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[Publisher] Abba Father Media

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Plot Device

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I walked into Starbuck's just now with my laptop to do some writing. There is a guy here doing a high-pressured sales pitch to a male-female couple, trying to get them to go with his printing company (it's either a POD or a straight vanity press) to publish their book. It's called Abba Father Media, a Christian publishing house (either POD or straight vanity) located in Agawam, Massachusetts, just across the river from here. I don't like the look and feel of the whole thing. The business meeting is creeping me out.

I googled them. The company seems to have no complaints anywhere against them.

These are the prices the guy wants to charge them:

"$3.95 per soft cover, plus .03 cents per page."

That was all I could get. The rest was a blur.

What do you guys think of this?

(And the meeting is still in progress this very moment.)



::ETA::

OH MY GOD! He's now offering them editing services!!



::ETA2::

The domain name for Abba Father Media was first registered almost exactly 2 years ago today via Go Daddy.

http://name911.com/whois/abbafathermedia.com




::ETA3::

He keeps holding up several different books as examples for this couple to be impressed by. One of them is called The Waging War Within and it seems to be their best seller.

http://www.wagingwarwithin.com/

http://whois.domaintools.com/wagingwarwithin.com




::ETA4::

He's now talking about a workshop he wants them to come to.



::ETA5:: (at 8:42 PM Eastern Time)

I can't stand this anymore. I'm going to log off, pack my laptop, and do my best to flag down this couple before they leave. There are two other men here at this meeting also. They are obviously part of the company, and are silently sitting there, watching the whole thing. They have noticed me and my reactions for the past half hour. They know I'm annoyed.

I suspect one of them will do their best to STOP me from flagging down this couple during the whole "bye-bye/wind-down/meander toward the door" finale to this meeting. I won't let either of them stop me. I frigging WILL flag that couple down, and I will point them toward P&E and also toward AW and also toward Yog's Law.




::ETA6:: (at 10:32 PM Eastern Time)

Okay, Callalily included the following link in one of her responses below.

http://abbafathermedia.com/Home.html

For the record, I should include it here in the OP just 'cuz that would be more in keeping with how to do a proper BR&BC thread.
 
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Plot Device

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Write down the addys of Writer Beware and AW on a napkin, and slip it to them after he leaves.


I wrote down the following onto a Starbuck's napkin, then I waited by the door for them all to exit together:

Matthew 10:16

Please be careful! I am a freelance editor. I have been interacting with legitimate publishing for 3 years now. This whole meeting doesn't feel right to me.

Check out the following web sites, all meant to protect writers from rip-offs:

1) Predators and Editors dot com

2) Absolute Write dot com

3) Google "Yog's Law."

I tried to hand it to the wife as she was in the doorway exiting to the parking lot, by saying "Please, I'm a freelance editor, and I want you to read this." But she smiled and refused to take it and kept walking.

The lead guy from Abba Father Media politely held out his hand to get me to hand it to him after she refused, but I withdrew it and wouldn't hand it over.

I then looked like a crazy woman in the parking lot, not shouting, but trying to get them to listen as they all smiled at each other silently and walked away from me to get into their cars in utter amusement over what I was saying. Just 10 seconds was all I had to get SOMETHING to stick in their heads.

I said to her as she and her husband were getting into their car: "I'm a freelance editor, I've been doing this for several years now and I have seen the publishing industry. And if you won't take this note from me, please google Yog's Law. Yog's Law states that the money flows toward the writer never away from him. Any publisher who wants to charge you for editing services and workshops is trying to get the money to flow away from you."

The husband had his car door open at that point, and he was sliding into his seat while his wife was sliding into her own seat. They were both grinning and he said through his smile: "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus."

And I said to him: "I am a Christian, sir."

And then they were in their cars.

So .... I was the crazy lady in the parking lot for 10 seconds. As soon as the car doors were closed, I turned around and went back into the Starbuck's to log back in here again. (This is the Starbuck's on East Columbus Avenue in Springfield.)
 
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Filigree

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Cases like this are exactly why I came up with Filigree's Rule: some authors deserve some publishers, and vice versa. I appreciate the watchdog mandates followed here, and by the sites you mentioned. But you just cannot save some people from being fleeced, if they continually present themselves as sheep.

Filigree, not a Christian.
 
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Calla Lily

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PD, it's been years since someone rebuked me in the name of Jesus. Oy.

I'm sorry you couldn't get through to them, but it looks like that shyster had his hooks in deep. I'd bet it was the "He's a Christian, so he must be right and anyone who says any different is sent by the Devil to test us."

:Headbang:

I also bet that if he'd gotten hold of the napkin, his website would have cleverly crafted lies about legit publishing and how "true Christians" only publish with Christian companies--like his.

I'm going to go drink heavily now.

You're a gem for trying.
 

Plot Device

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BTW, James MacDonald: dude, you totally rock. I mean that. You're awesomeness incarnate. And Yog's Law is an important contribution to the betterment of mankind ... but ... why do you need that "other stuff" at the top of the web page for Yog's Law?? That "other stuff" called "Yog-Sothoth" found at the top of the page is the kind of stuff that this Christian couple will likely "rebuke in the name of Jesus" and will prevent them from reading any further. They will likely never even bother to read the life-changing information found further down the page beneath the "Yog-Sothoth" part.

Just sayin'.
 

Plot Device

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Cases like this are exactly why I came up with Filigree's Rule: some authors deserve some publishers, and vice versa. I appreciate the watchdog mandates followed here, and by the sites you mentioned. But you just cannot save some people from being fleeced, if they continually present themselves as sheep.

