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scifi97
05-03-2008, 04:34 AM
Drat! I just put a long post of important research dat on this questionable firm under the Childrens Book Publishing Agency thread and don't know how to move it to here.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99894

MadScientistMatt
05-03-2008, 05:37 AM
Cut 'n' paste time then. Each tenticle deserves its own thread.


I know this post is a bit long, but considering the importance of the topic, I figured all the details were necessary.

Since this forum saved me from the Children's Literary Agency, I thought I might help research this Strategic Book Publishing thing. I sent them my non-fiction "How to be a New Unpublished Writer" manuscript about a month ago. (No fees paid of any kind) Since that manuscript has nasty details of vanity publishing in it, I did not expect to hear back. But I was surprised. Below is what I got back.

Now, I'm sure that editor they refer to at the end would charge a hefty fee. However, the manuscript does need that work. The question is, would they really pursue this if I got the editing done somewhere else (or did it myself) and would they make any effort to sell it?? Hard to see how they could make a buck in this. Maybe charge marketing fees???

Maybe I'll polish this manuscript up and see what they really do with it. (No money or contracts coming from me though! Been there done that!)

From: "Joanne - Client Liaison" <Joanne@strategicbookpublishing.com> [Add to Address Book] (http://mailcenter2.comcast.net/wmc/v/wm/481BAF7200013E8100002B3C22058863609D0A049B9A0D049C 0A030E06?cmd=ABEntryForm&et=1&dir=abldap&sid=c0&rec=&ab_email1=Joanne%40strategicbookpublishing%2Ecom&ab_name_first=Joanne%20%2D%20Client&ab_name_last=Liaison&&endrec&)
To: <jameslbutler@comcast.net> Subject: Butler Manuscript Review Date: Friday, May 02, 2008 4:45:28 PM [View Source] (http://mailcenter2.comcast.net/wmc/v/wm/481BAF7200013E8100002B3C22058863609D0A049B9A0D049C 0A030E06?cmd=ShowSrc&no=5&uid=151454&sid=c0)


Good day, James

I have received your manuscript for review. Thank you and congratulations on its submission. The purpose of the Manuscript Review is to assure that we are understanding and realizing the same goals in the production of your work. This Review covers the manuscript received on the date below. It should be understood that time does not permit an entire read-through of your manuscript. However, our skill allows us to perform an excellent analysis of your manuscript and determine if it is in need of an edit, and in some cases, a rewrite. Please reply to me with any comments that you may have. After we have discussed the Manuscript Review, we will begin the next steps in preparation of your manuscript into a finished book. Please understand that the logistics of the process will involve a large number of factors. It is important that we keep things in sync so delays don’t occur. Be sure that you provide us with correct information at the outset. Your assistance will help the process run far more smoothly. Carefully review your manuscript prior to submitting it for an edit or, if you opt to edit it yourself, that you have made certain it is perfect because the next step on its journey will be production, and any changes will slow it down. If you are diligent in the process, you can ensure that your final product will top quality.

Warmest regards,

Joanne – Review Manager

Date manuscript received: April 8, 2008

Author name: James L. Butler

Book Title: How to be a ‘New Unpublished Writer’ for 30 Years

Sub Title:



Manuscript Assessment ----


Word Count: 36,362

Formatting - okay? ( ) yes ( x ) no

Comments: In particular the paragraph indentation and spacing.

Are all elements of the manuscript in one file? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Are the margins set at 1"? Can they be easily changed if not? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Is the font at 12pt Times New Roman for all elements? ( ) yes ( x ) no
Are there any strange breaks in sections, pages, paragraphs? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Are paragraphs formatted correctly? ( ) yes ( x) no
Are headers and footers, if used, easily removed? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Is the title page correct? ( ) yes ( x ) no
Are illustrations, photos, graphs, etc. removed from text and available separately, and clearly marked? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Formatting is (check one): ( ) Perfect ( x ) Normal ( ) Needs Extensive Work


Editing needed? ( x) yes ( ) no

Comments: James, first and foremost, I laughed out loud many times while reading your manuscript. You have an extraordinary wit. Every "would be writer, working writer and most importantly, has been writer will love this book. With that said, I recommend a complete edit as I noticed errors in punctuation throughout. I question the use of both ? and / in the first introductory paragraph. The impact of the sentence stands alone. I would recommend leaving the “though” out -


I have become something of an expert at ‘keeping writing’ over the last 30 years. Not many writers would want to wait thirty years to become a ‘New Published Writer’ though.

Comma use - I think there is one and only one reason real writers write; they love to do it, no matter what the outcome.

It is very hard to get a great story, even perfectly prepared, published.

They do not understand that the internal satisfaction of creating something of their own has to be rewarding enough, on its own, to keep them going even as the cold and cutting rejection letters come pouring in.

At a minimum they will be amazed at how one writer could step on so many of the mines without losing a limb or at least his sanity, and forgotten memories of their own fear filled encounters in the minefield will surely be viewed in a new light.

That SASE came back pretty quickly, with nothing in it but a yellow Post It, with a hand written note scribbled on it.
You get the idea.
I love most of the fragmented sentences. They make a humorous - impact statement. There are times when it may be very slightly overused as in - Well, a story long enough to be a book. Or Probably a privacy thing.
You may not want to diminish the impact when the fragments are necessary by overuse.
I found a few spelling errors and mild grammar errors as in :
For those eight weeks I could care less
Beep, beep, beep, beep. Sounds like a timer counting dow
I would recommend a full edit to simply have another set of eyes making sure this beautiful manuscript gets the exposure that it deserves. The paragraphs must all be reformatted.
Being an ex-humor writer (not currently being published) myself, I fell in love with the minefields. Your style is extremely readable and funny. The transition between the minefields and the story of your life is excellent and I thought the publisher replies were great --- but without a doubt my favorite is your unique genre descriptions. I would personally love to see this book in print.


We know that you do not want to be embarrassed by mechanical errors within your text (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.) As your production liaison, it is important to me that your book is error-free. However, the choice for editing is ultimately yours. As you know, you are responsible for the content within your book. Further along in the production process, you will be required to sign off that you understand this, and that we are not held responsible for errors. Therefore, I would like to suggest that you consider having an editor go over your work one final time. You can choose any editor you wish, however, we do have a referral with whom we work who will do the work in a timely fashion. We trust them and their quality. Let me know if you would like to work with them, or how you would like to proceed with corrections to your text. We are happy to advise you whatever you decide. We want the book to be as professional as you do!

Dedications?( ) yes ( x ) no

Comments: Can be added

Acknowledgements?( ) yes ( x ) no

Comments: Can be added

Table of Contents?( x) yes ( ) no

Comments:

Index?( x ) yes ( ) no

Comments:

Introduction?( x ) yes ( ) no

Comments:

Illustrations?( ) yes ( x) no

Comments:

Googled Author Name( x ) yes ( ) no

Comments: No conflict

Googled Title( x) yes ( ) no

Comments: No conflict

CONCLUSION:

A book from a writer about writing will naturally have more scrutiny with regard to grammar and punctuation. This is a tremendous view in to the reality of the publishing (or lack of publishing) industry and the obsession of the true writer. This is the perfect companion (to make up for the average writer having no social life) for every would be writer I know!

THE OPENING PARAGRAPH

Good introduction. The minefields are brilliant.

THE TITLE

Good title – I hope it conveys the essence of the humor.

THE COVER

Please share with me your ideas / vision for the cover.

Please provide me with your feedback on these comments.

I look forward to working with you and creating a beautiful book of which you can be proud.

Joanne – Review Manager


I take it a title like "How to be a New Unpublished Writer" is kind of like the infamous unofficial contest to see if the Screenplay Agency could reject a logline, were people started sending them loglines ranging from illiterate to unfilmable to incoherrant?

scifi97
05-03-2008, 06:20 AM
It is a real manuscript, for what it is worth. See SYW post

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99140

MadScientistMatt
05-03-2008, 04:13 PM
Cool, just wondering. It's the sort of title that could either be a how-to guide to publishing with attitude, or a prank title to see if they read it, and I wasn't sure which.

James D. Macdonald
05-03-2008, 05:30 PM
36K words would be a very difficult length to market.

triceretops
05-04-2008, 05:13 AM
36K words would be a very difficult length to market.

This was my first thought. It's half of what it needs to be, for even a "how to" non-fiction work.

Tri

James D. Macdonald
05-05-2008, 02:25 PM
Word I have is that SBP is a "50:50 shared-risk" publisher. In other words, vanity press.

Definitely avoid these folks.

CaoPaux
05-05-2008, 08:47 PM
Adding some spider food:

Strategic Book Publishing (www.StrategicBookPublishing.com), is part of the Strategic Publishing Group, which also consists of:

The Global Book Agency (www.theglobalbookagency.com)

Eloquent Books (www.eloquentbooks.com)

Strategic Book Marketing (www.StrategicBookMarketing.com)

Strategic Book Agency
--Childrens Book Publishing Agency
--Writers Book Publishing Agency
--Screenplay Writers Agency
--Poetry Book Publishing Agency

Avoid! http://foolstown.com/sm/pauk.gif

MadScientistMatt
05-06-2008, 04:08 AM
Perhaps I should have done this earlier, but now I'm going to go through the original post and point out some of the ready flags. Well, at least we have the complete form to refer to above.

First red flag - this isn't quite the way nonfiction publishing normally works.


I have received your manuscript for review. Thank you and congratulations on its submission. The purpose of the Manuscript Review is to assure that we are understanding and realizing the same goals in the production of your work. This Review covers the manuscript received on the date below. It should be understood that time does not permit an entire read-through of your manuscript. However, our skill allows us to perform an excellent analysis of your manuscript and determine if it is in need of an edit, and in some cases, a rewrite.

Nonfiction publishers can and do award contracts without reading a complete book. However, they normally do so by requesting a proposal containing a sample chapter, outline, and other information. This both saves the publisher having to look through a complete book, and the author from having to write the whole thing if the publisher doesn't want it.


Formatting - okay?


( ) yes ( x ) no


Comments: In particular the paragraph indentation and spacing.

Are all elements of the manuscript in one file? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Are the margins set at 1"? Can they be easily changed if not? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Is the font at 12pt Times New Roman for all elements? ( ) yes ( x ) no
Are there any strange breaks in sections, pages, paragraphs? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Are paragraphs formatted correctly? ( ) yes ( x) no
Are headers and footers, if used, easily removed? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Is the title page correct? ( ) yes ( x ) no
Are illustrations, photos, graphs, etc. removed from text and available separately, and clearly marked? ( x ) yes ( ) no
Formatting is (check one): ( ) Perfect ( x ) Normal ( ) Needs Extensive Work

It appears they are expecting the author to do a considerable amount of the typesetting for them. Understandable with Lulu, not understandable with a commercial publisher. A trade press would have a set of submission guidelines, but a manuscript formatted to those guidelines doesn't look remotely like a complete book. The amount of time they spend on formatting suggests they are planning to dump the file straight into a typesetting program instead of carefully copyediting it. Their choice of font also makes me wonder if that's the plan, although some trade publishers really do prefer Times for submissions.


Editing needed?


( x) yes ( ) no

Say what? If a commercial publisher ever had a check box like that, the only choices would be "yes" and "yes." A publisher not editing their manuscripts would be like a car manufacturer not having a quality control program in place. Unthinkable, and for the exact same reason.


We know that you do not want to be embarrassed by mechanical errors within your text (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.) As your production liaison, it is important to me that your book is error-free. However, the choice for editing is ultimately yours.

The previous line was out in left field. Here they've run smack into the Green Monster.

A commercial publisher does not want to be embarrassed by mechanical errors in a text at all, nor do they want to be embarrassed even more by factual errors. They want to make bloody certain the book's as good as they can get it before it goes to print. Bad reviews hurt their sales and their reputation. The publisher has a financial stake in the sale of the book and will make sure it's thoroughly edited. At their expense.


Therefore, I would like to suggest that you consider having an editor go over your work one final time. You can choose any editor you wish, however, we do have a referral with whom we work who will do the work in a timely fashion. We trust them and their quality. Let me know if you would like to work with them, or how you would like to proceed with corrections to your text. We are happy to advise you whatever you decide. We want the book to be as professional as you do!

Ah, sales pitch number one! It would appear they are making referals to a book doctor and getting kickbacks like Edit Ink. Or, since this is the LAG, the editor is probably the same person. Traditionally, that would have been "My Editor is a Saint," but now that they're reinventing themselves it may be some other group. A real publisher pays for the editing themselves.

triceretops
05-06-2008, 07:39 AM
Excellent. Another cockroach exposed to the light. Vanity.

Tri

AC Crispin
05-06-2008, 08:23 PM
Early indications are that this is Robert Fletcher's newest project.

Need I say more?

-Ann C. Crispin

James D. Macdonald
05-15-2008, 04:22 PM
Darn I'm good! I predicted this one two years ago!

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=578004&postcount=59

crankykitty
05-26-2008, 10:44 PM
I had a rather bizarre experience with these folks. About a month ago I enquired about selling Chinese rights to my book, figuring that on their Global Publishing website it talked all about foreign rights and what not. So, I got a response saying that they don't handle non-English rights and that I could probably publish the book myself.

Weird.

scottVee
05-26-2008, 11:14 PM
Sorry, but this doesn't look terribly legit. They brag about being part of a "global alliance", but when you go to that site, it's obviously a clone of their own site. Same logo and amateurish look.

Someone asked us to look into this company during a chat this week (see http://writersChatroom.com ) and between about 6 of us we just couldn't find anything to suggest this is a solid publisher.

The posts here, especially the long and weird response to an actual submission, do nothing to add to my confidence. In any case, keep doing your research. Why commit all your hard work to some company you've never heard of?

= scott

DaveKuzminski
05-27-2008, 12:54 AM
Well, Strategic Book Publishing is claiming that one of its books is on Oprah's site at http://www2.oprah.com/xm/pwalsh/pwalsh_main.jhtml and that another of its authors was featured on the Dr. Phil show. They give a link to these at http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/featured.html .

brianm
05-27-2008, 03:46 AM
Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't find either one of those authors mentioned on the linked sites.:Shrug:

IceCreamEmpress
05-27-2008, 10:49 PM
Strategic Book Publishing has published a man who has been featured on Oprah's radio show. Don Sutton is the founder of a very successful anti-methamphetamine grassroots advocacy group in Northern Oregon, and a book he wrote about his experiences is published by SBP.

However, that doesn't mean that SBP is a good publisher; Sutton's exposure is due to his impressive activities, not to SBP's PR skills. What we learn from this is that people doing very worthy things and getting good press for it may, at the same time, not exercise good judgment in marketing their work to legit publishers.

To me, this is more along the lines of "Jamie Farr published a children's book with PublishAmerica" than any great blow for legitimacy by SBP or Mr. Fletcher.




Here's what I said about this on another thread about the Fletcher empire (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102733):

If you're talking about Don Sutton, he wasn't on the show because of his book; he was on the show because of the success of his Northern Oregon anti-methamphetamine program.

The fact that Mr. Fletcher was able to get Mr. Sutton, whose work in creating a grassroots organization to combat drug addiction is indeed very impressive, to publish with him is certainly a testament to Mr. Fletcher's sales skills with prospective authors (especially those who don't know much about the publishing industry).

If you have a story as interesting as Mr. Sutton's, I guarantee you you will be able to find a better publisher.

victoriastrauss
05-28-2008, 07:05 AM
The air date of the episode Mr. Sutton appeared on was January 18, 2008 (http://www2.oprah.com/xm/pwalsh/200801/pwalsh_20080118.jhtml). Mr. Sutton's book was published on March 14, 2008 (http://tinyurl.com/3q2yny). Moreover, he wasn't interviewed on the Oprah TV show, but on a radio show that's part of her XM network.

On Strategic's website, they print a little testimonial from Mr. Sutton, which reads in part (my bolding):

Dear SBP: Well, it is raining here in Oregon, but the Son is shining in my heart! My Books arrived on Wednesday, just like you said. They are nearly all gone too and I will be placing another order very soon.

Any guesses as to how Strategic makes the bulk of its income (apart from the referrals to vanity publisher Eloquent Books, that is)?

- Victoria

Katya Bjorn
07-13-2008, 02:12 AM
I am soooo glad that I googled this firm and found this thread! I did their copy & paste submission yesterday -- spent much of the afternoon on it because I wanted it to be as solid and grounded as possible. I didn't google them yesterday because a dear friend and trusted colleague (we taught together at a small graduate institute in S. CA) told me about them so I figured they were legit. (I'm going to phone and warn her tonight.)

Today, less than 24 hours later, I got their response (their editors work on Saturdays?). For one thing, nothing specific about MY project was included. It was so generic that I wondered if they had even read my submission/synopsis, etc. Further, on their webpages and again in their response, they keep saying they're a "traditional publisher." Fine, then I want to hear something about the advance they're prepared to offer me. But the word never came up. Also, there was too much focus on editing. Four of my books have been published and I was never asked such questions. (I loved the points one of you made about what the obsession with editing and formatting actually implies.)

Next, they want me to e-mail the book to them w/in 10 days. Normally, if a publisher actually wants to see my ms, I get excited. But today, there was no excitement, just an odd wariness. Their instructions state that if a book is between 5-100 MG, I should send it through www.yousendit.com. That seemed odd to me. Why can't I just upload the chapter files, one by one, to the publisher?

After finally reading this thread on your forum, I checked www.yousendit.com and wasn't surprised to find that using them comes with a price. I'm wondering if Strategic gets a cut -- they must send a lot of authors to this service.

Anyway, much as I'd like to see this particular book get published, there are too many warning bells in your posts. As a "final test," however, first I'll email them and ask how much of an advance I can expect and how soon after contract-signing will I receive it. No advance, no Katya. I'll let you know what happens!

Warmly,

Katya

CaoPaux
07-14-2008, 09:05 PM
After finally reading this thread on your forum, I checked www.yousendit.com and wasn't surprised to find that using them comes with a price. I'm wondering if Strategic gets a cut -- they must send a lot of authors to this service.Yousendit has an affiliate program, so I'd say that's a "yes".

Donna Pudick
07-22-2008, 09:54 PM
Anyone know anything about them? I just noticed their listing in Writers Market, but their website lists only one book. They're not listed on P & E.

DP

IceCreamEmpress
07-22-2008, 10:06 PM
RUN LIKE THE WIND!

There's a thread about them here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101448).

brianm
07-22-2008, 10:06 PM
Here's the existing thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101448) on this publisher.

In a word... avoid.

By the by, if you use the search button located at the top of this page you'll discover many of the publishers already have existing threads. If nothing turns up, google the publisher's name with "site:absolutewrite.com" added to the end of their name. Example:


Strategic Book Publishing site:absolutewrite.com

Donna Pudick
07-22-2008, 10:32 PM
Thanks, folks. I'm wondering why Writers Market has them listed. They are usually very careful about these things.

DP

CaoPaux
07-22-2008, 10:54 PM
Threads merged. Please check the Index before posting new threads.

Bellecrivain
08-20-2008, 05:02 AM
A young Rumanian novelist who came to me for advice was all ready to sign with them today. I told her to wait while I checked them out. I was horrified! I felt I needed to check my misgivings out with you guys. Thanks for helping save another innocent "newbie" from distress and heartache!

AC Crispin
08-20-2008, 06:29 PM
Writer Beware has now established a definite ownership and control link between Strategic Book Publishing and Robert Fletcher, who owns and has owned an ever-changing variety of "literary agencies."

See the "Alert" section on Writer Beware.

www.writerbeware.com

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

BenPanced
08-20-2008, 06:46 PM
Thanks, folks. I'm wondering why Writers Market has them listed. They are usually very careful about these things.

DP
Writers Market has listings for Author House, iUniverse, X Libiris, and Publish America. It seems they'll list anybody who fills out their forms without doing any background checks.

SammyW
08-23-2008, 02:46 AM
Wow. They contacted my agent and she sent me an email about them. I was thinking of trying them out, then I did research and found this place.

Thank you. You guys saved me from a deal I would've greatly regreted later! :D

victoriastrauss
08-23-2008, 03:33 AM
Sammy, who's your agent? Respond privately if you prefer. Thanks.

- Victoria

SammyW
08-25-2008, 12:27 AM
WL Literary Agency.

And yes, I've since learned they're not a good agent (both from others and from experience), and plan to break up with them as soon as possible.

James D. Macdonald
08-25-2008, 12:37 AM
Wow. They contacted my agent and she sent me an email about them.

Wow. Strategic Book Publishing and the WL Literary Agency are one and the same. Big surprise that one would recommend the other! That's been Bobby Fletcher's business model from day one: Send you around to "different" companies (that are all him), with each one getting part of your bank account.

SammyW
08-25-2008, 01:38 AM
Wow. Strategic Book Publishing and the WL Literary Agency are one and the same. Big surprise that one would recommend the other! That's been Bobby Fletcher's business model from day one: Send you around to "different" companies (that are all him), with each one getting part of your bank account.


Really? :Wha: I had no idea.

This is why I'm so glad I got a became a member of this place. I'm a
novice in the writing biz and have little or no idea of how to "play the game". And as I've found it out, there a lot of people out there trying to use and maniplate us. :(
So I'm happy I found this place! :D

James D. Macdonald
08-25-2008, 02:10 AM
May I be so bold as to ask how much you've sent to either WL Literary or to places recommended by them (for example, for a "critique" or for "editing")?

