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jclarkdawe
02-05-2010, 07:44 AM
Now as a result of some family pressure, I got stuck into querying a novel for a family member. Query was mine, book is theirs, and has all sorts of problems. The query has been getting some interesting results with six requests for partials, but that isn't where this story is going.

Going to a site for agents, I started using it to send email queries to the agents listed there. One of the agents (who is relatively innocent in this story) apparently let the web site lapse. This caused the request to go to the site to wander, ending up at a form to send to an agent (notice the lack of the word "the" here -- it's intentional). I said to myself, "What the hell," and filled out the form.

Up to this point, this was seeming very legitimate, and the agent is legitimate. But withing a few hours of sending in the form, I received the following email:


Thank you for the information you have provided. I may have something for you. We have merged with a book marketing and publishing group and they have asked us to immediately send them authors that we believe meet their criteria. I will be forwarding this information to our sister book marketing company and publisher that likes situations like this (smaller and more focused), and can move quickly. (Their website is www.xxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxx.com)).

They are aggressively taking authors and their books into the international markets as well as the US. So far, the feedback is very good from writers we have sent to them. They have published over 1000 authors at this point and their marketing is going international. http://www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com/ shows our exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in process.

Please give them 2-5 days to get back to you. They will email you and request your manuscript if they want to see your work. They are very diligent about leads I send them. (Hint: Please start prepping your manuscript now, the odds are greater than 90% they will want to see it based on the fact that we sent you to them).

Please note that if your work is NOT FINISHED then please read below and we will continue. Our agency can deal with an unfinished work. The publisher cannot.

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

**************
Also, as a side benefit, we will teach you as much about the publishing industry as we can. Over the last five or so years we have communicated with thousands of authors, been a part of publishing thousands of books, and our authors have collectively sold hundreds of thousands of books. We think we are uniquely qualified to help you grow your writing career. This information is given free and without obligation. We certainly hope you will choose to work with us but in the spirit of 'giving back' and helping as many people as we can, we pledge to give you 'straight talk' about the writing and publishing business circa 2010.
****************

Good luck!

The Acquisitions Team

---------------

Good things are happening! SEPTEMBER, 2009: China Partner is taking our authors to the Beijing Book Show. Here is a link to a page from their catalog. (Please don't ask what it says (smile))! http://www.xxxxxxx.com/ And, if you do not reach a deal with them, please let me know and we will continue to look for other publishers for you. Just email me back if that's the case, and I will drop you an email in a couple of weeks to see how things are going.

PLEASE NOTE: AT THE FRANKFURT BOOKFAIR IN GERMANY THE CHINESE ARE AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING BOOKS of all genres. We have meetings set for London in April. If you join us, you can be ready for the next book show. Depending on when you sign with us it could be next year (2010) in London/April 19-21, NY/May 25-27, Beijing/Aug 30-Sept 3, or Frankfurt/Oct. 6-10.

--------------
IF YOUR WORK IS NOT FINISHED PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION BELOW.

Thank you for your query to the xxxxxxx Agency. Based on your query form information we would like to see your work.

This will be a long email. You might enjoy setting aside some time to really read it (grin). My goals are to 1) get the info we need to make a decision, 2) to let you know about how we think and how we approach the industry, and 3) to let you know what to expect.

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

1) Would you please send us an electronic copy of your work for further evaluation?

Please email your manuscript to manuscript@xxxxxxxxx.com

2) Would you please answer these 3 questions in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste the questions). And don't stress or take too long simple answers are fine.

Q1) Think like a publisher/buyer? Pitch me/them. Who would buy this book? Why would they buy it? If you give seminars or talks, mention it here.

Q2) How long have you been writing, and what are your goals as a writer?

Q3) Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go', or do you think it needs some polishing? If you have been through a formal editing process, please describe it in detail, ie. Name/company of editor(s) etc.

You may send either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are more comfortable sending. Your manuscript is completely safe within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up working together, we delete all files.

Please DO NOT include any questions with your manuscript submission. If you have a question, please send it to xxxxxxxxxxxx where the proper people may address your question. Most of the questions you may have are answered on the website and at the bottom of this email. Please see the FAQs below.

Our preference for receiving your manuscript is via email.
============================================
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us on CD, but please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer email).

If you simply must mail your work or a CD, please email our question email and request a mailing code and address. Please explain thoroughly why you feel that you must mail the work. (Can you tell by now that we really want to make it difficult to mail? We hate mail. It costs money to ship, buyers don't want hardcopy, etc, etc.) Mailed manuscripts may take up to 6 weeks to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more quickly. Please note: Due to the volume of material that we receive we cannot return anything you send us. Please do not send us anything that you can't replace.

We believe we are very different than other agencies.
================================================== ========
We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author and their talent. We like the metaphor of a "business incubator" as a description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper quality level, even if it takes months to do so.

We take pride in the fact that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days. Please, watch your spam filters!

Our job is to find a buyer for you, period. You may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors don't. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in finding a publisher and to coach you along the way in various options available to you. We don't edit your work. Our mission is to sell for you. Your mission is to meet or exceed industry quality standards.

As for compensation, we get paid on success only. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive. We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only.

Important: We never promise a sale, but we can tell you that we have a model that works.

We look forward to receiving your materials.

Best regards,
xxxxxxx - V.P. Acquisitions

P.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering process is to see if you actually read them <grin>. Why the long emails? If you will read them you will actually get a decent view of the agency business and what we see from our side. We try to explain as much as we can along the way and I am always pleased when authors tell me that they enjoyed learning from these emails.

Please don't be upset because we use forms and long emails. I spend my time doing two basic tasks, 1) managing submissions and evaluations, and 2) answering questions. If I can answer your question BEFORE you ask it, then the entire process will proceed much more efficiently.

As a corollary to that, if you want long-winded, personalized emails you will probably not enjoy our process. If you are as busy as we are, and you pride yourself on operating efficiently (it is a business after all), then you will enjoy how efficiently we focus on the point, and that is, whether we can work together based on your writing and attitude.

This is the biggest complaint that we get and I wish I could spend oodles of time with each of you. I just can't. Sometimes it's like drinking from a firehose over here. So, please rest assured I am a real person, and I do look at every email. After that we have some pretty sophisticated tools for managing emails.

Typical Frequently Asked Questions
=============================
Q) Do you return manuscripts?
A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN MANUSCRIPTS or MATERIALS due to the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send us anything that you can't replace easily. And if you do send something, please don't tell me that you are going to sue me if I don't send it back... Egads.. If you only knew.

Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my manuscript?
A) WE MUCH PREFER EMAILED MANUSCRIPTS.

Q) How should I attach my manuscript?
A) PLEASE DO NOT PASTE YOUR MANUSCRIPT INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. Please send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so. I think we have every software program known to man. However everything works easier if you have a .pdf, .rtf, or .doc filetype. We also support Word Perfect and MS Works.

Q) Is my manuscript safe with you?
A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable sending your entire manuscript, please only send 3-5 chapters. If we do not end up working together we will destroy and delete any copies of your work that we have. Furthermore the idea of people stealing someone's work is a bit of 'urban legend'. It really doesn't happen.

Q) Do I need to copyright my work before I send it?
A) Not really. Your manuscript and creations are completely safe within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up working together, we delete all files. You may also want to copyright it, but we don't need it to be copyrighted to analyze it. Regarding copyright, there are two ways you can go. One way is to do it yourself at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/ . The other way is to let someone who does it all the time do it for you. We found a list of copyright services here. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Some of the services do books and some screenplays.

Q) How long does this review take?
A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.

Q) Do you work with minors?
A) It depends. We like that the author be 18 years or older. However, if the parent/legal guardian supports your work and is wiling to sign a contract on your behalf, then yes, we will accept the work. Please noted, we treat minors as adults in all our communications, no special consideration. If you are a parent and your child has written the work, we do know a publisher that is looking to create a division that publishes books written by children. If this is the case please email me and let me know that you might be interested in that referral.

Q) What about illustrations?
A) Illustrations can wait until later in the process. Why? Sometimes the publisher insists on choosing the illustrator, sometimes not. It's very subjective. When/if you meet your Agent, the Agent will decide about the illustrations that you have or need, as part of the pitch package that they will be working on. Another question we get is this? Doesn't the publisher choose the illustrator? The answer is 'sometimes'. The larger ones certainly have their pet illustrators. Mid-sized and smaller publishers are looking for more of a 'whole package' because it lessens their work. So, they are looking for new talent. So, all in all, let's wait and let the agent deal with illustration questions, whereas my department focuses on the writing.

Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...
A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to proceed with you. If you would like to talk with someone for the reassurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the proper party.

Q) Where are you located?
A) Our agents headquarter in executive suites in New York, NY where we meet with buyers. Our admin team lives in Florida. Our review and editing teams headquarter in California. Our screenplay team has presence in Los Angeles. Other than that, we travel extensively and our employees have the good fortune to live in Florida, Connecticut, and California (and at least 10 other states) depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think that we live in airports.

Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed anywhere?
A) Buyers certainly don't go to the Yellow Pages to find authors <grin>, just nervous authors go there. We use toll free phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in any phone directories. Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money. The Internet is a much better form of advertising. We haven't been in Yellow pages for 10 years.

Q) Are you a member of AAR, BBB, Alphabet Soup...?
A) We have chosen to belong to industry associations where the buyers are, We spend our money going to the big book tradeshows in the US, England, and Germany. BBB, AAR, and other organizations of that type mainly exist for nervous writers, and frankly, we have too many applicants already, so we choose not to spend time and money on those organizations. I hope that helps you understand why we belong to associations that help us sell your work, not organizations that help us recruit more writers. We prefer that you judge us on the professionalism of our communications and not whether we belong to an organization.

Q) Tell me more about your company.
A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We market to the larger and medium sized publishers and producers. At any one time we have 20+ books in serious review. That's an amazing number by the way. (fyi: most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of years, if that). We do NOT market to vanity presses. All told we probably have 20 people working in various capacities. We are proud that we are going to become an employee owned company and we treat our people well.

Q) Have you ever been sued or in legal action with your clients/authors?
A) We are very proud of the fact that we have NEVER been sued or a part of a legal action. We have instituted a defamation lawsuit against a number of very strange authors, but that's a different, and sad, story.

Q) You're not a vanity publisher or a self-publisher are you?
A) No we're NOT A VANITY OR SELF-publisher in any way, shape or form. We DO NOT sell to vanity or self-publishers. Our mission is to sell your work to TRADITIONAL publishers who will pay you (and us). And, that's how we get paid. If we sell your work to a publisher, then and only then do we get paid (usually 10% which is the industry standard for Literary Agencies).

Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?
A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible. Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when opportunity meets preparation and hard work".

Q) How can you evaluate work so quickly?
A) Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear. We answer 3 questions:

1. Will the subject matter sell? Is it commercially viable?

2. Is the writing good enough, or would it be good enough with some degree of assistance?

3. Did you as the evaluator like the work and would you believe in it if you were selling it?

If we get the "3 yes" designation then you pass. The next item we look for in our filtering process is your willingness to listen or whether you are a prima donna who wants it 'their way'. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a bad attitude. Life's too short for drama and overly demanding writers.

Q) What if you find errors or problems with my manuscript? Should I spend time revising now, or later?
A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. We believe we are unique in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. Most manuscripts that we receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business sense.

Q) My manuscript isn't finished....
A) As long as there is enough finished to determine your skills as a writer we are willing to look at your work. As mentioned previously, we take a long term view and we are willing to develop talent. Also, we understand that sometimes life gets in the way, and we are willing to wait for you.

Q) Who are some of the authors you represent? Why aren't they on your
website?
A) Every time we've placed the names of our writers, our agents, or our sales on the website, they are deluged with very weird emails from some very weird people, so we just don't post them anymore. We'd rather lose a new author applicant, than an existing client or buyer. We don't post our deals. It's not worth the risk to try to impress an applicant and lose a buyer.

I can tell you though, that if accepted, you will be among a very diverse and elite group. We are proud to represent a very diverse group of authors. Our roster of authors includes authors with the following occupations:

* Doctors
* Lawyers
* Entrepreneurs
* Journalists
* Professors and teachers from universities, high-schools, and elementary schools
* Coaches
* Accountants and bankers
* Advertising Executives
* Stay at home moms... Students, etc.

Here are just a few bios:

1. The author was born in xxxxxxxx, Maryland and is a Professor at a major university. She is an author and editor of 16 books and 12 proceedings and monographs. She has written 50 chapters and 100 papers, and given more than 150 presentations nationwide. She has graduate degrees in Music, Science, and Education. She and her husband are now living in the British Virgin Islands, where her time is spent sailing and writing. She has published scientific articles and written more than a hundred concert reviews as a freelance music critic.

2. The author is a Fellow of the xxxxx Colleges of Physicians, and of xxxxxx, and a Member of the American Societies of Hematology, Clinical Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the International Society for Cellular Therapy. For the year 2004-5 he was a scientific advisor to the xxxxxxxxxxx Consortium. He was a past recipient of the xxxxxxxx Research Scholarship of the University of xxxxxxx.

3. The author has also won numerous awards honoring him as one of the top sportscasters in the country. He has been richly honored as a professional speaker as well, thrilling audiences with his career highlights and inspiring messages. He has a rich history of being on the air in radio and TV for a quarter of a century, working in major markets such as xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

4. This author started singing professionally with the singing group xxxxxxxx …

5. The author is a retired veterinarian living in xxxxxxx, South Africa. He was in rural private practice in various towns before settling down in xxxxxxxx where he practiced for 35 years. For ten years or more he had a monthly column in xxxxxxxxx. He also was the script-writer for the SuperSport TV series xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

We DO NOT give out names or contact information except to qualified buyers. (If you'll think about it, if you were one of our authors, you'd feel the same way. There are a lot of wierdos on the Internet. Sometimes we think that there is a higher incidence of psychosis among writers than any other occupation.)


Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?
A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form and email that we receive. Our company receives about 10,000 emails every 15 days. It's a busy world over here. Then, yes, we do use a form to provide these FAQs. Can you imagine typing this time and time again? We pride ourselves on using technology to be as efficient as possible. This allows us to work with authors from anywhere in the world. By automating certain elements of our communications we can spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are specific to you and your situation.


Q) Do you accept everyone?
A) Of course not. However, we accept more than most. Why is that you may wonder? Think about what we do for a minute... Our job is to contact a publisher and ask them, "what are you looking for now?" and then try to fill that request. One of our biggest frustrations is to have a publisher say, "is there any chance you have xxxx yyyyy?" and for us not to have that type of work. We want to be able to say "Yes, we have something just like that, or very close to that!" So, this is the core reason why we will accept previously unpublished authors that other agencies won't.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you again for your time in reading to the end of this email. I hope that you have a better feeling for our company and our acquisitions process.

I look forward to receiving your materials.

IF YOU EMAIL YOUR MATERIALS TO US WE WILL ALWAYS NOTIFY YOU WITHIN 2-3 DAYS OF RECEIPT. Please refrain from asking "did you get it?" for at least 3 business days. If you haven't been notified of receipt within 3 days, then by all means resend it (don't ask, just resend it to the email address above.

Also, please don't email me and say, "did you get it?" I also don't need emails that say, "I sent it".. I'm sorry to be so tough here, but every email has to be read and that takes time and costs money.

Also, if your email to our manuscript@ email won't go through, just 'reply' to this email and attach your manuscript.

Whew! Thanks again and we look forward to hearing from you and looking at your work.

Best regards,
xxxx - VP of Acquisitions

P.s. I get asked this so often, I'm repeating it. NO HARDCOPY We cannot accept hardcopy by mail. We have to pay to mail it around, the buyer doesn't want hardcopy.. And changes WILL occur.. I think you get the picture. Please figure out a way to email it. If your problem is attachments, get a friend to help you. If you must, then copy and paste it into the email. If you need to retype it, then that's what you have to do.

OPT OUT: When you filled out the form you elected to receive emails from our company. To be removed from receiving any further emails please reply or forward this email with your email address to optout@xxxx.com and you will be removed from any further emails.

----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:23 PM
To: form@xxxxxxxxxxx.com
Subject: xxxxxxxx Submission Form

Bio: n/a
Genre: mystery
Previously published: No.
Name: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Phone: xxx.xxx.xxxx
Title: Venom
Synopsis: Join me in a visit to Whitsville, New Hampshire, whose quiet, tree-lined streets peacefulness is shattered when a prominent town 'Whit' is scared 'Whitless' when he wakes up with a corpse in the room. Frank Whitcombe moved to Whitsville to get away from the big city and wants nothing more then to sell a few ads for the town's paper.

Now the State Police want to know how a dead body wandered into his bedroom. And even worse for Frank, the police discover the remains were murdered. Then the police realize whom Frank found. Famed in a song by the Kingston Trio, MTA Charlie was a Boston icon. And police figure Frank must know what happened to him.
Comments: 95,000 words

FormSource: WLWA
FormDate: n/a

Next installment maybe tomorrow depending on my schedule. Identification removed intentionally.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

CaoPaux
02-05-2010, 08:44 AM
:popcorn:

James D. Macdonald
02-05-2010, 09:05 AM
It's Bobby Fletcher. We have an entire sub-forum devoted to him (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=202) and his various scams. He went into fraudulent agenting and vanity publishing when he could no longer make a living as a stock swindler.

Stacia Kane
02-05-2010, 09:13 AM
Yeah, I considered pointing out all the red flags in that letter, but I'd be here all night.

thothguard51
02-05-2010, 09:22 AM
A very odd email, I would scan it for embeded bugs...

Bushdoctor
02-05-2010, 01:56 PM
Please paste a link to this scam website on this thread, so that anyone else who reads this knows about it.

Gillhoughly
02-05-2010, 09:42 PM
Ask him how that prosecution from the Florida Attorney General (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA) is going and if he's (http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-7VJLSY/$file/WritersLiteraryGuildComplaint.pdf) giving back all the money to the writers he cheated.

That should get you off his mailing list pretty quick.

Or he could send an even more entertaining song and dance to re-post here!

Or cuss you out.

Richard White
02-05-2010, 11:03 PM
The second I saw the word "aggressive", I knew it was Fletcher.

His old agency used to have an "Aggressive Agent" option for a mere $99 a year.

jclarkdawe
02-06-2010, 05:32 AM
Now I'm concerned about all the nay-sayers here. I'm wondering if you, Uncle Jim, is one of those authors that this wonderful agent had to sue for defamation. And Gillhoughly, are you implying that the email might not be correct when I'm assured by the agent that he's never been in legal trouble. Shame on you fine gentlemen.

For this agent is wonderful and know talent when he sees it. As a result of my killer query, he knows the book will be wonderful and has immediately sent it to a publisher. Isn't this how agents are supposed to operate? Imagine the excitement of a prospective writer after receiving the first email.

But this agent isn't going to rest on his laurels. Within a minute or two of the first email, I received a second. Talk about on the ball.


We are sending you this email because we want you to see our commitment to the authors we work with. We do everything we can to market our authors and their books!

At the world's largest book event, xxxxxxxxxxxx, which includes, thexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event, please visit http://xxxxxxxxxx.com/albums/uu112/

We had a dozen authors perform book signings and we are happy to say that none of the authors went home with any left over books! Deals were made and it was a great show!

SEPTEMBER 8, 2009: China Partner is taking our authors to the Beijing BookShow. Here is a link! http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com/ shows our exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in process.

We are planning to be at the Germany and London Book Shows each year as well.

We plan to be there next year with more authors.. And we hope you are there with us!

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

To see a listing of our over 1000 authors we have published please visit www.xxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxx.com)

To see more about our world class marketing company please visit www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com)

If you would like to formally opt out, please reply to this email and send your reply to xxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.com.Personally, I think it's time to start practicing my Chinese. I've always wanted to go to Beijing. And just think of the size of the Chinese market. They all must know English and love to read books in that language. I can see the checks rolling in now. Maybe it's time to quit the day job.


Another installment tomorrow.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

Gillhoughly
02-06-2010, 07:04 AM
Group AEG, which includes, the WB Agency, and Strategic & Eloquent Publishing
Ye-aaah, all those and more being on the famous Thumbs Down Agents list compiled by Writer Beware and on display at the SFWA (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/thumbs-down-agency/) website.


We are planning to be at the Germany and London Book Shows each year as well.


And *I'm* planning to be the next Bond Girl and co-star with Daniel Craig in the new film!

DaveKuzminski
02-06-2010, 07:43 AM
Now I'm concerned about all the nay-sayers here. I'm wondering if you, Uncle Jim, is one of those authors that this wonderful agent had to sue for defamation.


If Fletcher told you that, he forgot to mention that Uncle Jim won with both hands tied behind his back.

jclarkdawe
02-07-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm sitting there thinking, did the work, researched and found a legitimate agent, might not of noticed the transfer of websites, and here I am, within twenty-four hours of sending in my query, and already I've got an agent! There's nothing here to indicate without careful checking that I've been phished.

So being the innocent (my mother says I wasn't even innocent when I was born), I've found an agent, who was so excited with my brilliant query that he's already sent my perfect query to a publisher. You can just imagine the excitement that happens when eight hours later, at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, receiving the following email:


Hello!
After review of your book query which was sent to us by our sister literary agency, we would like to examine your work for publishing. (For reference, your query is at the bottom of the email). We have an immediate need for books of all genres that came about because of our recent exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair. See the note at the bottom of our email.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR WORK IS NOT FINISHED PLEASE LET US KNOW. We need finished work. If your work is not finished then you should work with the agency. They can sell unfinished work.

------------------
A quick blurb about us:

We are mainly a book marketing company so we can make decisions very quickly. Please visit our website at www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com) for an overview of our company and you can see some of the fine authors we have published and that we represent at our author site www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com). We have sold over 50,000 books on their behalf in the last year. And, we love international book expos. See the note at the very bottom.

We would like to review your work.
---------------------------------
This email tells you how to send your work to us. Our review process is designed to evaluate both the technical quality of the writing and the subject matter. Don't worry unduly, or spend a lot of time trying to clean it up in a hurry. There is always time for that should we decide to work together.

Email Us Your Work Please
------------------------------
To take the next step, would you please FORWARD this email with a copy of your work and 2-3 illustrations (if needed) to:

xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.com
(or simply reply to this email)

If you do not have illustrations for the work, please indicate that in your email as well although your query has indicated that you do have illustrations already.

Be sure that the information below is included in the email along with a copy of your work. Please do not change the subject line. Our Review Team will go over the work and get back to you in about a week.

Sincerely,

- Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published please visit www.xxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxx.com).

Additional information about our book marketing philosophy
---------------------------------------------------------
Please understand that first and foremost, publishing is a selling business, not a writing business. We will be making our decision from a marketing and sales perspective primarily.

Because we make the bulk of our money in selling books, where we should, you will find that our concentration on marketing is world class. Marketing is the toughest part of the book business. However, we do feel that we do a better job than most. Selling books in the traditional manner is a very straightforward process, then we add some special techniques that other companies don't have. The books will be available to bookstores and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major online retailers. Every publisher that we know of, from Random House to Authorhouse, follows this marketing sequence.

But that's not good enough! We make money if we sell books! That's what we both need to focus on. We are specialists in finding alternate means of distribution and working the online search engines. When you publish with us, you will be working with our marketing specialists at www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com) . You might give that website a read. And finally, take a look at some of the examples of what we are doing for our clients, right now. http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com/blog/

P.S. Heartfelt Praise From One of Our Authors:

I received my copy of "The xxxx" today. It's hard to describe my feelings. After all this time, it's real. It's here. And it's beautiful. I feel like I did when my son was born. What used to be a joke, or a dream has really happened. I received a total of eleven books this afternoon. There are fifty more coming. I took the very first book out, and set it aside. I really want to sign it and send it to you. I think that is only appropriate. You are the one that has really made all of this possible. I live in a very small town. 700 people. I know most of them. News has spread quickly about the book coming out on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, K Mart, Yahoo, and Google. They have asked me to do a book signing and sells at the new library here in xxxxx. The support for the book has been phenomenal. I feel like a celebrity. Tell xxxx I'm not gay, but I think I'm in love with him. The cover is fantastic. Everything about the book surpasses anything I could have hoped for. Because of you and Mark, this is the only way a person should consider publishing their book. I would love to be a spokesman for you. Thank you guys. You have all been great. If you need an approval of the book from me, you have it. But more than that, you have my respect and admiration. Hope to hear from you soon. xxxxxxxxx - Author

OPT OUT: When you filled out the form you elected to receive emails from our company. To be removed from receiving any further emails please reply or forward this email with your email address to xxxxxxx@xxxx.com and you will be removed from any further emails.

