Hey all. Yet another cynical and suspicious question from me regarding someone that I've never heard of before but that I'm hoping someone else will have...
So, I was a NaNoWriMo municipal liaison for my area this year - well, "last year" I should say, 2004 anyway - which means I get this keen ML email address listed on the ML page so people can get ahold of Boulder NaNo'ers via me. Well, in December, someone did just that. Someone name of Jami Harrah, who had this to say:
Well, I didn't pass on the email address. I figured, anyone "interested in making a serious stab at marketing their novels" wouldn't want to go with someone who is "not an agent" but states vague plans to act like one. Meh. Plus everyone knows (or sadly doesn't, but ought) you don't trust the publishers and agents who email you unsolicited. That's the first sign of scammy scam-scams, or at the very least someone who isn't being kept busy enough selling/publishing novels, that they actually have time and the desire to go looking for writers to recruit. I mean, successful and reputable agents generally wait for you to come to them. And when you do, you have to get in line.I may have some opportunities for budding writers come Spring, 2005. If any are interested in making a serious stab at marketing their novels, works-in-progress or concepts, please feel free to have them contact me. I am not an agent, but am presently consulting a number of
publishing houses and film production companies - helping them more efficiently find and acquire new literary works. Perhaps some connections can be made for some of your authors. I'd be happy to hear from any who feel adventurous. Please feel free to forward my e-mail
address as you see fit...
Evidently M. Harrah emailed all the municipal liaisons, because one of 'em posted the email to the NaNoWriMo forums, encouraging folks to get ahold of this person. And then next thing I know, I'm seeing versions of this email posted to misc.writing and other writing-related forums. Maybe it's been posted here too, I don't know. I haven't read all the topics.
And then today I got a second one:
Well, now I'm getting a little bothered. Who exactly is this person that s/he thinks s/he can tell me "where I stand in the literary marketing game"? Why all the personal questions? Why does s/he think I'm supposed to trust him/her? How do I get off his/her mailing list?Hi - as many of you may know, we're working with the publishing and media industries to build a new literary acquisition process that hopefully will end the query-letter shuffle and help industry buyers search and find projects that meet their needs in a more efficient way.
We'd like to know how you, as a writer, are currently marketing your creative works - books, scripts, etc.
If you'll take a moment to answer a few questions, we'll tally the results of everyone's answers and send you a summary so you can see where you stand in the literary marketing game. We'll also keep you up to date on our progress and let you know when the new system is ready
so you can come take a look. We're all pretty excited about it.
Just reply to this e-mail, copy the questions below and add your answers.
Thank you for helping us in this adventure!
Good luck in all your endeavors!
ZIRDLAND.COM - the literary marketplace for the 21st century
(in support of national literacy)
1) How many projects have you completed? (books, scripts, etc)
2) How many query letters do you send out each month, on average?
3) Where do you find your industry contacts? (writer's guides, magazines, word-of-mouth...?)
4) How much do you spend on marketing your works in an average month? (don't forget to include costs like: inkjet cartridges, paper, postage, advertising, etc.)
5) Do you have your works posted on any writer's registries? Which ones?
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your writer friends who may be trying to market their literary works. Thanks again!
I wouldn't have said anything about it, but the agressive solicitation, plus the suspicious vagueness, makes me wonder if anyone here has heard of him/her, or maybe whether people should be warned. A quick Google just turns up more and more of M. Harrah's postings to various forums, and no discussion of them that I haven't read before (i.e. the negative reaction from the misc.writing denizens).
After getting those emails and seeing them spread far and wide, I'm very glad to know of a place like this where I can ask about 'em.
edited because I missed the darn Preview checkbox when I tried to click on it with my mousey