SammyW
08-25-2008, 03:39 AM
Well, SBP was the first publisher they've bought up. But unfortunately, I've emailed them the manuscript of my book...twice. Apparently, they didn't get it the first time (I'd just found out about their reputation, and this futher tipped me off). I also sent some of it a literary service for critiquing purposes. It was supposed to be a "middleman", but now I'm not so sure. Can't remember it's name though...but it cost me 90 bucks.

Like I said, I'm going to break it off with them as soon as possible. :mad:

AC Crispin
08-25-2008, 07:58 AM
It's all owned and controlled by Robert Fletcher. The literary agency, the editing service, and Strategic Book Publishing.

All of it.

The WL contract allows a writer to stop being a client at willl. All the client has to do is write to WL and announce that as of X date, WL Agency no longer represents him/her or any of his/her works.

Fletcher knows he'll get fired as soon as the writer wises up. He doesn't try to hold onto his "clients" who have awakened and smelled the coffee.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

k.san
08-27-2008, 06:02 AM
Well, SBP was the first publisher they've bought up. But unfortunately, I've emailed them the manuscript of my book...twice. Apparently, they didn't get it the first time (I'd just found out about their reputation, and this futher tipped me off). I also sent some of it a literary service for critiquing purposes. It was supposed to be a "middleman", but now I'm not so sure. Can't remember it's name though...but it cost me 90 bucks.

Like I said, I'm going to break it off with them as soon as possible. :mad:

How coincidental, my 1st ms sending failed too, hmmmm. Eloquent Books has generously offered to publish my children's book for $675. Don't worry, I'm going to pass. I plan on emailing my agent (CLA, who else?) right now and asking for the original rejections from the 7 (of 10) publishers they supposedly sent my ms to. Then I'm going to ask they send the returned mss (10) that I paid $175 for special binding, printing etc. Then I'm going to email them and say THANKS FOR RIPPING ME OFF YOU B*****D'S.

AC Crispin
08-27-2008, 07:54 AM
K. San, I'm heading off to teach writing workshops at Dragoncon over Labor Day weekend. But I'll be back as of September 2nd.

You need to drop me an email.

I'll give you info about what to do next.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com
anncrispin@aol.com

RedChip
10-15-2008, 02:21 AM
Thanks SO much for the info. They wanted close to a thousand dollars from me up front.

Donna Pudick
10-16-2008, 06:08 PM
How is it that he's still in business? Well, I can tell you that I've met a slew of writers who never heard of this forum or P & E, or any of the watchdog committees that help (save) them from the clutches of scammers.

Everyone in the world is writing a book, and many are desperate to be published. Fletcher is one of many who take advantage of that desperation. It's time for authors to put their egos aside and learn to take no for an answer from a legit agent or publisher.

DP

Gravity
10-16-2008, 06:24 PM
How is it that he's still in business?

That's easy. It starts when the little dears are in school. There it's "everyone's a winner, there are no losers, we're all winners in our own way, why wait to get better at tasks? you should have it NOW, you get a big ol' attaboy just for trying." It's all of a piece when they start down that road. They develop an "I deserve it" mentality, a mindset that's nurtured like mothers' milk until they're about twenty-five or so.

And that's when Life As We Know It is only too happy to plant the toe of its boot right up their butt.

AC Crispin
10-16-2008, 06:30 PM
There is, and has been, an ALERT up on Writer Beware for people who have had problems with Strategic Book Publishing.

Just go to www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com) and it's right there on the front page

Gives contact info, etc.

If you have had problems, please check out this ALERT.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)

tico1177
10-30-2008, 06:19 PM
Alot of info on the entire group for this company and the whole. What sux is that right now I think I am in the trap with their Literary Agency. But the bonus on that is two fold.
1. I'm not as stupid as they think I am and I copyrighted my material.
2. I'm a computer geek by trade and know how to research them!

So here it is folks. The truly official information on the Writer's Literary Agency/Strategic Book Publishing/any other name they came up with!

When you take their domain name "strategicbookpublishing.com" and "wlwritersagency.com" and plug them into my favorite site: WHOIS.net, you will get the below:

(Please notice the bolded areas!!!!)

WHOIS information for: wlwritersagency.com (http://wlwritersagency.com/):
[whois.schlund.info]

% The data in the WHOIS database of 1&1 Internet AG is provided by
% 1&1 for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining
% information about or related to a domain name registration record.
% 1&1 does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query,
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% telephone, or facsimile of mass, unsolicited, commercial advertising or
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% customers; or
% (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or
% data to the systems of any Registry Operator or ICANN-Accredited registrar,
% except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing
% registrations.
% 1&1 reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.
% By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

domain: wlwritersagency.com
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last-changed: 24-Sep-2008
registration-expiration: 08-Feb-2010

nserver: ns57.1and1.com 74.208.2.9
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status: CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED

registrant-firstname: Oneandone
registrant-lastname: Private Registration
registrant-organization: 1&1 Internet, Inc. - http://1and1.com/contact
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admin-c-firstname: Oneandone
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tech-c-firstname: Oneandone
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% See http://registrar.1und1.info for information about 1&1 Internet AG


WHOIS information for: strategicbookpublishing.com (http://strategicbookpublishing.com/):
[whois.schlund.info]

% The data in the WHOIS database of 1&1 Internet AG is provided by
% 1&1 for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining
% information about or related to a domain name registration record.
% 1&1 does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query,
% you agree that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that,
% under no circumstances, you will use this data to
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% telephone, or facsimile of mass, unsolicited, commercial advertising or
% solicitations to entities other than the data recipient's own existing
% customers; or
% (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or
% data to the systems of any Registry Operator or ICANN-Accredited registrar,
% except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing
% registrations.
% 1&1 reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.
% By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

domain: strategicbookpublishing.com
created: 07-Jan-2008
last-changed: 09-Sep-2008
registration-expiration: 07-Jan-2010

nserver: ns57.1and1.com 74.208.2.9
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admin-c-firstname: Oneandone
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bill-c-ccode: US
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bill-c-email: proxy1119367@1and1-private-registration.com

% See http://registrar.1und1.info for information about 1&1 Internet AG


As you see, they are registered with the same exact address, therefore the agency tries to sell you their services!

So to further think about this revelation...
They publish your book and make money from the sales. They sell you their services and make money.
They charge a 10% agent fee and make money from you.

Well it won't work for me because I am going to push them for a real publisher.

Up until their contract is up.

AC Crispin
10-30-2008, 06:59 PM
Dear Tico:

Did you read the previous post in this thread? Did you check out the "Alert" on Writer Beware?

The link between Strategic Book Publishing and WLA has been positively established. This is mentioned in the official case investigation that has been opened regarding Robert Fletcher and his cohorts by the Florida Attorney General's Office.

See this URL for the listing:

http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA

Why in the world are you staying with this literary agency now that you know they aren't legit? Why are you "in a trap" with them? You can get out at any time. Just write them a letter and tell them they no longer represent you or any of your works.

Then contact the Florida Attorney General's Office by going to the "Alert" posted on the first page of Writer Beware (www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)) and clicking on it. All the info you will need is there.

You really don't have to bother with all these "WhoIs" searches. Robert Fletcher has been exposed and discredited pretty thoroughly in the past few years. Any google search should turn up hordes of complaints about him and his companies.

I hope you read this message.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)

P.S. Why didn't you check them out before signing with them? Please remember that in the future, never sign with any publishing company or literary agent without thoroughly researching them.

PPS. Oh, and don't worry about "copyright" on your manuscript. Mr. Fletcher has no interest in stealing your manuscript and marketing it as his own work. All he wants is your money, and he's already gotten that. So you can put that fear to rest.

JulieB
10-30-2008, 07:26 PM
Those domains are registered privately through 1and1, which by itself is not a clue. That's the address and phone number that 1and1 uses to manage private registrations.

I have mixed feelings about private registration. It's good for personal domains or for people who worry about getting stalked. For most businesses that have a street address that they publicize anyway, private registration seems a little odd. OTOH, it does cut down on spam and unwanted phone calls and snail mail.

However, it's not a total shield. The registrar will forward important e-mail and snail mail such as legal notices, and some will drop private registration in cases of abuse (see the terms and conditions of individual registrars for details).

There are plenty of other clues upthread, though. (ETA: Ann Crispin beat me to part of this.)

tico1177
10-30-2008, 07:30 PM
Thanks for replying and all the information. When I signed with them originally, I didn't realize how much thought goes into the process. Now that I know, I won't make that mistake again.

The question that is left, is if I can get out of the contract. I will just have to read up on the case and see what I can do. It doesn't matter too much since their year to serve me is almost up.

So basically I can keep holding out until it runs out and then fire them.

tico1177
10-30-2008, 07:42 PM
Here is the email I just sent them:


Georgina and Andrea,

I am slamming the brakes on this venture as of this moment. All along, I have had this funny feeling that "something too good to be true" really is too good to be true.

After further research, I have found that your agency has repeatedly attempted to sell me on services that are 100% affiliated with you and all falling under the same umbrella of a company.

I now learn that a Robert Fletcher is under investigation by the Florida Attorney General as in this link: http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA

Our contract, as of this moment, is terminated as you are seen unfit to represent my work to the publishing world.

Should you have any questions about any legalities, please contact me by email.

Sincerely

Robbski
11-05-2008, 12:43 AM
I submitted a synopsis to Dorrance Publishing who referred me to Strategic. The huge email explaining how good they are is what set the alarms off. I just want to thank you guys here to telling me what I suspected. ))

CaoPaux
11-05-2008, 12:48 AM
Dorrance referred you to Strategic?! Did you save the referral? If you're uncomfortable posting it, at least forward it to Victoria. Oh, please, please, please! :)

AC Crispin
11-05-2008, 04:43 AM
PLEASE forward that email to Writer Beware!

The address is: beware@sfwa.org

Thank you!

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

Bob Holtzman
11-05-2008, 05:37 PM
AEG Publishing Group is advertising for editors on Craigslist (http://hartford.craigslist.org/wri/870216195.html). AEG includes Strategic Book Pubishing, Strategic Book Marketing, Eloquent Books, Writers Literary, and Global Book Agency. (Actually, I don't see Writers Literary on the AEG's website (http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com), but in an email to me, their director of hiring names them as part of AEG.) I haven't seen AEG named before in connection with Strategic or Writers Literary in this thread. Is this a new persona for them?

Before checking them out here, I did an editing test, which I passed. Am now waiting to learn the terms of their offer. Will report back.

Calmuse
11-06-2008, 07:28 AM
I'm a newbie, too, Bob Holtzman, although I've occasionally been perusing Absolute Write's forums for the past few months.

Like you, I responded to one of Strategic's online job postings for editors. The posting I saw was rather vague and identified the company as Writers' Literary Services.

I received a suspiciously quick response on a Sunday evening—which already raised a red flag. Publishing types are often glacially slow in responding to anything. Having been a copy editor at a small, understaffed publisher for three and a half years, I know this all too well.

Lynn Eddy, the hiring manager who responded to my job query, claimed to represent a small global publishing consortium called AEG Publishing Group, which includes Strategic and Eloquent. I checked the website for one of these "imprints" and saw blurbs about a few books and authors I'd never heard of. Even Amazon has precious few copies of any of these books; by comparison, books released by iUniverse and other self-publishing groups are much better represented.

Still, I had been getting a tad frustrated with my job search and meager freelance prospects. So out of curiosity I began the "edit test" that Ms. Eddy had attached to her response: a seventy-two-page novella that badly needed proofing. Seventy-two pages—again, another red flag. My previous employer's test consisted of brief timed edits of several kinds of excerpts -- a total of no more than a dozen pages -- along with a series of short grammar drills, questions, and spelling tests, all of them timed.

As a final disappointment, I soon discovered that the test novella I received had been published in 2003 -- under the same title, no less. Ms. Eddy should not have sent me a "test" with a title that in itself potentially raised a copyediting question, which resulted in yet another rather revealing (and damaging) online search.

I just e-mailed Ms. Crispin about this matter. My guess is that AEG or Writers' Literary Services, or whatever this entity wants to call itself, would simply accept my edit and not pay me, since it was only a "test." And I would never hear from them again. At this point, I have no intention of finishing my edit and submitting it.

Pity. The story had potential, at least as far as I got with it before major alarms started to go off in my head. Fortunately, I only spent a few hours on it before wising up. I don't have time for this kind of Mickey Mouse. Who does?

Bob Holtzman
11-06-2008, 05:55 PM
I checked Writer Beware and contacted its co-owner V. Strauss and learned that AEG and all these other company names are indeed associated with the same Robert Fletcher.

The editing "test" that I took was much shorter than yours, Calmuse -- about 6 pages.

I don't believe that their intent is to rip off the editors directly. I have a friend who just did some production-related work for them, and she was paid promptly. What concerns me is becoming an accessory -- legal, moral, or otherwise -- to their questionable business practices. Add to that their horrible rate of pay ($0.006 per word -- yes, that's right, six tenths of a cent per word, less than half the industry standard), and there's not much incentive to help them abuse ignorant, optimistic authors.

Plus, they're cutting their rates. Here's an interesting letter from "Robert" (no last name) that the company just sent to their editors, production folks and other freelances:

Dear All:

I need to ask you a favor. The economic downturn has reached us and while our overall business model is still solid, weekly billings have dropped precipitously. In a rapidly growing, bootstrapped company like ours, there is very little wiggle room if revenues take a dip, which has happened in the last two weeks.

We have a pretty good early warning system, and it is telling us to make contingency plans NOW, which is why I am writing this email to you (and everyone).

To make a long story short, to get through the upcoming holiday period, we need to make some adjustments to how we pay our payroll. We hope to keep the same pay rate, but we need to take into account weekly fluctuations in deposits.

Payroll is our biggest expense and while we have made payroll every week, it runs so close that if the deposits hit on Friday, but the payroll checks hit on Wednesday, then our bank fees are outrageous.

As you know, our corporate culture is to pay everyone a 'living wage'. If you think about it, we have been generous with starting compensation, and raises for those employees that have worked with us over time. Frankly, I have tried to pay everyone a little bit better than is necessary because I want to be surrounded by good people for a long time.

On the flip side, the unfortunate fact is that other than the retraining costs, and due to the large number of people looking for work, we can hire for much less than we pay now.

But, I don't want to hire all new people. I am trying to avoid layoffs. Lulu.com just laid off 25% of it's workforce. We have such a good team of people, that I really don't want to lay anyone off. Everyone is doing a great job, and we really are working as a team, so I am very reluctant to make any major changes to the way we do business and to the people that work for us.

So, my first plan of action is to ask everyone for a temporary reduction in their base hourly rate and to tie everyone's compensation to the billings of the company, and issue a monthly 'bonus' that is based on the company's health. Hopefully, the monthly bonus will equalize your pay, just be time-shifted a bit.

The way it will work is this. This will be the temporary plan between now and 12/31/2008. I am hopeful that we can revisit the plan at that time. (I am extremely worried about the upcoming Thanksgiving week and Christmas week). So, hopefully, other than changing the dates/times that you get your check, the overall effect will be minimized and spread out across everyone equally.

Everyone will receive a reduction in their base rate of 25%. This means that if you were making $20/hr, then 25% of $20 is $5, so the new base rate is $15/hr. If you are an editor, then if you billed us $400 for a job, the pay will be $300. This is your new rate. There is no legal obligation on the company to pay more than this via the bonus. (Sorry, but I legally have to say that).

Vicki will keep track of your payroll billings for the monthly time period. At the end of each month, based on deposits, I will give Vicki what the bonus amount is. Every month, based on revenues, we will issue a bonus check to each person that has been on payroll for the prior month that will hopefully be the same as what you would have normally made, and you will be back to prior rates, and the company will have avoided $500 a week in check fees at the bank.


Note: We will pay you as per our agreement for the prior time periods. It might take a couple of weeks to get everyone squared away, but you will get paid at the agreed upon rate, for the prior weeks. and I do ask your patience in getting you the money for the prior pay periods.

I hate to ask for something like this, without giving something in return, so let me share with you a bit of a longer term vision for the company.

By the end of next year, I plan to setup an employee stock option plan, and add benefits. I have a vision that this can become a company that we can retire from, and that we will be in operation for the next 50 years. So, I promise you, that if you can hang in there with us, the sacrifices will be worth it.

Let me explain why I am so bullish on the business model. Sales of books are exceeding our expectations. We are publishing about 20 authors a week, and we will reach 1000 authors by next summer. If we average 200 books per year, per author, that's 200,000 books sold and at a net of about $4-5 each, that's about $1 MM net profit annually. That kind of net profit goes a long way towards smoothing out these ups and downs in our weekly cash flow.

So, in conclusion, please get back to me or Vicki with any comments or concerns that you may have and whether you can live with this plan. I am happy to do what I can to try to help you, but staying alive is my primary concern.

If you cannot, or choose not, to proceed, I trust you will exit professionally and help us hand off your work and retrain, and we will keep the door open for you if you wish to come back later.

Thank you again for your understanding. This is a tough time however, I know that we will overcome it.

Thanks again for what you have done for us so far.

Sincerely,
Robert

Funny how they're demanding a 25% reduction in fees, when the problem is stated to be slow business, not rising costs. (Since this is freelance piece-work, the logical response is to keep the same rate of pay, and simply hand off fewer jobs to freelancers.) And how he brags about how strong sales and profits are, contradicting his justification that the fee reduction is necessary because sales are slow. And how they expect freelancers who don't wish to accept the pay cut to work, apparently for free, to "retrain" (sic) their replacements. And, for that matter, how they consistently refer to freelancers as "employees."

Momento Mori
11-06-2008, 06:41 PM
If I was a freelancer for this company, I'd say that their cash flow problems (which to be honest, I really don't understand as surely seasonal variations are reasonably foreseeable and should have been provided for already with appropriate cash contingencies) are their problem. Asking me to take a cut in my rates so they can avoid a 500 dollar charge at the bank (and in itself, the fact that they're worried about incurring that charge is a red flag) is unacceptable.

MM

victoriastrauss
11-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Writer Beware has just started to hear from AEG/Strategic/Eloquent editors who've either gotten the message Bob posted above, or who have had trouble being paid.

- Victoria

Sweetleaf
12-04-2008, 12:35 AM
I just got offered a joint venture deal with Eloquent Books. I emailed my manuscript and got no reply, so sent a follow-up. I then got an email back from Lori, whose email signature said she was at Harding House Publishing. About ten days later I got the reply from Eloquents Aquisitons saying they wanted to offer me the joint venture, but that they hadn't read the manuscript.
I assumed that Lori was a freelance assessor, but does anyone know of any connection with Harding House?
Also, does anyone have any advice on getting published in the US? I'm from New Zealand and publishers here are awful - I can't get an agent to even look at my work, and no publishers want to know you unless you're a: already published, or b: writing about New Zealand.

Sometimes I just want to bash my head against a wall...
Comments like "We really liked it, but..." and "We think you're really talented, but..." aren't any good to me. I'm sorry to vent, but I'm so frustrated and until I started researching I though Eloquent was finally going to be a way to break the wall...

Bob Holtzman
12-04-2008, 12:56 AM
Overtired,
I hope it's needless to state that their lovely "joint venture" offer is simply subsidy publishing in yet another guise.

victoriastrauss
12-04-2008, 01:47 AM
Harding House's website (http://www.hardinghousepages.com/home/). It's a publishing services firm (provides a variety of services for publishers--writing, illustration, cover design, editing, etc.)

Overtired, could you please contact me at beware@sfwa.org?

- Victoria

JConrad
12-21-2008, 01:00 AM
I, too, submitted a novel to Strategic Book Publishing and received an “evaluation” of my work very similar to what someone else in this string posted. In short, they accepted my novel, but with the caveat that I purchase their editorial services, priced according to Writer’s Digest’s standards for such services. They cited several examples of “mistakes” they pulled from my text, only one which was a typo; the others were largely subjective – I mean, come on, you could submit to ten editors an unidentified Hemingway excerpt and you’d get ten different suggestions on how it could be improved. They claimed they edit according the Chicago Manual of Style, which is fine but only to a point. Whoever heard of using a manual of style for dialogue?

They informed me I was free to use a creditable editor of my choosing but that I’d have to provide them with their name and credentials and went on the state they were free to suggest additional edits afterward.

It seems that new publishing models are born nearly on a monthly basis, and that this one may be one of those. Certainly traditional publishers are looking for ways to cut costs, and one way is to eliminate staff editors – has anyone noticed that new books are published today with more typos than those released even ten years ago? I’ve had other publishers push back on me to obtain editorial services on my dime. Perhaps in the near future all publishing houses will require the author to have their manuscripts professionally edited.

Were I to decide to self-publish I could easily spend as much on marketing and book upgrades as I would to pay one of their editors. Will I make money with Strategic Book Publishing? Who can say?

I read recently some horror stories where traditional publishing houses have asked the author to pay back the difference between their advance and royalties if the book doesn’t sell “X” and the title will be dropped after “X” days if it doesn’t sell “X” quantity.

The publishing industry is losing money at an alarming rate, and frankly, part of the problem, in my opinion, is that they demand a formula approach to writing – they require everything to be written at a ninth-grade or lower level, in short taking the art out literature, and I think the public has grown tired of this cookie cutter approach to the novel as an art form. But perhaps this is best discussed in another string.