******************************

At the world's larges book event, Book Expo USA, xxxxxxxxxxxx exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event, please visit http://xxxxxxxxx

One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO TAKE OUR AUTHORS INTO CHINA. Here is a page from our partner's catalog when they take our authors to the Beijing Book Show this year.

PLEASE NOTE: AT THE FRANKFURT BOOKFAIR IN GERMANY THE CHINESE ARE AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING CHILDREN'S BOOKS. We have meetings set for London in April. If you join us, you can be ready for the next book show. Depending on when you sign with us it could be next year (2010) in London/April 19-21, NY/May 25-27, Beijing/Aug 30-Sept 3, or Frankfurt/Oct. 6-10.


You can just see how this would seduce someone who doesn't know any better. Next one tomorrow night.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Bushdoctor
02-07-2010, 08:57 AM
Hie Jim, it really would be helpful if you included the names of these agencies in your post so that other writers who read this can be made aware of them. As it stands we only know you have had an experience with a scam agent and their website is www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com. This forum is a great resource which works best when such agencies are named and shamed. In this particular case, Bobby Fletcher, has so many different aliases that it would be helpful to know what this particular incarnation is.

regdog
02-07-2010, 05:45 PM
The Gorn hasn't shown up yet
:Jaw:

CaoPaux
02-07-2010, 08:15 PM
Hie Jim, it really would be helpful if you included the names of these agencies in your post so that other writers who read this can be made aware of them. As it stands we only know you have had an experience with a scam agent and their website is www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com. This forum is a great resource which works best when such agencies are named and shamed. In this particular case, Bobby Fletcher, has so many different aliases that it would be helpful to know what this particular incarnation is.Patience, grasshopper. Allow the storyteller the grand reveal in his own time. :popcorn:

Deb Kinnard
02-07-2010, 09:56 PM
:popcorn:

One wonders, at what point in this Epic will he be asked to send a check?

MaryMumsy
02-08-2010, 12:28 AM
:popcorn:

Reading some of these threads is like watching a train wreck. You don't want to look, you just can't help yourself. At least with this one we have a knowledgeable author fielding the kool-aid.

MM

James D. Macdonald
02-08-2010, 01:03 AM
Q) Have you ever been sued or in legal action with your clients/authors?
A) We are very proud of the fact that we have NEVER been sued or a part of a legal action. We have instituted a defamation lawsuit against a number of very strange authors, but that's a different, and sad, story.

"Ye lie, ye lie, ye liar loud,
Sae loud I hear ye lee...."

It is indeed a different and sad story. Different from what he's saying here and sad (very sad) for him.

This agent is currently being sued by the State of Florida (http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/0CA04161DA4BE29C8525762600550D21).

He was previously sued by the State of Washington (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf).

He did, in fact, sue several writers for defamation. He lost. (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/03/retaliatory-lawsuit-against-writer.html)

shameless
02-08-2010, 01:51 AM
This is a helluva lot more entertaining than what's on TV today... Epic.

:popcorn:

jclarkdawe
02-08-2010, 03:37 AM
Hie Jim, it really would be helpful if you included the names of these agencies in your post so that other writers who read this can be made aware of them. As it stands we only know you have had an experience with a scam agent and their website is www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com). This forum is a great resource which works best when such agencies are named and shamed. In this particular case, Bobby Fletcher, has so many different aliases that it would be helpful to know what this particular incarnation is.

I understand the desire to name names, but the thing is, the names change constantly. The techniques used remain constant, and if you can recognize the techniques, you're more likely to be safe. And the techniques used in publishing are the same as are used in other places.

First, the original agent that I thought I was contacting is a legitimate agent. The agent had a web site that wasn't producing the results desired and was allowed to lapse. This happens a lot in many areas of business. A scam artist buys the web name and by clicking on what was once a very legitimate site, you end up being phished (I'm simplifying here as the how is not as important as the what happens). Depending upon the quality, it's hard for you to know you've been phished.

The agent involved, as far as I'm concerned, is an innocent victim here, and I'm not going to say who it is. The agent has been advised of the situation, and that specific problem has been solved. But this technique is going to be used over and over again.

From Charles Ponzi to Bernie Madoff and beyond, the techniques used are not new and earth shaking. And they don't need to change the techniques a whole lot. They just keep adjusting them, changing names, changing faces, but still pressing on. When some of the names listed in this forum become too well known, all they do is change the appearance.

PA is not going to go out of business as long as people keep biting. Might not be called PA, might be run by someone else, but the basic scam works. And why mess with something that works. I've represented some conman, and know a few others that probably should be arrested but never will be. Difficult as it may be to believe, these are really nice people. They were some of my favorite clients. But they're not the brightest bulbs on the planet. They make it through some simple, but obvious techniques.

First off, notice the speed which this is happening at. All scams want things to happen fast, so you don't have time to reflect. They don't want you to think. From the car salesman who says the deal is only good today, to this scam where within hours of being told I have an agent to I've got a publisher interested, it's all the same. Now there are deals that are time sensitive, and we all know it. Scams take advantage of that fact to push people into acting without thinking.

Second is the something for nothing approach. Anyone who has been on AW for a while knows that an agent is going to request revisions. The number of people on this forum who submitted to an agent and got that manuscript submitted to publishers without any changes at all are few and far between. More normally, the agent says, "I like it, but change something." Here, based on merely the query, it's sent to the publisher? Something for nothing.

Third is the verbosity. Remember the Nigerian scams and all the detailed information that was used. Those emails were impressive for their length. But all the details are actually pretty meaningless. Same here. Yet you can see the implications. Talking about the Beijing and German shows. Notice how there's no specifics, but the implication is that of course the publisher would be flying you there.

Don't worry about the names here. Think about how this is supposed to work. Think about how come it works, over and over again. And lots of smart people get scammed.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-08-2010, 03:39 AM
One wonders, at what point in this Epic will he be asked to send a check?

I have the appropriate funds budgeted for this project, if we get there.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Cyia
02-08-2010, 03:50 AM
Third is the verbosity. Remember the Nigerian scams and all the detailed information that was used. Those emails were impressive for their length. But all the details are actually pretty meaningless. Same here. Yet you can see the implications. Talking about the Beijing and German shows. Notice how there's no specifics, but the implication is that of course the publisher would be flying you there.

This is a HUGE flag in any less than legit endeavor.

Liars expect to get caught. They expect someone to see through the smoke and mirrors, so they try to plug the holes in their stories with more information than necessary. But, in the end, more details mean more things that can be checked by someone who cares to look.

Brevity is the mark of honesty.

jclarkdawe
02-08-2010, 07:37 AM
Now most people at this point would have the common sense to put a block on this and move on with their lives. Quite a few others would assume they were really talking to a real publisher and proceed with that basis.

But as my children say, I have no life. And weird things can provide me with entertainment. However, I faced a little problem. As I said in the beginning, this really isn't my manuscript, but a family member. This wonderful publisher wanted an electronic file, and I had a little problem there. The electronic file is in one of those old 5.25" floppies. And those suckers never did provide good storage.

Even after finding a friend who could transfer it for me, the thing was hopelessly corrupted. But fear not! There's a hard copy. So for reasons having nothing to do with this, it was scan and transfer. Unfortunately, this is a time consuming process, necessitating the following emails:




Thanks for the notice. We'll be looking for it. We look forward to working with you.

From: Jim Clark-Dawe
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:59 PM
To: xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
Subject: Re: xxxxxx Book Marketer and Publisher Would Like to Review Your Work (Referred by Agency)


Dear xxxxx:

Thank you for being willing to look at my manuscript. Unfortunately, just before I was going to send it to you, the electronic file became corrupted. It's going to take me a few days to get it fixed, but I'm working on it. I'm sorry for the delay and hope this won't be a problem.

I'm really looking forward to working with you to get VENOM into bookstores.So there are real people on the other end, who can actually provide a normal and rational response. Of course, notice how different it is from their canned responses. As writers, we should always be listening to voice. Why is the voice in this response so different from most of their communications? Interesting.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

AC Crispin
02-08-2010, 10:50 PM
I confess I don't understand what Mr. Dawe is doing, and why he's doing it. Robert Fletcher's companies have been thoroughly investigated by a number of professionals.

It's not like anyone has to prove that Fletcher doesn't (and couldn't if he wanted to) sell books. It's not like anyone has to prove his endless boilerplate email perorations are complete and utter bullshit. It's not like people haven't "stung" Fletcher's operations with various bogus queries and manuscripts, thus proving the submissions aren't read. And it's not like anyone has to prove that WL and Fletcher's other companies are now funneling victims to his vanity press, Strategic.

There's a whole message board about Fletcher and his scams here on Absolute Write. Why hasn't this thread been moved there?

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

CaoPaux
02-08-2010, 11:19 PM
For my part, I'm giving the general population a chance to witness a scam in progress.

Folks often scoff how could anyone fall for Fletcher, etc., and Mr. Dawe is giving us a fine example of the scheme. It'll get moved eventually.

Cyia
02-08-2010, 11:24 PM
I confess I don't understand what Mr. Dawe is doing, and why he's doing it. Robert Fletcher's companies have been thoroughly investigated by a number of professionals.

But in this case, you're not talking about someone who contacted him or subbed to WLA.

This is someone who knows how publishing works who subbed to a legit agent and got redirected to something less legit. And the point is that someone with less experience, who doesn't know the signs, could think that the whole time they're in contact with that legit agency they subbed to.

JCD is creating a timeline/template of how the whole process works from beginning to end for those who have never seen it.

victoriastrauss
02-09-2010, 12:45 AM
This is someone who knows how publishing works who subbed to a legit agent and got redirected to something less legit.

That's not my reading of the situation. Here's what Mr. Clark-Dawe originally said:

"Going to a site for agents, I started using it to send email queries to the agents listed there. One of the agents (who is relatively innocent in this story) apparently let the web site lapse. This caused the request to go to the site to wander, ending up at a form to send to an agent (notice the lack of the word "the" here -- it's intentional). I said to myself, "What the hell," and filled out the form."

It's not clear to me how an email query sent to a defunct agency website wound up at one of Fletcher's online submission forms, but it seems clear that Mr. Clark-Dawe himself filled out the form. It's not surprising, therefore, that he has gotten the responses he's posted--they are the standard M.O. for Fletcher's multiply-named companies (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/#Literary). So I share Ann's puzzlement, given the entire sub-forum already devoted to Fletcher and his schemes.

Also, was the website that listed the original agent one of the better agent listing sites (such as AgentQuery.com (http://www.agentquery.com/)) or one of the many that are outdated and/or liberally laced with disreputable agents (such as WritersFreeReference.com (http://www.writers-free-reference.com/agents/))? I can't help wondering how reputable, or not, the original agent was.

Right now, there's too little information to evaluate what's really happened here. Plus, Fletcher's scheme is not really typical--it's far more elaborate than the average operation of this type.

I'd really appreciate knowing more, in case Fletcher has developed some new wrinkle to his operation--Mr. Clark-Dawe, please feel free to contact me at Writer Beware, beware@sfwa.org . Thanks!

- Victoria

Cyia
02-09-2010, 12:55 AM
It's not clear to me how an email query sent to a defunct agency website wound up at one of Fletcher's online submission forms, but it seems clear that Mr. Dawe himself filled out the form.

Just a guess from an unrelated web domain snafu I know of, but:

Person A - legit from head to toe - has a website.
Person B - not so legit - reserves the domain name in the event that Person A doesn't renew their domain.

If person A lets the the domain/site lapse, then person B can use that domain to point to his own page/form.

Gillhoughly
02-09-2010, 01:47 AM
Perhaps Mr. Dawe is conducting a social experiment to see how we react to his intent to squander a chunk of money on a known con-artist.

I have better things to do than watch fools parting with money. He's been warned. The cash would better serve the world if it was channeled to Haitian relief effort than lining Bouncin' Bobby's pockets, though.

victoriastrauss
02-09-2010, 03:00 AM
Person A - legit from head to toe - has a website.
Person B - not so legit - reserves the domain name in the event that Person A doesn't renew their domain.

If that were so, it would be a brand-new M.O. for Fletcher. Not saying it couldn't happen, but Ann and I get a lot of questions and complaints about his companies, and so far, this isn't something we've been hearing about.

Again, without knowing who Person A was, I'm reserving judgment on their legitness.

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-09-2010, 03:41 AM
First off, I'm represented by Irene Kraas and the only reason THE NEXT STEP isn't being published is because it's not quite good enough. Steps are being taken to rectify that situation. EQUINE LIABILITY was published by a small start-up publisher with solid creditials in the publishing industry, sold its entire print run, made the equine book of the month club, cost me nothing to publish, and earned more than McDonald money for me. One copy of it sits in West Point's library and a few others are in other law libraries. Only reason we didn't do a reprint is because of the changing economic situation indicated future sales would not have been too good. A horse book during a depression is not the smartest business situation I can think of.

I told Victoria privately the web site, and she can correct me if I'm wrong, but it's run by a member of AW and does a solid job of policing itself. As much as I trust anything in this world, I'd trust this site. On the site, you can find agents listed by the genre's they represent. By going to the agent's name, if the agent has a web site, you can click a link to go to the agent's web site. And that's what I did.

We all do this, many times a day. Even in this thread are links to other web sites, that we all presume are reliable.

Now keeping this relatively simple, web sites have a domain name, which the owner of the site rents. You pay $X to use the domain name for Y period of time. The question becomes what happens when the rent isn't paid? You might get a notice that the site is "not found." If, however, the site is a good site, someone else buys the name and uses it.

Some kid show had this happen to them, and a porn site bought the name. And this is becoming an area of widespread internet legal actions. Celebs have had this happen to them, as well as other businesses.

In this case, the agent allowed the link to lapse, for whatever reason. The agent has a solid reputation and never has been anywhere near the bewares list. The agent has legitimate sales, and solid recommendations and could be on people's lists as an agent they want. And yeah, I checked. But the agent has been contacted about the problems and can deal with it. I'm not trying to be snotty here, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a private matter and privately dealt with.

But so from a legitimate web site, with a legitimate agent, with what appears to be a legitimate link, as good as any in this thread, I end up being phished. I'm now at a web site that doesn't have the agent's name, but has a form to fill out for sending in a query.

Now I'm not a trusting person. So normally I'd just have taken a pass, but I was curious to see what happened. And you can see the results.

If I was a trusting person, I would have been scammed. I don't know if this is a new technique in publishing. It most definitely is not a new technique for the internet. Among other places, eBay has had major problems with this type of scam.

As far as I'm concerned, listing names for scams is great for shutting the barn door after the horse left. Five years ago, lots of people did investing with Bernie Madoff. But the warning signs were there and people just didn't know them. The thing is, now that Bernie is enjoying his stay with the Feds, someone else has taken his place. Last I heard, in 2009, over 70 Ponzi schemes were busted by the Feds.

Now we're seeing an apparent rise in scams, whether out and out criminal or just questionable behavior. Best way to protect people is to show how these things work. This particular operation is a bit more fancy than some, but the techniques of a good scam are real simple and just about the same.

For the people who deal with scams, I know you've seen this stuff, over and over again. But for a lot of people, they've never seen how this unfolds. They think if they check the lists that they'll be safe. Yet I had a client who's "also known as" run onto a second page. Names and lists are nice, but seeing a scam unfold can help people as well.

But it's up to Mac and the mods whether I continue to publish this. I don't care. If you think it won't help the innocents to see this sort of stuff, that's fine.

And the only money I'll be sending anybody will only be useful when the person receiving it is playing Monopoly at a prison.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

IceCreamEmpress
02-09-2010, 04:55 AM
Jim, have you shared the squatted-upon-by-Fletcher website with Victoria? Because that's really the key bit of information that would be helpful to others here.

James D. Macdonald
02-09-2010, 05:04 AM
If Bobby is buying up expired domain names that formerly belonged to legitimate agents and pointing them at his scam, I'm certain that the Florida Attorney General would be very interested.

Could you please send the details to the Florida AG?

jclarkdawe
02-09-2010, 05:43 AM
Jim, have you shared the squatted-upon-by-Fletcher website with Victoria? Because that's really the key bit of information that would be helpful to others here.

No, but the agent has solved that particular problem. The link no longer leads to the form.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

CaoPaux
02-09-2010, 05:48 AM
But it's up to Mac and the mods whether I continue to publish this. I don't care. If you think it won't help the innocents to see this sort of stuff, that's fine.Please continue, Jim.

victoriastrauss
02-09-2010, 06:32 AM
No, but the agent has solved that particular problem. The link no longer leads to the form.

Here is the thing. I often get emails about schemes or scams I'm tracking, which include information that doesn't jibe with what I already have in my files. These emails may be anomalies, or they may reflect a pattern--but since they're isolated, I can't tell. But sometimes another email may establish a pattern, or provide that elusive bit of information that fits puzzle pieces together. That's why I would like to know the name and URL of the original agent--in total confidence, as I've already mentioned. It might not tell me anything--but then again, it just might.

Also, if the original agent let the domain name lapse, and someone else bought it, how was the agent able to solve the phishing issue, since he or she no longer owns the domain? Something isn't adding up here.

- Victoria

merrihiatt
02-09-2010, 07:15 AM
The books will be available to bookstores and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major online retailers.

This is the same wording that PublishAmerica uses. The "available to" rather than "available in" is one of many red flags I look for these days.

IceCreamEmpress
02-09-2010, 09:03 PM
Also, if the original agent let the domain name lapse, and someone else bought it, how was the agent able to solve the phishing issue, since he or she no longer owns the domain? Something isn't adding up here.


If someone is impersonating you at your expired domain, most reputable web hosts will act to end that.

jclarkdawe
02-10-2010, 10:19 PM
Now personally this whole aspect bores me. And the only reason I did anything here was because of a minor level of annoyance that I felt like returning. I posted it here because I thought some of the weasel's answers would be entertaining. But because of the confusing, let me explain what I thought was more commonly known.

I don't understand the technical details here, nor do I care. When someone sets up a domain name on the internet, a place is created. And to hold that place, a placeholder is created. As near as I can tell, that placeholder exists forever.

Now before the site is launched, a placeholder for under construction exists. Depending on how your website goes down once it's been up, another placeholder will pop up. And when you decide you no longer want your website, a placeholder will go up.

When EQUINE LIABILITY came out, I decided I wanted a website. Seemed like it would generate some revenue (which it did for a while). As is frequently the case, I listed the link with various other websites. Further, people listed my website through links, such as other people have done in this thread. And on the back cover of EQUINE LIABILITY is my website.

So someone goes to one of these links -- www.equinelawonline.com (http://www.equinelawonline.com) -- or types it in from the back cover. Well, the thing is I stopped using the site years ago. But there's a place holder there. As happened with this agent, someone bought my domain name and in both cases is using it for advertising.

If you go to my website, however, you'll notice a very lawyerly looking gentleman to reassure you. Hell, I never looked that lawyerly even when I was doing a jury trial. There's nothing on the page to indicate that I'm not connected with it. If I'd bought the domain name to match my name, that's what would be appearing up top.

Absolutely nothing illegal in all this. But I have no connection with anything listed on this site, which is all advertisements. Now let's say an advertiser decides to post an ad that says "CONTACT ATTORNEY" or "CONTACT AGENT." With my website, your assumption would be that if you pressed that, you'd be in contact with me. With an agent, you'd expect that you'd be contacting the agent. But this is definitely a way of phishing someone.

Pressing the link on a very legitimate website can lead you to placeholders that you don't anticipate. Some people realize it quickly, others don't. If you press the button that says "CONTACT ATTORNEY" and an attorney responds (ignoring Bar Association considerations), there's nothing illegal about it, until that attorney represents to people that he's either me or acting under my direction. It's called "Buyer Beware."

As far as getting someone to stop, depends upon the situation. Mac uses advertisers to help pay the freight for this place. How fast do you think she'd discontinue someone when she found out the advertiser was being investigated by an attorney general, with the appropriate links? Even the guys who skirt the law don't want to deal with the ones who have been caught.

Hopefully this clarifies something that bores me and doesn't really matter to what I'm interested in doing.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-10-2010, 10:27 PM
One thing I noticed was that the agent was willing to help with an unfinished manuscript. So while VENOM was getting set up for a computer file, I decided to seek help with another novel.

So I took STALLED DREAMS out of its trunk, where it belongs, and cut the end of it off. But that looked too short, so I took an opening that died within 10k of the start, and tacked it on the beginning of STALLED DREAMS, as it has the same character, and changed the names to the absolutely exciting HORSE PROBLEMS.

I sent it as an attachment to my new agent with the following message:


I'm working on getting VENOM to the great publisher you found for me. I found a computer glich and am working on fixing it.

But since you're my agent, I'm wondering if you could help me with the attached manuscript, as you said to send incomplete manuscripts. For some reason, I'm not able to make it work and I'm wondering if you might have some ideas. I answered your question down below.Let the games begin.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

victoriastrauss
02-10-2010, 10:51 PM
Okay, I think I see what happened--you wound up at Fletcher's form via an ad on someone else's website. He's a prolific online advertiser, so that makes sense.

I agree that these kinds of ads are a problem, as inexperienced writers might well make the assumption that the ad is connected with or endorsed by the person who owns the website. Ann and I heard once from a writer who was convinced that a major publisher (can't remember which one) referred her to a self-publishing service--turns out that a sub-page on the publisher's website had ads on it, and one of those ads was for the service, and she clicked on it assuming that the service was endorsed by the publisher.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
02-10-2010, 11:42 PM
He did not click on an ad. In an agent listing, the domain formerly owned by a legit agent had been bought by Fletcher. E.g. if Curtis Brown let curtisbrown.com lapse, and Fletcher bought it, anyone clicking on the zillion existing links to curtisbrown.com would get Fletcher, not Curtis Brown.

jclarkdawe
02-11-2010, 12:01 AM
It is an ad. That's why it's legal. It just doesn't look like an ad.

And an advertising company, unconnected to anyone in publishing as far as I can tell, bought the placeholder.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

CaoPaux
02-11-2010, 12:20 AM
M'kay, now you've confused me.


Going to a site for agents, I started using it to send email queries to the agents listed there. One of the agents (who is relatively innocent in this story) apparently let the web site lapse. This caused the request to go to the site to wander, ending up at a form to send to an agent (notice the lack of the word "the" here -- it's intentional). I said to myself, "What the hell," and filled out the form. Were you using listings or clicking on ads?

jclarkdawe
02-11-2010, 12:56 AM
M'kay, now you've confused me.

Were you using listings or clicking on ads?

I'm always confused.

I went to a site owned by one of the members of AW, where he or she has links to agents. I clicked on a link that appeared to be the agent's website. That link took me to a page somewhat similar to my equinelawonline site. There an advertisement that looked like a button said "CONTACT AGENT." I pressed that, leading to the form.

Less confused?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

AlterEgox5
02-11-2010, 01:27 AM
:popcorn: And subscribed.

jclarkdawe
02-11-2010, 01:55 AM
While waiting for the answer to my email from the agent (who obviously is different from the publisher ;)), I got the following advertising from the publisher. Mind you, at this point, I haven't sent the publisher anything other than an email saying the manuscript was going to be delayed.


