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[Reviewer] Bob Garber

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We just received an email from Dave Holton- BEA Autographing Programs warning about scam reviewers. Since there are a number of independent authors who view these boards, I wanted to spread the word about this guy. The reviewer's name is Bob Garber. His game is to request either ARCs or finished copies for review. He turns around and sells them on eBay. According to Dave Holton, the guy has made some serious coin off this scam.

Since the name sounded familiar, I went into my files and found that he had queried us at one time. Since I was unfamiliar with the name, I declined to send out any ARCs. Here's what his email said to us:

"As a freelance reviewer and writer for over 20 years, my work has appeared in the Phila Inquirer, Phila Daily News, Phila Magazine, Mystery Scene, Kirkus Reviews, various local newspapers and small press venues. Thanks again for your kind assistance and please email or call with any additional questions. "

My reason for posting this is in case anyone is privately contacted by this guy or any reviewer with whom they are unfamiliar. If you don't know the name, check around. Check the credentials. The desire to be reviewed is just as strong as the desire to be published, and that's why scam publishers and reviewers continue to exist - people like Bob Garber prey upon that desire. Hope this helps keep everyone's eyes open.
 

CaoPaux

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'scuse my confusion...is the complaint that Bob Garber is not a real reviewer, or that he sells ARC's?
 

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CaoPaux said:
'scuse my confusion...is the complaint that Bob Garber is not a real reviewer, or that he sells ARC's?
Both. He's a scam artist who poses as a reviewer. He requests ARCs or finished copies from authors and publishers and sells them on eBay. Big deal, one might think. Except that he's sold over 650 ARCs and new review copies, making a nice profit for himself. He's not a reviewer, but simply a thief.

He was discovered at the BEA with boxes and boxes filled with the free books that sit on the display tables. This isn't an unusual practice, by the way, and the BEA organizers work overtime trying to catch these people and ban them from the BEA.

In addition to stealing copies at the BEA, Bob Garber sends out emails to writers and publishers posing as a reviewer and requests an ARC or finished book. He turns around and does the same thing - he sells them on eBay. A number of publishers and writers have been stung by this guy.

He was eventually found out and was forced to close down his eBay account and was permanently banned from attending the BEA. No one knows if this has put him out of business.

My point was to warn authors and anyone else who's in a position to hand out ARCS in hopes of garnering a review to beware of requests from people where their credentials can't be verified. Did I make this clearer? Sometimes my brain works faster than my fingers. Edit, Lynn, edit!
 

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Much clearer, thanks! Bob = bad. :D
 

Lauri B

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BEA is the US's largest publishing show. This year it's in Washington, D.C. in mid May. They've banned the use of rolling carts and luggage carriers, unless you're an exhibitor. Bob Garber is hardly the only booktroller--I've seen people at past shows lugging around suitcases and trolleys with hundreds of books on them, which is one reason BEA has banned them. Reselling of review and ARC copies is a really frustrating thing for publishers, especially small ones. But it's the price you pay for pre-publication publicity.
 

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