By the way, I found Strategic Book Publishing on Preditors and Editors as Not Recommended.

victoriastrauss
12-21-2008, 01:55 AM
Certainly traditional publishers are looking for ways to cut costs, and one way is to eliminate staff editors – has anyone noticed that new books are published today with more typos than those released even ten years ago?
It's not an in-house editor's job to eliminate typos or grammatical errors (and if there are too many of the latter, odds are a reputable publisher wouldn't accept the book to start with). What you're talking about, and what Strategic/Eloquent provides, is copy editing, which is something quite different from the developmental and content editing provided by in-house editors, and which happens after the in-house editors have done their thing. Reputable publishers provide both kinds of editing, and they do not charge for this.

I read recently some horror stories where traditional publishing houses have asked the author to pay back the difference between their advance and royalties if the book doesn’t sell “X” and the title will be dropped after “X” days if it doesn’t sell “X” quantity.
The idea that authors have to pay back their advances if the book doesn't sell enough to earn out is amazingly widespread--but it's completely mythical. There've been a number of discussions here about this, and I did a blog post debunking it (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2008/10/victoria-strauss-writers-myths-giving.html) recently.

The idea of the title being dropped after a set number of days if it doesn't sell a set number of copies is a new variation, though--haven't run across that one before. However, I'm confident it's equally mythical.

It also defies logic. While most books make the bulk of their sales in the first 6 months of release, many books go on to become steady sellers--this is called the backlist, and it's publishers' bread and butter. Plus, books that have been out for a while with modest sales can get a boost because of media events or publicity, or can build sales through word of mouth. Publishers would be cutting their throats by arbitrarily yanking titles in the way you describe.

- Victoria

JConrad
12-21-2008, 02:47 AM
It's not an in-house editor's job to eliminate typos or grammatical errors (and if there are too many of the latter, odds are a reputable publisher wouldn't accept the book to start with). What you're talking about, and what Strategic/Eloquent provides, is copy editing, which is something quite different from the developmental and content editing provided by in-house editors, and which happens after the in-house editors have done their thing. Reputable publishers provide both kinds of editing, and they do not charge for this.

- Victoria

Thanks, Victoria, for responding and debunking some myths.

It's not an in-house editor's job to eliminate typos or grammatical errors? Maybe that's why I see so many typos in publications today. Granted it's my job to submit as clean a copy as I can, but everyone, even Tom Clancy, needs a second set of eyes. Isn't that what a line editor's job is?

I submitted a sixth generation draft to Strategic and yes, they found a typo. I'm not sure that line editing is what Strategic is selling me, for $1,400. In my evaluation, they made several suggestions, under the premise my grammar was flawed because it didn't follow the Chicago Manual of Style, which I found amusing considering it was a line of dialogue -- does anyone, during a conversation, think in terms of a style manual? Line editing for punctuation or typos is one thing, content editing quite another, and I don't feel I should be charged for either -- and for a publisher to offer this service for a fee is, in my mind, a conflict of interest.

AC Crispin
12-21-2008, 08:27 AM
You've signed with Strategic? And paid them money?

Did you see the Alert about Strategic, plus Robert Fletcher's other companies, that is on Writer Beware? I suggest you follow that link to the info about the official investigation underway by the Florida Attorney General's Office into Mr. Fletcher's business practices.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

JConrad
12-21-2008, 05:11 PM
You've signed with Strategic? And paid them money?

Did you see the Alert about Strategic, plus Robert Fletcher's other companies, that is on Writer Beware? I suggest you follow that link to the info about the official investigation underway by the Florida Attorney General's Office into Mr. Fletcher's business practices.


No, I have not signed with Strategic. I'm just sharing my (very) recent experience with them.

Thanks for the link, AC.

victoriastrauss
12-21-2008, 09:06 PM
It's not an in-house editor's job to eliminate typos or grammatical errors? Maybe that's why I see so many typos in publications today. Granted it's my job to submit as clean a copy as I can, but everyone, even Tom Clancy, needs a second set of eyes. Isn't that what a line editor's job is?

No. Editors expect writers to be self-sufficient at the level of line editing. If manuscripts contain numerous typos and/or grammatical errors, they are unlikely to be accepted for publication at all.

In-house editors do content or developmental editing, looking for big-picture issues with plot, structure, character development, theme, and so on. They may do some level of line editing as well if they feel a passage needs to be cut or or restructured--but it is not their job to fix grammar, spelling, etc. Again, if the author isn't basically capable of spelling properly and writing coherent, grammatically correct, properly punctuated sentences, paragraphs, scenes, etc., the ms. is unlikely to be published.

Once content editing is done, the ms. goes to the copy editor, who formats the ms. to the house style, looks for any inconsistencies (changing character names, a car that was blue in Chapter 1 but is green in Chapter 6, etc.), fact checks if it's nonfiction, and catches any typos or other small errors that might have been missed by the author in his or her final go-round with the ms. Once the book is set up for print, the galley goes to the author to proof, to make sure no errors were introduced and nothing was accidentally left out. Then a proofreader reads the galley through a final time.

This isn't always the way it works. Sometimes authors don't get to see the galleys. And things can slip through the cracks, especially with franchise books like the Tom Clancy series, where they're done as work-for-hire and the books are popped out like widgets, without the back and forth between author and publisher. But those things are slipping through the cracks of what's basically a careful vetting and production process--whereas with a publisher like Strategic, where there's little editorial gatekeeping, little or no meaningful editing other than light copy editing, and the whole aim of the design and production process is to keep costs as low as possible, there's little care of any sort, either for content or for product.

- Victoria

JConrad
12-21-2008, 10:06 PM
No. Editors expect writers to be self-sufficient at the level of line editing. If manuscripts contain numerous typos and/or grammatical errors, they are unlikely to be accepted for publication at all.

In-house editors do content or developmental editing, looking for big-picture issues with plot, structure, character development, theme, and so on. They may do some level of line editing as well if they feel a passage needs to be cut or or restructured--but it is not their job to fix grammar, spelling, etc. Again, if the author isn't basically capable of spelling properly and writing coherent, grammatically correct, properly punctuated sentences, paragraphs, scenes, etc., the ms. is unlikely to be published.

- Victoria
Victoria: I’m not trying to be argumentative, but as the editor of an online literary magazine, I can tell within a paragraph or two whether or not a writer has a basic grasp of the rudiments of good writing. Yes, there are writers who are incapable of spelling properly and writing coherent, grammatically correct, properly punctuated sentences, paragraphs, scenes, etc., and they are almost always turned away. But even writers who are very capable are guilty of an occasional error. That is not really a reflection of a writer’s skill, nor should it always result in the sole reason for a rejection letter.

I recently read a fantasy diptych by one of my favorite writers and was dismayed by the number of typos I found; yet his next two novels were free of any such errors. Any number of reasons could’ve contributed to the errors that appeared in the fantasy books, including a rushed deadline as well as a content editor who felt it wasn’t his or her job to fix such errors. This all goes to prove that even the most accomplished writer can use a second set of eyes.

A couple years ago, one of my non-fiction pieces appeared on a reputable online magazine, and while working with the editor, she incorrectly corrected the sentence below, adding “ly” to “slow” “ed” to “turn,” which was not what I wished. Fortunately, for clarity, we found the solution in adding a hyphen between “slow” and “turn” to come up with “slow-turn.”

I slow turn my way around the pitcher’s mound one last time…

All in all, unless the starving writer has writerly friends with whom he or she can share his work or funds to pay a professional, he must rely on his or her own skills to submit the cleanest copy possible. I imagine, at the acquisitions stage, it can be quickly determined whether a writer is simply incapable of writing well or simply missed something that he or she likely will correct in a subsequent draft.

AC Crispin
12-21-2008, 11:16 PM
Ah, but let's not forget that Strategic will accept books that no reputable commercial publishing house will accept. And what they don't accept, Eloquent will.

And neither of these "publishing houses" does anything like content editing, much less line editing. Proofreading is their idea of "editing."

-Ann C. Crispin

James D. Macdonald
12-21-2008, 11:55 PM
If you've had any contact with Strategic Book Publishing, the Florida Attorney General wants to hear from you (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA).



The case file cited below relates to a civil -- not a criminal -- investigation. The existence of an investigation does not constitute proof of any violation of law.

Case Number: L07-3-1146

Subject of investigation:
Writer's Literary Agency Group, Writer's Literary Agency, Writer's Literary & Publishing Services, New York Literary Agency, Writer's Literary Children's Agency, The Children's Literary Agency, Children's Book Publishing Agency, Writer's Literary Poet's Agency, Poet's Literary Agency, Poetry Book Publishing Agency, The Christian Literary Agency, Writer's Literary Screenplay Agency, Screenplay Writers' Agency, The Screenplay Agency, The Literary Agency Group, f/k/a Rapidpublishing-screenwriter911, Inc., Stylus Literary Agency, S T Literary Agency, Inc. , Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company, Writers' Book Publishing Agency, Strategic Publishing Group, Strategic Book Publishing, Strategic Book Marketing, AEG Publishing Group, My Editor Is A Saint, Author's Edge, Sydra-Techniques, Global Book Agency, Eloquent Books, and Robert M. Fletcher a/k/a Robert Williams a/k/a Bob WIlliams a/k/a Robert West and Leslie Williams a/k/a Leslie W. Mroz

Subject's address:
699 SW 8th Terrace, Boca Raton, FL 33486-5509 (Home Address) 1355 West Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486 (P.O. Box) or 3840 West Hillsboro Blvd., #302, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 (P.O. Box)

Subject's business:
Talent agency

Allegation or issue being investigated:
(1) Charging aspiring writers various fees totaling hundreds of dollars for professional services that were either not rendered at all or were not rendered in good faith; (2) Charging for unnecessary services; and (3) Creating unreasonable consumer expectations concerning their prospects for publication by failling to criticize submitted drafts, in order to encourage the consumer and collect more fees.

AG unit handling case:
Economic Crimes Division in West Palm Beach, Florida

Liteiny
12-27-2008, 01:00 AM
I would just like to thank everyone on this forum for saving me for a fate worse than death with this awful company.

I recently received a contract from them, for the publication of my second book after my original publisher unfortunately went under in the crisis. At first I was elated, before reading that they wanted me to commit to buying 250 of my own books, at 5 a week. I queried this as unethical with the "warmest" Robert, with whom I had been corresponding, and he promptly etherized.

Given that the book is ready to go, has been edited by my previous publisher, and I already have a website, and a cover completed, I guess this was the only way they could think of to extract cash from me. As soon as they proposed it, an alarm bell rang and I started researching them.

Although I've already been published, I'm in the same boat as many first authors, in that I'm facing the uphill struggle against the economic downturn, and trying to swim among the sharks to find a publisher. SBP isn't the only one out there: Raider, American Publishing and countless others are preying on the aspiration, hope and faith of writers who want to see their work in print more than anything. What's truly frightening, is that upon first glance, their website and contracts look legit, and they even have the audacity to claim they pay their authors. It's DESPICABLE.

It's really thanks to all of you that I didn't end up in their sticky web, and if your intention is to save authors from them, you've succeeded here! I am going to do all I can to raise awareness about these pirates.

As for those of you who are asking about their credibility: the facts speak volumes. The WL Literary Agency (their pimp) is on the watchdog list for America's 20 worst literary agents, and if you Google beyond their self-effervescing ads, you'll find a whole barrage of reasons to run far and run fast. Try looking up their promotional videos on YouTube if you want a really good laugh: they actually make great satire.

My heart goes out to all those authors who have given them money in good faith with the hope of realizing their dreams. The most sickening thing is that they are really quite convincing, and one could be easily forgiven for buying into their claims. All we can do now is try and expose them.
There is a silver lining in all this, for me at least. I've become resolute that I will get my second book published by a publisher with integrity, even if it takes years. Thanks to your efforts, I feel more confident that I could sift the wheat from the chaff.

Happy New Year and much warmth to you all.

Raven West
01-03-2009, 11:35 PM
So far, they have not asked for any money and the editing suggestions they made on parts of the manuscript were valid. I could tell that someone had actually READ the first few chapters because the suggested edits were from the actual text, so at least someone took time to do this.

I wrote back and told them that, although I do realize that the book needs editing, I do not have any available funds at this time. Red Wine for Breakfast was originally published in 1996, with iUniverse, then went to a small independent publisher in 2001 and has sold quite well over the past several years, as did my second book "First Class Male". However, the publisher went out of business last year, so I was interested in moving the titles elsewhere.

My "red flag" was that there was no publishing "contract" to speak of. Although they do have an author's list of published books, my gut feeling is that ANY legit publisher NEVER asks an author to pay for anything out of pocket. If they were offering an editing service, that would be honest. They talked about publishing the book in hard cover, but I don't think it's large enough for that route.

Don't these people know that ANY author who has experience in the Pub. Biz knows the very first thing we do is check them out on-line with our contacts before we even bother to agree to anything? I thought the days of "Edit Ink" were far behind us...guess I was wrong!

I'll see what kind of response I get.

Raven West
Author
Red Wine for Breakfast
First Class Male
http://ravenwest.net

James D. Macdonald
01-04-2009, 02:01 AM
...my gut feeling is that ANY legit publisher NEVER asks an author to pay for anything out of pocket.

Quite right. No legitimate publisher ever asks any author to pay anything (or to agree to buy or sell a certain number of books).

Publishers pay authors, not the other way around.

victoriastrauss
01-04-2009, 07:04 PM
AEG/Strategic Book Publishing (a.k.a. Robert Fletcher) is currently offering authors a choice of buying 5 books a week for a year at list price (250 books total) or paying $675 upfront.

You can become an additional named insured on AEG's publishers' insurance policy for $495 (insurance companies typically add named insureds at no charge or at a minimal fee--less than $100--so there's a nice profit here).

Strategic's contract is an all-rights, life-of-copyright contract with an inadequate reversion clause (when and how a work is taken out of print is not defined). Authors can terminate the contract---but if they do so after the publisher has performed 5 or more hours of work, they must pay a $1,000 kill fee. If they terminate after the book has been sent to the printer, the kill fee rises to $2,500.

There are other nonstandard aspects to Strategic's contract, but those are the standouts. You will never find provisions like these in contracts from reputable commercial publishers.

- Victoria

free writer
01-19-2009, 11:25 AM
I'm so glad I checked here! I submitted a query to wylie Merrick and they sent forwarded it to SBP. They said it was a new group, and many of the authors sent there were finding much success. Very soon after I got the responce from he real publisher, I received an e-mail from SBP asking for my manuscript. I haven't sent it in yet, thankfully. They do repeat over and over that they are a traditional publisher. This really worries me because I always feel if a group is listed in the Writer's Market, that it is a legit publisher. Thanks for the heads up.
BJ

James D. Macdonald
01-19-2009, 05:16 PM
All that it means if a publisher is listed in Writer's Market is that they filled out the questionnaire.

You say that Wylie Merrick (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14699) forwarded your query to Strategic Book Publishing? If so that's very troubling ... about Wylie Merrick.

I think you should forward all your correspondence about this matter to Ann and Victoria ... and to the Florida Attorney General.

Roger J Carlson
01-19-2009, 05:43 PM
This really worries me because I always feel if a group is listed in the Writer's Market, that it is a legit publisher. Thanks for the heads up.
BJUnfortunately, while Writer's Market is a good pace to *start* for agents and publishers, simply being in their listing is not a guarantee that they are legitimate. Many non-legitimate markets (my opinion) are listed there. You have to do your own follow-up research.

Fortunately, you did. :)

AC Crispin
01-19-2009, 09:35 PM
Attn: "free writer"

Please contact me and Victoria Strauss about what has happened regarding the Wylie Merrick referral to Strategic Book Publishing. We would like to see your correspondence and all documentation on this matter.

My email address is: anncrispin@aol.com

Victoria's email address is: beware@sfwa.org

Thank you.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

BruceStrickland
01-20-2009, 07:15 AM
Hi there,
Many thanks for the information and kudos to my google search engine. I just downloaded a contract from Strategic Book Publishing in which I either pay $680.00 up front for 'publishing costs' or agree to purchase five books at the retail price weekly for a year. When I initially researched this agency, they appeared to be a big time New York publishing house. Lots of author blurbs, books they have published, marketing director (very sexy picture) etc. The contract did not mention anything about getting my money back if the publisher chose to not proceed. The contract was listed as a 'provisional' contract.

It all seemed so above board at first. I initially corresponded with an acquisitions editor who said my book was too graphic. I cleaned up the text, removing all graphic violence, language and sex, then my manuscript was accepted for publication. I received next an email with an attached contract and that's where I am at this point.

There is a web site that lists an ongoing investigation by a Florida senator into this agency's practices.
http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA
I'll keep this blog updated as I find information.

I did not suffer financial damages, but for me, an unpublished writer with a good novel in his hand, this was almost a disaster, if what I have read proves to be true. The contract signed away ALL rights to the book. (Not to mention the emotional letdown.) I was so close (or so I thought) to becoming a published writer of fiction. Oh well, "pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again."

Bruce Strickland
Orlando, Florida

Jaydavid
01-23-2009, 02:36 AM
Yeah Bruce...Know what you mean...These conmen did about the same with me...But I still have my book...Didn't let them steal it.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
01-23-2009, 03:36 AM
If it's a good story, a legitimate publisher WILL pick it up. Keep trying, don't give up. Be glad you managed to dodge the bullet and still have your book.

BruceStrickland
01-23-2009, 06:00 PM
Here's my latest e-mail to Strategic Books. As I see it, this outfit does exactly what they say--publish your book. Unfortunately, they publish so many that I don't see how they can spend much time marketing or promoting any individual book or writer. If they had 360 authors last year and charge $1500.00 for editing--that's a cool half million dollars. Not a bad enterprise for them. Suck in the neophyte who is dazzled that someone wants to publish their first novel, extract the money from their bank account and go on to the next sucker. An afterthought: I forgot to ask her how many of those 17000 books they sold last year were bought by the author's in their compulsory buy-five-books-a-week deal.
I've checked the ranking on Amazon.com of four of their books. One is ranked at the 500,000th in book sales, the other at over a million and a half. The other two didn't even list sales rankings. Not an impressive record, wot?


Dear Lynn,Thanks again for your prompt reply and for answering my questions. 360 authors and 17000 book sales--that's about fifty books per author, averaging it out. Now if you are charging everyone for the initial fees and/or requisite five books per week purchase for a year AND you are charging editing fees AND you are charging illustration fees--lets say $680.00 (up front fee) $1500.00 (edit fee) $750.00 illustration fee--that comes to a grand total of around $3000.00 out of my pocket. Fifty books with royalties of the quoted amount of 6% of say, a $25.00 book. Fifty times (.06 X 25.00) = $75.00Now, I understand that book sales may or may not increase with time with, ongoing active promotion by the publisher. The concern I have is this: for an inital outlay of $3000.00 I get a return of $75.00, a book listed on Amazon.com and a publisher who has 360 other books (and counting) to promote. Just doesn't sound like a good deal for my money. You mentioned negotiating. What you offer basically is the ability to get my book published--after that, all bets are off as you acquire more and more new authors and put out more and more books. So, it's left up to me. How, then, is this much different from self-publishing if the expense is all born by me, the marketing is mostly by me, with the important exception--you have ALL rights to the book should it ever take off. And you get 50% off all the stuff that really makes money. I can't understand how this benefits me financially. Once again, thanks for your time and it's been an interesting experience. Never thought I'd be turning DOWN a publishing contract. But, that's show bizness.Cordially yours,Bruce Strickland

James D. Macdonald
01-23-2009, 06:11 PM
Publishers pay writers. Writers don't pay publishers.

Bet you a nickle that those fifty-sales-per-author were to the authors.

victoriastrauss
01-23-2009, 08:15 PM
Bruce, could you contact me at beware@sfwa.org, please? Thanks!

- Victoria

lemmje
02-01-2009, 06:00 PM
Does anyone know anyone who has signed with these guys, and what their personal experience really is? I mean, it's all well and good for someone who has already cracked this very tough nut -- having a successfully published book -- to say stick with it, good stories will eventually get picked up, blah, blah, blah. But most writers can't seem to get in the door with anyone. It seems no one actually reads new author's work, they just reject it out of hand because they "get many solicitations" and can't respond to every one.....

Anyway, i know there is an investigation in Florida, and i see them as blacklisted here, but i haven't seen any personal testimony one way or the other?

Just trying to be fair minded.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-01-2009, 07:27 PM
Does anyone know anyone who has signed with these guys, and what their personal experience really is? I mean, it's all well and good for someone who has already cracked this very tough nut -- having a successfully published book -- to say stick with it, good stories will eventually get picked up, blah, blah, blah. But most writers can't seem to get in the door with anyone. It seems no one actually reads new author's work, they just reject it out of hand because they "get many solicitations" and can't respond to every one.....

Anyway, i know there is an investigation in Florida, and i see them as blacklisted here, but i haven't seen any personal testimony one way or the other?

Just trying to be fair minded.

*sigh*

For the record, I'm an unpublished writer. But one who has and is continuing to do her research. This type of thinking:


But most writers can't seem to get in the door with anyone. It seems no one actually reads new author's work, they just reject it out of hand because they "get many solicitations" and can't respond to every one.....