We are sending you this email because we want you to see our commitment to the authors we have published. We do everything we can to market our authors and their books!
We sincerely want to publish your book and market it in the US and around the world.

Join us now and be ready for the London Bookshow.


We hope that your writing career is proceeding successfully, and that you will choose us for any of your publishing needs.

*******



One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO SELL OUR AUTHORS' BOOKS IN CHINA.
Here is a page from our partner's catalog when they go to the Beijing Book Show this year.

At the world's largest book event, Book Expo USA, New York - xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Publishing exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event, please visit
http://xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com/

We had a dozen authors perform book signings and we are happy to say that none of the authors went home with any left over books! Deals were made and it was a great show!

http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/sbm-frankfurt-2009.html shows our exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in process.

We plan to be there next year with more authors.. And we hope you are there with us!

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Ps. You can trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have published with us in the last few years. They can be viewed at www.xxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxx.com). If you sign up with us, we will deliver!

To see how we handle the production and marketing aspects of our business you might visit www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/ (http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com/) We are committed to efficiency.

To see more about our world class marketing company please visit www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com)

Let us publish and market your book. Our marketing department is better than our competition!

***************************************
To get started, simply reply to this email and send us your work for evaluation.

If we like your work and your pitch there is no cost to publish your book. If we see that there is more risk than we are comfortable with, we will let you know and either decline to publish it, or try to find a middle ground and share the risk with you. We just don't know until we see your work and evaluate it.
As seems to happen with the agent, and now the publisher, they actually send out two different emails at roughly the same time (within minutes of each other). I'll get to the other advertising in a bit. It's more interesting.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-11-2010, 04:29 AM
And the following is the last of the canned messages that I've received to date. This is the marketing plan. WARNING: Reading this may induce vomiting.


**** You are receiving this email because you are a writer that queried the literary agency which is a sister company to our publishing company. If you sent us your work, then you have already received this email and we apologize for the duplication. Please ignore/delete it if that is the case. Your email is at the very bottom of this email for reference. ********

Would You Like to Know More About The Publishing Industry?
--------------------------------------------------------------
As a writer seeking to become published, we think that you might enjoy learning more about what a publishing company is doing (or should be doing) in today's rapidly changing environment.

The book marketing and publishing information below will be valuable to you no matter who you choose to publish with.

The following email is our "end of year" communication with our clients. It is being sent to our authors as we speak. As you consider working with us to publish your book, we think you will be suitably impressed by all of our activities on our authors' behalf.

Please send us your work if you have not. We are growing and our 1500+ published authors are succeeding! If you would like to send us your work, simply reply to this email and attach your work.

If we like your work and your pitch there is no cost to publish your book. If we see that there is more risk than we are comfortable with, we will let you know and either decline to publish it, or try to find a middle ground and share the risk with you. We just don't know until we see your work and evaluate it.

If you were to ask us, "why should I choose you?", our answer would be "we market for our authors better than anyone". See the info below.

-------------------------------

To: All Authors working with xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Re: 2009 and 2010; Here's To Our Mutual Success!

We are writing now to discuss the last year and to plan ahead with you for the new year. We plan to increase our communications with you and this letter will set the stage for that and explain a bit more about how we can help each other.

Looking Back at 2009
--------------------------------
Wow! What a topsy-turvy year for us and the book publishing industry.

We employ about 125 people in various capacities. We have employees all over the world, including the Philippines, Ecuador, India, and pretty much every state in the US. We hope you appreciate that we do answer every email within a couple of days and we do our best every day. Please keep that in mind as you either praise us or chastise us (smile). We are proud of our people and proud of the fact that most of our people stay with us for years. They like us and we like them. We like our authors and we hope that we will be working together for decades. We take the long-term view and we hope you do too.

Here are a few other statistics. We've published over 1,500 authors now. We've sold over 100,000 books and the number of books sold each month is rising nicely. (You CANNOT divide Authors/Books to get an average because most of our releases are quite new and they haven't hit the shelves yet).

We have a number of authors with sales over 1,000 books and their sales are climbing rapidly. We are averaging selling 2,500 books a week and that jumped to 6,500 in one of the Christmas weeks! We have a few books that are tracking on becoming New York Times bestsellers. We will keep you informed as those progress.

International expansion is going well. We have formed partnerships in Australia and China, and we are marketing around the world for our authors. We think China is going to be a "land grab," which means the first companies to get there will grab the gold so we will be at the Beijing book show in August. About one-third of our business and authors are international.

Looking Ahead at 2010
-----------------------------------------
The international expansion that you are hearing about is quite real. We have books on every imaginable subject and the international buyers love a "one-stop shop." We will be attending the big book shows in London, United States, Beijing, and Germany. We will be emailing you about those as we plan. It is only with your participation that we can go, and we appreciate your assistance more than you know.

Production - For those of you still in the "production" phase, we are committed to more constant communication. We are taking steps to increase our communications with you throughout the process. We are going to move to a "single point of contact" for your questions and we think that will help, too. If we could ask your assistance in any one area, it would be to be patient as we come out of the holidays.

*********************************
Book Marketing IS KEY!!!!!!!
*********************************
This is a quick overview about the marketing department and our philosophy.
The following ideas, products, and services are described more fully at www.xxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxx.com).

We are very excited about a number of marketing initiatives that are rolling out. Here is a brief overview of all of the efforts we are putting forth on your behalf.

--------------------

In general there are two main focus areas for marketing,

1. Saturate the Internet
2. Find brick-and-mortar outlets

Amazon - We are going be really concentrating on being the best Amazon marketing and book publishing company in the world next year.

Author to Author Book Review Club - Book reviews are great to have and hard to get. Amazon book reviews are even more so. We are going to make it easy to facilitate book reviews between our clients. We want you to get an account in Amazon and to start playing around with the Amazon author community. We are almost going to be so bold as to say that Social Media is good, but Amazon Media is better. More on this later.

Library Ordering: This is guerilla marketing at it's finest. It is a little-known fact that if you, or a friend, go to a public library in the United States and ask for a book, they will order/buy it. If we can get even 500 of our books per month into the library system, that's a victory. Get your library card, get to know your librarian, and get him or her to order a
book for you.

Free Ideas: We continue to look for ways to help you that are free. "Help A Reporter Out" and Meetup are just two examples. Whenever we find a new book marketing idea, we will share it with you.

Article Submissions - If you can write an article about your industry, your book, your historical period, children's developmental cycles, etc., let us know. Anything that is of good quality, we want to post that for you.

Author Displays - If you have physical locations selling your book we can provide displays and more to help.

Author Posters and Printed Materials - we can add bookmarks, postcards, mailers, etc. to your marketing efforts.

Author Video Trailers - One more great way to saturate the Internet. We create wonderful author video trailers.

Blogging - Are you blogging? It's a great way to load the Internet. We have a wonderful, handholding system that we have built for authors who are intimidated by technology.

Book Signing - We will assist you with getting book signings. This is a tougher business than we thought it would be.

Coaching & Personal Assistant Services - If you are a busy person, it is cheaper for you to hire someone to market your book than to do it yourself. We see "personal assistants" for authors as a nice service for some authors.

Contacting Local Media: Get that press release out to your local media. This page on the SBM site has the links to find your local media.

Contests: Are you entering contests? You should be entering your writing into a couple each year.

Ebooks and Kindle: We have now produced about 50 or more Kindle books, and more and more ebook sites like www.xxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxx.com/). We are committed to staying on the leading edge of the ebook marketplace.

Electronic Press Kits (EPK): For those of you considering hiring a PR professional, the EPK is a great way to facilitate that work. The EPK is basically a press release on steroids.

Enhanced Author Websites - We think all authors should have as much presence as possible, and an enhanced Web site is a great way to market yourself and present yourself as an author. This is in addition to your existing “selling page” that we build for you.

Exhibits at Book Shows - This is one of our main initiatives. Join us in London, New York, Frankfurt, or Beijing. We are also willing to support our authors in local and regional shows by paying half the costs. Inquire if that is an option for you.

Google Alerts - One great way to get into communities that are discussing your genre.

Internet Radio - Another great way to reach people and saturate the Internet. Our radio announcer will interview you in a very professional manner.

Press Releases - Get your press release out. Enhance it to an EPK. You can't have too good of a press release.

Public Relations - Hiring a PR professional isn't for everyone, but nothing beats having a hired gun to work national and local media for you.

Recommended Marketing Books - Buy a book to sell your book! Are you reading about how to market your book? You should be. Please, buy at least one book every couple of months about how to market your book.

Search Engine Optimization - Do you have an enhanced Web site? If so, is it Search Engine Optimized?

Social Media - Are you active in at least one online community?

Book Reviews - Find other authors, review theirs if they review yours. Concentrate on Amazon reviews. Reviews help!

Whew! We are adding new marketing ideas every month. We LOVE finding new ways to help you market your work. And we love hearing your success stories, so keep them coming!

What Else Are We Working On?
---------------------------------------------
Shipping charges and Printing: Right now we both love and hate Print on Demand (POD) from Lightning Source / Ingram. We love it because it allows authors to get started without a huge investment in 500 books. We hate it because xxxxxxxx has a lock on the market and they too are experiencing their own growth pains. In general though, we expect shipping costs to decrease and their speed on filling orders to increase. We should see better response times in 2010.

Printing in Australia and China: We are very close to partnering with a printing facility in Australia to cut down on shipping costs. We are also finalizing a deal to print large quantities of books in China.

Online Royalty System: This system is getting better and more timely. Right now we see a 30-day lag on some data input. We are squeezing that down with the addition of some Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) programmers that we have hired. Here is the link to the Royalty database. It takes about 30 days to update, so if you know there is a sale, but you don't see it there, then that's why. If you don't remember your login instructions, there is a link to get help. (IF YOUR BOOK IS NOT RELEASED THEN YOUR BOOK IS NOT IN THE ROYALTY SYSTEM, so please don't ask why you can't see your book).

Book Stores: We continue to work to get our authors into the chain bookstores. Ultimately, the decision about whether to carry your book at the store boils down to an overworked manager. Some are nice, some are accommodating, and some are downright rude. Keep in mind that a “no” is just a lazy objection. We overcome them all the time, so don't consider the “no” as a final answer about whether a store or a chain will carry your book.

And of course, 2010 will include more marketing, marketing, and marketing!

Conclusion:
---------------
What can you do? Here are a few suggestions about what you can do right now, regardless of where your book is in the publishing process. (Some of these ideas will not apply to our international authors and those authors still in production).

* Be sure you have an Amazon account. This means you must buy one thing. Start making reviews of everything you read. The more reviews you have, the more weight your reviews will carry. We will be rolling out something called the "Amazon Author To Author Book Review Club." Start posting in discussion forums. We will have more on this later.

* Get your library card. Get a librarian to order your book. Then go to www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com) and find another book you want and get them to order that. Try to ask for one book a month. If you order books from our authors, they will order your books.

* Buy a book about how to market your book. Choose one idea and go with it.

* Become ACTIVE in at least one social media community. Amazon, Goodreads, or Shelfari are great ones.

* As you drive around, look for smaller retail stores that might carry your work. We can help you get setup with them on consignment basis.

* Get more press about yourself. "Local Author" is always good filler for media. Don’t be afraid to stop into a bookstore, or a unique store and ask them to carry your book on consignment. That's a no-risk way to test the market.

Once again, we look forward to our mutual success.

The Strategic & Eloquent team

And ps.. This email recently floated in from one of our authors. We think it nicely presents what we love to hear and the type of authors that we have emailing us every day.

Dear Strategic:

I'd like to thank you and everyone at xxxxxxxx for making my dream reality, for publishing xxxxxxxxx. 2009 has been a stunningly momentous year for me as a writer and I appreciate the risk that your organization has taken with me as an unknown writer with my work. I have been really pleased with the production, distribution and support for the first xxxxxxxxxx book. It's on sale all over the planet from Italy to India, Seattle to Settle. And it is selling, my local book store in Seattle, sold out his stock and has sold out his re order! I know the numbers are still small but the trend is positive.

This month I embarked on school visits in the north of England to promote the book, and the number of confirmed vests for January is fifteen so far! In January and February I'm going to give readings to youth groups. The book is going into libraries too. In the last month I've contacted independent book stores by the dozen and in the new year we will be writing to every single Waterstone's book store in the UK. I've done local and regional newspaper interviews and photo shoots and have two regional radio interviews lined up for January too.

There are positive reviews going onto online book stores around the globe as well.

I'd love to submit the second xxxxxxxxxx book, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx direct to xxxxxxxxx and see book number two published and on sale. Are xxxxxxxx interested in the second book and if so what kind of contract can we look at? Who should I submit the manuscript to?

Finally, I'd like to thank you for everything this year, especially for your patience and for resolving almost everything!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

-------------
Conclusion: We hope you enjoyed reading our internal communications with the proud authors that we represent. Please join our team. We will do our best for you and your book.

If you like what you have seen, please email us your work for evaluation. You can just reply to this email and attach your work.

If we like your work and your pitch there is no cost to publish your book. If we see that there is more risk than we are comfortable with, we will let you know and either decline to publish it, or try to find a middle ground and share the risk with you. We just don't know until we see your work and evaluate it.



Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-11-2010, 06:06 PM
It's always interesting in these types of situations seeing where the answers to questions go. To my request for help on the incomplete manuscript HORSE PROBLEMS, I received the following:


Sorry, but we can only work with 1 submission at a time so you will have to hold onto this for nowOf course, the agent isn't doing any work on the manuscript, as that's at the publisher, which has been described as separate, although a sister entity, whatever that means.

But I sent the following response:


How long do I need to hold onto this? Until VENOM is accepted for publication? Hopefully it's sooner because I'd really like to have HORSE PROBLEMS ready and able to go to follow up on the success of VENOM.

Please let me know when I can send it to you.And the games continue.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

allenparker
02-11-2010, 06:27 PM
Ask him how that prosecution from the Florida Attorney General (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA) is going and if he's (http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-7VJLSY/$file/WritersLiteraryGuildComplaint.pdf) giving back all the money to the writers he cheated.

That should get you off his mailing list pretty quick.

Or he could send an even more entertaining song and dance to re-post here!

Or cuss you out.


All three are still entertaining!

We could even start a pool on what day and which response...

kaitie
02-11-2010, 06:35 PM
But Mr. XXXXXXX (pronounced zzzzzz) is my agent. He's the best agent out there. He's submitted my book to ten different publishers and even has plans to have lunch with Steven Spielberg this weekend to discuss a movie deal. And it's only costing me three thousand dollars a year!*


*kaitie, who couldn't resist

HapiSofi
02-11-2010, 07:34 PM
What strikes me about those letters Jim Clark-Dawe has been reproducing is how little they resemble normal business communications, and how much they resemble certain subtypes of spam: wordy, disorganized, repetitive, lacking subject headers, and typed full-width on the page. It's a format designed to overwhelm readers who can't automatically keep track of what's being said.

CaoPaux
02-11-2010, 08:04 PM
I'm always confused.

I went to a site owned by one of the members of AW, where he or she has links to agents. I clicked on a link that appeared to be the agent's website. That link took me to a page somewhat similar to my equinelawonline site. There an advertisement that looked like a button said "CONTACT AGENT." I pressed that, leading to the form.

Less confused?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-DaweYes, thank you! The starting point makes all the difference.

darkprincealain
02-11-2010, 10:26 PM
I'm always confused.

I went to a site owned by one of the members of AW, where he or she has links to agents. I clicked on a link that appeared to be the agent's website. That link took me to a page somewhat similar to my equinelawonline site. There an advertisement that looked like a button said "CONTACT AGENT." I pressed that, leading to the form.

Less confused?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Thank you. I think that clarifies things within this thread considerably.

jclarkdawe
02-12-2010, 01:45 AM
And in response to the email in post 49, I receive:


When you are assigned an agent you need to talk to your agent about when to submit another book

:Jaw:

Huh? What's that? I don't actually have an agent. That caused me to send in the following email:


I thought an agent was assigned when you forwarded my novel VENOM to a possible publisher. Does this mean when I send VENOM to the publisher (tomorrow) that no one from your agency will be checking with the publisher about it? That makes me rather nervous about my work. I'm relying on your agency to protect me from problems, and if you're not keeping track of it, I don't see how you can.
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

AlterEgox5
02-12-2010, 01:51 AM
The plot thickens...

AC Crispin
02-12-2010, 03:04 AM
LOL.

Sooner or later Bobby will figure out he's being played, but every moment he spends on this is one moment less he can spend defrauding some earnest but naive would be author.

-Ann C. Crispin

jclarkdawe
02-12-2010, 06:23 AM
We could even start a pool on what day and which response...
That could be interesting. Maybe we could do a pool for how long I can make it last?


What strikes me about those letters Jim Clark-Dawe has been reproducing is how little they resemble normal business communications, and how much they resemble certain subtypes of spam: wordy, disorganized, repetitive, lacking subject headers, and typed full-width on the page. It's a format designed to overwhelm readers who can't automatically keep track of what's being said.
The formatting of the emails has to be cleaned up to be posted here, as it includes numerous line breaks. So the full-width aspect isn't in the originals, which are actually rather short per line. But yeah, I think all these people go to the same school to learn to write.

One thing I'm finding interesting is how different the voice is in the canned stuff compared to the individual responses.


LOL.

Sooner or later Bobby will figure out he's being played, but every moment he spends on this is one moment less he can spend defrauding some earnest but naive would be author.

-Ann C. Crispin
That's what I figure. Personally I'm surprised he hasn't found this thread. It's easy enough to set up a web bot to search for new mentions of your name.

Now going back to the game. In reply to post #55, I received the following:



I don't think you have even signed with us yet. We received your query form and referred you to the publisher.

You can wait to see what they offer you and refuse any offer if you want. You can always come back to us later.



I got to tell you, I can't even begin to figure out where all this is legally. They've acted as an agent in forwarding my query, yet they're saying they are not my agent. My confusion was conveyed to them in the following:


So I haven't signed with you yet? I'm confused. When does that happen? I thought agents signed writers before they referred them to publishers?

But I'm looking for help with my incomplete second book. I'm stuck in the middle and don't know how to fix it. And my understanding from both you and the publisher is that the publisher doesn't want to deal with unfinished manuscripts. So I thought you could help me with HORSE PROBLEMS.
This is keeping me amused. And it seems to be challenging them a bit to answer these inane questions.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-12-2010, 06:13 PM
Finally the glorious day came when I had an electronic file for VENOM, so I sent it in.


Attached you'll find my baby, VENOM, which I'm hoping that you'll love as much as I do.

I can't tell you how much I'm waiting to hear from you. I'd sell my first born, and probably my second born as well, to get VENOM published.

I received an email from my agent that has me a bit confused, as it seems to imply they're not actually my agent. Does that mean we can cut a deal and get rid of the 10% of the money VENOM is going to earn me?The last sentence suffered from distraction and poor proof-reading skills. What can I say?

And I received the following canned response:


Thank you for your manuscript. It has been received and will be reviewed in the next week or so. There is no need to send additions, fixes, cover designs, etc. We can work with what you sent. There is always plenty of time to make changes if we decide to work together. We have a great editing department as well, so there is no need to worry about editing at this time.

You should be receiving a response within the next one or two weeks, usually on the early side. We appreciate your patience in our review time as we receive hundreds of submissions each week.

Would you mind helping us make a publishing decision by answering the book marketing questions below?
--------------------------------------------------
We want to know more about your available time, your technology background, and your sales proclivities. The key is consistency and focus.

=============================

Q) How much time per week do you have available to help us market your work?

A)

Q) How internet savvy and technical are you? Are you comfortable with new programs on the web? Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? Please discuss.

A)

Q) Would you prefer to market on the web or market by going out and visiting locations, giving talks or book signings? Some authors want to get out there, some want to market only on the web, and some will do both. Tell us about how you feel about selling activities. Some people are very comfortable with public speaking and some are not.

A)

Q) Next, please read www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com) for an overview of the various programs that we offer. What would you most like to do in the first 30 days after your book is released to help market your work? Please choose 3 of the marketing techniques listed on our website and note them here along with any pertinent comments that you may have.

(NOTE: Depending on the situation, these marketing programs are generally free to the authors we publish under our traditional publishing contract).

1st Marketing Technique:

2nd Marketing Technique:

3rd Marketing Technique:

Thank you in advance to the answers to these questions. This will help us make up our mind as to which type of contract and agreement we can offer you. We would like to work with you and this will help us decide.

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxx - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published please visit www.xxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxx.com).

For a current listing and an example of our over 1000 books published please visit www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxx.com).

P.S. Please try to remember to keep all original emails threads in all of your replies. Our staff deals with hundreds of people on a daily basis and it makes for easy communication if the email that you are answering/responding to is right there. It makes things move smoothly, and I know you want that too!! Thanks.

******************************

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx is a progressively growing book marketing company that is making waves in the industry; combining new era ideals with old school fundamentals.

"The end goal is a match between publisher and author… and sales, sales, sales of books for our authors! We are an innovative book marketer and publisher…seeking authors that understand the importance of marketing in the equation. We believe we are more responsive than larger publishers." – says the PR Managing Director.

Authors on board love the new transparency of the house. As one client commented, "I am pleased that I can login anytime to check my sales and royalty status…this is something I never had at my previous publisher." This is one of the many new features of this innovative company. XXX understands that the author's book is their message to the world and that is why they have partnered with a PR team to showcase that talent to the right audience and provide the client with reasonable upgrades just as the larger houses do. Here are a few testimonials -

"This is great news! THANK YOU for your work on this!" – xxxxxx author of xxxxxxxxxxx reaction after being accepted in a Top 50 Border's Store.

xxxxxxxxx encourage authors to get active in their local literary scene; embracing positive people and energy. To see what types of books are being published, take a browse through titles and author news at the online magazine www.xxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxx.com) and read about author success stories on the Director of PR's blog: www.xxxxxxxx.com/blog (http://www.xxxxxxxx.com/blog) .
One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO TAKE OUR AUTHORS INTO CHINA. Here is a page from our partner's catalog when they take our authors to the Beijing Book Show this year.

PLEASE NOTE: AT THE FRANKFURT BOOKFAIR IN GERMANY THE CHINESE ARE AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING BOOKS OF ALL GENRES. We have meetings set for London in April. If you join us, you can be ready for the next book show. Depending on when you sign with us it could be next year (2010) in London/April 19-21, NY/May 25-27, Beijing/Aug 30-Sept 3, or Frankfurt/Oct. 6-10.

At the world's larges book event, Book Expo USA in 2009, Strategic exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event, please visit

Can you visualize yourself at the show next year?!Yes, yes, yes, I can visualize myself at a show next year. Send me more.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

Marian Perera
02-12-2010, 07:20 PM
THE CHINESE ARE AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING BOOKS OF ALL GENRES

That makes me think of triads raiding brothels and gambling joints, seizing every book they see.

Dawnny Baby
02-13-2010, 12:06 AM
That makes me think of triads raiding brothels and gambling joints, seizing every book they see.
:roll:

(How very Jackie Chan of you to think that!)

jclarkdawe
02-13-2010, 12:17 AM
Now the canned questions caused me some concern. I couldn't quite decide on who I was. But finally I was able to come up with some answers.


Wow! After hearing how slowly publishing works, to know that you can tell me in a week or so whether you've accepted my book is incredible. I'm so impressed with the speed of your operation.

Below are the answers to your questions. I will admit, I'm confused as I thought the publisher dealt with the marketing and the writer dealt with the writer.

Thanks for being willing to look at VENOM and I'm sure you'll love it


Q) How much time per week do you have available to help us market your work?

A) I'm retired, so I have a lot of time. I want to see VENOM on the NY Times Bestseller list and will do anything to make that happen.

Q) How internet savvy and technical are you? Are you comfortable with new programs on the web? Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? Please discuss.

A) I'm not terribly good on the internet and use my grandson a lot for help. I'm not sure what a blog is and I don't know what you mean by "posting regularly."