Filigree, not a Christian.

I guess you're right.

Makes me mad. But "some of the people some of the time ..."
 

Tromboli

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"I rebuke you in the name of Jesus."

And I said to him: "I am a Christian, sir."

Me too and I'd be VERY tempted to slap him in the face. I despise people like that. First of all, I hate people who won't listen to reason. You don't have to believe, just LISTEN for two seconds. Why do you think someone would be running up to you in a parking lot after a meeting with a publisher? For fun? Or because they legitimately think you need more information? :Soapbox:(I had a similar situation where a self published author told my writers group that to be traditionally published you had to move to NY and pay an agent. He basically patted me on the head and turned away when I tried to tell him how wrong he was. It's his money. I made sure the rest of my group was informed and that's all I can do.)
Secondly, I hate Christians who assume everyone else are sinners and think themselves better. Really, I'm not a fan of more modern Christians in general, our reputation is getting worse and worse. But clearly, that is a conversation for another thread.
 
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Plot Device

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PD, it's been years since someone rebuked me in the name of Jesus. Oy.

I'm sorry you couldn't get through to them, but it looks like that shyster had his hooks in deep. I'd bet it was the "He's a Christian, so he must be right and anyone who says any different is sent by the Devil to test us."

:Headbang:

I also bet that if he'd gotten hold of the napkin, his website would have cleverly crafted lies about legit publishing and how "true Christians" only publish with Christian companies--like his.

I'm going to go drink heavily now.

You're a gem for trying.

Have one for me, Cal. :) (Or is it Lil? ;) )

So annoyed.

I want to add that more than once during the meeting, (at least twice, possible three times) random individuals would conveniently walked up to one of the three dudes who were obviously all together from Abba Father Media, and these random individuals would say "hi" and then one of the AFM dudes would reply by saying stuff like: "Hi!" and "Missed you in church this morning!" And "God bless you!"

Now I can maybe see that kind of coincidence happening once here at this particular Starbuck's ... but three times??

This Starbuck's is in a sketchy location. Not a nice idyllic Main Street USA place. And they are here in this bizarre spot more to be a drive-thru for the highway than anything else. It's just too weird that they had multiple "chance" encounters with other Christians.
 
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Plot Device

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Here's one part that got me very alarmed, except I only overheard pieces of this section of their meeting, and so I couldn't make out the whole thing. I am not 100% certain, but I THINK the lead guy from AFM said to the couple very matter of factly: "We own the content."

And even if that was his exact statement, I couldn't make out the full context of how he meant it.
 

Calla Lily

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PD, it sounds like the whole thing was a staged event for the marks. You know, they're getting the hard-sell and then, look! "More happy, blessed AFM fellowshippers are in this out-of-the way Starbucks! We should join the church they belong to!"

And the coup de grace: "The Lord sent these believers to THIS Starbucks at THIS moment to confirm that AFM is the way the Lord wants us to go!"


That AFM guy is good.

In a fixed carnival ripoff game sense.


ETA: Abba Father Media site

Their Services page (Red Flag City!) says they offer services for Authors and Inspiring Authors A deliberate typo or Christian-speak? :rolleyes:
 
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Plot Device

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Me too and I'd be VERY tempted to slap him in the face. I despise people like that. First of all, I hate people who won't listen to reason. You don't have to believe, just LISTEN for two seconds. Why do you think someone would be running up to you in a parking lot after a meeting with a publisher? For fun? Or because they legitimately think you need more information? :Soapbox:(I had a similar situation where a self published author told my writers group that to be traditionally published you had to move to NY and pay an agent. He basically patted me on the head and turned away when I tried to tell him how wrong he was. It's his money. I made sure the rest of my group was informed and that's all I can do.)
Secondly, I hate Christians who assume everyone else are sinners and think themselves better. Really, I'm not a fan of more modern Christians in general, our reputation is getting worse and worse. But clearly, that is a conversation for another thread.


I'm not for slapping anyone. ;) But I did overhear them during the meeting say of me: "She's been staring at us for along time. You can feel the spiritual oppression in the room."
 

Plot Device

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I just mean both parties in the conversation you overheard seem to be extremely weird.

Or just smooth.

The couple looked like a very decent pair of people. Decent and trusting. And while I am not certain, I will hazard a guess that it was the wife who wrote the MS, and the husband was simply being supportive of her in a very real way (like a good husband should IMO).

I was the one who looked like a weirdo.
 

Giant Baby

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BTW, James MacDonald: dude, you totally rock. I mean that. You're awesomeness incarnate. And Yog's Law is an important contribution to the betterment of mankind ... but ... why do you need that "other stuff" at the top of the web page for Yog's Law?? That "other stuff" called "Yog-Sothoth" found at the top of the page is the kind of stuff that this Christian couple will likely "rebuke in the name of Jesus" and will prevent them from reading any further. They will likely never even bother to read the life-changing information found further down the page beneath the "Yog-Sothoth" part.

Just sayin'.

I don't believe in God or the Bible, myself, but I support several missions run by churches and other organizations who consider God and the Bible to be their lifeblood.

I get that some won't accept things associated with that which falls outside their beliefs. But, I also think that they're in charge of that. You did all you could reasonably do, as has Uncle Jim.
 

folclor

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Holy crap! That's almost terrifying o_O

Really, though, glad you had the guts to go after them. Kind of isn't great they didn't want to listen, though. =/
 

GeekTells

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PD, thanks for the narration. It was fascinating to follow along with you.

And props for trying to help them. It's clear this situation upset you and (IMNHO) you did the standup thing.
 

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