Is false thinking. New writers get signed all the time. Just because someone writes a book, it doesn't mean they automatically have the right or deserve to be published. Majority of books written these days aren't ready for print, and it seems many of those new to the industry who don't do their research tend to send their mss off before they're really ready. Publishing is not like those soccer leagues where everyone got a trophy at the end of the season; it's a competitive business. You want that trophy, you gotta work hard for it and write a damn good book. Some stories just aren't saleable, it's a fact of life. All you can do is write the best book you can, get it as polished as you can and start querying. Once you start querying, write another book.

victoriastrauss
02-01-2009, 08:17 PM
Anyway, i know there is an investigation in Florida, and i see them as blacklisted here, but i haven't seen any personal testimony one way or the other?

Have a look at this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62493).

Where there's smoke, there's fire. There would not be an investigation unless the FL Attorney General's Office felt there was something to investigate.

What I'd say to authors is: try the commercial publication route first. You have nothing to lose but a bit of time and maybe some postage--and if you don't try, you'll never know whether you could have made it this way. Search for an agent, or approach larger independent publishers that get their books into stores. If that doesn't work out, you can consider epublishers, or one of the functional micropresses (many are not especially functional), or self-publishing through one of the POD services. In my opinion, any of these would be a more viable alternative than a publisher that's the focus of numerous consumer complaints and an official consumer-focused investigation.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
02-12-2009, 08:23 AM
Anyway, i know there is an investigation in Florida, and i see them as blacklisted here, but i haven't seen any personal testimony one way or the other?



Here's a first-person account by one of their editors (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2928908&postcount=53).

DavidNPR
03-20-2009, 05:37 AM
Like so many others I received a positive response from SBP just twelve hours ago. I responded first thing this morning sending off copies of manuscripts for a trilogy of books. But being a suspicious character by nature I started to do all the research figuring it couldn't hurt to have them holding copyrighted mss.

A few minutes ago I emailed them and asked them to destroy the mss as I was no longer moving forward with them.

Thanks to all who have posted here. Your stories and warnings have saved me from potential disaster.

. . . now back to the grindstone of finding an agent

Again, thanks
David

scifi97
03-24-2009, 02:50 AM
No persoanl testimony?! Didn't go very deep into the thread I'd say as I have posted plenty about a year ago. Now I have some follow-up. After reading the Florida DA Complaint, I decided to see how far I could push SBP without having to pay anything.

I will post actual contract proposal and forms in seoparte posts titled as such. (It's easy as they use word docs for these. That's your first clue and any reputable company of any type would never send a word doc contract. They would send a pdf.

1. I submitted a complete manuscript that had been reviewed by a professional editor/author before hand. (Middle-grade adventure novel)

2. I received a prompt, positive response proclaiming they had a strong Children's book division.
(I checked it out. They have some books listed. They are listed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites. No awards or sales figures available. All the testimonials are from writers 'thrilled to see their book in print' without any reference to what it cost them to see it.

3. I received a 'review report' identifying what work needed to be done on the manuascipt to make is 'publishable'. They offered to get me a quote from an editor to fix it. I did leave some grammatical errors in the manuscript which they correctly identified. They also wanted me to do, or pay for complete, accurate formatting of the manuscript to work with their software.

4. When I told them I had my own editor, which I do, they said they would need to see the credentials of the editor or they would not publish my manuscript. (OOOOHH! I'm so scared!!). I sent them a link to my editors website. I also sent them a copy of the Florida DA complaint and asked for an explanantion.

5. They said my editor's credentials were fine but they would need to do another 'edit review' of his corrections. They said the Florida DA complaint was just some writers they refused to publish and they were sure they would win the case. (It is actually by writers who were 'published' at the cost of hundreds to thousands of dollars.)

6. I sent an "almost correct" manuscript back to them. They did another 'Edit review' and sent me a report grading the manuscript. It was a positive report identifying a couple of legitimate things to change. They then said they would be sending me a contract and stressed they were a 'traditional publisher' and were not asking me for ANY MONEY.

7. I received the contract proposal. (Contained in a following post) It technically does not ask for any money. It asks for my guarantee to sell 300 books, or buy them myself at a cost of $10.00 each. That is a financial commitment of $3,000.00 !!! Plus their royalty scale is poor. Plus they want %50 of movie rights, etc. (But then %50 of nothing is nothing) I said no thank you and have not heard from them again.

Summing it up.
1. This is a subsidy publisher/vanity publisher, not a traditional publisher.
2. They do not have enough marketing to sell 1 book on their own.
3. They make %100 of their money off writers, nothing from selling books.
4. They pray on naive, new writers dieing to see their book in print and not knowing the odds against selling anything on their own.

Red Dragon
03-31-2009, 11:41 PM
I know this is sort of an old subject in this forum, but the whole thing is new to me. I wrote this earlier, but thought I'd give you an update...

"...I am new here, drawn towards the posts regarding Strategic Book Publishing like a moth to a flame…

I am, at this precise moment in time, in the process of rejecting their publishing contract, which they forwarded to me in the last few days. Once this whole process (experience?) at last comes to its agonizing conclusion, I shall relate to everyone my experiences at the hands of this organization."

For those of you not amongst the anointed, SBP have offered me their standard “traditional” publishing contract, in which I, the author guarantee that they, the publisher, will sell 300 books in a 12 month period, or I pay them the difference!

The last e-mail I received from them this afternoon said,

"I’m sorry but if you have such doubts that your book can successfully sell at least 300 copies in the first year, that speaks volumes to us and makes us that much more hesitant to publish an author who is less ambitious than we hope for."

My response was,

"Let me put you straight here. It is not ambition that is lacking here, it is trust; and it is not you who are hesitant, but I. Yesterday I did a Google search on Strategic Book Publishing. These following sites "spoke volumes" to me:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101448

http://www.writers.net/forum/read/10/185995/185951Vf

http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA

http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebs.htm

http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/twentyworst.html

In particular, the Florida Legal Department site said,

Allegation or issue being investigated:
(1) Charging aspiring writers various fees totaling hundreds of dollars for professional services that were either not rendered at all or were not rendered in good faith; (2) Charging for unnecessary services; and (3) Creating unreasonable consumer expectations concerning their prospects for publication by failling to criticize submitted drafts, in order to encourage the consumer and collect more fees.

AG unit handling case:
Economic Crimes Division in West Palm Beach, Florida

And you want me to sign up to guarantee the sale of 300 books from my own pocket?

I think not."

Incidentally, if you want an image to sum how I see these people: do you remember the film The Devil’s Advocate, with Keanu Reeves? His wife (Charlize Theron) is talking with some of the other wives, and they all seem oh, so friendly. However, as one takes her top off, she looks down at Charlize, and in that unguarded moment, she has the face of a demon… Well, that’s my image of SBP.

Happy to say, I got away without signing anything. Heavy of heart of course, because for a moment there, I really thought I'd cracked it. Ah, well, back to Agents' rejection slips...

M.R.J. Le Blanc
04-01-2009, 12:04 AM
If they were a competent publisher, they'd be shooting for more than 300 books.

Just keep at it. I'm sure you'll find a good agent and/or publisher.

Fran
04-06-2009, 11:14 PM
I know the last post was a while ago. I've received an email from WLA saying that Strategic Book Publishing has bought them over. I have a copy of this email if anyone wants to see it. I was beginning to suspect they were a scam (they wouldn't reveal any names of any authors or books they represent) so thanks to you all.

AC Crispin
04-06-2009, 11:36 PM
Please send me a copy of the email. The Florida Attorney General's Office would also like to see it, I suspect.

-Ann C. Crispin
anncrispin@aol.com

birdie1120
04-11-2009, 05:21 PM
I was told by them that they would like to see my poetry manuscript. I know that it is almost impossible to sell my work. So I had looked here first to see the review. Smart on my part. i will not go with them for sure. Thank god I did not ssend the manuscript. Thank you.

Fran
04-11-2009, 06:01 PM
I got an email yesterday saying they'd publish my work if I paid them $675. I don't have $675 (I don't have any amount of dollars, living in the UK :)) I sent them a 'no' and they just emailed me again, just in case I didn't get the first one. Thanks! I knew enough to know I shouldn't pay to be published, but this thread's been a great help.

James D. Macdonald
04-15-2009, 06:08 PM
They're advertising via Google Adsense.

Observe:




*
Publish Children's Books
Traditional Publisher Seeks Children's Books. Apply Online.
www.StRaTeGiCbOoKpUbLiShInG.com

First of all, among publishers only vanity presses and scammers advertise via Adsense.

Second, note how they've tried to obfuscate their URL to get around blocks and filters. What kind of legitimate company needs to do that?

tomtom
04-15-2009, 10:17 PM
As a would be victim of these rats, I am distressed at the amount of freedom Robert Fletcher and Sherry Fine, and Joanna, and all the other scumbags have in this industry. I'm appalled at the lack of oversight by he FBI, Police, someone in authority. They remind me of the "Big Con"..where each con game is bigger than the last. And yet, justice is slow or nonexistent with these cowards. I'm beginning to believe that this business of "Writing" is a folly. Not for the straight and narrow. Not for the just and honest.
Agents are Queried and they never respond. Mountains of manuscripts are used for toilet paper instead of returned or even acknowledged by the Publishers or Agents they are sent to. And for what? So some hayseed ( Like Myself) can join this elete group of intelectuals that call themselves "Writers". I pity the real writers..the gal or guy that really produces something. Something worthy and unique. I pity them like myself who have to be exposed to the likes of Publish America, SBP, Eloquent Books, Desert Rose, and all the rest of the trash this industry has spawned.
I can think of some bad vocations. Lawyers..Real Estate Agents..Used Car salesmen..door to door vaccumm salesmen. I think I need to add the publishing business to it. Yeah..Its just another disheartened , unpublished wannabe that can't work by the rules. Sigh....They say that your work sells itself. That good writing will be rewarded . I wonder about that.

victoriastrauss
04-15-2009, 10:36 PM
Strategic, PublishAmerica, and companies like them are not part of the publishing industry, any more than the Irish Travelers (http://www.fraudtech.bizland.com/travelers.htm) are part of the house painting industry. The continued existence (and proliferation) of these companies says a lot about the hopes, dreams, and frustration of writers--but it doesn't say anything at all about the real business of writing and publishing books.

- Victoria

tomtom
04-15-2009, 11:05 PM
Victoria..It would be great if people like me didn't have to go thru the false euphoria, hope, then dissappointment of finding out that they have been scammed by conmen poising as publishers, but thats not the case. In the wild, there are good Bears and bad bears. Some Killers and some pets. But you have to treat them ALL like killers are you will be sorry some day.
To try and separate good publishers from the likes of Fletcher and his conmen is not only wrong, its silly. The publishing industry is not immune to "Fast Buck Artists". I'm in the Engineering Business. We have our idiots, and misfits like all industries. But there is oversight. There are LAWS. It seems that you and Anna Crispin are all that stands between guys like me and the conmen of this publishing industry. And that is what disturbs me. There will be many more like me who don't stumble onto your websites or Beware Lists before being ensnared by the likes of the Titsworths, Fletchers, or Murphys. It is the disheartening effect these conartists have on the outlook of writers that does the most damage.
I have 3 more unfinished novels in various stages of completion. I could care less if I write another word. And that is sad because the 100 or so people..Doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs, that have read my books have been so supportive. To this end I condem the system of Query and hope. Query and wait! Query and get conned. I lost my respect for this industry because nearly EVERYONE I have dealt with in it are bad people. All the mouthwash in my bathroom won't dispell the bad taste.

DaveKuzminski
04-15-2009, 11:19 PM
Unfortunately, new writers generally don't know not to trust any publishers or agents they see in ads and those are generally the first businesses they see listed anywhere. All I can say is it's up to all writers to get the word around that new writers should generally avoid any publishing businesses they see in ads. So don't give up on writing, but do spend a little time learning more about how the industry operates before submitting your work anywhere.

James D. Macdonald
04-16-2009, 03:30 AM
I am distressed at the amount of freedom Robert Fletcher and Sherry Fine, and Joanna, and all the other scumbags have in this industry.

First of all, there's no reason to believe that "Sherry Fine" even exists.

Next, they have no power at all in this industry: They aren't even a part of the publishing industry. They're fakes. Frauds. Conmen. Scammers. Liars.

If you've had any sort of contact with them, don't just wish that legitimate law enforcement would take an interest in them. Get in touch with the Florida Attorney General. There's an active investigation into Strategic Book Publishing (and all the other names they operate under, and all the fake names they use to conceal themselves). Be part of the solution.

http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA

Send them all your information. They're waiting to hear from you.

victoriastrauss
04-16-2009, 04:16 AM
To this end I condem the system of Query and hope. Query and wait! Query and get conned. I lost my respect for this industry because nearly EVERYONE I have dealt with in it are bad people. All the mouthwash in my bathroom won't dispell the bad taste.

It's incredibly easy to avoid the conmen (and women). Query only agents with verifiable track records of commercial book sales (which you should be able to find on their websites. No track record, no query). Approach only publishers whose books you've found on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. If writers would just stick to those two simple rules, most of the conmen (and women) would go out of business.

The reason the conmen (and women) survive is not just because writers are inexperienced, or don't know their names from reading them on a blog somewhere. It's because so many writers assume that all agents and publishers are essentially equal. This makes no sense at all. In the real world, would you hire someone who had no skills that qualified them to do the job you wanted them to do, and could offer you no references? Probably you wouldn't. So why should agents or publishers be any different?

- Victoria

IceCreamEmpress
04-18-2009, 04:17 AM
Victoria..It would be great if people like me didn't have to go thru the false euphoria, hope, then dissappointment of finding out that they have been scammed by conmen poising as publishers

You don't have to, if you do a modicum of due diligence in advance. Would you work with a real estate agent without checking out his or her credentials, sales, record? I hope not. A literary agent should be examined equally carefully.

James D. Macdonald
04-19-2009, 05:37 AM
Uh oh. Another one. Google Adsense:


Can You Write For Money?
Author School Free First Week. Learn to Write. Get Published.
www.AuThOrScHoOl.com

Note the URL obfuscated in the same way as Strategic Book Publishing.

Click through and note that proud and happy Authorschool alumnus, Pete Parente. What do we know about Pete?

He's one of Bobby Fletcher's stooges. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286) Note too that he self-published, and his publications predate the existence of Authorschool.com.

Looks like a new arm for the octopus. Bet you a nickle that Authorschool.com is designed to feed their graduates into Strategic Book Publishing.

Writerviv
05-20-2009, 04:42 AM
Oh. My. God. Why didn't I look here first before I got sucked in? I sent them my ms. Now what do I do? I don't have a contract, the word advance is apparently not in their dictionary, and they have my work.

How the hell can I get it back? I'm naieve, obviously, but I'm not stupid. I do know better than to PAY for editing and/or publishing. As I have no written agreement with them, can I go ahead and query other agents?

I refuse to do business with them, but I am freaking out that they may steal my work. What can I do? Please help!

DaveKuzminski
05-20-2009, 07:01 AM
Writerviv, don't worry. Without a contract, they can't do anything with your manuscript. Just email them withdrawing your work from consideration and advising them that you don't want them representing it to anyone. Keep a copy for your records. Then find a legitimate publisher or agency.

Writerviv
05-20-2009, 07:43 AM
Thanks, will do post haste!

NoelleB
05-20-2009, 09:12 AM
hey....... ridiculous non-related question. you know the neat little word counter ya'll have....um...how can i get one? that exact one not an ugly one with rabbits and clouds...
(hangs head in shame)

DaveKuzminski
05-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Word counter?

CaoPaux
05-20-2009, 06:48 PM
hey....... ridiculous non-related question. you know the neat little word counter ya'll have....um...how can i get one? that exact one not an ugly one with rabbits and clouds...
(hangs head in shame)There's sources and instructions here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140776

James D. Macdonald
05-20-2009, 10:27 PM
I refuse to do business with them, but I am freaking out that they may steal my work. What can I do? Please help!

They aren't going to steal your work. Put that out of your mind. They don't know how to sell a book to a legitimate publisher. If they did, they wouldn't have to be scammers. As for illegitimate publishers, those all rely on the authors buying their own books. You, and you alone, would be the market for Strategic Books or any other vanity press, so they won't publish it there, either.

Jane totally scammed
06-15-2009, 05:04 PM
Oh God it's me the missing link. I have invested in over £800 getting 2 books published by elequent books, and now I read everything from you about this company. I'm mortified. I was so pleased to get my stories into print, so proud. It read to me 50% royalties paid to me for each book sold. America, England, everywhere. Whatever shall I do now???

James D. Macdonald
06-16-2009, 12:33 AM
Eloquent books?

Are they requiring you to buy copies of your own book?

Have you paid any money to anyone beyond the 800 quid?

What you should do is get in touch with the Florida Attorney General's office and ask their advice.

Jane totally scammed
06-16-2009, 10:19 PM
Compared to a previous deal with another publishers here in England which asked for £2000 pounds for publishing my work then did nothing to help market my work, the deal from eloquent sounded good. £450.00 and a contract yes please they even offered me 50% royalties which before I had been offered only 18% and never made back my £2000. So it sounded good and the to and throw of editing and corrections along with the cover designs appeared good and flowed nicely along the wave of completion. They are publishing a book and it's sequel concurrently. So what is it exactly that will go wrong do you think? Do they not market it well, do they rip you off with the royalties? What horror awaits me?

Old Hack
06-16-2009, 10:37 PM
Jane, in real, mainstream publishing writers don't pay to get published: their publisher pays them an advance against royalties, and edits, prints and promotes the book for them, while they get on with writing their next book.

It's likely that Strategic will make no effort to sell your book to anyone but you. Your book probably won't be edited to any professional degree, won't get onto bookshop shelves, and won't get any decent reviews.

You might be entitled to 50% royalties but if your book sells no copies, that's not very impressive. Sorry.

You could contact Jonathon Clifford, who works to reveal vanity publishing: his website is here (http://vanitypublishing.info/index.html). And you might want to look at the articles I've written about vanity publishing on my blog, How Publishing Really Works--there's a link below.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.

ChristineR
06-16-2009, 10:50 PM
Hi, Jane, welcome.

Commercial book publishers do not ask you for any money, ever, period. None, nada, nil, zero pounds and zero pence. The end.

Publishers who make their money from author fees have no incentive to sell your books at all. They publish as many books as they can convince people to pay for, and never market the books at all. The more honest services will tell you this, and warn you that you'll need to have some way of selling of your own books if you hope to make your costs back.

Even among the pay-to-publish houses Eloquent does not have a good reputation. I would advise that you not give them any more money at all. They will try and sell you all sorts of things, like book display cases, that real publishers provide at their own expense.

Do you retain the rights to your books? Are you contractually obligated to buy copies? Do you plan on selling your books yourself? The next step depends on your situation.

James D. Macdonald
06-17-2009, 05:59 PM
Compared to a previous deal with another publishers here in England which asked for £2000 pounds for publishing my work then did nothing to help market my work....

They were a vanity press too.

Jane totally scammed
06-17-2009, 09:56 PM
I am not obligated to buy any books of my own in my contract. I did plan too. I have a rather good ms ready edited for any one's consideration and now I don't know where to go with it. I've been through every agent in the writer's handbook and cannot find any one. It's like trying to get into a secret service unless you pay isn't it? I'm still paying a bank loan for my other novel with the publishers in England, and now I'm in debt with these two books by Elequent. I thought, oh yes America I stand to recuperate my losses here when my books go on sale over there. It's enough to make you give up writing isn't it? I will just have to see what happens now and see if they take off on Amazon or somewhere like that I guess.

veinglory
06-17-2009, 10:47 PM
You need to give up paying publishers. That way even a sale to the smallest of presses puts you in the black. Fee-charging presses do not make a profit for their authors except in exceptional cases, so going into debt to publisher in this manner is extremely ill-advised.

James D. Macdonald
06-18-2009, 12:06 AM
1) Query every (legitimate) agent with your manuscript, in strict compliance with their guidelines.
2) Submit to every (legitimate) publisher, in strict compliance with their guidelines.
3) Write a new, different, better book.

Repeat.

A legitimate agent has sold books that you've heard of.
A legitimate press has books on the bookstore shelves that you've seen with your own eyes.

No legitimate publisher or agent ever asks you to pay for anything.

Agents get a cut of the income from books that they've sold, and that's it.

Publishers pay you, in advance. They do not make you pay for editing, for artwork, or for anything else. Nor do they require that you buy any of your own books, or guarantee the sales of some number of your own books.

Evenstarr1
06-20-2009, 07:02 PM
Hi All. I have read through all the posts and I know what you will all say, but it is extremely difficult to have a contract sitting in my hands and not even consider it one little tiny bit. Here is my story with AEG.

Within a week and a half from query to "reading" of full ms, I received an offer of publication. I decided to look at it because Strategic Publishings was just at a major book expo with larger powerhouse publishing agencies. I looked at some recently published AEG authors and their books are all being sold at the places they said it would be.

In my offer letter, AEG stated that they felt that my book would be able to sell at least 5,000 books and it needed NO editing. They said that I would be a good candidate to be at next years expo to do a book signing. Of course, that does not waive the 895.00 fee. In the contract, it states that there will be no more fees involved and I would have 50% royality.