Q) Would you prefer to market on the web or market by going out and visiting locations, giving talks or book signings? Some authors want to get out there, some want to market only on the web, and some will do both. Tell us about how you feel about selling activities. Some people are very
comfortable with public speaking and some are not.

A) I want to do whatever promotes VENOM the best.

Q) Next, please read www.xxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) for an overview of the various programs that we offer. What would you most like to do in the first 30 days after your bookis released to help market your work? Please choose 3 of the marketing techniques listed on our website and note them here along with any pertinent comments that you may have.

(NOTE: Depending on the situation, these marketing programs are generally free to the authors we publish under our traditional publishing contract).

I don't know what you mean by read www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/). I don't think you've sent it to me yet.

1st Marketing Technique:



2nd Marketing Technique:



3rd Marketing Technique:



Thank you in advance to the answers to these questions. This will help us make up our mind as to which type of contract and agreement we can offer you. We would like to work with you and this will help us decide.I also sent in a correction of my last email to the publisher. Definitely going to be interesting to see the response.


I realized when I reread this, that the last sentence got screwed up. What I meant to say is if the agency isn't actually representing me, can we make a deal without using the agency so I can save the 10% the agency is going to charge me?Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

mccardey
02-13-2010, 02:58 AM
I'm really loving this thread (in a shaming sort of way)....

Gravity
02-13-2010, 04:01 AM
"Luuuuu-seeee ... you're gon' make Bobby's head asplode." :D

jclarkdawe
02-13-2010, 06:33 AM
And in response to post #58, I receive the following:



Sorry, we can't help you write it. You can get a critique done that might help you with writing the rest of the book.

If you want to you can send what you do have done for review.
which of course requires a response (and I've got to admit I'm wondering why the blue ink):


I realize you can't write my book for me, but I guess I was asking for a critique to give me some idea how to finish it. I just can't figure out what to do with it.

I've attached what I've got done.
Wasting time. What a simple approach to annoy someone.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Bushdoctor
02-13-2010, 07:53 AM
good job jim. now imagine if he got a hundred of those a day

Dawnny Baby
02-13-2010, 07:59 AM
Maybe Travis Tea could send him the Atlanta Nights (http://www.travistea.com/)ms...? :D

AlterEgox5
02-13-2010, 09:46 AM
good job jim. now imagine if he got a hundred of those a day
...I feel an evil plot forming...:evil

mccardey
02-13-2010, 09:54 AM
...I feel an evil plot forming...:evil

Oh -

Oh I think that sounds like a really terrific idea......

Can we get A Bunch of Writers to sign up for that?

jclarkdawe
02-13-2010, 06:41 PM
Now in response to the following email:


I realize you can't write my book for me, but I guess I was asking for a critique to give me some idea how to finish it. I just can't figure out what to do with it.

I've attached what I've got done.I received the following canned response:


"A good plan initiated immediately and with vigor is better than the perfect Plan initiated after a two week wait" George Patton.

(Please make note that we are hiring and training right now and I am swamped. I am answering emails only 2-3 times per week, so please give me a few extra days to get back to you. I promise though, it will never be more than 4 days so if you haven't heard from me in that timeframe please feel free to send a followup).

Thank you for sending us your work for evaluation. It has been received successfully and it has been sent to our evaluation team.

We have NOT reviewed it at this time.
The review process takes about 1-2 weeks.

In the meantime, we ask that you please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this email. Our goal is to answer every question you may have BEFORE you ask it. We try to be as efficient as possible so that we can review your work more quickly. (We know you will appreciate this too!)

Please do NOT send us any additional work during the review period. We wish to complete our review of this work and then, if appropriate, we can discuss your other works.

Please do NOT send us revisions or updates. We have more than enough to make a decision. (More on that below).

We take pride in the fact that we reply more quickly than most agencies. We expect it will take about one week to get back to you with our evaluation.

If you haven't heard from us in two weeks, please get back in touch with us in the chance that an email has been missed. Sometimes, with all the spam flying around, email can slip through the cracks (on both sides).

Thank you for sending your materials electronically; that's one of the reasons we can work so quickly. We believe you'll be pleasantly surprised by our swift decision-making process.

Best regards,
The Acquisitions Team

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
============================
In an effort to save time, here are answers to a few questions that we typically receive at this stage. As a testament to the fact that we're doing something right, here's a comment I just received, which nicely states my goal of efficiency:


***********************************************
"I do like the way you have organized your acquisitions process. It is efficient yet personal, answers almost every question that could be asked, and reflects your agency's experience with the business. Your prompt responses are impressive, although I have learned to be very patient with certain publishers. I always try very hard to meet deadlines, because I know how much it is appreciated by those in the business. I think I would be very comfortable working with you."
************************************************

What are you looking for during your evaluation?
-------------------------------------------------------------

We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing format, every word, spelling, and grammar usage. There's plenty of time later for that.). As we've mentioned earlier, we believe that great writers are made, not born, at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible. Since we're willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when opportunity meets preparation and hard work."

We love work that has been formally edited. As Literary Agents, we don't edit, we just sell. We try to let the editors work with our authors for creative, for mechanics, for everything related to the work itself, and then, we'll work with the writer for packaging, pitching, and presenting the work. Our core competency is selling what you write. (And editors and writers make lousy salespeople, so it works out.)

For more on what we do as agents (and as something to do while you are waiting for our review) you may wish to read our Agency Business Blog - http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcom/blog-overview.html

Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear and very "cut and dried". We answer 3 questions:

1. Will the subject matter sell? Is it commercially viable?
2. Is the writing good enough, or would it be good enough with some degree of assistance?
3. Did you as the evaluator like the work and would you believe in it if you were selling it?

If we get a "3 Yes" designation then you pass (at my level).

The next item we look for in our filtering process is your willingness to listen/make changes/, what your goals are, and what your overall demeanor is. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a bad or cocky attitude.

I am sorry that there will not be a lot of personal interaction with me and my department. You will have much more personalized interaction with the agent, if/when you meet him/her.

We know that our process may seem impersonal. Here's what one author said, and our response.

*******************************************"
Sherry, I'd like to go ahead, but please allow me to make a friendly and respectful remark or two? Thanks for a quick and positive response. While I understand that you may be dealing with thousands of authors an manuscripts, and that you have to follow the advice of your attorneys, I would find it reassuring to get an email from a real live person, instead of automated responses. Greg"

Our Reply:

"Dear Greg, I completely understand the desire for a more touchy-feely, personalized relationship. I can promise you that you will have much more personalized interaction when/if you reach the Agent. We've done enough customer service satisfaction studies to know that lack of the personal touch is the number one complaint that we receive. We brainstorm constantly about how to improve in this area. However, in the acquisitions department, it's just not going to happen. It's a combination of too many applicants, and the fact that acquisitions is a cost-center, not a profit-center. It is very, very important that you understand that our core competency and revenue producing activity is selling your work. We stay in business because we maintain a laser-like focus on one thing, selling your work. Our agents spend all their time in contact with buyers, not applicants. It may feel cold, it may feel impersonal, but truthfully, you want an agency that stays in business because they know how to make money for their authors and themselves. I hope that helps you to understand our position on this issue and we sincerely ask your forebearance as you go through the process. Warm regards, Sherry"

P.s. The trade-off is that we are efficient and quick. Here's a quote from an author that appreciates these attributes.

"I just received the contract, and before I move on in the process, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all you and your company have done. I have never experienced such prompt and efficient responses, or dealt with a company who seems to truly care. Is it naive of me to believe your example will revolutionize the writing industry, or to hope that others will adopt your model?

Just a note to say thank you for your amazingly detailed, efficient and rapid service. When I resolved to get an agent this year or bust, I was prepared for the long haul. What I have encountered has been a whirlwind. I am sure that other agents worldwide will soon have to copy your submissions system as the model for a new industry standard, or become extinct."
********************************************

What if you find errors or problems with my work?
-------------------------------------------------------------------

We receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. We believe we are unique in that we are willing to work with our authors to develop their manuscript and their talent. Most manuscripts that we receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business sense. We are looking for a long-term relationship in a slow-moving industry. We can take our time with you to get it right the first time.

There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

I didn't send my entire manuscript; don't you need the entire manuscript to make a decision?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------

By assessing your synopsis and query form with the writing you sent us, we can determine if the synopsis is adequate and interesting, and whether your writing style and skills are capable of being brought to professional industry standards. In other words, what we have is enough for us to determine if we want to work with you. (The ugly truth is that we can usually determine if we like your writing and writing style within the all-important first chapter.) After that, the rest of it is about your attitude.

We like to work with pleasant people in a professional manner.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------

We are absolutely committed to a professional relationship and professional communications; as you may have noticed, we have included that as one of our top four signature items. We sincerely ask that you take the same professional attitude in our communications as well. If we make a mistake, or if you don't like the way we do things, please seek first to understand. We make mistakes like any company does.

What's next?
-------------------------
If we believe your work has commercial viability, we will let you know with a "positive review" and inform you about how we will work with you to bring your work to the marketplace. Because we are vertically integrated in the publishing world, we have the ability to do more with an author than most other agencies can do.

How long does this evaluation for commercial viability take?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About a week. We know waiting is the hardest part and we've been in your shoes. We will do everything we can to get back to you as quickly as we can. By now you probably understand a few dynamics of this industry. First, most agencies and buyers are absolutely swamped, and second, this seems to be the slowest-moving industry in the world. So, if you haven't heard from us in 2 weeks, please drop us an email about your status. Our best guess though is that you will hear from us in about 5-10 days. We maintain enough readers and evaluators to keep that level of service.

I have other work, may I send it?
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Please allow us to decide if we wish to represent this work. Later we can discuss your other manuscripts.

I just made a revision, should I send it?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
No, please don't send a revision, illustrations, etc. We have enough material to determine commercial viability. Writers are constantly revising their work. If we represent you, we will spend time making sure that everything is just right before we send it out. We have plenty of time.

I have a few questions for you and your company
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
We are happy to answer your questions, however, we would appreciate it if you wait until after our review and notification process is complete. At that time we will provide you with quite a bit more information, or we will pass. By waiting until the review period is over to ask further questions we will each save time. However, if you have a burning question, or just want to see if I'm really out here, then email me directly and I'll get back to you within 2-3 days (excluding vacations, weekends, etc.)

Is my manuscript safe?
---------------------------------------
Your manuscript is completely safe within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up working together, we delete all files.

What are my chances of success?
--------------------------------------------------------------
We never sugarcoat the odds. The odds are long, long, and long. However, when hard work meets the right opportunity, then magic sometimes occurs. We've had four sales so far and we think we have at least that many in the pipeline.


What happens if you don't sell my work?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
When a work doesn't sell, we see authors go in one of three directions, either 1) let's keep trying, 2) I'll find another agent, or 3) it must be that the agent is not real, a bad guy, etc. If we accept you and can't sell your work within a year, we will let you know and you can decide what steps to take. We can't promise a sale, but we can promise a professional relationship together. Also, there will be no surprises. We will inform you of every step along the way (mainly with these long, but information packed, emails <grin>).

I see typos and grammar problems in these long emails, aren't you supposed to be perfect if you're in this industry? (I love it when editors rip me apart <grin>, and believe me they do!)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are the writer, not me. We used to spend time and money trying to make sure everything was perfect, but it just wasn't worth the overhead. You get graded on your writing, I get graded on how efficiently I find new and wonderful properties. Please excuse (or let me know about) any errors, but if you see one, just grin and bear it (please!).

Is this an automated email?
----------------------------------------------
Yes of course. We are simply communicating that we received your work and we are attempting to answer the majority of questions that we've heard at this stage. The more time we save on the front end, the more time we have for selling our clients' work on the back end.

You will have much more personalized interaction when you reach the Agent after your work is polished to perfection!

Why do you advertise? I thought agents were hard to find and deal with?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We are very different. Why? Here's a great example. We believe we sold six (that's right, 6) romance authors to a publisher that wants to publish 10 this year in China. We have incredible "depth off the bench" and publishers like that. In our case, more is better. We hope to announce these sales formally once we get the contracts later this year.

Now, sit back, try to relax (we know it's tough) and give us about a week. If you haven't heard from us in 10 business days, please email me and I'll figure out what happened.I love their explanation as to why I shouldn't worry about the quality of editing in these canned responses. Considering some of them pop-up with Word's grammar program (long emails should never be composed on the internet), I was wondering if the editor was even more challenged than Word.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

WriterMomto3
02-14-2010, 05:49 PM
I, too, cannot believe that Fletcher has not found this thread. Is it that he's just too full of himself that he doesn't care? This is probably one of a thousand and if he gets $$ for 999 critiques, that's pretty good money off of a scam. I'm surprised they haven't asked you for the money to perform the critique yet...I'm sure it's coming, unless I missed it?

jclarkdawe
02-14-2010, 06:15 PM
I, too, cannot believe that Fletcher has not found this thread. Is it that he's just too full of himself that he doesn't care? This is probably one of a thousand and if he gets $$ for 999 critiques, that's pretty good money off of a scam. I'm surprised they haven't asked you for the money to perform the critique yet...I'm sure it's coming, unless I missed it?

He hasn't asked yet, but it's getting closer. But I have some money for him already budgeted.

Now here's a question for people. Back in post #52 I answered some questions. But when I sent in the question asking about dumping the agent to the publisher, I attached the manuscript again. Wouldn't you know, it triggered another canned question form. I could answer it the same, or I could answer it entirely different. Any opinions? And feel free to send me your view by a rep point or PM if you want.

And in response to:

I realize you can't write my book for me, but I guess I was asking for a critique to give me some idea how to finish it. I just can't figure out what to do with it.

I've attached what I've got done.
I received:



First let us review it and then if we want to re present you we will send you a referral for a critique.What a wonderful sentence.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

WriterMomto3
02-14-2010, 06:21 PM
I bet they use some of the answers in those questionnaires to decide how many services they can sell you. If you answered some of the questions differently, it would be interesting to see what other email responses that generates. Say, for example, you said you were really great at blogging, would they try to sell you a different service? JMHO.

Inkblot
02-14-2010, 06:33 PM
Second is the something for nothing approach. Anyone who has been on AW for a while knows that an agent is going to request revisions. The number of people on this forum who submitted to an agent and got that manuscript submitted to publishers without any changes at all are few and far between. More normally, the agent says, "I like it, but change something." Here, based on merely the query, it's sent to the publisher? Something for nothing.


I don't think the lack of a request for revisions is a red flag in itself. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if part of this scam involves an attempt to steer manuscripts that are unfinished or need work to an "independent" editor the author is expected to pay. (But who actually is part of the scam.)

While many legitimate agents do request revisions, they don't always do so; and it's probably a more common practice among those who were editors before they were agents. My AAR agent -- whose whole career has been in agenting -- didn't ask me to revise my manuscript before selling it to one of the large publishers. Editing is so subjective; any changes she requested would have been different from the changes any specific editor would have made.

WriterMomto3
02-14-2010, 08:05 PM
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if part of this scam involves an attempt to steer manuscripts that are unfinished or need work to an "independent" editor the author is expected to pay. (But who actually is part of the scam.)

I think it's more likely that the editors are under-paid employees or freelancers who think they have a legitimate job. They are either fresh-out-of school or not very good editors, or they would be working somewhere else making better money. This is just another way for these scam artists to use people for their own benefit--charge the author a fee and then subcontract out the job for a quarter of the price. Nobody wins except the scammer.

AC Crispin
02-14-2010, 08:30 PM
Bobby's operation has been thoroughly analyzed, both by Writer Beware and by the Florida Attorney General's Office.

None of the emails posted so far contained anything that was new to me, though there were some minor changes in wording that were of interest.

If the poster is volunteering to pay money for a critique and to go the whole nine yards as a "sting" he should be in touch with the Atty General's Office, and funneling info to them.

Just a suggestion.

-Ann C. Crispin

Giant Baby
02-14-2010, 08:31 PM
He hasn't asked yet, but it's getting closer. But I have some money for him already budgeted...




Wait... You're going to give him money?

ETA: Cross-posted with Ann

jclarkdawe
02-14-2010, 09:01 PM
I don't think the lack of a request for revisions is a red flag in itself. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if part of this scam involves an attempt to steer manuscripts that are unfinished or need work to an "independent" editor the author is expected to pay. (But who actually is part of the scam.)

While many legitimate agents do request revisions, they don't always do so; and it's probably a more common practice among those who were editors before they were agents. My AAR agent -- whose whole career has been in agenting -- didn't ask me to revise my manuscript before selling it to one of the large publishers. Editing is so subjective; any changes she requested would have been different from the changes any specific editor would have made.

I would suggest that any time you send in a full and the agent is willing to send it to publishers without ANY revisions, you need to start checking. Would I terminate a deal at that point? No. But I'd be checking a lot more thoroughly why that agent is so different from other agents. And yes, I'm aware that some agents do this. You should be checking it out, though.

Any agent that sends the QUERY LETTER to the publisher, without having looked at your manuscript, is someone I'd be running from quickly. We all know that what a query letter promises isn't always delivered, and in this case, I know the query letter isn't that brilliant. The overuse of a pun in it would make me wonder about the writer's ability.


Wait... You're going to give him money?

ETA: Cross-posted with Ann

God, you people are gullible. I gave you a hint upstream. And I've told you this is a game. If we get to the point where money changes hands, trust me, you're going to be laughing.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-15-2010, 02:59 AM
In response to the manuscript, I received the following short canned response:


Thank you again for your time and commitment to your work and the answers below.

We will send these answers to the review team and we will get back to you with our decision or offer in a few days. We appreciate the fact that you understand that marketing efforts are required by both the author and the publisher. Frankly, a positive attitude is as much a factor as the writing.

Please hold any further questions until we send you our review and there is no need to reply to this email.

Sincerely,

The Acquisitions Team

Ps. If you haven't done so already, you may wish to read the book marketing techniques described at www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com).

We promise you that these techniques will be of value to you in your writing career no matter which company you choose publish with. You will quickly learn that the money and the magic is in marketing your book. Unless you are a book marketing specialist, your book will look great, and read well, but it won't sell to your satisfaction unless you choose a company that specializes in marketing.

Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

AlterEgox5
02-15-2010, 04:36 AM
*snicker* I kind of want you to respond to that email just because they specifically state that there is no need to reply to it. Hah.

jclarkdawe
02-15-2010, 04:47 AM
In response to sending out the manuscript, I received three canned posts. The first one is posted above this one, the second was the repeat of the marketing questions that I posted above, and then there was this one. I'll give it to you clean and then with my comments added.


While we are reviewing your work we would like to discuss editing with you. (If your work has already been edited, you may disregard this email). At the end of this email is a question for you to let us know what your opinion about is about editing and your work. Whether you publish with us or not, as a writer, you must think about the editing of your work.
Editing is a very individualized situation for writers.
----------------------------------------------------------
Here are some of the dynamics that we have seen over the years.

* Some writers are good enough not to need editing (or very little).

* About 1/3 of our applicants have had some form of 3rd party editing.

* Some writers only need a bit of modest cleanup.

* Some writers need someone to talk with and to bounce ideas around and to ask questions of. Sometimes there are plot holes, or the writer wants to craft a punchier opening. This is called developmental editing.

* Some international writers need help with converting to US, UK, or Australian English.

* Poetry is a mixed bag.

* and so on and so on.

----------------------------------------------

Here is a smattering of the answers that we have seen from authors about the editing question we ask.

I believe editing is a must for the first edition because errors discredit your work.
Thanks
Jan

This its fourth editing and as I can put together all the input into it by others, it shouldn't need any editing at all. Sure you will find same,
Regards John.

I spent years writing and rewriting my book and really don't want it changed - apart from perhaps US/UK/Europe measures and weights, etc. The purpose was to sell it in Australia first and then as word spread, release it overseas.

I think that some editing is needed in my story, and I have been doing research as to editors lately. I am willing to pay to have my book edited, but I would like to find my own, because prices can very greatly. I want to do everything I can to make it so that my book succeeds, but my out of pocket budget is limited.

Thank you for your comments on editing. I am sure that my writing could warrant some editing. However, as a retired person living off Social Security, coming up with $1200 or more to edit my work is simply out of the question.

I spent my working life as a printer - grammar, spelling, editing, etc. – no editing is necessary. Thanks. Phil

I feel good editing is essential!!

Regarding editing, I don't think it necessary at this point. I have gone over it with a fine tooth comb multiple times and have made detail changes as required. The manuscript has also been read by professional editors who have made a few suggestions that I have already incorporated into the final manuscript. Their consensus has been that the final version (the one you are reading) is "really good."

I have a PhD in English and have published more than 60 books. I'm quite happy with my own editing, thanks. John

I have not had my novel XXXXX subjected to professional editing, but it has been read and corrected by three different people and I have gone over the manuscript several times myself. I would need some further advice from a review of the book before I would want to go through the document again or pay for editing although I am not adverse to the latter course if it be necessary. Thank You, Boyd

Editing is an important part of the process of bringing a work to fruition. This manuscript has had a "first run" edit but will require another to clean-up any errors.

========================================

Just so you know, the US national average for editing is a little bit more than two cents per word. Also, the cost of editing is somewhat dependent upon how easy or difficult the edit is. Basically, like a medical procedure, the first step is to 'open up the patient' and see what's in there before recommending a full procedure, so be wary of anyone that quotes an edit without a review.

Doesn't the publisher pay for the editing?
-------------------------------------------
In the new publishing world, the writer has the responsibility for the content and the publisher has the responsibility for the marketing and distribution. As a publisher we cannot pay for the editing. Our goal is to publish more books and if we spend our money on editing, not marketing and publishing, then we cannot fulfill our promises to our writers. We want to be known as the best marketing company of all the publishing companies.

What is our opinion on editing?
Our answer makes some authors nuts.
------------------------
As you read our opinion, please keep in mind that we are a publisher. We look at return on investment.

Our opinion is that editing is optional and not mandatory. "Wait", you might say! "How can a publisher say that? You must not be a real publisher!"

Our explanation is simple. You read the comments above. Of course editing is preferred, BUT... The first goal is to be sure the book sells. Yes, if you can afford it, get the editing done. But if you can't afford it, or you don't want to take the financial risk of editing, the we suggest that you see if the book will sell first.

The flip side of course, is that without editing, you WILL be embarrassed every time somebody says, "great book but I noticed that you used the wrong verb throughout chapter 6 and there were a few typos, and.. " Ugh...

So, in conclusion, our opinion is that editing is strongly recommended but not mandatory. And of course every author is different. We are always on the side of making the book the best it can be, within the realm of finacial reason.

==============================================
-------- Our Question To You -----------------

As we review your book, would you mind telling us where you stand on the editing question? Just hit reply and put your answer at the top. Thanks.

==============================================

Conclusion:

We hope you found it interesting to see what your peers have to say about editing. As you can see, it really is a mixed bag, and very individualized. As a publisher, we try to work with each author given their personal situation.

Don't run out and start editing now. If needed, we can discuss editing with you later as part of the contract process. We like it when you use our editors for quality control reasons. We have a great staff of editors. They edited a couple of million words last year. (We think we have the second largest group of editors in the world). Thanks again for your commitment to your work.

Now for my opinion on this piece of ... well, you decide what to call it.


While we are reviewing your work we would like to discuss editing with you. I would have thought waiting until they read it and had some idea how good/bad it was would make more sense, but hey, if it works for them. (If your work has already been edited, you may disregard this email). At the end of this email is a question for you to let us know what your opinion about is about editing and your work. Whether you publish with us or not, as a writer, you must think about the editing of your work. Can't disagree with that at all. Writing the book is the easy part, the editing is where the work is.
Editing is a very individualized situation for writers.
----------------------------------------------------------
Here are some of the dynamics that we have seen over the years.

* Some writers are good enough not to need editing (or very little). Yeah, and a couple of people can go down a mountain on a little piece of wood at 90 mph and live. Most of us would not. And the likelihood of such a writer approaching an outfit like this is so unlikely as to be unbelievable. Even professional writers need editing.

