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Thread: Bantam Dell - East Meets West?

  1. #1
    Mad coder, lazy writer Fahim's Avatar
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    Bantam Dell - East Meets West?

    I received a curious e-mail yesterday. It was from a GMail address and the writer said that they worked for a major publisher and that they'd found me through writers.net and wanted to ask me some questions because they were screening new writers from Asia for their "East Meets West" program. I asked him some further questions such as where he worked, what the program was about etc. and I received an e-mail from him saying that he worked for Bantam Dell and that I appeared to qualify for their program and that if I agreed to their guidelines (which was attached as a PDF with the Bantam Dell logo) that I could go ahead and submit my manuscript and that he'd go ahead and get it processed.

    Now the thing is, there are a few red flags here (or maybe I'm being paranoid :p) Why use a GMail address instead of a Bantam Dell (or Random House) e-mail address? I can't seem to find any information about an "East Meets West" program at Bantam Dell. The PDF file had a rather glaring grammatical error and it really wasn't much of a submission guideline since it didn't state what they were looking for or even how the submission should be formatted - it was simply 6 - 7 points which said things like it will take 4-6 months, no phone calls, no personal interview during this time etc.

    So my question is, is this legit? Has anybody else heard of an "East Meets West" program at Bantam Dell?
    Last edited by Fahim; 02-01-2007 at 05:09 AM.
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  2. #2
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    hmmmmm

    Paranoia is vastly under-rated, in my opinion ...

    Your gut is telling you something; listen to it.

    The deal doesn't sound kosher to me, either, if that's of any use to you.
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  3. #3
    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    It might be worthwhile to contact Random House (Bantam/Dell) and ask. Contact info here.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    I have gmail, it's free and can be used on a cell phone or computer, I'd be wary!

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'd think it was someone out to steal money off me or try to con me out of money or a ms.

  6. #6
    Super duper user limitedtimeauthor's Avatar
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    Can you look up his name on their website and email or call him to verify it?

    ltd.
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  7. #7
    Mad coder, lazy writer Fahim's Avatar
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    It's a very generic name of the "John Smith" variety - I already did lookups for him and for "East Meets West" but there were just too many results but nothing which was an actual hit. But I've written to Random House about this as well and so maybe we'll get to the bottom of this. This post was just in case this was a blanket strategy - when people look up writers and start e-mailing them, then usually at least a few at AW get hit and so this is to see if anybody else received the same mail and if they know a bit more than I do
    "My wife loved the dog. The Martian had it, and everybody knew that Martians loved dogs ... as a delicacy. I should have left them to their love triangle but there I was, chasing after the bombed mutt!"
    Normal Kint, Honest, the Martian Ate Your Dog - humorous science fiction novel available for FREE download!
    Solipsistic Meanderings
    Free software for writers (and others too :p)

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW jkorzenko's Avatar
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    I simply can't imagine anyone in the publishing industry using a gmail addie. Just my .02.

    J.

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Fahim, can you send this to me at beware@sfwa.org?

    The big red flag for me is the non-use of a Random House email address. If this were a legitimate BD or Random House initiative, the format for "John Smith" would be jsmith@randomhouse.com.

    Thanks.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin gvm's Avatar
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    A bit late to the party, but just wanted to add that I have received the exact same email as Fahim said. I have managed to confirm by a phone call that there is no person of that name at Random House.
    Hope we can get to the bottom of this somehow.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
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    My finely tuned scam detector is going AHOOOGAH!!!

    "I could go ahed and submit my manuscript and that he'd go ahead and get it processed."

    My gut feeling is that Fahim would next be asked to send some "refundable processing fees" via Western Union to expedite the matter.

  12. #12
    Feel the power! J.S Greer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Fahim, can you send this to me at beware@sfwa.org?

    The big red flag for me is the non-use of a Random House email address. If this were a legitimate BD or Random House initiative, the format for "John Smith" would be jsmith@randomhouse.com.

    Thanks.

    - Victoria
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  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    So, like, did East meet West or not?
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  14. #14
    Mad coder, lazy writer Fahim's Avatar
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    Nothing at all from that guy since I sent him a manuscript to see what would happen next :p I was at least hoping for a nice scammy e-mail - but he didn't call, he didn't write. Now I feel so abandoned
    "My wife loved the dog. The Martian had it, and everybody knew that Martians loved dogs ... as a delicacy. I should have left them to their love triangle but there I was, chasing after the bombed mutt!"
    Normal Kint, Honest, the Martian Ate Your Dog - humorous science fiction novel available for FREE download!
    Solipsistic Meanderings
    Free software for writers (and others too :p)

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I was hoping he would respond--I was really anticipating a fun bit of research getting to the bottom of the scheme.

    As I recall, he sent his guidelines on what looked like actual Random House letterhead--except it was an outdated version of the logo. I was thinking that possibly whoever was running this thing got a rejection from Random House at some point, and decided to make lemonade out of that lemon.

    - Victoria

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