My 101,500 count urban fantasy/young adult novel has been kicked around by several agents. (Currently out with 3 agents, partials and fulls rejected by 6 others- all stating original and strong concept, but not for them). I have had 73 query rejections. SOOOOO...it is really hard to just walk away from someone that has finally shown an interest in going the distance with me.

I know it should be clear cut, but folks, this isn't easy...especially after their new track record and the hard young adult publishing world.

The floor is now open to lashing and beatings. LOL

JulieB
06-20-2009, 07:46 PM
73? You're just getting started. The positive response from agents suggests to me that you should keep plugging away. Paranormal goes in cycles. What's not hot today may be scorching in six months.

YA Urban Fantasy is hot right now. Keep plugging away. Go to the bookstores and check the YA section. Who are the publishers? Check the forewords or dedications. You may find some agents mentioned. You may find the agent's names on author web sites. Subscribe to Publishers Lunch. It's free, and you'll get a list of big publishing deals every week. You'll see what agent sold the book to which editor at a particular publishing house. Start reading agent's blogs. You'll get a feel for what particular ones are looking for.

Above all, don't pay to get published when there are publishers out there who will pay YOU.

James D. Macdonald
06-20-2009, 11:53 PM
their books are all being sold at the places they said it would be.

On-line stores, right? All you need is an ISBN and you'll be listed in all of them.


They said that I would be a good candidate to be at next years expo to do a book signing.

Which would be at your expense.

Information I have is that these clowns were at that last book expo on their authors' dime.

That isn't a contract: It's fairy gold. The stuff that turns into dirt at midnight.

Evenstarr1
06-22-2009, 08:11 PM
After thinking about this, I think what is bugging me the most is the fact that I submitted to Strategic (which they cover all costs), but they want to publish me under Eloquent (which is fee based). Perhaps I need to start asking some questions of AEG!!

ChristineR
06-22-2009, 09:16 PM
You don't really need to ask them anything except to be released from any contracts. There's no evidence these guys have ever sold anything to anyone except themselves (Eloquent). Real agent sales are recorded in places like Publisher's Marketplace and real agents brag about the well-known authors they represent.

Don't have any figures for Eloquent, but the average author fee published title sells about 75 copies, not 5000 copies. It will cost them much less than $895 to publish your book, and they will have no incentive to publicize it--that would be money out of their pocket, and their time is better spent trying to convince some other writer to give them another $895.

If you really want to give up on agents and commercial houses, you can do it for a lot less than $895.

Evenstarr1
06-29-2009, 06:39 AM
Hi All. Since I felt as though I needed to do my own research on this, I emailed AEG a list of concerns I had about their proposal (you can find my actual email on my blog: Evenstarr1.blogspot.com). Basically, I asked AEG to waive the 895.00 since I wasn't getting an advance royality with this offer. They "countered" back and said that they would offer me a regular contract with Strategic rather than with Eloquent. The contract with Strategic was free...although I would be required to purchase 250 of my own books at 10.00 a pop. So here were my choices:

1) pay 895.00 and get 50% commission,
2) pay nothing and purchase 250 of my own books for 2,500 and get 15% commission, or
3) say forget you and walk away.

Needless to say I have chosen #3...and NO I NEVER signed any contract of any kind. I walk away free and clear with no money ever being given. I guess the bottom line is that I have more faith in my book than to settle for this.

I sincerely hope my postings will help someone as the postings helped me. Have faith in your writing and don't feel like this is your only option! Do your research and don't give in to temptation without knowing who is really tempting you!

Steph :)

DaveKuzminski
06-29-2009, 03:32 PM
What you should do is also post those documents here so that other writers will have a greater chance of seeing the truth about them.

James D. Macdonald
06-29-2009, 05:56 PM
If you're required to buy 250 copies of your own book ($2,500), that's hardly "free."

Plus, like any other vanity-published author, you'd have the whole garage-full-of-books problem.

Like everything else Fletcher has ever touched in his life, Strategic Books is a scam.

colealpaugh
07-01-2009, 09:18 PM
Even tho I dont even know my boss's real last name....

Im honestly sick of the company, but I'm also sick of people like you postin blogs up insulting the company. It costs the people like me, who are trying to earn an honest living, money, because now they get less clients. You people know nothing about book publishing and you should keep your nose where it belongs.

I was on the fence, but now I'm completely sold.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-01-2009, 09:28 PM
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to say that I am one of the people trying to actually make a living with AEG.
Because of these kinds of things... blogs and sites, that put out a bad word for the company, it does affect ME getting paid.

I usually have to wait and wait and wait until they finally have enough money to pay me. (could be weeks to months)
Usually they do not have enough money to pay all their employees at once, so some have to wait longer than others to get paid.

If you're not being paid in a timely manner, that's a sign your company is having a hard time running itself. It has nothing to do with what people are saying about it. I can't count on five pairs of hands how many people absolutely hate Microsoft, yet I don't see that company struggling. I don't hear about their employees not getting paid on time because people say bad things about the company. Issues like timely payment is a sign of trouble within the company, not outside it. Seriously, you have a right to be paid on time, and your employer has an obligation to do so. By not doing so, I'd be complaining and taking the issue to whoever I could because it's unacceptable.


I want you to all know that AEG does take alot of authors on that no other publishing company would... and most publishing companies DO make you buy so many copies.

Uh, no. The percentage of authors who buy copies of their own books from their publisher is MUCH smaller than those who don't. And the majority of those who do tend to be with vanity publishers. Good publishers limit the number of authors they take on for a good reason - so they can focus all their resources on selling those authors. They know their limits and abide by them. Publishers who brag about how they take on more authors than commercial publishers are either scammers or inexperienced, and neither is going to serve an author well.


My main point: I am trying to makea living and people like you bad mouthing the company does not help in any way. Even tho I dont even know my boss's real last name....

People are always going to badmouth companies. The ones doing nothing wrong can withstand the scrutiny because there's nothing really there to be scrutinized. Any company who does flounder under scrutiny usually has a reason that is not because someone's speaking negatively about them, but why they're speaking negatively about them. Though I find it strange you don't even know your boss' last name...


Im honestly sick of the company, but I'm also sick of people like you postin blogs up insulting the company. It costs the people like me, who are trying to earn an honest living, money, because now they get less clients. You people know nothing about book publishing and you should keep your nose where it belongs.

Ah, the greatest display of ignorance. People are badmouthing so they must know nothing. For your information, over half the posters here are published authors, and many have multiple sales. Though some may use screennames, those like Victoria, Dave and James do not and you can verify their experience easily. There are also agents who frequent this board who make legitimate sales, and publishers who are doing quite well. So if anyone right now knows nothing about publishing, I'm sorry to say but it's you. Because if Strategic were a good legitimate publisher they wouldn't have issues like paying you or keeping themselves afloat. Put the blame where it belongs - on the people running the company you work for.

eqb
07-01-2009, 09:34 PM
I just wanted to say that I am one of the people trying to actually make a living with AEG.

Are you really? Or are you just another of Bobby Fletcher's sockpuppets?

My money is on "sockpuppet."


I want you to all know that AEG does take alot of authors on that no other publishing company would... and most publishing companies DO make you buy so many copies.

That is a lie.

Real publishers do NOT make you buy copies.


My main point: I am trying to makea living and people like you bad mouthing the company does not help in any way.

*plays the world's tiniest violin*

James D. Macdonald
07-01-2009, 10:14 PM
Hi there, SMG-AEG.

Don't you think it's odd that someone who boasts that he lives on a yacht can't pay you on time?


It costs the people like me, who are trying to earn an honest living, money, because now they get less clients.

If you're trying to earn an honest living hoo-boy are you ever in the wrong place! But if it's true that we're cutting down on the number of people who are getting scammed that's the best news I've heard all day.


You people know nothing about book publishing and you should keep your nose where it belongs.

Someone here doesn't know anything about book publishing, and I don't think it's me (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/novels.htm).

You don't know your boss's real last name? It's Fletcher. Robert M. Fletcher (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf). Here's what you should do: step smartly to a telephone and call the Florida Attorney General (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA). He's waiting to hear from you.

James D. Macdonald
07-01-2009, 10:19 PM
How is it a scam when we PUBLISH your book and the people working with/for AEG get paid for the work...even if it takes a while...?

They charge money for services that they know they cannot provide and they fraudulently misrepresent the services that they offer. Yours isn't the first time we've heard complaints from AEG/LAG/WL employees that they weren't getting paid in a timely manner or weren't getting paid at all. How are they not a scam?

DaveKuzminski
07-01-2009, 10:25 PM
I can understand why you're working there because of the need for a job in the current economy, but odds are, SMG-AEG, you're being scammed too, only at a closer distance than most of AEG's writer victims. You're doing the work and your boss is the first in line to receive it. Bet you if you complain enough about not getting paid, your boss will bounce you right out the door and probably even threaten to sue you.

Right now, you should be searching for another job before you find yourself crushed under the same roof that's falling in on AEG. Besides, do you really want to earn money that came from swindling honest people? If so, cut out the middle man and just rob them face to face.

James D. Macdonald
07-01-2009, 11:20 PM
Oh yeah, as long as you're here:


I want you to all know that AEG does take alot of authors on that no other publishing company would...

Proof positive (if you still needed it) that AEG isn't selling books to the general public and doesn't intend to start.

Momento Mori
07-02-2009, 02:56 AM
SMG-AEG:
I just wanted to say that I am one of the people trying to actually make a living with AEG.
Because of these kinds of things... blogs and sites, that put out a bad word for the company, it does affect ME getting paid.

That's a shame, but at least it means that people are getting wise to AEG and how it's a bad deal for authors.

I understand that you have bills to pay and a living to make, but it sounds like you're [not] being paid for that off the dreams and hopes of writers, who are misled into buying copies of their books in the belief that it will help give them a successful writing career.

If you're not being paid on time then your complaint is with your employer, not with us.


SMG-AEG:
most publishing companies DO make you buy so many copies.

Name one that isn't a vanity press or self-publishing outfit.


SMG-AEG:
You people know nothing about book publishing and you should keep your nose where it belongs.

But ... you don't even know your boss's surname ...

MM

T. Nielsen Hayden
07-02-2009, 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by SMG-AEG
You people know nothing about book publishing and you should keep your nose where it belongs.We don't?

Well, darn.

Duncan J Macdonald
07-02-2009, 04:17 PM
We don't?

Well, darn.
Time to find a new line of work -- since you don't know the business that you've been working in for the past several decades.

ChristineR
07-02-2009, 04:34 PM
I suspect this is yet another drive by poster--but if s/he comes back, I'd ask how many books AEG has printed, and how many they sell. I'd ask for a list of bestsellers. If they really do know their way around publishing, I'd expect their bestsellers to have sold ten of thousands of books.

James D. Macdonald
07-02-2009, 05:15 PM
They sell five books per week per author.

Because the authors are required to buy five books per week.

Roger J Carlson
07-02-2009, 05:51 PM
The mind boggles as what authors will accept. Let's see if I can make an analogy.

I've decided I'm going to start an on-line, print-on-demand art gallery. I'll call it Strategic Art Galleries (or maybe Elegant Art). Artists can send me their art work (which they've spend untold hours creating) and I'll "publish" it on a website. People can order a print through the web. When they do, I'll make a color photo copy, and send it to them. Then I'll send the artist 50% of the net.

This is all FREE to the artist, except for one catch: they have to buy 100 prints OF THEIR OWN WORK, which they can sell at art fairs.

Does this sound ridiculous to anyone? Of course it does. The artist would be much better off getting high quality prints of their work made, create their own website, and sell their prints at art fairs.

BUT, I would tell my fictitious marks -- er -- artists, they'll be in a gallery! They might be discovered by an important art critic. What's more, now that they're displayed in a "gallery", they can add this to their portfolio to impress a New York gallery.

Of course, that's just silly. Important art critics go to real galleries, not on-line, print-on-demand galleries. And a New York gallery will laugh you out into the street over these credentials.

It sounds silly for an painter, but untold authors fall for this scam every year.

Old Hack
07-25-2009, 07:51 PM
Bah. Someone has posted comment-spam on my blog, advertising a book published by Strategic. (http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/07/trios-beachcombing-by-maggie-dana-my.html) I've directed him here, just in case he's keen on finding out what his publisher is really like.

James D. Macdonald
07-26-2009, 02:06 AM
Bouncing Bobby tells his Strategic Book authors that the way to make sales is with comment spam. No, really. I'm not making that up.

That's his big contribution to the world of Marketing in the Modern Age.


It's very unlikely that your spammer will return to see your reply: She's posted the exact same post, word-for-word, grammatical errors and all, literally hundreds of times in comment threads all over the web.

But, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I can tell you exactly how well this spam campaign has been working! Strategic Books has been selling five copies a week of this title!

You can't argue with that kind of success, now, can you?

Okay, let's look a bit more closely at some aspects of this spam-advertised book. (And this isn't the only Strategic Book Publishing book being advertised by spam. Bobby really does tell people to go out and post comment spam.)

First, on Amazon, there are two reviews. Both five stars!

Elsewhere on the web, reactions are ... nearly nonexistent. And those that you do find aren't very enthusiastic (http://printedpage.us/2009/04/06/pondering-the-pages-the-hong-kong-connection-by-sg-kiner/).

But let's look at the Amazon reviews. Both of those reviews were posted by people who read and reviewed ... only that author's books! (She has two books, both from Strategic Book Publishing.) Not only that, but the two reviewers posted in the same order in both places.

That is to say: Exactly two reviews for each book. The two reviews were posted by the same two people, in the same order. Within days of each other. There are no other reviews for these books at Amazon, and these reviewers had reviewed no other books.

How freaky is that? Talk about your coincidences!

(Aside to S.G. Kiner, M. L. Kiner, Lisa Monteverde, and Bruce Pusch (Death Spiral, A Susanna Sloane Novel and The Hong Kong Connection, A Susanna Sloane Novel): People are wise to that trick. And for the money you paid you could at least have gotten some decent covers.)

Kerry Morgan
08-03-2009, 02:08 AM
So well, what is a girl to do when her book was published by Eloquent?

Yes they actually publish books- I can say that- I'm looking at mine- but it does seem like they don't read the email interaction they provide you with. Eloquent is all about selling their services to you.

You DO get double the royalties than traditional publishers- but I also thought I was kinda going with a traditional publisher who just wanted help with it.

I thought I did all my homework on these people and yes they work all the time- I always get emails on Saturday.

So far it has not been a horrible experience for me, the worst that happens is that I get a form letter telling me to be patient when the question I actually asked isn't addressed.

My book will not get into stores but it's on the stores web sites and amazon.

This is why I am seeking an agent to go traditional so that I won't get caught up by these people that make themselves sound better than they are. It certainly hasn't been a quick process- but maybe by traditional methods it has been.

I have gone through a ton of edits- checked and re checked my story- and I'm happy with the book- but everything else from here on out is their company trying to get more money from me.

On the other hand- I do have my book- it is selling- the book was edited (without a fee) several times by myself and their people-

So now what? After I go through all this I find out they are considered a "Predetor" and I guess I understand- but at the same time-

Well- I worry because I don't want people to look at the publisher and think the story is crap- it isn't- it needed to be accepted- and it was- the sequel will be tremendously better because I loosened up a little more inside myself as Angela told me what was going on with her- (sorry my character are real to me lol)

So what do I do now? Should I mention my publishing credit with them? I've published tons of shorts to online places- (though I have yet to get necrotic tissue to accept me lol I saw someone around here with their name in their sig lol)

So I would want to say ehre that there are some success stories with these people-

So if you see someone with them- as their publisher- don't dismiss the story inside the cover-

Don't judge a book by it's publisher should be the new motto around these days lmao-

But at the same time- I would rather have an agent looking out for me too. I really want and need an agent.

Point of this thread I guess is that Crap- I went with Eloquent- but "HEY" it hasn't been too horrible- and NOW I'm looking for real representation I can count on.

AND Don't judge a story by it's publisher lol- Whether it's Lulu, Outskirts, createaspace, or Random...... :)

thanks for the read-
K

M.R.J. Le Blanc
08-03-2009, 03:26 AM
So well, what is a girl to do when her book was published by Eloquent?

Yes they actually publish books- I can say that- I'm looking at mine- but it does seem like they don't read the email interaction they provide you with. Eloquent is all about selling their services to you.
Well, as Uncle Jim would say - write a second, better book.
They don't publish. Please don't comfort yourself with that. Printing and publishing are two different things. Eloquent prints your book. A real publisher does far more. Printers sell services; publishers sell books to readers.


You DO get double the royalties than traditional publishers- but I also thought I was kinda going with a traditional publisher who just wanted help with it.
Which is all fine, but if they're not promoting your book no one's going to know about it. You could get 100% royalties, and it wouldn't matter. There's also the question of how they define that. A high percentage on net royalties is actually very small, and leaves you at the mercy of whatever they define as net.


I thought I did all my homework on these people and yes they work all the time- I always get emails on Saturday.

So far it has not been a horrible experience for me, the worst that happens is that I get a form letter telling me to be patient when the question I actually asked isn't addressed.
That's not a good thing. Publishers should (and often do, as I understand it) address questions asked by them. They don't give people form letters or the runaround.


My book will not get into stores but it's on the stores web sites and amazon.
Doesn't mean anything. You could do the exact same thing on your own. PublishAmerica books are on amazon. Self-published books are on amazon. People can't buy a book they don't know exists, and though more people are using amazon these days majority of sales do happen in stores. Unless you're with an e-publisher of course. But even then it all comes down to marketing.


This is why I am seeking an agent to go traditional so that I won't get caught up by these people that make themselves sound better than they are. It certainly hasn't been a quick process- but maybe by traditional methods it has been.
There are many good publishers out there you can approach on your own, without an agent. The Bewares and Background checks area is a good place to start looking. So is Preditors and Editors. For agents, start with those two places as well as AgentQuery and even your own favourite authors. Check the section of the bookstore that have books in your genre and write down the publishers and agents if they're mentioned. Publishing is an agonizingly slow process, there are no shortcuts. It's just the way it is. But judging by all the published authors we have on this board, it just makes the success all the more sweeter.


I have gone through a ton of edits- checked and re checked my story- and I'm happy with the book- but everything else from here on out is their company trying to get more money from me.

On the other hand- I do have my book- it is selling- the book was edited (without a fee) several times by myself and their people-

So now what? After I go through all this I find out they are considered a "Predetor" and I guess I understand- but at the same time-

Well- I worry because I don't want people to look at the publisher and think the story is crap- it isn't- it needed to be accepted- and it was- the sequel will be tremendously better because I loosened up a little more inside myself as Angela told me what was going on with her- (sorry my character are real to me lol)

So what do I do now? Should I mention my publishing credit with them? I've published tons of shorts to online places- (though I have yet to get necrotic tissue to accept me lol I saw someone around here with their name in their sig lol)
The problem with negative publishers like Eloquent is that you're guilty by association. Because majority of books are not very good. Mentioning it as a publishing credit would be a bad idea - reputation means a lot in this industry. And legitimate agents and publishers never forget. Going with a renowned bad publisher like Eloquent does you no favours. A few successes here and there doesn't make a bad publisher a good one. It really doesn't, because usually those successes have zero to do with the publisher. Real publishers pay you. Knowing Eloquent tries to sell services I can't see why you'd want to give them a second book.


So I would want to say ehre that there are some success stories with these people-

So if you see someone with them- as their publisher- don't dismiss the story inside the cover-

Don't judge a book by it's publisher should be the new motto around these days lmao-
No it shouldn't. Because if you're serious about being published, new writers should be doing their homework. All the info is out there if you search for it. You need to learn about this industry, including where the pitfalls are. Basically, it's a mentality of 'the info is out there, you really should have known better'-type thing. And there are too many bad stories put out by these bad publishers to merit a 'don't judge a story by its publisher' mentality.


But at the same time- I would rather have an agent looking out for me too. I really want and need an agent.
Don't we all :)

Kerry Morgan
08-03-2009, 03:57 PM
Thanks for the insights I'll be sure not to comfort myself with any of it.

sheesh

James D. Macdonald
08-03-2009, 05:10 PM
So well, what is a girl to do when her book was published by Eloquent?

Forget about that book, write a new, different, better book to sell to a real publisher, and meanwhile contact the Florida Attorney General (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA) with copies of all of your correspondence with Eloquent.


Yes they actually publish books- I can say that- I'm looking at mine-

So does PublishAmerica. So does American Book Publishing. So did Northwest Publishing. So did Commonwealth. They print physical books. Publishing is not printing.


but it does seem like they don't read the email interaction they provide you with. Eloquent is all about selling their services to you.

Their source of income is you, the writer. They don't make their money by selling books to the public like real publishers do.



You DO get double the royalties than traditional publishers-

Two times nothing is still nothing.


but I also thought I was kinda going with a traditional publisher who just wanted help with it.

You thought that because they're scammers who misled you.


I thought I did all my homework on these people and yes they work all the time- I always get emails on Saturday.

You did all your homework and you didn't come to this thread sometime along the way? The time to ask questions was before you signed with those people.


So far it has not been a horrible experience for me, the worst that happens is that I get a form letter telling me to be patient when the question I actually asked isn't addressed.

That'll also be the best that happens along the way. What were your goals in publishing your book?



My book will not get into stores but it's on the stores web sites and amazon.