* About 1/3 of our applicants have had some form of 3rd party editing. Seems likely, but not something I'd brag about.

* Some writers only need a bit of modest cleanup. And those of the ones who find real agents and real publishers.

* Some writers need someone to talk with and to bounce ideas around and to ask questions of. Sometimes there are plot holes, or the writer wants to craft a punchier opening. This is called developmental editing. But is this done by a publishing company? Maybe for someone who's been published quite a bit and has a name, but a publisher isn't going to do that for anyone else.

* Some international writers need help with converting to US, UK, or Australian English.

* Poetry is a mixed bag.

* and so on and so on.

----------------------------------------------

Here is a smattering of the answers that we have seen from authors about the editing question we ask.

I believe editing is a must for the first edition because errors discredit your work.
Thanks
Jan Does she know what an edition is? Or does she mean draft?

This its fourth editing and as I can put together all the input into it by others, it shouldn't need any editing at all. Sure you will find same,
Regards John. Well, John, I find that this paragraph could use some editing. But I bet this place didn't.

I spent years writing and rewriting my book and really don't want it changed - apart from perhaps US/UK/Europe measures and weights, etc. The purpose was to sell it in Australia first and then as word spread, release it overseas. Good reason for self-publishing, but if you want to sell your book, you'd better get it edited.

I think that some editing is needed in my story, and I have been doing research as to editors lately. I am willing to pay to have my book edited, but I would like to find my own, because prices can very greatly. I want to do everything I can to make it so that my book succeeds, but my out of pocket budget is limited.

Thank you for your comments on editing. I am sure that my writing could warrant some editing. However, as a retired person living off Social Security, coming up with $1200 or more to edit my work is simply out of the question. Ah, the I can't afford to put out a decent product, so let me just put out whatever piece of crap I can and maybe it will sell. Some people would argue that this is the approach of the American auto industry.

I spent my working life as a printer - grammar, spelling, editing, etc. – no editing is necessary. Thanks. Phil Phil, I've seen what a printer can do to a manuscript. You'd better get some serious editing.

I feel good editing is essential!! I'm glad you feel that way. Two explanation marks for one sentence is definitely one too many, and probably two too many. A period would work a lot better here.

Regarding editing, I don't think it necessary at this point. I have gone over it with a fine tooth comb multiple times and have made detail changes as required. The manuscript has also been read by professional editors who have made a few suggestions that I have already incorporated into the final manuscript. Their consensus has been that the final version (the one you are reading) is "really good." And I'd like to hear what those professional editors really think of your writing. You'd probably not be happy with their real opinion.

I have a PhD in English and have published more than 60 books. I'm quite happy with my own editing, thanks. John John, I'm confused. If you've published 60 books, why the hell do you need a publisher? Or do you mean you wrote 60 books, which I think seems a bit unlikely. But either way, John, I bet you need a good editor.

I have not had my novel XXXXX subjected to professional editing, but it has been read and corrected by three different people and I have gone over the manuscript several times myself. I would need some further advice from a review of the book before I would want to go through the document again or pay for editing although I am not adverse to the latter course if it be necessary. Thank You, Boyd Boyd, I looked up your book and couldn't find it on Amazon. Exactly what a recommendation should result in.


Editing is an important part of the process of bringing a work to fruition. This manuscript has had a "first run" edit but will require another to clean-up any errors. So two edits and you think you're done? I'm impressed. I've never been able to hit a good copy in just two edits. I think there might be some published writers who are that good, but my impression is most writers need a few more than two edits.



Notice how some of these things have names, and for others, apparently the person was too embarrassed to give their names. Interesting.



========================================

Just so you know, the US national average for editing is a little bit more than two cents per word. Also, the cost of editing is somewhat dependent upon how easy or difficult the edit is. Basically, like a medical procedure, the first step is to 'open up the patient' and see what's in there before recommending a full procedure, so be wary of anyone that quotes an edit without a review. Good points, and the price seems about right. Of course, one round of editing is not enough to clean up a novel, unless it's real clean to begin with. Most manuscripts seem to require several passes to get to the point where they can go to an agent or publisher. By the way, at two cents per word, VENOM will cost over two grand to edit.

Doesn't the publisher pay for the editing? Well, when EQUINE LIABILITY was published, I needed to produce a reasonably clean copy, which my editor then improved on and corrected. Editors don't write your book for you, and you have to know the basics of grammar and story telling. So I'm not quite sure what you mean here. But definitely the line editing to make sure everything was right was paid for by the publishing company.


-------------------------------------------
In the new publishing world, the writer has the responsibility for the content and the publisher has the responsibility for the marketing and distribution. Damn. When did this change?


Personally, I always thought the writer wrote the book, developed it, edited it, and produced the best book he or she could. Then the publisher would decide it was worth buying, would do a bit of editing, then market and distribute the book. So I'm trying to figure out what the difference between the new and the old publishing world is.



As a publisher we cannot pay for the editing. Our goal is to publish more books and if we spend our money on editing, not marketing and publishing, then we cannot fulfill our promises to our writers. We want to be known as the best marketing company of all the publishing companies. Personally I think I'd want to be known as the best publishing company of all publishing companies, but hey, I'm just dumb writer.

What is our opinion on editing?
Our answer makes some authors nuts. I can't imagine why.
------------------------
As you read our opinion, please keep in mind that we are a publisher. We look at return on investment. Which any business should. Course I'm wondering what their investment is here. If their investment is actually in the book, then they have an interest in how the book sells. If their investment is in something else, then why would they care how the book does.

Our opinion is that editing is optional and not mandatory. "Wait", you might say! "How can a publisher say that? You must not be a real publisher!" Ignoring the grammar errors in this sentence. I actually agree with them. They are not real publishers.

Our explanation is simple. You read the comments above. Of course editing is preferred, BUT... The first goal is to be sure the book sells. Yes, if you can afford it, get the editing done. But if you can't afford it, or you don't want to take the financial risk of editing, the we suggest that you see if the book will sell first. And we all know if you offer crap, you can sell some of it. At least for a while.

The flip side of course, is that without editing, you WILL be embarrassed every time somebody says, "great book but I noticed that you used the wrong verb throughout chapter 6 and there were a few typos, and.. " Ugh... Actually, if most of their authors can get the reader to chapter 6, I'd be surprised. And I notice their editing discusses the simple stuff like typos and verbs. Pacing, POV, and a few things might also need some editing.

So, in conclusion, our opinion is that editing is strongly recommended but not mandatory. And of course every author is different. We are always on the side of making the book the best it can be, within the realm of finacial reason. Well, any publishing decision involves financial reason, but I doubt that no editing would make any book the best it can be.

==============================================
-------- Our Question To You -----------------

As we review your book, would you mind telling us where you stand on the editing question? Just hit reply and put your answer at the top. Thanks.

==============================================

Conclusion:

We hope you found it interesting to see what your peers have to say about editing. As you can see, it really is a mixed bag, and very individualized. As a publisher, we try to work with each author given their personal situation. To be honest, I'd prefer a publisher who was working to give the books the maximum attention. But the books are not the real purpose here.

Don't run out and start editing now. If needed, we can discuss editing with you later as part of the contract process. We like it when you use our editors for quality control reasons. We have a great staff of editors. Who apparently do not look at their emails. They edited a couple of million words last year. I hope this is individually. Let's see. ASHES TO ASHES is 80,000 words. I've been through it about 8 times. That would be 640,000 words. Then since I started rewriting it in August (which is when I'm counting from), I think I've beta read another six novels. Let's say they averaged 60,000 words. That's about 360,000 words. So I figure I've looked at a million words since August, and I sure am hell am not a commercial editor. (We think we have the second largest group of editors in the world). I wonder who else agrees with this? Thanks again for your commitment to your work.

A barf bag was needed by me in reading this.

I've now caught you up with all the emails I've received. Now we're playing the game in real time.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-15-2010, 05:59 AM
*snicker* I kind of want you to respond to that email just because they specifically state that there is no need to reply to it. Hah.

Your wish is my command. How's this for a response?


Wow!!! I'm just so excited and impressed with your speed. I can't wait to hear from you. I just know it's going to be a favorable decision.

If you decide your going to publish my book, do you think it will be ready for the Beijing show this year? I'm just so excited at the possibility of going to China again. My wife and I were in Beijing for vacation two years ago and it was something else. And with a publisher paying for the trip, I can't tell you how thrilled I am. This seems like a dream coming true.In response to the editing email, I sent in the following. Should cause some drooling when they get it.


I will admit to be very confused, as I thought the publisher paid for the editing. As in another email you discussed what I would be doing with marketing, and in this one, you're discussing what I'd be willing to do for editing, I'm wondering what you are going to be doing in the endeavor. Why shouldn't I just go out and print the books myself?

That being said, I don't know whether it needs editing or not. I gave it to my grandson's English teacher, who provided me with a lot of help, and then told me it was the best thing she had ever read. Based upon your cost estimate of two cents per word, and my word count of 95,000 words, this means the most I'd be looking for at in editing would be $2,500.00 However, is the per word count only those words that need to be edited?

I would be fine with paying much more than $2,500 to get my book on the N.Y. Times Bestseller List. That's been my dream for many years, and was the thing that kept me motivated through many, many years of being in business.Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Inkblot
02-15-2010, 06:32 AM
I would suggest that any time you send in a full and the agent is willing to send it to publishers without ANY revisions, you need to start checking. Would I terminate a deal at that point? No. But I'd be checking a lot more thoroughly why that agent is so different from other agents. And yes, I'm aware that some agents do this. You should be checking it out, though.



Why do you assume I didn't check out my agent thoroughly? She is in AAR, very well respected, sales in PM, and I've met her in person at conferences several times. Again, not every agent does things the same way. Some agents, especially those who were never editors themselves, just don't take on clients whose work needs revision before an editor could review it.

I also have a good friend, another children's author, who had an agent take her first novel based on the first four chapters plus an outline. And he went on to auction it off to a major publisher -- again, based on the first four chapters. This is also the kind of thing that "never" happens. Yet, if the writing is good enough, it can!

I think too many writers concentrate on finding an agent instead of concentrating on making their writing the best that they possibly can. For most of us, this takes years, but it's worth it in the long run. A great manuscript, like my friend's, will sell itself.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-15-2010, 06:35 AM
I'm just amazed that all this energy is being put out on a 'game'. I really doubt very much that once Bobby figures out the ploy it's going to strike a reaction. He probably doesn't give this a second thought once he's fired off a template. When he finds out, he'll likely just stop responding and move on to the next victim while he's still able to. Why should he care that someone's playing him when he's still bilking money from other victims?

jclarkdawe
02-15-2010, 06:41 AM
Why do you assume I didn't check out my agent thoroughly? She is in AAR, very well respected, sales in PM, and I've met her in person at conferences several times. Again, not every agent does things the same way. Some agents, especially those who were never editors themselves, just don't take on clients whose work needs revision before an editor could review it.

I also have a good friend, another children's author, who had an agent take her first novel based on the first four chapters plus an outline. And he went on to auction it off to a major publisher -- again, based on the first four chapters. This is also the kind of thing that "never" happens. Yet, if the writing is good enough, it can!

I think too many writers concentrate on finding an agent instead of concentrating on making their writing the best that they possibly can. For most of us, this takes years, but it's worth it in the long run. A great manuscript, like my friend's, will sell itself.

The "you" in my response was meant to be universal. To be quite honest, I assumed absolutely nothing about your agent search as I didn't even think about it. But in point of fact, it seems you did check out your agent.

And each of us has his or her own way from here to there. Whatever works for you (meant to mean you, individually) is fine with me.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

kaitie
02-15-2010, 06:53 AM
However, is the per word count only those words that need to be edited?

:ROFL:

AlterEgox5
02-15-2010, 09:23 AM
I'm just amazed that all this energy is being put out on a 'game'. I really doubt very much that once Bobby figures out the ploy it's going to strike a reaction. He probably doesn't give this a second thought once he's fired off a template. When he finds out, he'll likely just stop responding and move on to the next victim while he's still able to. Why should he care that someone's playing him when he's still bilking money from other victims?
*raises hand*

Thus far it seems everyone is assuming this is Bobby. Does anyone know for a fact that it is indeed him? Even if the emails are similar (as it's been mentioned), for all we know it's just someone taking that material and running with it.

I'm also pretty sure that Jim has a few aces up his sleeves with this whole thing, as he's hinted to a few times already...

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-15-2010, 04:27 PM
First, the original agent that I thought I was contacting is a legitimate agent. The agent had a web site that wasn't producing the results desired and was allowed to lapse. This happens a lot in many areas of business. A scam artist buys the web name and by clicking on what was once a very legitimate site, you end up being phished (I'm simplifying here as the how is not as important as the what happens). Depending upon the quality, it's hard for you to know you've been phished.

So this scammer hovers like a vulture over legitimate agent sites until they lapse, picks them up and uses stale links? Nice technique.

The immediate enthusiasm and the insistent claims of being legitimate are the red flags for me.

AC Crispin
02-15-2010, 07:18 PM
Yes, it is Bobby.

-Ann C. Crispin

nicolelamarco
02-15-2010, 07:53 PM
:popcorn:

jclarkdawe
02-16-2010, 06:32 AM
So in response to post #82 regarding being willing to pay for editing, I received the following tonight:

Your right it might not need editing and you will make the final decision if you want editing done or if you feel you have had enough done with it to which I responded:

Thank you for letting me know. It's just so hard waiting patiently at the moment. To see something that I've been working on for so long finally coming together is just so exciting.

Please let me know as soon as you decide. I'm hoping to create the image of desperate and willing to pay. We'll see how it goes. It's interesting the number of questions that I've asked that they haven't answered.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-16-2010, 06:39 PM
Felt like rattling their cage a bit this morning. I got a repeat of the editing email I posted above, so I sent in the following:


You already sent this to me and I answered it already.

You haven't answered me yet as to whether we can make a deal where we drop the agent out of the equation.

Nor have you told me whether it's possible to get this published in time for the Beijing show this year. If it is, I want to start making plans.

I'm also wondering exactly what you do for me. You're telling me the editing is my responsibility, but I can find plenty of editors out there. They sure aren't shy about advertising. Then you send me another email explaining what I need to do about marketing my book. That doesn't bother me a lot, as my businesses have had to advertise and market for years. But what does that leave for you? If it's just printing the book, then I can go to Kinko's.

It doesn't even sound like you have a distribution system into libraries and bookstores, which I'd expect from any publisher.Start their week off with something interesting.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

victoriastrauss
02-16-2010, 07:36 PM
Thus far it seems everyone is assuming this is Bobby. Does anyone know for a fact that it is indeed him?

Yes. I knew from the very first posted email. Writer Beware has gotten hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of examples of Robert Fletcher's materials, and the posted emails aren't just similar to those we've seen--they are identical.

Fletcher's business is the largest of its type that we know about. For operations of this kind, it's quite atypical--not just in its scale, but in the large number of "offshoot" businesses and the elaborateness of its written materials.

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
02-16-2010, 07:42 PM
So this scammer hovers like a vulture over legitimate agent sites until they lapse, picks them up and uses stale links?

No.

Fletcher is not buying up lapsed domains. He is, however, a prolific online advertiser. What seems to have happened here is that after another agent let his or her domain lapse, someone else set up that domain so that it became an ad listing. One of those ads was Fletcher's. That's how his submission form was accessed.

- Victoria

AlterEgox5
02-16-2010, 09:22 PM
If it's just printing the book, then I can go to Kinko's.

HA HA HA. Let's all do that!

This thread is better than Avatar. XD

jclarkdawe
02-17-2010, 02:53 AM
I had a couple of minutes before I could start something else, so in response to post #72, I sent the agency down the following:


Have you finished reviewing it yet? I'm willing to pay, but I expect it to be completed in a timely fashion.

If you're representing me on VENOM, which I'm assuming from the fact that you sent it to a publisher, you'd want me to have a contract. Ignoring other considerations, I'd think you'd want to make sure there was a contract to ensure your10% of my royalties.Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-18-2010, 04:19 AM
So in response to the previous post, I get back:


It was put in for review on 2/11/10 so you should hear within 3 days
Since I wouldn't want them to feel I was ignoring them, I responded:


If I should have heard within three days, that would have been yesterday. Or do you mean it takes about ten days? Clarity in business matters is important. Something I constantly pounded into my subordinates.

And you still haven't explained to me why you haven't sent the contract for VENOM. Do you think you might want to answer that sometime?Still have heard from the publishing half about their email. I'll probably send them something just for the hell of it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

mccardey
02-18-2010, 04:26 AM
I'm really worried you're going to lose your agent if you're not careful ;) And we all know how hard it is to find a good agent....

jclarkdawe
02-19-2010, 07:33 AM
I'm really worried you're going to lose your agent if you're not careful ;) And we all know how hard it is to find a good agent....

They're not easy to get rid of, despite their comments on not liking prima donnas. In response to last night's email, this evening I got:




Ok in looking back I see that you submitted manuscripts both us and the publisher. You can only submit to one or the other so I have taken you out of our system.


I sent you the email below on 2/17 meaning you should hear by 2/20, sorry I was not clear


If you decide not to work with the publisher you can always come back to us
Which caused me to send back:



I thought based upon our emails on 11 February that you were able to. I'm confused. I am assuming that this means you took HORSE PROBLEMS out of the system, and not VENOM.

I don't understand why the agency can't handle reviewing a manuscript while the publisher is reviewing a different manuscript, but it that's your system, there's not much I can say.

I'm also very confused about my relationship with you. I sent you a query letter, and then you, acting as presumably my agent, then forwarded it to a publishing company. Now you seem to be saying you're not my agent, which makes it rather questionable for you to have forwarded anything to anybody. Could you please clarify what our relationship is?

And I'm wondering what you know about the publisher that would cause me not to want to work with them? Is there something bad about them?
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

mscelina
02-19-2010, 07:42 AM
Because, AC, this thread will eventually show up on Google searches done by authors who don't know any better--the kind scam agents target--and when they see the fabulous emails they just got repeated verbatim on a thread that is pointing out the obvious machinations of an 'aggressive' scam artist. And most--hopefully all--of those authors will realize that the wonderful, fabulous news about the publisher/agent that wants to make their baby into a bestseller in China will, at the very least, do more research on that agent before they sign on the dotted line.

And because it's funny. :)

jclarkdawe
02-19-2010, 06:29 PM
I'm sure you all remember that there's both a publisher and an agent here, and although they're sister organizations (how an agent is going to negotiate with a publisher while representing me with a sister organization is a fascinating question, which causes the lawyer in me to think about law school exam questions), I have to assume that they're separate and distinct. Of course, one person isn't saying he's two different things ...

But I've been feeling ignored by the publisher. Back in post #92 I sent the publisher an email, and I haven't received a reply. I feel so sad. As a result, this morning I sent them:


I sent the below email to you on Tuesday, 16 February and still haven't received a reply. I hope there's nothing wrong at your end and it's just because you've been so busy reading VENOM. However, it would be nice to get an answer to my questions.
It's interesting how many of my questions are not being answered, and I'm not even making this complicated. A lot of my questions are rather simple and any competent business would be easily able to answer them.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Monkey
02-19-2010, 07:38 PM
Thanks for doing this. Definitely educational...the advertisement link that simply said, "Contact Agent" put on an expired but legitimate agent's website is definitely something new to me.

I wouldn't have fallen for this scam now, but when I first started looking to get a book published, I didn't know what a query was. I was impatient and trying to figure it out as I went. Even now, had I not seen this thread, I might have clicked on a "Contact Agent" link if it was on a website that I thought belonged to a reputable agent.

Just a thought:

This guy's communications look nothing like a real agent's, so he's pretty obvious to most of us, and that might be part of how he avoids us. I imagine that the last person he wants to hear from is someone who knows how publishing works. Is it possible that he sticks with these terribly written, apparently ignorant of how publishing works e-mails in order to guarantee that he only deals with people who haven't done their research? If so, he's totally unconcerned about what is said about him here--his targets aren't going to google him for authenticity or look for him at Bewares or P&E. The moment they do, they aren't his target audience anymore.

We need to get the information as widely available and easily accessible as possible.

agentpaper
02-19-2010, 07:57 PM
This guy's communications look nothing like a real agent's, so he's pretty obvious to most of us, and that might be part of how he avoids us. I imagine that the last person he wants to hear from is someone who knows how publishing works. Is it possible that he sticks with these terribly written, apparently ignorant of how publishing works e-mails in order to guarantee that he only deals with people who haven't done their research? If so, he's totally unconcerned about what is said about him here--his targets aren't going to google him for authenticity or look for him at Bewares or P&E. The moment they do, they aren't his target audience anymore.
Monkey, I think you might have a point. Or at least that sounds reasonable to me. And I agree with you, thanks Jim for this. Hopefully it will stop people from falling into this kind of trap.

victoriastrauss
02-19-2010, 10:31 PM
There is already an entire subforum (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=202) devoted to this publisher/agency/editorial service.

The issue isn't just a deceptive ad showing up on a defunct website, but advertising in general. Reputable agencies and publishers don't advertise online.

- Victoria

Monkey
02-19-2010, 10:47 PM
Apparently, though, this was disguised so that it didn't look like an advertisement, and being on the defunct website of another agent means that if someone unaccustomed to how agents usually operate did do a search, they might type in the name of the legit agent instead of ferreting names out of that long, dense e-mail.

Also, I agree with what some other posters have said; this whole thing is a very good example of scamming in general, with red flags aplenty to point to. In fact, it's sort of a collection of red flags...putting them all in one place so they can be easily recognized. :D

victoriastrauss
02-20-2010, 04:13 AM
Apparently, though, this was disguised so that it didn't look like an advertisement, and being on the defunct website of another agent means that if someone unaccustomed to how agents usually operate did do a search, they might type in the name of the legit agent instead of ferreting names out of that long, dense e-mail.

Read this post (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4624248&postcount=39). It seems pretty clear that the advertising was not disguised, and that the defunct website was obviously defunct.

I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, or to downplay the confusing and deceptive nature of this kind of advertising, or to minimize the risk for writers. I'm just concerned at the ways in which discussions like these sometimes make assumption leaps that lead to wrong conclusions--in this case, the assumption that Fletcher deliberately placed an ad at that particular URL (he didn't; it was a Google ad--he has dozens of them--that was picked up by whatever algorithm these placeholder ad sites use to assemble their content), and the conclusion that URL hijacking by dubious agents is something writers need to watch out for (it's not. I've been researching and warning about questionable agents for 12 years, and I've never once encountered this. Not saying it couldn't happen--just that it's not a major danger).

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-20-2010, 05:31 AM
As I said at the beginning, don't worry too much about how you get into a scam. You can get into one without realizing it. It's more important to realize you're being scammed before you let it go too far. One thing to think about here is how does this work. They've been pretty up front about money and my guess is most people are wondering how they make this work. Yet it works a lot, by their own admission thousands of time. Why?

This morning I commented that the publisher seemed to be ignoring me. Well, they made up for it. Six (yes, six) emails, four at the same time. Of course, two of the six were duplicates so it was really only four, but still, they removed my feeling of being ignored.

Now the first of the canned emails starts off:



As you are considering working with us, you might enjoy learning more about what a publishing company is doing (or should be doing) in today's rapidly changing environment.

The marketing information below will be valuable to you no matter which company you choose to publish with.

The following email is our "end of year" communication with our clients. It will show you all the areas that we are concentrating upon for our authors.

As you consider working with us to publish your book, we think you will be suitably impressed by all of our activities on our authors' behalf.
The rest of this is the same thing as I received in post #48, so we can ignore it.

I'll get back to this later tonight.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

victoriastrauss
02-20-2010, 07:06 AM
That 50% royalty is paid on net, after printing costs have been deducted.

You say advance...I say bonus...let's call the whole thing off.

