only one who's had a bad experience with them.
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  24. #49
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Max: You might consider forwarding the emails to Ann and Victoria at Writer Beware (beware@sfwa.org -- they keep correspondence confidential), and/or to local law enforcement (making threats by email is illegal).

  25. #50
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Amen, Uncle Jim. Instead of being cowed into submission, which is exactly what the threats seek to do, share the facts with those who collect such material and distribute it to other writers.

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