Wow. On web sites. All that's required for that is for the book to have an ISBN. Without marketing and publicity and distribution that's nothing. (Oh -- and comment spamming into people's blogs isn't the way to make friends, influence people, or sell books. Not that you'd do anything like that, of course. But some Eloquent authors do, encouraged by Bobby "Stock Swindler" Fletcher.)



This is why I am seeking an agent to go traditional so that I won't get caught up by these people that make themselves sound better than they are. It certainly hasn't been a quick process- but maybe by traditional methods it has been.

When you write to agents you don't need to bother mentioning your Eloquent book. It doesn't count as a publishing credit any more than any other vanity published book would. Fletcher didn't ask "Is this book well-written?" or "Is this book marketable?" He asked, "Is this author willing to pay?" The only writing ability he's looking for is your ability to write checks.



I have gone through a ton of edits- checked and re checked my story- and I'm happy with the book- but everything else from here on out is their company trying to get more money from me.

I'm glad you're happy with your book. Most authors are. But publishers aren't supposed to be out to get money from you. Publishers are supposed to give money to you. The cash flow here is in the wrong direction.



On the other hand- I do have my book- it is selling- the book was edited (without a fee) several times by myself and their people-

Who's it selling to? Anyone you don't already know by name? And the editing was likely done by amateurs, free-lancers of unknown ability, who may not have been paid themselves. Have you ever gotten a real edit so you have something to compare with theirs?



So now what? After I go through all this I find out they are considered a "Predetor" and I guess I understand- but at the same time-

Now what? Write a better book and sell it to a real publisher. Testify against Fletcher at his trial.


Well- I worry because I don't want people to look at the publisher and think the story is crap- it isn't- it needed to be accepted- and it was- the sequel will be tremendously better because I loosened up a little more inside myself as Angela told me what was going on with her- (sorry my character are real to me lol)

I don't think that your story is necessarily crap. That's because Fletcher will accept a good story as fast as he'll accept a lousy one. Of course it was accepted! Fletcher accepts anything and everything that's sent to him.



So what do I do now? Should I mention my publishing credit with them?

No. It isn't a publishing credit any more than taking your manuscript down to Kinko's and running off a dozen copies would be.


I've published tons of shorts to online places- (though I have yet to get necrotic tissue to accept me lol I saw someone around here with their name in their sig lol)

Any that paid money?


So I would want to say ehre that there are some success stories with these people-

Success? How do you define 'success'?



So if you see someone with them- as their publisher- don't dismiss the story inside the cover-


I won't see someone with them. Neither will anyone else who doesn't know the author personally. And, because Fletcher publishes anything that comes along (usually from the desperate, the deluded, or the naive), something like 98% of their books will be crud.



Don't judge a book by it's publisher should be the new motto around these days lmao-

But people do. And you do too. Where do you get the books you yourself read?


But at the same time- I would rather have an agent looking out for me too. I really want and need an agent.

Just don't get Fletcher as your agent. (He's running that scam too.)



Point of this thread I guess is that Crap- I went with Eloquent- but "HEY" it hasn't been too horrible- and NOW I'm looking for real representation I can count on.

Forget your book with Eloquent. It's dead. Don't bother with the sequel. You won't be able to sell it to anyone but Eloquent (and they'd accept it if you just put random words on the page). Write a new, different book.



AND Don't judge a story by it's publisher lol- Whether it's Lulu, Outskirts, createaspace, or Random...... :)

Did you know that when you type "Outskirts Press" into the Google taskbar search box that it tries to complete the phrase with Outskirts Press Complaints or Outskirts Press Scam?

You've mentioned three printers/vanity presses and one real publisher. The difference is that the book from Random House will have been chosen for quality/marketability, will have been edited by a real editor, will have been designed and typeset by competent professionals, will be distributed to real bookstores all over the country, will be reviewed by real reviewers, shelved in real libraries, considered for real awards, and sold by the thousands or tens of thousands to people who aren't related to the author. The author will have had an advance in the thousands, tens of thousands, or more. In the past year, if you're any kind of reader, I bet that you've read a book published by Random House or one of its imprints. I bet that you haven't read anything printed by Lulu, Outskirts, or Createspace.

That's the difference.


thanks for the read-
K

Any time.

CaoPaux
08-03-2009, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the insights I'll be sure not to comfort myself with any of it.

sheeshAlas, it's never easy realizing you've made a bad move, and it's natural to try and rationalize it's really not so bad. Hopefully, you can take comfort in the fact that, unlike many, you realized what was going on.

Allow yourself a day of wallowing with your vice of choice, then shake it off, put this mess behind you, and get back to writing. :)

James D. Macdonald
08-03-2009, 09:23 PM
Kerry, if you don't mind, may I ask how much you've paid to Eloquent Books so far?

Kerry Morgan
08-03-2009, 09:54 PM
Yes I do mind actually. Because I'm not naive, I thought I did do my homework and yes it is selling to people whose names I don't know.

AND IT"S NOT THE AUTHORS FAULT

my book is not crap

the sequel isn't either

And what good does it do to make the person who went with them feel like CRAP for doing so- EXACTLY WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

Get scammed?

yeah got that- thanks-

and uh oh I think I'm seeing you at PI con 4

sigh I'm going to finish my sequel and keep writing and remember that if someone does get scammed- it's not that person's fault-

It just isn't-

and ya know what some of those stories were in fact sold.

How can you people say it isn't a publishing credit?

So what exactly have these people done that was so bad? Ask me for money? Is that the scam part?

I'm not going to wallow I'm going to control my temper and keep writing.

Gravity
08-03-2009, 10:14 PM
Kerry, you're pissed at being taken. We get it. But railing against the fact Eloquent has a terrible rep in the business won't help you. I think your final line about keeping on writing is the best thing you can do right now. We'll all be here to help you as much as we can. Best of luck!

James D. Macdonald
08-03-2009, 10:22 PM
How can you people say it isn't a publishing credit?



Because it isn't. There' s no editorial gatekeeping. There's no distribution. There's no publication in any meaningful sense.

The industry doesn't regard vanity publication as a publishing credit. Self-publication gets more respect. Rail against it all you like; that's the fact.

Fletcher's outfit is a scam because they lied to you. They took your money under false pretenses. They want to keep taking your money. Their pretenses remain just as false. Maybe you were naive once. You aren't now: I know you've been warned. If you send them one more dime it's your own fault.

If you Google "Eloquent Books" this thread is the third link that pops up (the two above it are to Eloquent Books' own site). It's hard to maintain sympathy for people who get caught when this thread has been around since about fifteen minutes after Fletcher dreamed up "Eloquent Books."

Yeah, yeah, I know. Your book is different.

No, it isn't. It's just a way for Fletcher to get you send him money.

Next time you write to "Ellen Green" or one of the other folks at Eloquent (hint: they're all fakes; Bobby has over seventy pseudonyms), ask "her" what happened when Fletcher sued me for calling him a scammer.

No, don't wait for "her" to reply. I'll tell you the answer right now: Fletcher lost.

This is my very best advice to you:

Write a new, different, better book and only submit it to publishers whose books are already on the shelves at bookstores near you, or the agents who represented books that are on the shelves at bookstores near you.

Kerry Morgan
08-03-2009, 10:26 PM
I'm not actually pissed at being taken. I'm pissed at being mutilated because you all feel I've been taken.

I just don't feel scammed. I have work ahead of me but I'm not afriad of that. I just wish that if people think another person is being taken, they should talk about it more sensitively to the person they feel was taken. Why blame the author?

I had a joint venture project and so far they've done everything they said they were going to do. They offer services to which you all are saying is a scam. Why would anyone do anything for free? Everyone needs a job right now- If someone is going to read my book and be the first to review it on Amazon for me- with a high score that helps me sell other books... why would I begrudge them money for it.

I'm going to make this work for me. I am a martial artist and that's what we do. We are a determined lot.

And ya know what? Maybe my writing wasn't good enough for a traditional publisher. So THAT part should be blamed on me- not the getting scammed part. I'm willing to work hard and learn and become better. I do that every single day of my life and I've done it with my sequel.

But that is my deal- not theirs- so how are they scamming people? They aren't a Vanity press- if anything its a print on demand because they aren't "sure" if the project will take off or not. That sounds kinda reasonable to me.

I need to improve my writing- but I'll use them as a publishing credit. I worked too hard not to-

But I still don't think the author should get killed for it.

Kerry

Gravity
08-03-2009, 10:29 PM
Whatever, kid. Best to you.

Cyia
08-03-2009, 10:30 PM
Yes I do mind actually. Because I'm not naive, I thought I did do my homework and yes it is selling to people whose names I don't know.

AND IT"S NOT THE AUTHORS FAULT

No one said it's the author's fault, but that doesn't change the outcome.

my book is not crap

It doesn't matter at this point because you've used up first rights of publication. The book will be what it is, and judged by its company. That company isn't great. When you get a printer who puts out the slush pile, you're bound to have some GREAT books that get swept up with everything else just like in any slush pile (and everything starts in the slushpile for newbies). However, once you've read 98 pieces of garbage, you start to realize that the chances of finding that diamond are slim.

the sequel isn't either

Also doesn't matter. IF the story can stand on its own as an independent tale that the original book isn't required reading for the reader to understand and IF Eloquent doesn't get rights of first refusal (I think I said that right), the you MIGHT be able to get an agent to look at it. Otherwise, it's dead.

And what good does it do to make the person who went with them feel like CRAP for doing so- EXACTLY WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

{snip}

sigh I'm going to finish my sequel and keep writing and remember that if someone does get scammed- it's not that person's fault-

It just isn't-

No one said otherwise.

and ya know what some of those stories were in fact sold.

Great, then those are publishing credits.

How can you people say it isn't a publishing credit?

Because it's not. Read some agent blogs and they'll tell you exactly how the publishing industry feels about books published through companies with reputations like this. For a self-pubbed or vanity pubbed book to get notice from a real publisher, you have to sell THOUSANDS of copies to people who don't know you. And even if you do that, you have to convince that publisher that you haven't used up the bulk of your audience or else they won't risk a dime on you.

And IF you get an agent to rep a 2nd book, you've burned any chance of them being able to call it your "debut", which has some weight to it.

Someone who posts here and works for a newspaper said it best, I think. When they get authors who want to be featured in the local paper for publishing through companies like this, he informs them that it would be like announcing "Local man accepted to community college and pays for own classes."


So what exactly have these people done that was so bad? Ask me for money? Is that the scam part?

Real publishers pay the author - period. You get an advance based on what the publisher thinks your book will earn over its print run. If the book goes on for multiple runs and earns out, you get royalties. If the book doesn't earn out, you've still got the advance that's yours no matter what. (some micro presses don't pay advances, but they still pay royalties. Real publishers give the author FREE copies of their own books. Real publishers market books in advance, send out Advance Reader Copies to legit reviews and get the books into catalogues that book stores use to stock their shelves. There's buzz about real books WAY before they ever hit the stores. If a company is presenting themselves as a real publisher (there's no such thing as a 'traditional" publisher, btw, it was a term made up by a vanity company) and they don't do the things listed above - RUN AWAY.

I'm not going to wallow I'm going to control my temper and keep writing.

Good. Then you may have a chance of getting published some day.

Marian Perera
08-03-2009, 11:21 PM
They offer services to which you all are saying is a scam. Why would anyone do anything for free?

Real publishers get paid by the reading public, not by writers. If they're being paid by you, then they're a vanity press. I'm sorry if that hurts, but it's the truth.


I need to improve my writing- but I'll use them as a publishing credit.

You're certainly free to use this as a publishing credit, but agents are not likely to take it seriously.

DaveKuzminski
08-03-2009, 11:42 PM
How to tell if you are vanity published:

If you paid for editing, you may be vanity published.
If you paid any set up fees, you may be vanity published.
If you have to purchase copies of your own book to give to legitimate publishing industry reviewers, you may be vanity published.
If you have to ask bookstores in your locale to carry your book, you may be vanity published.
If a publisher later tells states your book isn't a publishing credit, you may be vanity published.

Let's face it, the authorities haven't gotten around to publishers yet like they have to some of the "schools" advertised on TV or haven't you noticed that some of their commercials now carry messages that their credits may not or will not carry over to accredited schools?

Essentially, the others on this board have not mutilated you. They've passed on solid information built on years of following the claims of businesses such as those in this particular topic and debunking them with facts. Your failure to do research first is not their fault.

Furthermore, you're not an idiot for being scammed. Scams work because they promise what appears to be a legitimate deal only to leave you high and dry and they can work on anyone who wants something. What scams rely upon to keep going is for you to disbelieve everyone else because you'll feel inadequate. But like I said, scams can work on anyone. It doesn't matter what age you are, what gender you are, how smart you are, or how much is at stake. Scams can work on anyone.

As well, your idea of how to state something sensitively may differ from the ideas held by others. It's like the old saying of your mileage may vary. You don't get to choose how others will state things. Either accept the facts or not. Just don't blame those who point out the difference in how the publishing industry works differently from other businesses in the world. Those differences largely came about because it was necessary to combat scams in the past.

Can a reader trust a review on a book if it was paid for by the author or the publisher? After all, why should a reader trust your opinion? You and your publisher have too much of a financial stake in seeing your book succeed and therefore have a conflict of interest. That's why professional reviewers are paid by the publishers who print their reviews, usually in periodicals.

Similar reasoning follows for editing. Legitimate publishers want an inhouse editing capability so they can control the quality of what they publish. That's why authors don't hire their own editing services. You may not know who's reputable in the editing service quadrant of the publishing industry and there are plenty who are not only incapable, but some who are even dishonest. They'll do a spell check on your manuscript and consider that editing.

Agents are paid after they make a sale on your behalf to a legitimate publisher. You don't pay them up front because that removes the incentive for them to actually produce anything for you. By the way, many in sales work in a similar manner. They have to produce sales before they get paid.

James D. Macdonald
08-03-2009, 11:44 PM
I hope she stops back by in a year to tell us how it's all worked out for her. I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
08-04-2009, 12:03 AM
Well ultimately it's your choice Kerry. But Robert Fletcher is being investigated by the authorities for a reason. I don't understand why anyone would want to be associated with him in any regard. Your first book may be stuck there, but YOU don't have to be stuck there. This isn't a 'when life gives you lemons...' moment where you try to make the best of it. It's a cut-ties-and-move-on. Work on something new, sell it to a real publisher and enjoy a much more satisfying success. You can always revisit this series later when the rights come back to you, and who knows maybe it'll be better.

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 12:10 AM
I own the rights to my book. I checked my contract-

It is a vanity press\\I apologize, I was very wrong

Mr. Macdonald- you'll never be proved wrong

I was completely naive and scammed like a fool and spent a bunch of money I shouldn't have because now it has completely ruined my chance to be a decent author-

I so get it - and I'm not a kid. Thanks though-

Yes your information was all correct-

Guys- I'm kinda stuck- so I have to make the best of the situation-

Martial artists do that. So that's what I'm going to do-

Sorry to have been such a fool-

Well- back to the drawing board-

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 12:13 AM
Robert Fletcher was never mentioned anywhere so I never searched his name and when I searched AEG nothing- everything was fine- at the time of my searches and doing my homework. The only thing I heard was that the contract offer 50/50 was a little iffy- If I could do it all over again I would- but I can't- so I'm going to do the best I can with what I've got and finish my sequel.

I didn't do enough homework- but I'll do a lot better next time-

Marian Perera
08-04-2009, 12:40 AM
I was completely naive and scammed like a fool and spent a bunch of money I shouldn't have because now it has completely ruined my chance to be a decent author-

I'm sorry about the money, but if it helps at all, you gained some valuable experience from it.

And no, it didn't ruin your chance to be a decent author. Falling victim to a scam is something a lot of writers have done. We all make mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over it.

HapiSofi
08-04-2009, 12:47 AM
Kerry, neither I nor anyone else here wants you to be unhappy. We're more like the helpful park rangers or first responders who try to get you to understand that even though you haven't yet been badly hurt in ways you recognize, the place you're standing isn't safe.

Robert Fletcher is a con artist. I don't mean that metaphorically. Here are some links for you:

http://www.sfwa.org/beware/general.html#Literary
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34311
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008839.html

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 12:54 AM
Blessings to you, I appreciate the vote of confidence.

I'd be The Chariot :)

K

Marian Perera
08-04-2009, 01:12 AM
Thanks to Kerry, I am now curious about this company and checking out their website.

<purr>Interesting...</purr>

They charge for "article submission packages", for audio books, for reviews, for signings (you have to buy 30 books before they set up a signing), for author displays, for marketing campaigns... this place could clean you out.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
08-04-2009, 01:29 AM
Have some popcorn. Or chocolate. Or popcorn with chocolate. Whatever your choice of comfort food is :)

It's never too late to be a decent author. Or a published one.

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 01:44 AM
M that all sounds like excellent foods at the mo :)

Like I said- I won't let this stop me. And Queen- a lot of that isn't what it looks like- you can get a fancy "package" or what they already give you with your contract- which I'll admit- does leave a lot of the leg work to you- but they tell you where to go so to speak lmao-

The story is a good one- no my book isn't different unless I me- myself and I make it so-

and I will make it so- if I have to go door to door I will. Or shop to shop- but I will make this work for me.

My only real quarrel was with the delivery of the information. If a person gets "taken" so to speak, and this business is so rift with emotion then its handlers should be a little less brash with the people who have been "scammed" though- if you don't buy the services- but you pay attention to what they are doing- you can get it all done elsewhere or just yourself for next to nothing.

THAT research I HAVE in fact done and its proving to be wonderful.

Anyway- Thanks Queen and M- I appreciate the encouragement... I've been writing since Iw as a child- I'm not about to stop now. :)

Just look at all my posts lol that should be an indication lmao

;)

K

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 01:53 AM
Sorry I got posts mixed up- Queen- my "key card" so to speak is The Chariot-

Blessings to you too but also to Hapi- I just felt bombarded with "geez ur a ditz fer not finding this place before"

and I'm not- but if the man is a con- the man is a con- I just have never heard of him before -

the people I work with have said that they declined a "person" and that person has gone on a rampage.

The joint venture thing is indeed very close to vanity- but I didn't know that- it isn't an excuse- it is however, the truth-

I'll just keep trying and keep going.

Thank you truly for the notes of encouragement and pats on the back and helping me step away from that perilous edge. Pun intended.

Who knows what will happen with all the time I can put into marketing myself.

30 is less that 500 to 1000 too so that's a little better- but that was truly the first clue I ever had that something was a miss. That and the being told to be patient when it didn't pertain to my questions. LOL

Anyway-

I still like the site- hesitant of Mr. MacDonald - yes - but that doesn't mean he is wrong- probably means he's a lot like me lmao



K

AC Crispin
08-04-2009, 01:59 AM
Hi, Kerry:

Ann Crispin of Writer Beware here. If you need help or guidance in contacting the Florida Attorney General's Office, I can provide that. You can drop me a line at anncrispin@aol.com

Robert Fletcher also sued Writer Beware (me and my partner, Victoria Strauss) and lost, by the way.

I realize the message you've heard sounds very harsh. But the people who have been unfair to you are Mr. Fletcher and his minions (and there aren't many of them, as Uncle Jim says he's admitted on record that he has 70 or so aliases), not the folks here.

Take care, and be well. Keep writing.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 02:00 AM
They charge for "article submission packages", for audio books, for reviews, for signings (you have to buy 30 books before they set up a signing), for author displays, for marketing campaigns... this place could clean you out.

Check out their book review packages over at the Strategic Book Marketing site (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/services-bookreviews.html):



...we will print and mail 10 books to the top reviewers, at your cost .... we can do all the above for $295 .... Typically, we ask for $192 from the author to cover costs.

Marian Perera
08-04-2009, 02:01 AM
Sorry I got posts mixed up- Queen- my "key card" so to speak is The Chariot-

Oh, I see what you mean.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9b/RWS_Tarot_07_Chariot.jpg/68px-RWS_Tarot_07_Chariot.jpg


The joint venture thing is indeed very close to vanity- but I didn't know that- it isn't an excuse- it is however, the truth-

The thing with vanity presses is, they're smart.

They know that authors know vanity publication is not a professional thing, and that paying to be published is a sign of vanity publication.

So they rename themselves. They say it's a joint venture - they put up half the money and you put up the other half (except they aren't paying nearly as much as you are). They say they're a traditional publisher and shift their fees to the back end (so you end up buying your own book in bulk to resell). They charge for other services, for editing, for marketing, for reviews, for advertising, for anything they can.

Ultimately the one thing they have in common is that they charge writers. And they're not considered a professional credit. Okay, that's two things.


I still like the site- hesitant of Mr. MacDonald

Aw, he's not so bad. I think this might be his card:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/8d/RWS_Tarot_05_Hierophant.jpg/68px-RWS_Tarot_05_Hierophant.jpg

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 02:25 AM
Over at Eloquent Books' page, the lies start in their masthead, where they say "Eloquent Books New York, New York." All they have in New York is a mail-forwarding service. They're actually based in Boca Raton, Florida, in Bobby Fletcher's living room.

And check this out, from their page (http://eloquentbooks.com/poetry.html):


Many great authors past and present started in a similar manner of publishing:
Benjamin Franklin, Carl Sandburg, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman,
Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Deepak Chopra, John Grisham, and Jack Canfield.This is a straight up, flat out lie. It is meant to deceive and mislead. It is fraud.