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-20-2010, 07:11 AM
And now for the important canned message. It's all about money. But for all those naysayers, you'll see that they're offering a thousand dollar advance*. This is rather long.



Thank you again for your interest in our book publishing and book marketing company. We like what we have seen so far and we would like to try to work something out with you in order to publish your work.

At this point we have published 1000+ authors like you, and we are proud of what they have accomplished. These authors are holding their work and selling nicely. They can be viewed at www.xxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookclub.com/). If you sign up with us, we will deliver! We follow through on our promises.

The beautiful aspects of our agreement as described below are:

1) The fifty percent royalty is industry leading, and shows that we really are partners, and

2) if the sales are what you suggest, then you get your money back. If your net is $4 per book, which is about the average we see, then we only need to sell 250 for you to recoup your investment and that is very doable.

3) We work with each author based on their ability and budget.

4) Once you/we sell 1000 of your books, you receive a bonus/advance and your subsequent works can be published at no cost.

We think our agreement is extremely fair and takes into account the topsy-turvy nature of the publishing business of today with its inherently higher risks. It rewards you when sales occur.

Before you read the information and our offer below, let us offer one caveat. This discussion is NOT about the quality of your work. This discussion IS about our perception of how hard, or easy it will be to SELL your work. Many authors take a publisher's response of anything less than "100% jumping up and down" personally. Please understand that first and foremost, publishing is a SELLING business, not a writing business. We are making our decision from a marketing and sales perspective.

Based upon what we have seen, we may have a publishing option that works for you. Our decision is based mainly on sales and marketing factors and risk and our analysis of how hard, or easy, it will be to get to 1000 sales. Please let me explain more. While we are not confident that we could recoup publishing costs within the first year of publication, we do see a possibility of recouping our costs within the next three years. Because of this, we feel that your work is best suited for publication under our Joint Venture publishing arrangement.

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan on writing multiple books, and if sales from the first book meet or exceed our goal of 1000 books sold, then we will almost certainly publish the new works under the traditional publishing model not the joint venture model. There is no time limit on this goal. Once your book sells 1000 units, however long it takes, then you receive the advance/bonus and your subsequent books can be published at no charge to you.

Here is more information about our Joint Venture program. (An agreement is attached).

Our Joint Venture program gives you a 50% royalty and allows us to split the cost of production with you to produce a printed book. Your one time only fee of $995* includes ISBN, cover design, publishing, distribution, marketing and promotion. The only elements that this cost does not cover are illustrations and editing and editing is NOT mandatory for this offer. So, basically, for $995 you will hold your finished book in your hand, and we can start selling it together.

If sales from the first book meet 1000 units, then you will receive a $1000 bonus and then we will almost certainly publish the new works without asking for your financial support of our marketing efforts. In other words, if the first book does well, it's easy to work together to do subsequent works at no charge to you. You will see a clause in the contract that says that if we reach 1000 sales with your first book that subsequent books that we publish for you there will be no shared fees AND we will pay you a $1,000 advance.

Q) Why should you pay us anything? Clearly you can have the book published in a lot of places.

A) To be blunt, you probably don't know much about book marketing. We are book marketing experts. That is what you are paying us for. www.xxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) will show you what we know. We believe that "self-publishing" is just that. It means you go it alone, without a team to work with you. The challenge we mutually face is that the book market is flooded with books from new and established authors. There is tremendous risk that the book will not rise above the clutter and break out into the profitable enterprise that we both hope it will be. That is the basic challenge of publishing and marketing a book. Therefore, we have asked for assistance to mitigate the risk, and so that we can publish more books and give more authors a chance to succeed. We also use the fee as a bit of a filter. We want authors that can support their work financially. If we both work together, as a team, then we have a greater chance of success. If you are going it alone, ie. "self" publishing, then you will not have a team such as ours to work with.

========= PAY AS YOU GO FINANCE OPTION =========

* In today's uncertain economy we realize that paying to publish your work may be daunting. We have a program to reduce the risk and allow payment plans. Please see the information at the very bottom if this is of interest to you.

================================================

Your book will be available for bookstores to order as many copies as they wish through our Ingram distribution agreement, and it will also be marketed through the online retailers such as Barnes&Noble.com, Borders.com (http://borders.com/), Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/), etc. In return for participating in the cost of publishing, you are rewarded with a 50% royalty, as opposed to the standard 6%-12% royalty provided by most traditional contracts.

Ingram is our US and international distributor. Bookstores can order as many or as few books as they like and your book will be listed in Bowker's Books in Print, the order source for bookstores. Your book will never run out of print and there are no limited print runs.

INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS: We service the US, UK, Australia and other countries seamlessly using the phone and email. We provide marketing support in any country as well. We are aggressively growing our presence in each country. We truly are a global publishing company.

We use a professional marketing team that will help you promote your book. We will send out press releases to your local media, as well as help you increase your internet presence with social media. For more information about our marketing and promotion, please visit www.xxxxx.com (http://www.aegauthorsedge.com/) and http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com/blog/ (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/blog/) . This will show you what we've done for our other authors, including book tours, television appearances and interviews.

We take care of building an author website for you (which you can see atwww.xxxxxxx.com (http://www.xxxxxxx.com) by searching for any keyword). We create an author display video (check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/xxxxxx (http://www.youtube.com/authordisplay)), we take care of getting your book on the retail websites and if desired we will set you up with social media sites such as Myspace and others.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxx - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call xxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published please visit www.xxxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/).

====================================

What is entailed in bringing your book to market and included in the Joint Venture package?

Royalties:
------------------------------
* You will receive 50% of your book's royalties.

* You can check your royalty status at any time on our web based leading edge royalty management system.

* You can request a royalty check at any time your royalties are greater than $25 using our online royalty management system.

Production:
-------------------------
* We will assign the ISBN and manage all the setup and paperwork associated with bringing your book to market.

* You will have access to numerous book layout professionals for questions and they will help you bring the best book possible to market.

* You will have your choice of hardcover, or paperback cover, color or black and white, and your book can be printed in numerous sizes.

* You will receive two cover designs to start with, and you can work with the designers to create a cover design that you can be proud of.

* The text layout team will choose the best fonts, and paper to properly showcase your book. You can have as much, or as little, input as you desire.

* You will review and approve everything in production before the next step is taken. A physical proof copy will be sent to you for final approval
before the book is released.

Distribution
------------------------
* Your book will be available on a worldwide basis at over 25,000 locations through both bookstores and online book sellers. Our distributor is Ingram books, a world leader.

Marketing:
----------------

* You will receive a professional author and book selling website as well as your book being for sale on Amazon.com.

* We will assist you with writing a compelling and selling back cover blurb.

* We will write and distribute a professional press release through a national/international news release service.

* We will assist you in reaching your local media and local groups.

* We will assign a Marketing Liaison to assist you with your questions and coach you on all the various marketing techniques that you might be interested in.

* You will receive your choice of a Social Media package, an Online Radio Interview, or a online video book trailer at no charge. Examples of each service are located online at www.xxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.StrategicBookMarketing.com)

* We will market your work at book shows around the world such as the BEA show we recently exhibited at in NY.

We are committed to our authors' success. We hope you will join us. The contract is non-exclusive, you can always fire us! (Smile).... You won't though, we've only had one out of 1000 fire us and we're not quite sure that author had all their marbles).

PAYMENT PLAN PROGRAM
=========================
Let's not let money stand in the way of working together! We completely understand cash flow challenges, so we are willing to work something out with you. We can work with you for as little as a regular payment of $50.

We like you and your work and we are willing to try to figure something out together. This is a slow moving business and we're in it for the long term. We would hate to lose an author that we like because of something as simple to deal with as money.

Consider if you could make small payments of $50 every now and then.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
We are willing to provide a program like this for authors we hope to work with. Here is how it would work. You determine what you are comfortable paying. We will work with you as you pay us. That way we can get started, and we can take our time and publish the work a little bit at a time. Here is a good example of what we have to do to publish your work and where the costs are. The example below shows how we can proceed with someone that can afford to send $50 to us on some regular basis.

Contract Administration and Plan Accounting ($100) - It costs us about $100 to setup your file, assign your ISBN, and to issue a receipt for your payment. This also covers the administration associated with managing the payment plan. As you would expect, there is more overhead with this plan simply in terms of accounting.

Manuscript Review and Preparation ($100) - As you would expect, we have a qualified editor review every manuscript for text quality, image quality, formatting, legal issues, etc. We use the review as a 'roadmap' for identifying any potential problems that can be fixed as we go. You will receive the review and go back and forth with our review team to make sure that the next steps go as smoothly as possible.

Text Blocking ($150) - Creating a "final" text block that is ready for the printer takes our talented designers about 6-10 hours. We also let you proof the Text Block and then you formally sign off on it.

Back Cover Writing ($100) - Typically, the author has a hard time writing about themselves and it is so important that we do it well. Writing a compelling back cover takes us about 3 hours of work and going back and forth with you.

Cover Design ($150) - Like the Text Block, creating a compelling cover, that you approve takes us about 6 hours of work. You will approve the cover and we consistently get high marks from our authors for the quality and impact of our covers.

Galley Proofing ($100) - We hate errors, but they do happen. Galley proofing is the final/final proof step before the work is uploaded to the printer. We need to make sure that we have the correct final files and that all work is done to specifications.

Proof Copy ($50) - A physical proof copy is printed and mailed to you for final approval before printing.

Ingram Catalog and File Upload Fees ($100) - There are a series of one-time fees that we pay the printer when we send your file for processing. The Ingram fees are to make sure that your book is available for purchase around the world by bookstores and other outlets. Also, this fee takes care of the upload to Amazon and other online retailers.

Author Book Selling Website ($100) - The Author Book Selling website is where your clients can buy the book on the web. We provide a customized site that tracks purchases, etc.

We will also be providing you with a Royalty Management system to check on your sales and royalties and we will be providing you with monthly production/accounting statements.

And finally, the next step is Marketing... Marketing ... Marketing..

Conclusion
----------------
The costs above are given to you at 'our cost', we are not making a profit at those numbers. And, these costs don't even include what we will expend on your behalf when it comes to marketing, answering questions, fixing problems, etc.

The total above is about $995. If you provided payments of $50, that's only eighteen payments. So, this truly is a Joint Venture Publishing project. As you can see there are a lot of 'moving parts' and it takes a top notch company to pull them all together.

We have already invested in getting to know each other and we hope that we can work something out to work together. If you can afford to send us $50 every now and then, we are happy to proceed and work for you. If we can cover our costs, we can stay in business, and if your book is out in a year, that's still great! Once your book is out and starts selling then there is every chance in the world that you can recoup your investment!

We hope you will join us. To participate in this program please follow these instructions. $50 is the minimum payment we can accept because of our costs in issuing a receipt and managing the accounting. Of course you can pay more if you choose.

To Begin, please reply to this email and fill in your desired amount and frequency:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I would like to participate in the Joint Venture Publishing Program with a Financing Option. I am able to pay $______ approximately every ________ (weeks) and I understand that the total is $995. I understand that this is not a formal financing commitment and that if I am late or skip a payment that it will not be held against me. I understand that you will be doing the work described above as I pay you and that if the work is done, that there are no refunds. If the work is not done, then you may receive a refund of that portion only. I understand that there is no time limit and that I may take my time in making payments. I understand that I will receive copies of the items described above and that I may quit at any time.

Type Your Name: _______________________________

Filling out this request is not a commitment by you in any way. This determines if we can work together. If we can work together we will send you the revised contract for your final signature.

=================================================

Ok, that's it.. If you will send in this information, we will make sure that it fits for us, and we will finalize the contract with you.
And one final success story...

Here is a success story that might be illustrative.

(CNN) -- "Still Alice," written by Lisa Genova, is a novel about a 50-year-old Harvard professor's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. It's also a book, Genova was told, that nobody would want to read.

Lisa Genova, author of "Still Alice," found success after self-publishing her novel.

After spending 1˝ years writing "Still Alice," Genova spent just as much time trying to find a literary agent. "I never heard a response from most of the query letters I sent," Genova said. "Four literary agents asked to see the book. One of them said she just didn't think there was a general audience that would want to read about Alzheimer's."

When she was turned down by several traditional publishing houses, Genova decided to follow a different route: self-publishing via Web-based companies. When she informed one of the literary agents of her decision, his response was daunting.

"He said, 'Don't do that, you'll kill your writing career before it starts,' " said Genova.

Months later, after receiving positive reviews on Amazon.com (http://amazon.com/) and a favorable review in the Boston Globe, Genova's book was picked up by Simon & Schuster and is in its 12th week on The New York Times Bestsellers List.

"If you believe in your book, I think you should give it a chance," Genova said. "Still Alice" "was a book that people already identified with and [Simon & Schuster] saw the book's potential in a very real way."

Genova is not alone. As the economy takes its toll on traditional publishing houses -- HarperCollins dropped its Collins division in February, losing major executives and editors, and Random House continues with cutbacks --more authors are looking to online self-publishing companies.

===========

We look forward to answering any questions you may have. Please give us the courtesy of a reply whether your answer is yes, no, or maybe. We would hate for a misunderstanding to slow down your writing career.


And they sent me the contract for publishing with them:


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX & PUBLISHING AGREEMENT


50% Royalty To Author; $1000 Advance and No Fees on Subsequent Works


Payment Plan Option

This Publishing Agreement is between __________________________________ (AUTHOR) hereinafter referred to as AUTHOR and xxxxxxxxxxxx, LLC., (“PUBLISHER”).
This agreement covers the parties’ respective obligations regarding the publishing of AUTHOR’S book, entitled



__________________________________________________ ____
TITLE (the “BOOK”).

1. OWNERSHIP OF BOOK
The AUTHOR at all times retains 100% of all right, title and interest in and to the BOOK and its content, including all copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property associated with the BOOK.

ADVANCE: The AUTHOR will receive a $1000 bonus when one thousand books are sold. If sales of the first book published by PUBLISHER for AUTHOR reach 1000 units then the PUBLISHER’s contract for Subsequent Works will be issued with no marketing or other fees to author.

2. LIMITED LICENSE TO PUBLISH
a. For Print and EBOOK formats
AUTHOR hereby grants to the PUBLISHER the non*exclusive, worldwide license to print, publish, distribute and sell the BOOK in print form in the English or any language on behalf of the AUTHOR. The AUTHOR also grants to the PUBLISHER the right to make excerpts from the BOOK viewable on the PUBLISHER’S Web site, or partner Web sites that have entered into agreements with PUBLISHER, in order to facilitate sales of and publicize the BOOK. (Non-exclusive means that if we don’t perform, you don’t even have to fire us, you can just go to another publisher. We are not trying to tie you down in any way. We will succeed together).

b. Storage and Handling of the BOOK
AUTHOR grants PUBLISHER the right to store, use, transmit and distribute electronic copies of the BOOK as required to facilitate the printing and distribution process. This grant includes the PUBLISHER’s vendors and affiliates.

c. AUTHOR maintains all other rights
All rights associated with the BOOK (except PUBLISHER’s limited right to publish the BOOK on the AUTHOR’s behalf), including movie, television, radio, foreign, and all other derivative rights belong to the AUTHOR only.

3. TERM OF THE AGREEMENT & TERMINATION
The Agreement shall continue for the term of the copyright or 7 years unless either party terminates pursuant to the terms set forth herein.
a. Termination by AUTHOR
AUTHOR may terminate this Agreement at any time and for any reason without refund of any monies paid if PUBLISHER has begun work.

b. Termination by PUBLISHER
PUBLISHER may terminate this Agreement and publication of the BOOK without cause, upon written notice to AUTHOR if, in PUBLISHER’s judgment, the BOOK may subject PUBLISHER to the risk of litigation. In no event will the PUBLISHER be obligated to publish a work, which in its opinion violates the common law or statutory copyright, or the right of privacy of any person, or contains libelous or obscene material. Further, if PUBLISHER reasonably deems the content of the BOOK to promote hate, violence, illegal activities, PUBLISHER can terminate the Agreement. If termination by PUBLISHER occurs before publishing the book the Publisher will refund Author’s monies.

4. SERVICES PROVIDED BY PUBLISHER

a. Cover Design
The PUBLISHER shall assign a BOOK cover designer to create up to two (2) original BOOK cover concepts. The Author should provide direction and input. Once the BOOK cover concepts are completed, they will be provided to the AUTHOR for the AUTHOR’s acceptance of one of them. The AUTHOR acknowledges that the publishing process cannot proceed until such time as the AUTHOR approves one concept and the final BOOK cover.
The cover designer will also layout the rest of the cover, including the spine and the back cover (the content and any photos of AUTHOR or those the AUTHOR wishes to be used on the back cover will be provided by the AUTHOR).
If the AUTHOR has any photos or other artwork to be used on the cover, the AUTHOR warrants that the AUTHOR has the unequivocal right, title, and interest in said photos or artwork to place said photos / artwork on the BOOK cover.
If the AUTHOR does not like either cover concept, the AUTHOR, at the AUTHOR's expense may hire an outside cover designer. AUTHOR acknowledges that the PUBLISHER uses its best efforts to produce a cover acceptable to the AUTHOR, but the PUBLISHER can make no guarantees that the AUTHOR will like the cover.
B. Book Layout
The PUBLISHER shall provide for the design and layout of the text of the BOOK and will provide AUTHOR with an electronic file for review and comments. The AUTHOR is responsible for providing all the elements of the book, including but not limited to the text, illustrations, and any other materials necessary to produce the book. The AUTHOR shall review the layout prior to the BOOK being sent to the printer to have the proof copy and/or any other copies of the BOOK printed. Publisher highly recommends that the AUTHOR’s manuscript be professionally edited BEFORE being submitted for pre-press production. Revisions to the book layout should pertain mostly to formatting and layout changes. Revisions do not include more than 20 editorial changes (i.e. punctuation, spelling, grammar) and additional spaces in between characters or words that were in the original manuscript document. Any additional rounds of revisions will be at the prevailing change rate, currently $50/hour. Author is completely responsible for all the content within the book unless noted herein.
AUTHOR acknowledges that layouts for books (e.g. coffee table, novels, cookbooks etc.), with the exception of the genre children’s books, will require an additional placement and printing fee of $6.00 per each image not created by the publisher exceeding six (6). Such fee shall be paid by Author. Any such fees will be presented to the author in writing.
Please note that unless specified, all non-children's books will be in black and white. If the author desires color pictures inside the book, it will affect the ultimate sales price of the book and the book may require special handling. Please alert the Contract Manager if the work contains color images. This does not apply to children’s picture books in which color is standard.
c. Copyright Registration
The publisher shall provide the copyright information in the name of the AUTHOR or the author’s designee based on the information provided by the AUTHOR. The Publisher shall provide the AUTHOR with one copy of the work at no charge for copyright registration along with the proper forms for copyright registration. The AUTHOR shall provide the copyright registration services (currently around $40). All copies of the BOOK that are distributed to the public will bear a copyright notice in the name of the AUTHOR as prescribed by the applicable copyright laws of the United States of America.
d. ISBN and Bar Code
PUBLISHER shall provide an ISBN and Bar Code and shall affix both on the appropriate places on the BOOK. However, for an ebook, if the Bar Code is not needed, the Bar Code will not be provided. The ISBN only identifies the name and contact information of the PUBLISHER. Should AUTHOR terminate this Agreement, AUTHOR must remove PUBLISHER’S ISBN from any future copies of the BOOK AUTHOR publishes. The Publisher retains ownership of the publisher’s printing files.

e. Proof Copy and Printing of BOOK
The PUBLISHER shall provide a printed proof copy of the BOOK for AUTHOR’s review. Once AUTHOR acknowledges receipt of and approves the proof, the BOOK is finalized and any other changes requested by AUTHOR shall require AUTHOR to pay additional fees depending on the number and scope of changes requested. AUTHOR acknowledges that other than the proof copy of the BOOK, and the copy provided by the publisher for the copyright registration, no other printed copies of the BOOK are promised by the Publisher to be included pursuant to this Agreement.
f. MARKETING

The PUBLISHER shall provide these services for a one time only fee of $___995____ to be paid upon contract signing by the AUTHOR unless AUTHOR chooses the Edit Discount Option. The Author may pay this amount over time and upon a frequency decided by author. PUBLISHER agrees to perform services as monies are received.
Marketing will include but not be limited to:

A professional press release will be written and released to media in the US or internationally or both.

The Publisher will create a unique webpage for the Author where the book can be purchased online.

The Publisher will make the book available to all bookstores and online and traditional channels through their distributors, Ingram Books and Baker & Taylor which are, at the time of this contract, supplied by Lightning Source. This includes Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. The publisher makes no guarantee or assurances that bookstores will order the books. The publisher makes no guarantee or assurances that bookstores will order the books or that Ingram, B&T, Amazon, B&N or any other entity in the publishing business will not change at any time.

The publisher will conduct other marketing programs as mutually agreed upon with author. Please visit www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) for examples of the various book marketing programs that we offer.


5. LISTING OF BOOK FOR SALE AND FOR PUBLICITY
a. Listing BOOK for Sale Through Online Retailers

PUBLISHER shall ensure that AUTHOR’s BOOK is presented to Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and other online retailers. PUBLISHER makes no guarantee as to how long it will take the BOOK to appear on any third party retail or other website, but will make its best effort to provide these sites with title information in a timely manner. PUBLISHER makes no warranties or guarantees that sales of the book will be made through these sites or any other methodology employed by PUBLISHER.

b. Listing The BOOK on Amazon Search Inside and Google Books
As part of listing the BOOK for sale on Amazon, etc., AUTHOR authorizes PUBLISHER to list his/her BOOK on “Search Inside” services from Google, Amazon, or other publishers. If AUTHOR chooses not to be listed in either of the above, the AUTHOR must send PUBLISHER an email stating so. PUBLISHER makes no guarantee as to how long it will take the BOOK to appear on any third party website or that it will appear there.


6. MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION
The AUTHOR will submit all Required Materials relating to the BOOK. Required Materials are:
A signed copy of this Agreement (either via electronic signature, fax or mail)
The manuscript in Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format or Microsoft Works or any editable format, including Mac..
All image files. Publisher does not scan images unless agreed upon.
Any and all other materials supplied by, or agreed to be supplied by, the AUTHOR for inclusion in the BOOK.


7. BOOK EDITING SERVICES
If the AUTHOR has paid for book editing services, the parties acknowledge that the PUBLISHER has no control of the content within the book. Author is solely responsible for any errors other than formatting or design which, upon approval by AUTHOR, become AUTHOR’S responsibility.
EDIT DISCOUNT: Editing is optional but strongly suggested. Should AUTHOR request that PUBLISHER edit their work, the PUBLISHER will discount this contract by 25% and reduce the PUBLISHER’S normal edit rate of two cents per word by 25% as well to 1.5 cents per word. This discount is only available if the edit is accepted and paid at the time of contract and if the number of words is greater than 50,000. (Details are presented on the payment page). Edit costs can be financed as well. Please inquire if that is of interest.

8. DATE OF PUBLICATION
The date of publication shall be within 60 days of the Final Approval Date. The Final Approval Date is the day on which the AUTHOR approves the paperback proof copy. In no event will the PUBLISHER be responsible for delays in publication caused by circumstances beyond its control.

9. NO GUARANTEE OF MINIMUM SALES
The PUBLISHER makes no promises that any of its products or services will result in the sales of a minimum number of copies of the BOOK. The AUTHOR acknowledges that the PUBLISHER has no control over the purchasing decisions of book buyers and is not liable to any party if sales of the BOOK do not meet the AUTHOR's expectations.
Author Must Initial Here ___________


10. PAYMENTS FOR BOOKS SOLD ON ONLINE RETAILERS, THROUGH AUTHOR'S WEBSITE & ROYALTIES
a. Payments for BOOKs Sold on Amazon.com and other online retailers procured through publisher are paid quarterly to the AUTHOR, from the day PUBLISHER receives payments from Amazon.com or any other third *party retailer. PUBLISHER shall pay all amounts to AUTHOR via check, Paypal, or other mutually agreeable mechanism.
b. Payments for BOOKs Sold Through PUBLISHER – PUBLISHER shall pay all amounts quarterly, or upon demand by the author, to AUTHOR via check or other mutually acceptable means.
The Publisher further agrees to allow the Author or his/her agent, at the Author’s expense to review all books and records kept by Publisher relating to the sales of the Work for the prior two years, during normal business hours during the term of this agreement provided two (2) weeks prior written notice is received. The Publisher will keep such books and records in accordance with accepted standard accounting practices. There shall not be more than one (1) audit in any calendar year not more than one (1) audit with respect to any calendar year. All expenses of the audit shall be the responsibility of the author.
Royalties are calculated on a calendar quarterly basis, ending on the last day of March, June, September and December. Quarter*ly statements of sales and returns will be forwarded to the Author with payment no later than 30 days after the end of each quarterly calendar period. Any and all royalties payable hereun*der shall be subject to adjustment due to returns and shall be subject to a reason*able reserve for returns. Publisher reserves the right not to issue a royalty payment for less than a minimum threshold (currently $25) and will accrue such monies until such time as the minimum threshold is reached.

c. Royalties
The AUTHOR shall receive 50% of all royalties on BOOK sales. Royalties are calculated as a percentage of Sales Price less Cost of Printing. Shipping is paid by the buyer of the book. AUTHOR will approve the suggested retail cost of the book and the printing cost.
The author shall have the right to purchase their books at the following Author’s Purchase Price (APP). The APP is calculated as follows. This is an example only, the actual numbers will vary.



Assume a Suggested Retail Price = $16
Assume Print Cost = $4
Therefore, Net Sales Revenue = $12;
Author Royalty to is $6 (50% of net sales receipts)


Author Purchase Price is the print cost plus the publisher’s percentage ( $6 + $4 = $10). Royalties are not payable on Author Purchases.


11. AUTHOR'S Warranties and Indemnities
The AUTHOR represents and warrants to the PUBLISHER:
That AUTHOR is the sole owner of the BOOK and of all the rights granted to the PUBLISHER.
That AUTHOR has not assigned, pledged, or otherwise encumbered the rights to the BOOK.
That AUTHOR has full power to enter into this Agreement.
That the BOOK and all rights therein are free of liens, claims, or interests of any kind.
That the BOOK is entirely original except for portions thereof for which legally effective written licenses or permissions have been secured.
That the BOOK does not violate or infringe upon any personal or proprietary rights including without limitation privacy rights, contract rights, or publicity rights of any other persons or entities.
That the BOOK is not libelous or obscene.
That the BOOK does not infringe upon any statutory or common law copyright.
That any information contained in the BOOK is accurate, and any recipe, formula, or instruction contained in the BOOK is not injurious to the reader or to any other party If any claim, action, or proceeding based upon an alleged violation of any of these warranties is made (i) the PUBLISHER will have the right to defend the same through counsel of its own choosing,

(ii) no settlement will be effected without the prior written consent of the AUTHOR, which consent will not unreasonably be withheld, and (iii) the AUTHOR will hold harmless the PUBLISHER, any seller of the BOOK, and any licensee of a subsidiary right to the BOOK, against any damages finally sustained. If such claim, action, or proceeding is successfully defended or settled, the AUTHOR will indemnify the PUBLISHER against the entire expense (including reasonable counsel fees) attributable to such defense or settlement. If any such claim, action, or proceeding is instituted, the PUBLISHER will promptly notify the AUTHOR, who will fully cooperate in the defense thereof, and the PUBLISHER may withhold payments of reasonable amounts due the AUTHOR under this or any other agreement between the parties. These warranties and indemnities will survive the termination of this Agreement.
Publishers Liability Insurance Rider: Publisher offers the Author the ability to be included on the Publisher’s insurance policy as a named insured. Please inquire to the Contract Manager if that is of interest. There is a one time administrative fee of $495 for this service for the paperwork and time to set the process in place. (We are not selling insurance. This is a paperwork handling fee). Note: Insurance should be considered if you use real names and typically in what someone might consider a derogatory fashion. Otherwise, insurance is not warranted.

12. PERMISSION FOR COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
If the AUTHOR incorporates in the BOOK any copyrighted material, AUTHOR will procure, at AUTHOR's expense, written permission to reprint it. The AUTHOR agrees to retain all such written permissions. The AUTHOR agrees to deliver all such written permissions to the PUBLISHER at the PUBLISHER's request. PUBLISHER will provide a copyright request form at author’s request to help facilitate this process.

13. SUITS FOR INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT

If the copyright of the BOOK is infringed, the AUTHOR is responsible for commencing any legal action the AUTHOR deems necessary. However, the AUTHOR and PUBLISHER may jointly pursue a copyright infringement action, but the parties must agree in writing prior to any joint commencement of any legal action.
14. ADDITIONAL SERVICES BY PUBLISHER

Any additional services provided by the PUBLISHER have their own specific terms and conditions and must be agreed to separately by the AUTHOR in writing, which may include mail, fax, email or electronic signature.

15. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

a. Notices
All notices required or permitted under this Agreement shall be addressed to the addresses listed below and/or may be sent via email.
b. Entire Agreement
This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties and there are no other promises or conditions in any other agreement whether oral or written. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreements between the parties. The parties agree that both contributed to the drafting of this agreement and both have had the opportunity have this agreement reviewed by legal counsel.
c. Severability
If any provision(s) of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision(s) of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision would become valid or enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
d. Modification
This Agreement may not be modified or amended except by written instrument signed by the undersigned parties hereto.
e. Waiver
The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party's right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Agreement.
f. Applicable Law and Prevailing Parties
The validity, interpretation, construction, performance, enforcement and remedies of or relating to this Agreement, and the rights and obligations of the parties hereunder, shall be governed by the laws of the State of North Dakota (without regard to the conflict of laws rules or statutes of any jurisdiction), and every legal proceeding arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be brought in Bismarck, ND. Each of the undersigned parties hereby consenting to the exclusive jurisdiction of said courts for this purpose. The prevailing party in any suit brought by either party hereto to enforce the terms hereof shall be entitled to recover from the non prevailing party all of said party's reasonable costs, distributions and attorney's fees, including all costs and attorneys fees incurred in attempting to collect any judgment hereunder. (Note: We chose Bismarck because it is the furthest, coldest place we can think of. And it is neutral territory so to speak so Bismarck will keep us from arguing about what the venue is).

g. Assignment
Any person or entity to whom any right, title, or interest in this Agreement be assigned shall be subject to and bound by all of the terms and conditions herein as if they were the original party hereto.
h. Currency

All dollar amounts set forth in this Agreement and in those incorporated as part of this Agreement (book editing and copyright registration services) as in U.S. dollars.
Publisher can accept Sterling and Australian and other currencies at the conversion rate of the moment. inquire if that is of interest.
i. Counterparts, Fax Signature and Electronic signature
This Agreement may be executed in one (1) or more counterparts, each of which shall be deemed to be an original but all of which together will constitute one (1) and the same instrument. Further, one or both parties may execute this Agreement via electronic signature or fax and such signature will be deemed to be original.
By: ______________________________ By: ______________________________ Date: ______
Vice President Signature of Author
Email address: ______________________


Electronic Signature Option: We are happy to use an electronic signature option should you desire it. This saves each of us time and money and decreases our time to market. To use the Electronic Signature Option, simply type your Name and Date above and then type your birthday or your middle name in the space below. By typing your birthday or middle name you agree to honor the terms of the contract and signify that you accept the electronic signature by both parties.

We will type our signature and return it to you via email. Either option is fine with us.










Author’s Birthday or Middle Name to accept the Electronic Signature Provision.

__________________________________________________ __________



BOOK MARKETING INVOICE:
==============================
Joint Venture: Standard Contract $995 US Dollars
(We do accept pounds Sterling at current conversion rate).

or

JV with Editing Option: $745 US Dollars
Number of Words: _________ x $0.015 = $_______

Total: $______

Example: if your work was 50,000 words. You would multiply it by 1.5 cents which would equal $750 so the total would be $1495.


Check:

Please remit payment to:




Paypal: Please use the email address of paypal@xxxxxxxxxing.com (paypal@strategicbookmarketing.com)



Credit Card: See next page.


Credit Card:

You may use our secure site: http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com/payments.html *Please note that you must change the quantity to the dollar amount you are paying. 995 items will come out to $995.

Or, you can fill in the information below and fax it our secure fax: xxx-xxx-xxxx or email it to kim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (kim@xxxxxxxxxxxx.com)

I hereby authorize xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx - Marketing or their credit card processor, to charge my credit card a one time fee of $_____USD only.

Signature(typing your name here is acceptable as a signature):_______________________________

Card Number: _________________________

Exp. Date: __________

Name on Card:__________________________________

Exact billing address of cardholder:_______________________________________

______________________________________________


Wire Information or Western Union: Please inquire for more information.





ROYALTY PAYMENT INFORMATION FORM

For all non-US residents: We prefer to use Paypal for your payments. If you do not have a Paypal account, please go here to set one up: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_registration-run (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_registration-run) and then fill in the information below.

Paypal email address for receiving royalty payments: _______________

Phone number: ___________________

Mailing address:






For all US residents: Please fill in the information below:
Social Security No.: ____ __ - ____ - _______
Or Corporate Name/EIN: _________________________________________
Name: __________________________________________________ _____
Checks Payable to: __________________________________________________ __
Address: __________________________________________________ ___________
City/State: __________________________________________________ __________
Zip: ______
Phone: ( ) __ - ___
Fax: ( ) ___-____
Income Tax Withholding Notice: This form represents W-9 information collected from individuals/companies receiving payment. The publisher is required by law to obtain this information. If you or your company refuses to provide this information your payments may be subject to 28% Federal Income Tax withholding, as well as a penalty imposed by the Internal Revenue Service under section 6723 of the Federal Tax Code.

I certify under penalty of perjury that the above information is true and correct.

Print name:_____________________________________________ _______________
Signature: __________________________________________________ __________
Date: _________________________

* We will only issue royalty checks to one author. If there are multiple authors, please choose the one that will receive the royalty checks. That person should fill out this form.



Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

* Subject to certain conditions.

J.Reid
02-20-2010, 10:48 AM
c'mon guys, this is hilarious! It's a joke! Hint: corrupted disk. Betcha the next post shows us a page of the "novel" (probably a fiction novel!) and the publisher's heartwarming response to it.

kaitie
02-20-2010, 04:11 PM
I particularly love the part where they state that those selling a thousand copies that "we will almost certainly publish the new works without asking for your financial support of our marketing efforts."

jclarkdawe
02-20-2010, 06:13 PM
Yesterday the agent sent one of the two personal emails. This is in response to post #99.




Sorry, I did not mean to confuse you. If you don't like the contract they offer you, you can refuse it and then come back and work with us. They are our sister company that is why we will only let you submit 1 book at a time. If you do decide to work with us as your agent then you would wind up with 2 books going through.

So, you can wait until you hear from the publisher and submit your work to them for review or you can decide you would rather stay with us and we can contine from there.




And my response is:




HORSE PROBLEMS isn't a finished book, so I thought the publisher would not be interested in it. And I'm not coming up with a way of finishing it. And I believe you have a critique service.

One of my considerations, which isn't your problem but mine, is the fact that I've received a large profit in January that needs some business expenses to offset it. Investing in myself and my writing seems like a good way to reduce the taxes I'm going to be paying in 2010. So I'm trying to find out how much this venture is going to be costing so I know whether I need to find some other business expenses.

I received the contract yesterday and like it, although I'm in the process of reviewing it. One question I have is that as an agent, it is normal for you to negotiate the contract on my behalf, but I'm not sure that's how you do business. Could you please clarify?
I wouldn't want the agent to feel ignored.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-20-2010, 06:22 PM
c'mon guys, this is hilarious! It's a joke! Hint: corrupted disk. Betcha the next post shows us a page of the "novel" (probably a fiction novel!) and the publisher's heartwarming response to it.

Since you ask, this is chapter 62, which is roughly just over halfway through the book.


Country folks love nicknames, so it's no wonder Jake was called the "Scorcher" and the "Wit." "Pudge's" real name was Elroy. There was also a fellow in town, called "Pud." Fire department guys were all "Sparkies", as was the local electrician; the cigar-smoking supervisor of the town dump was "Smokey." Of course, Thunder had his own handle, which was uniquely his. Carol told Frank that afternoon that several locals had referred to him as the "Whiz". "Gee, 'Whiz’” Frank had joked, thinking he must have achieved a certain status in town to have his own nickname.

"Hi, Whiz," Frank turned to face his son and daughter, just returning from their mission to Concord.
"Did you get the info?"

"No problem-o," Mary and Frank's daughter was just saucy enough to be cute. She had the refreshing natural look of country girls with her short black hair, rosy cheeks and pertly tilted nose. She had no trouble getting dates; the boys really liked her.

"You were right, Dad, HSM is a New Hampshire Corporation, on file with the Secretary of State, mailing address is a post office box in Concord."

"And you were right, Amos Endicott Jones, alias Thunder, is the president and chairman of the board -- also shows him as the principal shareowner. Ruth Jones is listed as secretary and clerk. The par value is $1." The sister and brother could have been twins, the resemblance was so striking. David and Eileen were their names.

"Now, Pops, here's the zinger -- guess what HSM stands for -- huh?"

Frank shook his head.

"Heaven Sent Me, can you believe it?" it could have been Mary speaking, the sound of their voices was similar.

"They pay a business profits tax, so they must be making money. It doesn't show how much more land they have," David was tall, six one at least. "Their business is logging and wood products."

"HSM, I wonder if Thunder is talking about himself, somebody must have sent him, wouldn't surprise me if he thought it was God -- Mary, the kids are here, anything you want 'em for?"

"No, tell them we'll see them at dinner-time."

"You heard your mother, shove off." Frank went back to laying the paper out, page by page with Lenny. It looked like twenty-four big ones.

"Wow," Lenny was in seventh heaven.

The first chance Mary had, she dragged Frank off to one side.

"I wish you had told me -- I would have understood. That was a horrible experience for a young boy," Mary's voice was low, no sense broadcasting Frank's secret. "I would have understood, honest -- but I also understand why you never mentioned it. Charlie, MTA Charlie's father -- and he was the school janitor, custodian, whatever. No wonder Charlie left town. God knows how many other boys he molested. Son of a bitch, I hope he's rotting in hell," it was seldom that Mary swore. She was mad, thinking this horrible incident had been lurking in Frank's mind all these years.

"I can't get over the photo, fooled Al, he thought it was Charlie -- did you notice the patches on the father's elbows?"

"Yuh, and Al thought Charlie Elton ran away and lived on the MTA when he got to Boston. Well, oh, mighty Whiz, that clears up one mystery, but we still don't know why or how Charlie got into your bedroom."

"Hey," Frank laughed, and the cast shook, "cut that Whiz crap out!"


Definitely going to go way over the thousand books. I can just see the advance.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-20-2010, 09:33 PM
And yesterday in response to post #101, I received the following:



Can you send that email again as I don't think we received it


Not only was it immediately below my email, it's also in the chain of email messages (they don't delete old messages and neither do I). And boy does it make you wonder about their filing system. I wonder if it's maybe the questions. But in response, I sent them:



And for a third try at getting this answered:

You already sent this to me and I answered it already.

You haven't answered me yet as to whether we can make a deal where we drop the agent out of the equation.

Nor have you told me whether it's possible to get this published in time for the Beijing show this year. If it is, I want to start making plans.

I'm also wondering exactly what you do for me. You're telling me the editing is my responsibility, but I can find plenty of editors out there. They sure aren't shy about advertising. Then you send me another email explaining what I need to do about marketing my book. That doesn't bother me a lot, as my businesses have had to advertise and market for years. But what does that leave for you? If it's just printing the book, then I can go to Kinko's.

It doesn't even sound like you have a distribution system into libraries and bookstores, which I'd expect from any publisher.


Yeah, I sent it in red. Maybe they'll notice it this time.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-21-2010, 07:44 AM
Needless to say, I had a couple of questions about the contract. (Actually, I had a whole lot, but most of them would have ended the game, and I'm not quite ready to do that yet.) So, in response to the contract, I sent down the following:



I have a couple of questions about the contract, although overall I'm fine with it.

First off, I don't need the finance offer. I'll pay the whole thing, once we figure out what the price should be. But I appreciate your willingness to finance my book.

Second I'm confused about the editing situation. In your opinion, does my book need editing? Having read it, you should have some idea whether there's a need for editing, and how intensive editing it needs. You company is the professionals, not me, and part of what I figure I'm paying you for is your professional experience. I understand that editing would be $1,500, but that's worth it to me if it is needed.

But as part of the editing question, if it needs editing, does the entire book need editing, or just certain chapters. And in that case, does that reduce how much I need to pay for editing? And I'm wondering how do you define as editing. Is this cost just for one pass through, or is the cost for going through it as many times as we need to so that we can make this perfect?

Third is I'm a bit confused as to why you want any lawsuits in North Dakota when you're located in Connecticut. That doesn't make sense to me. It's not an issue to me, as I always enjoy going to Bismark, but it just strikes me as unusual. It would be nice to see your offices in Bismark the next time I'm there.

Fourth is the royalties. Now books sold through the website you're going to set up for me are easy, as the royalties would be 50% of the net price. However, books sold through Amazon would presumably be sold by us at a wholesale price to Amazon. Now normally, wholesale is about 60% of retail, although I'm not sure that's correct for the publishing industry. But my question is that in sales to places like Amazon, is the 50% royalty based on the wholesale or retail price?

Fifth, although I doubt that I'd ever need it, the idea of insurance seems like a good idea.

Sixth is what do you anticipate the cover price of the book being. Again, you being the professionals, I expect you to set the price.

Seventh, I'm a bit confused by the joint venture designation of this. I'll be putting up the cash for both production and editing. What exactly are you putting up, and what is its value?

Eighth is how many books are you planning on printing for the first print run? Is that included in the prices so far? If not, how many books am I getting before paying for an additional printing.

Right at the moment, I figure I'm looking at just south of $2500, but obviously I don't want to send you the check until we get this nailed down. But I want to get working on this as fast as possible.
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

mccardey
02-21-2010, 08:22 AM
This bit -


and how intensive editing it needs. You company is the professionals, not me

is gold.

kaitie
02-21-2010, 08:24 AM
I love the typos in the questions about editing. This is definitely entertaining. :)

jclarkdawe
02-23-2010, 03:46 AM
They've been busy little buggers today. No less than seven emails from them. Let's see what we've got.

The first one is interesting.


---------------------
This is a duplicate email with our Joint Venture offer in case you missed
the first email. About 10% are missed we think.
----------------------
What then follows is the same email as in post #109.

Do you think this might be because they get sucked into spam filters? Or do 10% of the people figure out that this is a scam?

The second one is a duplicate of the first. So far, I've gotten four of these emails. Shame they don't have to pay for all the paper of mailing.

This is the third one:



We are sending you this email because we want you to see our commitment to the authors we have published. We do everything we can to market our authors and their books!

We sincerely want to publish your book and market it in the US and around the world.




We hope that your writing career is proceeding successfully, and that you will choose us for any of your publishing needs.

*******
We offer finance plans and allow you to 'pay as you go'. See below. We know that you want to get your book published so you can start making money with it. We are happy to take a long term view with you. This also allows us to prove ourselves to you, one step at a time.
What follows is their excitement at China and so on and so forth. Basically clipped together from previous crap they sent. But then they go on about their finance plan. Now you have to remember that I said I'd be paying in full, but this makes me wonder what's hte benefits to them about the finance plan. One guess is that North Dakota is rather aggressive about enforcing creditors' rights compared to many states, and they figure they can be more assertive that way and avoid the issue of the quality of service. Further, failure to pay can be reported to credit bureaus. Anyways, it makes me curious.

Number four is a duplicate of number three. The remaining three are not canned, and I'll get to them later.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

AlterEgox5
02-23-2010, 04:52 AM
Wow. Sounds like it's been a party in your inbox. XD

jclarkdawe
02-23-2010, 06:15 AM
And in response to post #114, I got back:



The marketing of the book is the most important thing we offer with this contract. XXX provides global marketing, exhibits at book shows, a press release, set up pages on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube and a page on our site. In addition, your book would be available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.com. The company spends an unbelievable amount of money with Google to drive people to our site. Lastly, we will send out an e-mail broadcast to all of your contacts announcing the release of your book.

Our company takes marketing very seriously. We have a new age way of thinking and way of doing business. The number of books we listed on the contract that we like to see sell is what our efforts can bring in. This only works if the author is doing the right things to promote the book and the author as well. I can not tell you how important it is for authors to get out to book shows, book signings and community events.

Lastly, we will give a $1000.00 sign on bonus for a second manuscript once we reach 1000 units sales for the first book. We take six to nine months to publish a book. I am not sure if you would make it to the show in China.

Please let me know if I can offer further assistance.
This is their obnoxious type choice, not mine.

One cute thing is here the $1,000 bonus is for the second book, which is different from what's in the contract. I guess I should ask about that. Maybe there are two bonuses?

And I'm sure you've noticed the number of questions unanswered after three attempts. If I had help that was this bad at answering questions, they'd learn to answer questions down at the unemployment office.

Now I'm glad they're spending a boatload of money on Google to drive people to their site. Course, being the cynic that I am, I'm wondering if the money is more to drive people to spend money on their scam than buying their authors' books.

Just think, they'll also send a notice of publication to all my contacts. Isn't amazing the level of technology they must have in their office? There's no way I can do that on my computer. How dumb do they think I am? Apparently pretty dumb.

Anyway, in response, I sent them:



I'm confused about the bonus provision. According to the contract I receive a bonus when a thousand books are sold. Here, you describe the bonus as applying to my second book. Which is it?
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-23-2010, 07:52 AM
And in response to post #112, I received:




First, who did you receive a contract from?

If you stay with us, The Literary Agency, we try to find a publisher for your book.
to which I responded:



I received the contract from Xxxxx at XXX. Why did she notify you that she was sending me the contract, as you're the agent who sent me to them?

I hope my real agent keeps better track of who sends me contracts than these guy do with sister entities. This leaves me one more email to deal with, but that's for tomorrow.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

kaitie
02-23-2010, 01:24 PM
What follows is their excitement at China and so on and so forth. Basically clipped together from previous crap they sent. But then they go on about their finance plan. Now you have to remember that I said I'd be paying in full, but this makes me wonder what's hte benefits to them about the finance plan. One guess is that North Dakota is rather aggressive about enforcing creditors' rights compared to many states, and they figure they can be more assertive that way and avoid the issue of the quality of service. Further, failure to pay can be reported to credit bureaus. Anyways, it makes me curious.


My guess is interest. I'm not sure, but I would be almost absolutely certain that they charge a certain percentage interest a month, as that's what many financing situations I've come across do. My brother bought a computer not too long ago and financed it and ended up paying over twice the actual amount because of the way the interest was figured.

If it's possible, could you maybe say something like your wife wants to find out about financing or something and you'd like to know the terms? I'm guessing I'm right on this, but it would just be another way to make money while taking advantage of the writer.