Kerry, when you say,


the people I work with have said that they declined a "person" and that person has gone on a rampage.This is another straight up, flat out lie. They looked you in the eye and lied to you. Go back to the beginnings of these threads to see the whole origin and history of Robert Fletcher, con man, and his literary scams. It's a lot of reading -- the threads here go back to 2003 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529).

The reason Fletcher changes his company's name, and his own name, so frequently is to make it hard for you to research him.



Aw, he's not so bad. I think this might be his card:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/8d/RWS_Tarot_05_Hierophant.jpg/68px-RWS_Tarot_05_Hierophant.jpg


The Hierophant (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/basics/hierophant.shtml).

Kerry, you're invited up to Learn Writing with Uncle Jim (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6710). We talk about a lot of things, including the business side of commercial fiction.

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 03:12 AM
Thank you Ms. Crispin. Your site was incredibly helpful after I read here which is also incredibly helpful. Do YOU believe I need to join the cause? Because I'm a little numb at the mo lol

I tried to say before its the delivery of the message-

Mr. Macdonald- *closed gate bow* i will happily attend or be present and participate via my keys here. :)

Heirophant is much much better than the Tower ;) But I'd have to know your b day for sure- :)

Kerry

DaveKuzminski
08-04-2009, 03:50 AM
The only thing you've lost so far is one book and even that might be recoverable some day. Good luck with your sequel. Just make sure it's standalone so a real publisher can produce it without the first book providing an intro to it.

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 04:12 AM
That's exactly what I've done- except a lot of critiquers are hating the info dump.... How do I avoid that part? Conversation maybe?

And do I say anything at ALL about the other book- I feel like if I don't I'm being scheme "y" under handed not telling the truth- and granted I'm a fiction writer that shouldn't be a problem except when it comes to business. There is nothign worse in business then that.

Thank you for any insights!

K

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 04:39 AM
Okay- I have to tell it now- the last time I told a group this part- they all like turned away they hated it-

even though- I've done other ways- this particular way - is first person- so everything said in the book is almost talking to the reader-

but I've written other ways too lol

*lowers her self to a crouching position with her hands out.... eyes shut:) *

So it works okay.

K

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 04:42 AM
"if you did lose all you'd built, you would still keep the experience and knowledge that you've gained up to this point, wouldn't you?"

quote from the meaning of his card-

which is brilliant :)

K

DaveKuzminski
08-04-2009, 05:27 AM
Break the info dump into small manageable parts and give those out only when needed for the reader to understand what has occurred before. For instance, unless your villain has escaped in the first book to confront your hero again, there's no need to give a blow by blow account of what happened. Just give the reader just enough to know they're foes. Then when you have the rights back to the first book, you might interest a publisher if the sequel did exceptionally well.

HapiSofi
08-04-2009, 06:30 AM
Blessings to you too but also to Hapi- I just felt bombarded with "geez ur a ditz fer not finding this place before" ... I still like the site- hesitant of Mr. MacDonald - yes - but that doesn't mean he is wrong- probably means he's a lot like me lmao
You're not a ditz. The trick is knowing that you have to do research, and that many online sources of advice are unreliable. Here are two more links for you:

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58205

Once you get to know Jim, you'll find he's genuinely kind and patient. Pinky swear, he's nicer than I am.

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 07:18 AM
Kerry, there's nothing wrong with first person. The story I'm writing right now is in first person. I've published at least four novels and three short stories in first person. Many well-known (famous, award-winning) novels are in first person. So, don't let that concern you.

But this thread isn't the place to talk about your book and your writing. Please, come to the Novels forum, or to Share Your Work, or the Fantasy & SF forum, and let's continue there.

Kerry Morgan
08-04-2009, 04:42 PM
ok-

Dave I still own the rights to my first book- checked my contract :)

K

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 06:01 PM
It's very, very difficult to lose the copyright to your book.

What you can lose is publishing rights for a while (all rights up to the term of copyright, depending on how bad the contract is). Those are what we sell when we sell our books. And you can definitely lose first rights (the first time it's published, anywhere, by anyone, those vanish).

The subject of rights is complex, and probably best addressed elsewhere too.

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 06:21 PM
Kerry:

"... the people I work with have said that they declined a "person" and that person has gone on a rampage."

Could you possibly post the full text of that letter here? I haven't done a good line-by-line on Fletcher's twaddle in quite a while. (And it's undoubtedly a form letter. If you have it so probably do hundreds or thousands of others. I'd like to have something here in case they Google on key phrases.)

rejectME
08-04-2009, 08:19 PM
It sounds like Eloquent may be worse than PA?!? So I have a couple of questions.
1. If SBP/AEG's owner is under such an investigation, (I know he is - I'm not questioning that) how can his business still operate the way it does? Wouldn't there be grounds for some kind of temporary injunction? I just don't understand the legal aspect of this. I mean, I understand the "innocent until proven guilty" aspect, but it seems off that WL and AEG could operate under such high scrutiny.

2. Is it in their contract that the writer is required to buy x amount of books?

I did a search about these "brands," not too long ago and it lead me right here.

Kerry, keep your head up and try to make the most of the situtation! You seem to be the resiliant type and that will serve you well in this industry.

Jerry

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2009, 08:23 PM
2. Is it in their contract that the writer is required to buy x amount of books?




Strategic Books' deal is that the author is required to buy five copies a week (then they boast that their sales of five copies per week per author is proof of their success).

Eloquent Books' deal is that they're a "joint venture" publisher, where supposedly the author and the publisher each put up half -- but in reality the author puts up all of the money.

They're both vanity presses.

rejectME
08-04-2009, 08:38 PM
Strategic Books' deal is that the author is required to buy five copies a week (then they boast that their sales of five copies per week per author is proof of their success).

Eloquent Books' deal is that they're a "joint venture" publisher, where supposedly the author and the publisher each put up half -- but in reality the author puts up all of the money.

They're both vanity presses.

Makes ya kind of want to vomit a little...

DaveKuzminski
08-05-2009, 06:26 AM
I received the following email tonight. Only because I suspect the employee doesn't have a clue yet about the company am I not posting the employee's name. Anyway, it looks like there's another octopus arm on the critter in the form of Strategic Book Marketing. Now I'm going to answer my email and tell the employee about the employer.

From: XXXXXXXX
<xxxxxx@yahoo.com>

http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/arrow_right_whitebg.gif (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ABEntryForm&et=1&dir=abldap&sid=c0&rec=&ab_email1=tiwatz%40yahoo.com&ab_name_first=Regina&ab_name_last=Paul&&endrec&)Save Address (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ABEntryForm&et=1&dir=abldap&sid=c0&rec=&ab_email1=tiwatz%40yahoo.com&ab_name_first=Regina&ab_name_last=Paul&&endrec&) http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/arrow_right_whitebg.gif (http://javascript<b></b>: doReminder();)Reminder (http://javascript<b></b>: doReminder();) To: prededitors@att.netSubject: Publisher Listing Request...Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:09:19 PM [View Source (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ShowSrc&no=574&uid=388014&sid=c1)]
http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/c0.gif
Hello,

I would like to request to have a publisher listed on your publisher listing. Please find the information on the publisher I work for below.

Please let me know if you need any further information from me.

-Xxxxxx Xxxx

Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a member of the Strategic Book Group which has published over 1000 authors in the last 24 months in all genres, including romance books. The Strategic Book Group also includes Kindle and ebook Consulting, Writers Services, a Book-To-Film Division, and a global foreign rights department. Asked what Strategic does better than their competition, their CEO states, "Frankly, our book marketing division is better than anyone's. We are selling a ton of books for our authors in bookstores, in non-traditional locations, and around the world. We attend the major trade shows in NY, London, and Germany with our authors, and we are on top of all social media and traditional marketing techniques". For more information please visit www.StrategicBookPublishing.com (http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/) and www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) .

rejectME
08-05-2009, 06:49 AM
I received the following email tonight. Only because I suspect the employee doesn't have a clue yet about the company am I not posting the employee's name. Anyway, it looks like there's another octopus arm on the critter in the form of Strategic Book Marketing. Now I'm going to answer my email and tell the employee about the employer.

From: XXXXXXXX
<xxxxxx@yahoo.com>

http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/arrow_right_whitebg.gif (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ABEntryForm&et=1&dir=abldap&sid=c0&rec=&ab_email1=tiwatz%40yahoo.com&ab_name_first=Regina&ab_name_last=Paul&&endrec&)Save Address (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ABEntryForm&et=1&dir=abldap&sid=c0&rec=&ab_email1=tiwatz%40yahoo.com&ab_name_first=Regina&ab_name_last=Paul&&endrec&) http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/arrow_right_whitebg.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:%20doReminder%28%29;)Reminder (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:%20doReminder%28%29;) To: prededitors@att.netSubject: Publisher Listing Request...Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:09:19 PM [View Source (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/en-US/v/wm/4A78EC090004557B0000015C22228869349B0A02D29B9B0EBF 07059C020703969A05D204D20B?cmd=ShowSrc&no=574&uid=388014&sid=c1)]
http://webmail.att.net/wm/en-US/images/c0.gif
Hello,

I would like to request to have a publisher listed on your publisher listing. Please find the information on the publisher I work for below.

Please let me know if you need any further information from me.

-Xxxxxx Xxxx

Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a member of the Strategic Book Group which has published over 1000 authors in the last 24 months in all genres, including romance books. The Strategic Book Group also includes Kindle and ebook Consulting, Writers Services, a Book-To-Film Division, and a global foreign rights department. Asked what Strategic does better than their competition, their CEO states, "Frankly, our book marketing division is better than anyone's. We are selling a ton of books for our authors in bookstores, in non-traditional locations, and around the world. We attend the major trade shows in NY, London, and Germany with our authors, and we are on top of all social media and traditional marketing techniques". For more information please visit www.StrategicBookPublishing.com (http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/) and www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) .

I would have thought they could have just looked to see that they are already listed, and linked, and linked...

DaveKuzminski
08-05-2009, 06:59 AM
And I've already received this reply to my response alerting the individual about the Florida Attorney General Investigation and how the employer's suits against several writers were dismissed with prejudice:

Hi Dave,

I just started working for this guy, so thank you for the heads up. I did look on the list and didn't see him listed there. Thanks for letting me know. I'll keep this in mind in future dealings with him.

Xxxxxx

Marian Perera
08-05-2009, 07:09 PM
AEG/Strategic Book Publishing (a.k.a. Robert Fletcher) is currently offering authors a choice of buying 5 books a week for a year at list price (250 books total) or paying $675 upfront.

I was just wondering... is there anything on SBP's website which mentions this upfront fee or the requirement to buy books? I've been searching, but I couldn't find anything other than all the charges for the various services provided by Strategic Books Marketing.

rejectME
08-05-2009, 09:32 PM
I was just wondering... is there anything on SBP's website which mentions this upfront fee or the requirement to buy books? I've been searching, but I couldn't find anything other than all the charges for the various services provided by Strategic Books Marketing.

I posted the question to the AEG Facebook page yesterday evening, in the hopes that one of the authors would respond, but nothing yet. I wonder if the question will be taken down...

Kerry Morgan
08-06-2009, 04:00 AM
Hi Guys- Mr. Macdonald, since I'm kinda stuck with them at the moment- and they are doing what they said they would do, I'm worried about putting someone's words verbatim here. Please don't be offended. I just don't want things to be worse then they already are that's all. But closer to what was said is this, " We suspect that an author who was rejected has started all of this in anger over being rejected." Not verbatim, but closer... Is that okay?

There is nothing anywhere in my contract that says I HAVE to buy five books per week or whatever. I don't know where that came from. I didn't have to buy any books at all or I should say that I wasn't required to.

And Was it Dave who said he got an email from an employee?

Be careful- okay- if this person is as good a con as everyone is saying- then maybe it wasn't a "new" employee.

I'd never even heard of that deal with the books-

Although I did recieve an email about a package of marketing services an author had the option to buy at the current price of 675 because it was going up to 899.00 for new authors-

*shrug*

They never answered my question on who Robert Fletcher was. Ignored it completely.

I honestly have never heard of that guy. Except for now-

Kerry

Kerry Morgan
08-06-2009, 04:17 AM
Hapi thanks for the links those were incredible-

Mr. Macdonald- I was just addressing the question- I apologize again for changing the subject.

And by hesitant of Mr. Macdonald I didn't mean I didn't like him. Just ready to block if attacked so to speak. Nothing personal I am that way with everyone (martial artist :)

At another group people didn't want to crit my work because it was in first person. So I thought people frowned on that as much as vanity and self publishing which I think should be a new prejudge label. Scammers should get punished but people who self publish shouldn't be judged so harshly. IMHO

Let it be known that I don't have anything against anyone here- I was just taken aback.

Ok shutting up again. :)

K

DaveKuzminski
08-06-2009, 04:50 AM
Kerry, Fletcher has been known to use a number of aliases. And yes, I received an email from one of the employees wanting me to list Strategic Book Publishing in P&E's pages. I replied that it already is and it's not recommended along with giving the employee two of the many documented reasons why. In fact, I posted two of the employee's emails to me in one of the topics in this section with the name of the employee redacted.

rejectME
08-06-2009, 05:38 AM
Hapi thanks for the links those were incredible-

Mr. Macdonald- I was just addressing the question- I apologize again for changing the subject.

And by hesitant of Mr. Macdonald I didn't mean I didn't like him. Just ready to block if attacked so to speak. Nothing personal I am that way with everyone (martial artist :)

At another group people didn't want to crit my work because it was in first person. So I thought people frowned on that as much as vanity and self publishing which I think should be a new prejudge label. Scammers should get punished but people who self publish shouldn't be judged so harshly. IMHO

Let it be known that I don't have anything against anyone here- I was just taken aback.

Ok shutting up again. :)

K

Like Uncle Jim, said, there's nothing wrong with he first person. Lots of successful writers write, or have written, in the first person. If if works for you, and you can pull it off, cool.

I have a hard time believing that one writer (who got rejected) could have started all the fee rumors, but a bunch of disgruntled ones may have been verbal at some point and the message of the "marketing package" got turned into buying books. Or maybe some people are asked to buy books. I'm glad you are not 'cause that's a lot of money that can be put to better use. I'm still waiting for one of the AEG Facebook members to answer my question about the books, but I have a feeling it won't happen.

James D. Macdonald
08-06-2009, 07:06 AM
There are two different imprints (both vanity presses) that Fletcher's running:

Strategic Book Publishing is where the authors are expected to buy multiple copies of their own books.

Eloquent Books is where they're expected to pay up front.

I would really prefer to have the full text of the letter that claims some rejected author is behind all the negative press on Fletcher's various schemes.

The exact wording is important.

The thing is, I find it hard to imagine that anyone has ever been turned down by Eloquent or Strategic.

rejectME
08-06-2009, 06:00 PM
I emailed with one of SBP's authors last night and she said that she has not had to buy any books and her contract doesn't indicate it either. Her novel is in hardcover, but based on Amazon's ranking, it hasn't been purchased by many people at all. Very nice woman who had good things to say, but indicated that she knows that if she wants to sell multiple copies of her book, she'll has to do all of the leg work.

Just an FYI...

AC Crispin
08-06-2009, 08:13 PM
Writer Beware would also like to see a copy of the email you mentioned, Kerry.

If possible, could you please forward to me at anncrispin@aol.com?

Writer Beware has multiple copies of both Strategic and Eloquent contracts. Authors find out the truth about Mr. Fletcher and his operations and send us their documentation and complaints all the time. So I can verify that Jim has accurately described the nature of Fletcher's publishing operations. They're typical vanity published books: they read like it, having seen several of them, and they sell that way, too. In other words, hardly at all.

POD and vanity published books just don't sell like the books you'd find on the shelves in a bookstore, books that were published by "name" publishers such as Random House, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, etc.

It amazes me even after having read all of the threads on this Fletcher message board, that authors still give any credibility to anything claimed by this company. The reason authors don't hear the name "Robert Fletcher" is that the man operates under many aliases. Robert Williams is one. Robert West is another. Bill Williams is another.

And then there are the 65 or more female aliases Mr. Fletcher has adopted: Sherry Fine, Georgina Orr, Hil Mallory, Mary Bluestone, Beth Stormes...the list goes on and on.

Anyway, we'd really like to see a copy of that email. For a while Fletcher used to refer to us by name, and make all kinds of libelous claims about us, and we'd like to know whether he's still doing that.

Thanks,

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

rejectME
08-08-2009, 06:01 PM
Although I did recieve an email about a package of marketing services an author had the option to buy at the current price of 675 because it was going up to 899.00 for new authors-


Kerry:

I'm confused based on AEGs model. Are you saying that you didn't have to pay any fees, but were offered a marketing package AFTER you had signed a contract to publish with them? It is my understanding that a book is not published under the Eloquent imprint without a joint venture agreement being signed. (which includes the upfront fee) If you have had a different experience, please share.

Thanks, Jerry

Kerry Morgan
08-09-2009, 05:07 PM
I have a joint venture contract that required me to pay some money up front-
I'm not trying to give RF or the company any credence- i'm saying I was surprised by all this.

Of course I wouldn't continue to give them money after seeing all this- I'm not an idiot-

I will be gone for a bit as I'm having comptuer issues and need a new cord-

They wanted money for the book and then MORE for marketing is what I was saying-

they suck I know it- thanks for telling me- I'll be back as soon as I can

Kerry

rejectME
08-09-2009, 06:07 PM
I have a joint venture contract that required me to pay some money up front-
I'm not trying to give RF or the company any credence- i'm saying I was surprised by all this.

Of course I wouldn't continue to give them money after seeing all this- I'm not an idiot-

I will be gone for a bit as I'm having comptuer issues and need a new cord-

They wanted money for the book and then MORE for marketing is what I was saying-

they suck I know it- thanks for telling me- I'll be back as soon as I can

Kerry

Kerry:

I think that it's honest and hard-working writers like you, who aren't afraid to speak their minds, that will truly help stop AEG from scamming others. Unlike PA, Fletcher doesn't appear to have a group of followers who think that AEG can do no wrong. Perhaps I'm wrong, but of all the people I've been in touch with about their AEG experience, very defending them at all.

AEG/SBP claims that if they feel a book has the marketing to sell on its' own, they will offer a "traditional contract" to the writer, or if one's first book has had good sales. I'm curious if the former has ever happened. Doubtful. It appears that the writing doesn't even factor into their equations. I would doubt that they even read manuscripts before offering a deal...

Jerry

RainbowDragon
08-17-2009, 09:48 AM
Strategic Books is advertising on Facebook now as a "Traditional Publisher" - is that even legal?

IceCreamEmpress
08-17-2009, 10:18 AM
Strategic Books is advertising on Facebook now as a "Traditional Publisher" - is that even legal?

There's no business category called "traditional publisher." Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin, et al. describe themselves as "trade publishers"; another term sometimes used by others to describe legit publishers is "commercial publishers."

"Traditional publisher" is a really useful red flag. If you ever see anyone self-describe as a "traditional publisher" they are at best naive and ill-informed, and at worst a scam artist. Run away. Real publishers call themselves "trade publishers," "small presses," "e-book publishers" and the like.

James D. Macdonald
08-17-2009, 02:13 PM
"Traditional publisher" is an undefined term.

And vanity publication has a long tradition too.

Oh, and Fletcher is now advertising for freelancers to be "blog coaches" for writers who want to pay him money to have a blog.

Not that blogging is going to get them any sales, mind you. And not that Fletcher is going to pay those work-at-home moms who answer his ads, no matter what he promises. And not that the "coaches" know anything about blogging anyway.

Alphabeter
08-17-2009, 04:03 PM
Isn't advertising across state lines for a "job" with no intent to pay for the results also fraud?

DaveKuzminski
08-17-2009, 04:34 PM
I think Google and other businesses selling advertising should receive a copy of the judge's finding on Fletcher or a link to it. They might not want to sell him anymore advertising since that would make them his willing accomplices in an ongoing fraud.

rejectME
08-17-2009, 06:30 PM
They do have ads for both SBP and WLA all over the place on Facebook. Totally sickening!

Kerry Morgan
08-17-2009, 10:38 PM
Ya know- I hit a page earlier where someone was upset because an author from Strategic put a spam comment on their blog-

They DO tell you to do that-

I'm telling you- I'm so disgusted and upset about this whole thing-

I took the week I needed to wait for my computer cord and really thought about what I was doing, why I was conned- how it actually happened- and though I thought I had- I really didn't do enough research-

but all that's besides the point now- I don't want a stigma attached to me because I was sucked in- then another stigma attached because I was doing what they told me to do- I thought I was being a good author person ya know?

For THIS AUTHOR- it was not ever about just skipping steps and getting out there. Ya know? I never wanted that- I didn't want to skip steps or by pass all the rejection slips- I just honestly thought I had an acceptance slip. so to speak.

I guess researching before you send the query as well as after is a good idea.

So I am not going to do any more of their "tactics- and I'm finally going to be able to just re write the book-

Well everyone here has told me to write another book- and since I'm well into the second- I'm shooting for a first time novel- with my same character- I'm not going to use this as a credit- and I'm going to come here before I do anything when it's done and ask you guys about who to talk to LOL. Seriously-

I'd been waiting for a cord for my computer- and during that time- I really just felt it- felt that "I was scammed" feeling- and I decided to turn it around into my pitch for the book in the first place-

"Who would you kill if you knew you could get away with it?"

That "who" is now Robert Fletcher- maybe I'll blog it out too but he is definitiely going to be a character in the "real" book now :)

Just wanted to mention that I'm still here- I feel awful because I was doing the comment thing (though I thought it was expected by bloggers.... ) but ya know what- I'm tired of having an excuse for doing what they've told me to do.

Not doing it anymore- just getting back into writing- No more- Just writing.

Heart felt thanks to you all- I appreciate all the information and help you've offered.

Kerry

Kerry Morgan
08-17-2009, 10:41 PM
way to be redundant kerry don't be redundant lol

Did I mention I was waiting for a cord for my computer? K just checking lmao

might scream about it then get back to writing that book.

;)

Kerry

Kerry Morgan
08-17-2009, 10:46 PM
OHHH and what I was going to mention to you all that I found disturbing- I think he may be getting ready to remake himself again-

There are a bunch of links on the site that do not work anymore- plus all their like oh I don't know what they are called- copy right things? Maybe where it says "this was published in 2007 or whatever year it happens to be-

There's are all still on 2008- no one had updated anything- and I haven't been a "featured" new release though I was released as a printed book (note I didn't say published) in June.... It is another one of their promises that hasn't been kept. I was supposed to have a spot on their new release page for a bit-

Though I complained about it- so they may have changed it- but last I checked- *shaking head no*

Just thought that was interesting because everyone everywhere keeps those little copy right things up to date- scroll all the way down as far as the page goes and there is one there- with tis year as the year too-

interesting isn't it?

Kerry

DaveKuzminski
08-17-2009, 11:20 PM
You really need to pass your information on, particularly about the spamming, to the Florida Attorney General, especially any emails that Fletcher sent you with those instructions. You could be the straw that breaks Fletcher and lands him in prison.

Kerry Morgan
08-18-2009, 04:02 PM
If that is important I will email Ann Crispin.

They call it responding to google alerts- you put in a few "alert" words like say for me it was Astral then you get an alert when a blogger has used the word and then you go and "put a comment in response and sign your name with your book title and link".

Okay- I'll go try to say something I think I saw a link somewhere to tell them?

Kerry

rejectME
08-18-2009, 05:51 PM
If that is important I will email Ann Crispin.

They call it responding to google alerts- you put in a few "alert" words like say for me it was Astral then you get an alert when a blogger has used the word and then you go and "put a comment in response and sign your name with your book title and link".

Okay- I'll go try to say something I think I saw a link somewhere to tell them?

Kerry

So they tell you to comment on any blog on all the internet that uses your assigned keyword, and then comment on the page? That is so weird. I would think that if they were going to do that, they would have chosen avenger as it's probably used more often, but regardless, it is spamming.

Keep your head up, Kerry!

James D. Macdonald
08-18-2009, 09:12 PM
Many blog owners delete any such post on sight. (And they're easy to recognize.) The more active blog owners then block the spammer from ever posting again on any subject, with or without ad.

And its a remarkably useless form of advertising anyway (not that advertising helps much to start with). And advertising a book that isn't on bookstore shelves is even more of a waste of time than other book advertising is.

The purpose of advertising a book is this: It's to tell the public, "You know that book you were going to buy the minute it came out? It's out!" This works for the Kings, Grishams, and Pattersons of the world. It's useless to self-published first-time authors.

AC Crispin
08-19-2009, 02:05 AM
I received Kerry's email and responded appropriately.

-Ann C. Crispin

victoriastrauss
08-19-2009, 02:16 AM
Many blog owners delete any such post on sight. (And they're easy to recognize.)
I get a fair number of such posts on the Writer Beware blog (I have things set up so that I get an email every time someone posts a comment to the blog, even if it's on a post that's several years old). Most of the time, I delete them immediately.

Occasionally, if it's really egregious (like a recent spam comment announcing a writing contest run by a vanity publisher), I do worse: I blog about it.

- Victoria

Alphabeter
08-19-2009, 09:34 PM
Well, they wanted the information made public anyways....

AngelSong76
08-19-2009, 09:57 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just had to stop in and let you guys know that this thread on this site kept me from doing something really stupid. I was contacted by Strategic and asked to send a manuscript. What's interesting is that I've never contacted them. I thought they may have gotten my email from my website or blog, where I talk about my completed projects and my works in progress. It seemed a little fishy to me, so I googled. This was one of the first links that came up, so I spent a couple of hours reading every message. I have deleted the email and will not contact them, thanks to sites like this!

James D. Macdonald
08-20-2009, 05:50 AM
What's interesting is that I've never contacted them.

Yes, that's very interesting.

If anyone else gets a letter from Strategic Book Publishing / AEG Publishing Group / Author's Edge / Eloquent Books / Strategic Book Marketing when they'd had no prior contact with those "publishers," please save the letter and pass it on to Ann, Victoria, or the Florida Attorney General.

AC Crispin
08-20-2009, 06:16 AM
Lately Fletcher has been mining his list of email addresses from the authors that "fired" him, from all his assorted "literary agencies."

AngelSong did you ever do business with any of Robert Fletcher's bogus "literary agencies?" There's a list of the names, and there are a lot of them, on Writer Beware's entry regarding Mr. Fletcher and his assorted enterprises.

That's the most logical explanation for why Fletcher spammed you, Angel. Did you ever sign a contract and pay 89.00 for a "critique" from New York Literary Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, S.T. Literary Agency, Children's Literary Agency, Poet's Literary Agency, or WL Literary Agency?

(That's off the top of my head. As I said, look up the complete list by clicking the "Alert" on Writer Beware's first page.)

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

AngelSong76
08-20-2009, 07:55 AM
I've actually never done any business with anyone, as I've only just started sending a query letter and synopsis package for my first manuscript this year and have only sent it to two publishers - ones I know to be legit - and no agents yet. Very strange.

ChristineR
08-20-2009, 09:50 AM
Do you subscribe to Writer's Digest, or some other magazine for writers, that might have your e-mail address?

CaoPaux
08-20-2009, 06:43 PM
Or register the copyright for an unpublished work? All kinds of lowlifes trawl the LoC for marks.

James D. Macdonald
08-20-2009, 09:13 PM
"Robert Fletcher" -- using that name isn't helpful. Who are you, and how did you come by that document?

victoriastrauss
08-20-2009, 11:03 PM
The Strategic Book Group website is for real. I've updated Writer Beware to reflect this new name.

Here's (http://www.ed2010.com/boards/2009/08/strategic-book-group) an example of the kind of spam postings the document is recommending.

- Victoria

AC Crispin
08-21-2009, 12:40 AM
Hah! I saw their booth at BEA (Book Expo America) and it looked homemade and cheesy in the extreme. In comparison to the real publishers like Random House or Harper or Simon & Schuster...well, let's just say they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies standing next to the mansion they bought in Beverly Hills.

Heck, even Sterling House's booth looked better...which was regrettable, since they were attracting a lot of potential authors. It was frustrating to be there, a couple of aisles away and see the suck...ahem...prospective authors venturing into Shelob's Lair.

I wanted to run over there and drag them forcibly away, but what could I do?

At least we got to hand out lots of Writer Beware literature, and talk to a lot of folks, warning them to check reputations before submitting their work.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

James D. Macdonald
08-21-2009, 12:46 AM
The Strategic Book Group website is for real. I've updated Writer Beware to reflect this new name.


What's the page, so folks can link to it?

victoriastrauss
08-21-2009, 12:49 AM
What's the page, so folks can link to it?

http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts-for-writers/#Literary

- Victoria

[UPDATE: The link is now http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/#Literary -- JDM]

rejectME
08-21-2009, 03:27 AM
"Robert Fletcher" -- using that name isn't helpful. Who are you, and how did you come by that document?

+1

Being able to link that document to Fletcher would seemingly be of interest to the Florida AG, but is it illegal? It's certainly a disgust to the literary world, IMHO.

James D. Macdonald
08-21-2009, 04:39 PM
Who I am doesn't matter. Where that document came from is here


Who you are matters to me. Please PM me.

Vanity Publisher
08-21-2009, 06:37 PM
Here is their idea on marketing. They also seem to believe that the authors should set up their own book signings and marketing.
The more we post it on sites that expose AEG as a Vanity Publisher the more legitimate recognition it will get.
Point of reference
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/aeg-publishing-c240297.html


To: All

From: Robert

Re: Please help us reduce our dependence on Google
Advertising
by posting this blurb whenever appropriate.


Many of us surf the web and as we do, we might see opportunities to post the
following information about our company. If you see a place to "put us into
the list" would you please do so? (Adding a comment like, "this is the
company I work for and I am proud of what we are accomplishing" would be
nice. Of course, just posting it is fine too).


Here is the publishing version:

"Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a member of the Strategic Book Group
(www.StrategicBookGroup.com . Our imprints, Strategic Publishing and
Eloquent Books, have published over 1000 authors in the last twenty-four
months in all genres, including children's books. The Strategic Book Group
also includes a Literary Agency, Kindle and eBook Consulting, Writers
Services, a Book-To-Film Division, and a global foreign rights department.
When asked what Strategic does better than their competition, their CEO
states, "Frankly, our book marketing division is better than anyone's. We
are selling a ton of books for our authors in bookstores, in non-traditional
locations, and around the world. We attend the major trade shows in NY,
London, and Germany with our authors, and we are on top of all social media
and traditional marketing techniques". Our exhibit at the Book Expo in NY
was a resounding success! We had a double booth and numerous authors
attended with us. Here are some great pictures.
http://s639.photobucket.com/albums/uu112/aegpublishinggroup/?albumview=grid
For more information please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com.

Here is the marketing version:
"Strategic Book Marketing (SBM) is a member of the Strategic Book Group
which has published over 1000 authors in the last 24 months in all genres,
including children's books. The Strategic Book Group also includes Kindle
and eBook Consulting, Writers Services, a Book-To-Film Division, and a
global foreign rights department. When asked what Strategic does better than
their competition, their CEO states, "Frankly, our book marketing division
is better than anyone's. We are selling a ton of books for our authors in
bookstores, in non-traditional locations, and around the world. We attend
the major trade shows in NY, London, and Germany with our authors, and we
are on top of all social media and traditional marketing techniques". Our
exhibit at the Book Expo in NY was a resounding success! We had a double
booth and numerous authors attended with us. Here are some great pictures.
http://s639.photobucket.com/albums/uu112/aegpublishinggroup/?albumview=grid
For more information please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com.

Here is the Agency version.
The Literary Agency Group (www.WLwritersAgency.com,
www.WLchildrensagency.com, www.WLpoetsAgency.com,
www.WLscreenplayagency.com) is a member of the Strategic Book Group which
has published over 1000 authors in the last 24 months in all genres,
including children's books. The Strategic Book Group also includes Kindle
and eBook Consulting, Writers Services, a Book-To-Film Division, and a
global foreign rights department. When asked what Strategic does better than
their competition, their CEO states, "We are selling a ton of books for our
authors in bookstores, in non-traditional locations, and around the world.
We attend the major trade shows in NY, London, and Germany with our authors,
and we are on top of all social media and traditional marketing techniques
to spread the word about their work". Our exhibit at the Book Expo in NY was
a resounding success! We had a double booth and numerous authors attended
with us. Here are some great pictures.
http://s639.photobucket.com/albums/uu112/aegpublishinggroup/?albumview=grid
For more information please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com.

----------------------------
Also, you will notice the move to Strategic Book Group. We are going to
slowly but surely move to that as a corporate holding company. We need a
better name than AEG, so that's where it is headed. My goal is to LOAD
GOOGLE WITH Strategic Book Group before it has a chance to get on the
negative message boards, so the more postings the better.

Ps. For every group of 5 places that you post us, we'll give you a thank you
bonus of $25. Send the URL list to Timesheet@StrategicBookGroup.com and
they will account for it there. If you want to post for hours to hundreds
of places and make a lot of extra money, that's fine with me, there are no
limits to this offer. This will be some of the best marketing money we will
spend.

Ps. If you have any other marketing or revenue producing ideas, please don't
hesitate to email me.. That's my job, revenue creation.
Rob

Vanity Publisher
08-24-2009, 03:49 PM
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts-for-writers/#Literary

- Victoria


Why isn't this link active any more?

Vanity Publisher
08-24-2009, 04:02 PM
Over at Eloquent Books' page, the lies start in their masthead, where they say "Eloquent Books New York, New York." All they have in New York is a mail-forwarding service. They're actually based in Boca Raton, Florida, in Bobby Fletcher's living room.

And check this out, from their page (http://eloquentbooks.com/poetry.html):

This is a straight up, flat out lie. It is meant to deceive and mislead. It is fraud.

Kerry, when you say,

This is another straight up, flat out lie. They looked you in the eye and lied to you. Go back to the beginnings of these threads to see the whole origin and history of Robert Fletcher, con man, and his literary scams. It's a lot of reading -- the threads here go back to 2003 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529).

The reason Fletcher changes his company's name, and his own name, so frequently is to make it hard for you to research him.




The Hierophant (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/basics/hierophant.shtml).

Kerry, you're invited up to Learn Writing with Uncle Jim (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6710). We talk about a lot of things, including the business side of commercial fiction.

There are people all over the country working for this company out of their house. They've used P.O. Addresses, home addresses and the such. Let's look at things just from that point. Yes there are reports of many employees still being owed money and reports claiming that all employees took a 50% pay cut for months because of Fletcher's advertising addiction.
He preys and capitalizes on the naive.

AC Crispin
08-24-2009, 06:12 PM
Posting on a complaint board is fine, but they have no power to do anything about it.

Writers who have paid good money for "services" that were never rendered should contact the AUTHORITIES and REPORT AEG/Strategic Book Publishing or Eloquent, or WL Literary Agency, or WL (whatever) Agency.

It's very simple. Go to Writer Beware. www.writerbeware.com (changes are being made to the SFWA website, so you may get "bounced" to the site, just be patient for a moment while you're transferred.)

On the first page of Writer Beware, click on the "Alert" link that is highlighted there.

This link will take you to complete contact information for the Florida Attorney General's Office. You may email them, fax them, or snail mail them. They will instruct you on what to do from there on. The investigator knows the case well, and will believe you about your experience.

That's it. Very simple. If you have lost money to this outfit, by all means follow the steps above.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

CaoPaux
08-24-2009, 06:41 PM
Why isn't this link active any more?Try this one: http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/#Literary

James D. Macdonald
08-24-2009, 07:35 PM
The old link did work. And, rather than a 404, it should be redirected to the new page.

CaoPaux
08-24-2009, 08:32 PM
It works in the sense it goes to the SFWA page, but the right-hand column reads:

Error 404 - Not Found
We're very sorry you can't find what you are looking for. SFWA has just upgraded to a new website and are still settling in. Please feel free to browse or us the "Contact Us" form to send the link of the page you are looking for. We'll make sure a redirect gets set up for it so you can read the material you were interested in.

Vanity Publisher
08-25-2009, 04:46 PM
Publishers weekly put this out.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6685394.html?industryid=47146

DaveKuzminski
08-25-2009, 09:26 PM
Is there a Wikipedia article on this business? I noticed there's one on PA.

James D. Macdonald
08-25-2009, 10:56 PM
From the Publishers Weekly article about AEG Publishing, Literary Agency Group, and Strategic Book Publishing (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6685394.html?industryid=47146):


Although PW was unable to reach Fletcher by phone, he responded to several e-mails. Fletcher defended himself, claiming that the lawsuit was “a waste of corporate resources so I killed it.” Fletcher agreed industry self-regulation is important, but asked, “What happens when a company or individual is wrongly tagged? It is... impossible to remove negative comments about a company, even if proved baseless.” According to Fletcher, his company has published more than 1,000 authors and sold 50,000 books, acting as a “blend of a traditional publisher and AuthorSolutions” wherein some manuscripts are published following a traditional model and others are published through a joint-venture subsidy program. He charges a flat rate of $895, and writers are told the cost up front.

"Even if proved baseless"? How about "especially when well-founded"?

I notice that he's boasting of 1,000 authors and 50,000 books sold. That works out to around 50 books per author. Any real publisher would put a paper bag over their head and mumble if they had sales so abysmal. I personally have sold many more books than all of Fletcher's authors combined.

And I have reason to believe that $895 isn't all that authors generally pay.

DaveKuzminski
08-25-2009, 11:04 PM
Hmmm, at $895 per author, a thousand yields $895,000. Even after expenses to actually print some books to ship to the authors, that ought to leave some significant pocket change for Fletcher.

Oh yeah, I forgot. He has 50 alternate identities to pay. ;)

James D. Macdonald
08-25-2009, 11:29 PM
...some manuscripts are published following a traditional model and others are published through a joint-venture subsidy program.

The former would be Strategic Book Publishing (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/#Literary), where the author is required to buy five copies per week at full retail price (yeah, that's real traditional...in the finest traditions of vanity presses everywhere). The latter would be Eloquent Books (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/#Literary). Since "joint-venture" and "subsidy" are both euphemisms for "vanity," I guess that makes 'em vanity-squared.

victoriastrauss
08-26-2009, 02:48 AM
In email to potential clients, WLA/AEG/whatever the heck its name is this week is STILL claiming that it's "working with lawyers" to counter "negative" information, and that it's confident it will "win."

- Victoria

rejectME
08-26-2009, 06:42 AM
The fans of AEG (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Strategic-Book-Publishing/64300064951?ref=search&sid=693767453.2537511394..1) on Facebook are certainly blind to what's going on...

Vanity Publisher
08-26-2009, 03:45 PM
Isn't this true basis for fraud? I'm confident in the fact there are NO authors that get a free ride.

Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a traditional publisher for authors that have a strong marketing pitch. We pay all costs for those authors. SBP also offers innovative publishing partnership programs for authors that have published with other publishers, and for authors where the path to large sales numbers is not so clearly defined.


found right on the front page of http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/


Wait, I know this is a blatant lie. "If we choose to publish your work it will be available for sale in all major bookstores, "

They have had NO books in Barnes and Noble.. NONE Last time I checked B&N is a major bookstore...

James D. Macdonald
08-26-2009, 08:35 PM
Wait, I know this is a blatant lie. "If we choose to publish your work it will be available for sale in all major bookstores, "

They have had NO books in Barnes and Noble.. NONE Last time I checked B&N is a major bookstore...


That's the same weasel-wording that PublishAmerica uses. The books are available for sale. That is, if you step smartly over to the Special Order desk with the title, author, and ISBN in hand ... they'll take your credit card and order a copy for you.

"Available" isn't the same thing as "shelved," but the scammers rely on authors reading "available" and being confident that it means "shelved." Why do you think it's called a con game?


The fans of AEG (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Strategic-Book-Publishing/64300064951?ref=search&sid=693767453.2537511394..1) on Facebook are certainly blind to what's going on...


The fans of AEG are a bunch of honeymooners. They'll figure it out, the same way the fans of PA figure it out.

HapiSofi
08-27-2009, 04:41 AM
Isn't this true basis for fraud? I'm confident in the fact there are NO authors that get a free ride.

Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a traditional publisher for authors that have a strong marketing pitch. We pay all costs for those authors.
That's further proof that SBP isn't really a publishing company. If you're a real publisher, a strong marketing pitch is what gets you to look at the manuscript. If the manuscript is good, you buy it.

At that point, the author's pitch ceases to matter (unless you cannibalize it for marketing copy). You're the publisher now, so you're the one doing the selling. What you'll sell is the book itself, and how good it is. What the author said when he pitched it to you could not be less relevant.

rejectME
08-27-2009, 05:35 AM
The fans of AEG are a bunch of honeymooners. They'll figure it out, the same way the fans of PA figure it out.

I can honestly say that their "Blogging Leader," Donnette Davis, did not think the truth should be shard with them. Whereas I don't know what a blogging leader is, I would be surprised if it is Mr. Fletcher himself, telling folks to spam blogs as was previously mentioned.

I really really really hope you three get your legal fees paid for, as ordered by the court.

James D. Macdonald
08-27-2009, 06:02 AM
Strategic Book Publishing (SBP) is a traditional publisher for authors that have a strong marketing pitch. We pay all costs for those authors.

And in return for paying all costs for the author, the author agrees to buy five copies of his own book per week, at full retail. That's how that part of the scam goes.

Donnette Davis is probably a real person, a freelancer (like DeliriousGirl was), who's trying to pick up some spare cash. She'll find out too.

The people I pity are the Blogging Coaches. Unknowns, of unknown credentials and unknown skills. Bobby charges the authors money to get a Blogging Coach. Then supposedly passes on some fraction of that money to the "coach."

This is getting more interesting by the day.

MMcQuown
08-27-2009, 09:15 AM
The first thing that strikes me about that letter is that the writer's first language is not English. It's neater and cleaner, but reads a lot like the scam e-mails I have received from several Nigerian sources.

rejectME
08-31-2009, 10:09 PM
So a frind of mine had submitted a YA to SBP/EB, had been offered the joint venture $895 special, and kindly turned them down. She asked them to delete her mss and withdrew her submission. If not for this forum, she may very well have thought this was normal. Anyway, this was over a month ago and yesterday she got another email from "Liz" in acquisitions, which she says was a form email asking if everything is moving along as she would like with the publishing of her novel. Below is the line that I particuraly found interesting...

"If you are already working with us, please disregard this email."

Really? How sad is this?

James D. Macdonald
08-31-2009, 10:16 PM
Have your friend pass all the correspondence on to the Florida Attorney General.