Monkey
02-23-2010, 08:04 PM
Wow. A huge, bold, italicized font is a pretty rude thing to use on a potential mark. Shouldn't they play a little nicer, at least until after they have your money? But that's the case with a lot of scammers, it seems...if you question them, they try and insult you, make you feel like a prima donna, an ingrate, or an amateur. As to the note itself... (What they should have said)


The marketing of the book is the most important thing we offer with this contract. XXX provides global marketing, (on the internet) exhibits at book shows, (If you foot the bill) a press release, (That you can beg your local newspaper to print) set up pages on Facebook, :roll: Twitter, :ROFL: Myspace, :roll: Youtube :ROFL: and a page on our site. In addition, your book would be available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.com. The company spends an unbelievable amount of money with Google to drive people to our site. (But nothing to drive them to your book) Lastly, we will send out an e-mail broadcast to all of your contacts announcing the release of your book. (Oh, now that's truly impressive... :ROFL: )

Our company takes marketing very seriously. (It's how we drive marks like you to our site) We have a new age way of thinking and way of doing business. (New Age...you know, like with crystals and stuff...) The number of books we listed on the contract that we like to see sell is what our efforts can bring in. (And no, no one proof-read that last sentence. Or the rest of this e-mail, for that matter.) This only works if the author is doing the right things to promote the book and the author as well. I can not tell you how important it is for authors to get out to book shows, book signings and community events.

Lastly, we will give a $1000.00 sign on bonus for a second manuscript once we reach 1000 units sales for the first book. (Which won't happen until after you've sent us almost a thousand dollars for "publishing", more for "editing" and then bought--or coerced friends and family to buy--a thousand of your own books at about 16 bucks a pop.) We take six to nine months to publish a book. I am not sure if you would make it to the show in China. (It's Ok...none of our other authors will, either...at least not on our dime.)

Please let me know if I can offer further assistance.


ETA:

Aren't these people currently under investigation by the Florida Attorney General? With an injunction against acting as a literary agent/publisher? How are these e-mails still going out at all?

victoriastrauss
02-23-2010, 10:30 PM
They are being sued by the Florida Attorney General. They are not under an injunction at this time. If any sort of prohibition does result, it will apply only to Florida and/or residents of Florida. Hence, possibly, the (virtual) move to North Dakota.

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-24-2010, 01:56 AM
They are being sued by the Florida Attorney General. They are not under an injunction at this time. If any sort of prohibition does result, it will apply only to Florida and/or residents of Florida. Hence, possibly, the (virtual) move to North Dakota.

- Victoria

I don't think that's it, as the address for sending the contract is in Connecticut. The area code for the phone number is Florida. But it could be.

North Dakota does have less aggressive consumer protection statutes than most states.

Of course, the idea of a move from sunny Florida to North Dakota would, in some people's view, be worse than going to prison. (Personally, I prefer North Dakota to Florida.)

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Gravity
02-24-2010, 02:17 AM
IANAL (so obviously I don't know), but has anybody here ever heard of a situation where so much info against a company (or an individual) is gathered in a civil suit, criminal charges are filed?

jclarkdawe
02-24-2010, 05:56 AM
IANAL (so obviously I don't know), but has anybody here ever heard of a situation where so much info against a company (or an individual) is gathered in a civil suit, criminal charges are filed?

If I remember right, Bernie Madoff started as an SEC non-criminal investigation that was quickly transferred to the FBI for criminal investigation. A lot of consumer fraud cases investigated by the government end up becoming criminal cases. I don't have any idea what the percentage is, however.

For the last email from yesterday:


Subject: Re: SBP/EB - Publishing Joint Venture Offer ($1000 Advance and Bonus Paid at 1000 Book Sales) Congratulations! We look forward to working with you.


I have a couple of questions about the contract, although overall I'm fine with it.

First off, I don't need the finance offer. I'll pay the whole thing, once we figure out what the price should be. But I appreciate your willingness to finance my book.

Second I'm confused about the editing situation. In your opinion, does my book need editing? Having read it, you should have some idea whether there's a need for editing, and how intensive editing it needs. You company is the professionals, not me, and part of what I figure I'm paying you for is your professional experience. I understand that editing would be $1,500, but that's worth it to me if it is needed.

T: We are offering a package deal now if you opt to use our editors. Please send the manuscript directly to me and I will get a quote for you.

But as part of the editing question, if it needs editing, does the entire book need editing, or just certain chapters. And in that case, does that reduce how much I need to pay for editing? And I'm wondering how do you define as editing. Is this cost just for one pass through, or is the cost for going through it as many times as we need to so that we can make this perfect?

T: It is based on word count only

Third is I'm a bit confused as to why you want any lawsuits in North Dakota when you're located in Connecticut. That doesn't make sense to me. It's not an issue to me, as I always enjoy going to Bismark, but it just strikes me as unusual. It would be nice to see your offices in Bismark the next time I'm there.

T: Our lawyers advised us to register our corporation in ND. I believe it has to do with tax laws.

Fourth is the royalties. Now books sold through the website you're going to set up for me are easy, as the royalties would be 50% of the net price. However, books sold through Amazon would presumably be sold by us at a wholesale price to Amazon. Now normally, wholesale is about 60% of retail, although I'm not sure that's correct for the publishing industry. But my question is that in sales to places like Amazon, is the 50% royalty based on the wholesale or retail price?

T: Amazon receives a set payment from our company to list our books on the site. This is not passed on the author. Amazon may change the retail pricing of the book. Typically it is nominal and royalty payments would remain at 50% of the net.

Fifth, although I doubt that I'd ever need it, the idea of insurance seems like a good idea.

T: Only if you are worried about copyright infringement would it be needed.

Sixth is what do you anticipate the cover price of the book being. Again, you being the professionals, I expect you to set the price.

T: Please see attached pricing chart

Seventh, I'm a bit confused by the joint venture designation of this. I'll be putting up the cash for both production and editing. What exactly are you putting up, and what is its value?

T: The percentage the author pays is a very small percentage of the actual costs to produce and market your work.

Eighth is how many books are you planning on printing for the first print run? Is that included in the prices so far? If not, how many books am I getting before paying for an additional printing.

T: We are a print on demand publisher and do not do an initial print run. I can include ten free author copies in the contract for you.

Right at the moment, I figure I'm looking at just south of $2500, but obviously I don't want to send you the check until we get this nailed down. But I want to get working on this as fast as possible.


Managed to get ten "free" copies from them.

And the answer about the insurance doesn't match their previous statements.

And for those wondering how to determine how much to sell your book for, here's their pricing guidelines. Course how you figure out how many pages your book should be is interesting. And the idea that the writer should set the price a bit different.



Book Pricing Charts & How to Determine Suggested Retail Pricing
These are minimum book prices. You can price your books higher if you choose.
Chapter Books Pricing - Black & White Interior

SIZES AVAILABLE: 5.5 x 8.5 • 6 x 9 • 6.14 x 9.21

Up to 108 pages - soft $9.95 -- hard N/A
109 to 140 pages – soft $10.95 – hard $22.50
141 to 160 pages – soft $11.95 – hard $23.50
161 to 180 pages – soft $12.95 – hard $24.50
181 to 220 pages – soft $13.95 – hard $25.50
221 to 250 pages – soft $14.95 – hard $26.50
251 to 285 pages – soft $15.95 – hard $27.50
286 to 315 pages – soft $16.95 – hard $28.50
316 to 345 pages – soft $17.95 – hard $29.50
346 to 375 pages – soft $18.95 – hard $30.50
376 to 410 pages – soft $19.95 – hard $31.50
411 to 435 pages – soft $20.95 -- hard $32.50
436+ pages – ask for price information

How Suggested Retail Price is Determined
The calculation for Suggested Retail Price is determined by these main factors for each type of book as shown below. You (the author) need to make this decision. You cannot go below 2x the approximate print cost because of profitability factors.

Hardcover

1. How many pages is the book at the current format size/font?
Mutliply the number of pages ______ x $0.015 (1.5 cents per page) = $________

2. Add the cover and bindery cost of $6.00 case laminate (hard printed cover) or $7.50 (cloth cover and printed paper jacket)

3. This gives an approximate print cost of $_____________ .

4. Multiply the approximate print cost x $2.5 = $_________

4a. Research what similar books are selling for. (Retail not discounted).

5. Adjust upwards or dowwards for competition, other factors, etc. You CANNOT go below 2x the approximate print cost without approval from the publisher as that cuts the profit margin too far.


Softcover

1) How many pages is the book at the current format size/font?
Mutliply the number of pages ______ x $0.015 (1.5 cents per page) = $________

2. Add the cover cost of $1.50

3. This gives an approximate print cost of $_____________ .

4. Multiply the approximate print cost x $2.5 = $_________

4a. Research what similar books are selling for. (Retail not discounted).

5. Adjust upwards or dowwards. You CANNOT go below 2x the approximate print cost without approval from the publisher as that cuts the profit margin too far.


Childrens/Color Softcover only

1) How many pages is the book at the current format size/font?
Mutliply the number of pages ______ x $0.15 (15 cents per page) = $________

2. Add the cover cost of $1.50

3. This gives an approximate print cost of $_____________ .

4. Multiply the approximate print cost x $2.5 = $_________

4a. Research what similar books are selling for. (Retail not discounted).

5. Adjust upwards or dowwards and make the final decision: $______________
You CANNOT go below 2x the approximate print cost without approval from the publisher as that cuts the profit margin too far.
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

kaitie
02-24-2010, 05:22 PM
$32 for a 435 page book!? :eek:

victoriastrauss
02-24-2010, 10:55 PM
$32 for a 435 page book!? :eek:

Only if it's...hehe hehe...hard.

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-25-2010, 01:40 AM
Taking the following portion of post #127:



Second I'm confused about the editing situation. In your opinion, does my book need editing? Having read it, you should have some idea whether there's a need for editing, and how intensive editing it needs. You company is the professionals, not me, and part of what I figure I'm paying you for is your professional experience. I understand that editing would be $1,500, but that's worth it to me if it is needed.

T: We are offering a package deal now if you opt to use our editors. Please send the manuscript directly to me and I will get a quote for you.


So I sent them the following:



I've attached VENOM to this so that you can get me a quote.

However, I also want to get this going. Because I have a lot of confidence in your company, based on our correspondence, this is what I'd like to do.

What I'd like to do is send you $3,000.00, to be applied as follows:

$995.00 to be applied for the set up, design, and printing the first book;
$1500.00 for editing of 100,000 word manuscript, subject to changes after you review the manuscript. If this amount is too low, then I will forward to you the balance. If this amount is too high, the balance will be applied to my account, to be used against printing costs;
$495.00 to be applied to insurance

This should leave $10.00 to be applied towards printing costs. As you will be holding my royalties in the future, I have no concern about you holding money to be applied to future expensese.

This way we can get going on this, without wasting all our time haggling about money.

Please let me know if this is agreeable to you.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

agentpaper
02-25-2010, 02:27 AM
This is hilarious! I can't wait to see the email you get back from this. :popcorn: You know they're all rubbing their hands together and having a party. :partyguy:

Giant Baby
02-25-2010, 03:10 AM
Only if it's...hehe hehe...hard.

- Victoria

And $20.95 for flac— sorry, soft? Oh, that'll never fly.

jclarkdawe
02-25-2010, 03:50 AM
$32 for a 435 page book!? :eek:

And one has to wonder about 435 pages for a chapter book.

Remember that when you take your books down to the local bookstore, to try to convince the "overworked" manager to put them in his or her store (previously described in post #48 as "Some are nice, some are accommodating, and some are downright rude."), that the manager is also going to want to sell it at $32. Where does that leave the author? Seems to me the poor, suffering author is going to have to take it out of his or her 50% royalty (which isn't even 50%, since it's based after the printing costs -- my royalties was based off list price), which means the money going to the author is less than the author expects. Unless of course, the publisher is willing to reduce their take?

If you assume the normal 40% discount for bookstores, the author is either going to be selling these to bookstores at $19.20, or to keep the author's profits where it was, the price would have to be something like $54.00. No wonder the managers are sometimes rude to people selling self-published books.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Monkey
02-25-2010, 05:41 AM
Book Pricing Charts & How to Determine Suggested Retail Pricing
These are minimum book prices. You can price your books higher if you choose.

<snip>




Or you could go to Lulu, get a cheaper product to sell, put yourself on Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, and send your own e-mail out to your contact list.
https://support.lulu.com/View.jsp?procId=49bbc167ce33751cc301faf089b32b5f&locale=en_US

With Lulu, you aren't required to charge 2x the printing costs, or a $900 fee, or editing costs...and yet, they still have a profit margin that keeps them in business. Funny, that.

I'm just sayin'...I mean, if you want to pay to get published, the offer Jim's getting STILL sucks.

jclarkdawe
02-25-2010, 05:51 AM
Or you could go to Lulu, get a cheaper product to sell, put yourself on Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, and send your own e-mail out to your contact list.
https://support.lulu.com/View.jsp?procId=49bbc167ce33751cc301faf089b32b5f&locale=en_US

With Lulu, you aren't required to charge 2x the printing costs, or a $900 fee, or editing costs...and yet, they still have a profit margin that keeps them in business. Funny, that.

I'm just sayin'...I mean, if you want to pay to get published, the offer Jim's getting STILL sucks.

But will Lulu sell my book in Beijing? Just think of all those Chinese who I can sell to.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-25-2010, 07:27 AM
And in response to post number 121 I received:



They don't notifiy us who they send contracts to as we work separately.


Causing me to ask:



I'm a bit confused about what you do as an agent. Is your justification for the 10% of my royalties merely for forwarding my query letter, and you're going to do no more work on my account?
Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

victoriastrauss
02-25-2010, 08:26 PM
If nothing else, all of this proves that Fletcher isn't keeping tabs on what's going on at AW...

They must be awfully confused, a writer actually wanting to give them money.

- Victoria

jclarkdawe
02-26-2010, 07:47 AM
This is hilarious! I can't wait to see the email you get back from this. :popcorn: You know they're all rubbing their hands together and having a party. :partyguy:

Now you'd think this, won't you? But it has been now thirty hours without a response! And yet their canned responses are so quick.


If nothing else, all of this proves that Fletcher isn't keeping tabs on what's going on at AW...

They must be awfully confused, a writer actually wanting to give them money.

- Victoria

I can't decide whether they're confused about someone wanting to actually give them money, or they're just confused. I'm wondering if they need to scam people because they're such cluster-f***s they could screw up an order at McDonalds. They just don't seem to have a clue what they're doing, even about getting money.

Problem is that people love to believe that an offer for a miracle really exists. It's all so very sad.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
02-26-2010, 08:02 AM
In response to my question about the contract provision for the second book, I received this for a response:


It is for a second book.I haven't misread a contract so badly since way before law school. Considering that they're the ones writing this, you'd think they'd make sure their own contract matches what they want to do. Problem is who's going to go to Bismark, ND to sue them over a grand? And how many times do you think this provision actually happens.

And in response to post number 136 about the agent status, this is what I received:


If you wind up working with SBP/EB we do not get 10% commission as they are our sister company.
Even if they are sister companies, how the hell does the agency make any money if this is what they do? No wonder the publisher couldn't answer my question about getting rid of the agency commission. I guess the initial misrepresentation is that they are acting as an agent in sending it to a publisher. And you have to wonder why? Why not just say that they are a publisher?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Ken
02-26-2010, 08:16 AM
... as it was the result of 'family pressure' why not forward the email to them ;-)

victoriastrauss
02-26-2010, 08:35 PM
They just don't seem to have a clue what they're doing, even about getting money.

Don't be fooled. They have a very large clue, which is why they've been operating in more or less the same way, and extremely successfully, since 2001. They just don't typically deal with writers who lead them on the way you're doing.

Also, their operation is largely automated, with a variety of pre-created emails that go out at predictable intervals and in answer to predictable questions and issues. This enables the core business to be conducted by a relatively small number of people, despite the very large number of writers involved. Like any mostly-automated business, they tend to go off the rails a bit when they receive something that isn't covered by the already-existing literature.

But the truth is that they really don't care what you think. If you're a sucker and send them cash, they have your cash. If you smell a rat and slope off, it's no skin off their noses--there are more where you came from.

- Victoria

valerie_parker
02-27-2010, 04:25 AM
T: We are a print on demand publisher and do not do an initial print run. I can include ten free author copies in the contract for you.


Didn't they say somewhere upthread, that they were not a POD? (Or was that the agent saying that they do not used PODs and vanity presses?)

jclarkdawe
02-28-2010, 06:58 AM
Don't be fooled. They have a very large clue, which is why they've been operating in more or less the same way, and extremely successfully, since 2001. They just don't typically deal with writers who lead them on the way you're doing.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean that quite the way it came off. Obviously, they have a very large clue about how to get money. It's called "desperation." Right at the moment, if I took a truckload of generators over to the seacoast section of New Hampshire, I could sell them for a lot more than they are worth. No power and no sign that you're going to get power for days makes people desperate.

Same motivation applies here. People are so desperate to get published and have no clue how to figure out the publishing industry and they get sucked up by people like this. It's a step above mugging people, but not much of a step.

But I don't think they are terribly organized and I doubt they could make much of a living in a legit business world. Which leads to your next paragraph:


Also, their operation is largely automated, with a variety of pre-created emails that go out at predictable intervals and in answer to predictable questions and issues. This enables the core business to be conducted by a relatively small number of people, despite the very large number of writers involved. Like any mostly-automated business, they tend to go off the rails a bit when they receive something that isn't covered by the already-existing literature.

And this is what tends to screw them to the wall. Ultimately, they tend to stay with what works, and even when an attorney general is investigating them, they can't change their ways.


But the truth is that they really don't care what you think. If you're a sucker and send them cash, they have your cash. If you smell a rat and slope off, it's no skin off their noses--there are more where you came from.

- Victoria

Never expected I'd change how they think. I figured they caused me to waste some time, so I'd waste some of theirs. I also figure that they have an ego (most con men do) that will hate being told that someone was on to them from the beginning. So maybe I'll rattle their cage a bit.

Won't change their behavior, won't change the world, but then again, all I was really looking for is to annoy them a bit and amuse myself. I just hope I haven't scared them off, but I'm thinking I might have. Two days with no emails from them.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
03-02-2010, 07:23 AM
So did I scare them off? I haven't heard from them since Thursday. Problem is I hate being ignored, so they got the following tonight.



I sent the below to you on Wednesday afternoon and still haven't received a reply. I hate to seem impatient, but I've another published that I'm looking at. Personally, I'm more impressed by your marketing approach and your obvious success, so I'd prefer go with you. But I also want to get moving on this.

Your prompt response would be appreciated.

=====================

I've attached VENOM to this so that you can get me a quote.

However, I also want to get this going. Because I have a lot of confidence in your company, based on our correspondence, this is what I'd like to do.

What I'd like to do is send you $3,000.00, to be applied as follows:

$995.00 to be applied for the set up, design, and printing the first book;
$1500.00 for editing of 100,000 word manuscript, subject to changes after you review the manuscript. If this amount is too low, then I will forward to you the balance. If this amount is too high, the balance will be applied to my account, to be used against printing costs;
$495.00 to be applied to insurance

This should leave $10.00 to be applied towards printing costs. As you will be holding my royalties in the future, I have no concern about you holding money to be applied to future expensese.

This way we can get going on this, without wasting all our time haggling about money.

Please let me know if this is agreeable to you.



Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Richard Martin
03-02-2010, 07:44 AM
Maybe even they know when something's too good to be true.

AlterEgox5
03-03-2010, 07:57 PM
Awwwww. This was starting to get really fun, too.

Nya RAyne
03-04-2010, 03:20 AM
Oh -

Oh I think that sounds like a really terrific idea......

Can we get A Bunch of Writers to sign up for that?

I'm in!!!

jclarkdawe
03-04-2010, 05:02 AM
I'm so relieved. I got an email from them today!!! To be honest, I'm beginning to wonder whether this is only a part-time job.

I received this:



I thought I did reply. I am sorry for the delay. We are happy with the amounts listed and can get started as soon as you ready to proceed.

Thanks.To which I responded:



Great. It will be in the mail tomorrow.Unfortunately, I've run out of time to play this game. But I have a debt to pay, and the cash to do it with (I told people I budgeted this when I started). So in tomorrow's mail will be the following:

http://thumbp4.mail.vip.ac4.yahoo.com/tn?sid=2230085442&mid=AH4kvs4AAFcoS48EKgf3%2BWvNl88&midoffset=1_588347&partid=2&f=539&fid=Inbox (http://us.mg2.mail.yahoo.com/ya/download?fid=Inbox&mid=1_588347_AH4kvs4AAFcoS48EKgf3%2BWvNl88&pid=2&tnef=&YY=1267663927817&newid=1&clean=0&inline=1)

Obviously I'm having problems with the graphics. But what it says down the bottom is:


Here's the three grand I said I'd send you. About as useful as the services you offer. No wonder the Florida AG is after your shiny butt.I hope it puts as big a smile on his face as it does on mine. And I never said I'd send him US currency.

Hope you enjoyed this.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Marian Perera
03-04-2010, 05:03 AM
I hope it puts as big a smile on his face as it does on mine. And I never said I'd send him US currency.

I can't see a picture, if there is one. What currency is it in?

I did enjoy the read, and am glad that you won't be out of pocket.

jclarkdawe
03-04-2010, 05:07 AM
I can't see a picture, if there is one. What currency is it in? Six $500 bills from Monopoly.

I did enjoy the read, and am glad that you won't be out of pocket.

And on the top it says:

Hey, Bobby!
You've been punk'd!

If a techno inclined mod would like to help me with the picture, I'd appreciate it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

CaoPaux
03-04-2010, 05:38 AM
Heh. Well, since the show's over, I'm porting this to the subforum, directly to the subforum. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

jclarkdawe
03-12-2010, 03:51 AM
Eight days after sending in my money, I get four form emails today. Now either the post office isn't being too efficient (two day delivery is their estimate) or he can't figure out how to delete an email address from his system. Have to see whether he figures it out or I need to block him, not that that requires much effort.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

AlterEgox5
03-12-2010, 09:09 AM
Just send more money.

*snicker*

jclarkdawe
03-12-2010, 06:11 PM
I thought about just sending him more money, but if it didn't work the first time, why would he be smart enough to figure it out the second?

Actually, taking advantage of technology, I've set my email server to just automatically return his emails to him. Fill up his in box a bit. Unfortunately, anti-spam features prevents me from returning a thousand or so to him.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Elisabeth Bruce
03-13-2010, 01:49 PM
I needed to watch this as it happened. The sheer volume and weight of emails would have sunk me without trace.

I've been through the various B&BC boards, read woeful posts by destroyed writers and read a lot at Writer Beware - they have all been eye-openers, but watching you play this out is something else.

I nearly fell for something like this, but with another 'company' and the only reason I didn't is because I didn't have a house to mortgage or a decent car to sell.

If we don't have scams like this operating in Australia, I'm beginning to think we will soon.

Thank you so much for doing this.

Shrouded
06-22-2011, 10:51 PM
I came across this today and it came as no surprise. http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10260&start=15
It seems that Robert Fletcher has become synonymous with the word scam.

Terie
06-22-2011, 11:28 PM
I came across this today and it came as no surprise. http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10260&start=15
It seems that Robert Fletcher has become synonymous with the word scam.

Neither 'Robert' nor 'Fletcher' are particular unusual names and there are probably many men with this name. Is there a reason you think this guy with an address is Scotland is the same one with an address in Florida? Did I miss something? (I might've done...I'm tired!)

Shrouded
06-23-2011, 12:48 AM
If you read through the thread I've posted it's a ficticious residence that scammers are known to use. Not necessarily the Bobby Fletcher you're referring to but interesting to see how it has been used in reference to a scam.

James D. Macdonald
06-23-2011, 02:22 AM
No chance that this is our Bobby. The language lacks his characteristic quirks, it's far outside of his MO, and he's ever-so-proud of the fact that he owns a "yacht" himself.

williamsjkw
06-26-2017, 03:07 AM
I am a new author and an indie author at that my book has gotten some pretty good reviews, and was considering getting an agent but after reading all that I'm not sure that is the best way to go anymore. I mean how do you know anymore.

Cyia
06-26-2017, 03:12 AM
I'm not sure that is the best way to go anymore. I mean how do you know anymore.

You know by checking out their clients and sales history.

As to whether or not you need an agent, it all depends on what you want. If you're doing well self-publishing, then fine. If you want a book placed with one of the Big-5, then get an agent. It's all a matter of what works - and doesn't - for you.