3.10.2006

Anyone read this book?

Is this a book I should be telling people about? Has anyone read it?
It's got some good blurbs on the website from people I trust.
(This...after me saying blurbs are meaningless!!! the irony! the irony!)

Let me know what you think.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jenna is with the Absolute Write forum and many scam-fightin' authors are found posting there. I have not read the work, but would guess she knows her stuff. She knows James MacDonald, Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin at least.

Mad Scientist Matt said...

I bought a copy from my "local" Borders, and I consider it worth the money.

It's pretty interesting. A lot of the material is similar to what I've seen on Absolute Write's Bewares and Background Checks, but it has considerably more depth to it.

I'm not sure if I learned as much from it as from her previous book, Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer, but that's only because I had spent a lot of time reading about some of the scams. The book still had a lot of material I had never seen before, though. And it certainly takes less time to get the information all in one book than sifting through a lot of tales about scammers.

And I'd imagine there must have been a very loud howl coming from the direction of Fredricksburg, MD when it hit bookshelves.

Jude Hardin said...

Never pay an agent up front. Never enter contests that require a fee. Never pay to have your book published.

In short, never give anybody (with the possible exception of a good freelance editor whom you've researched thoroughly) any money and you'll be all right.

Why does anybody need to buy a book to learn that?

Annie said...

I've scanned it and didn't see anything new on the art of detecting scammers. But "new" is a relative term. I've read a lot about scams in the past couple of years. The pitiful stories of folks who have been suckered are everywhere.

The thing is, although I was an innocent babe-in-the-woods when I began the search for an agent, I easily avoided scammers by using common sense. Get published now!!! Yeah, right. The old adage, "If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is," certainly applies to the publishing industry. Really, it applies to every business venture.

However, for the naive souls who may be lured into believing Publish America or agents who charge "nominal" reading fees might be the answer to their dreams, this book is a good deal.

It explains the differences between traditional publishers, vanity presses, self-publishing ... yadda, yadda ... and gives red flag warnings on what to avoid. Same with agents.

Worth the moola for gullible newbies who haven't a clue ... pretty much a waste for anyone with much experience.

Annie

Word Nerd said...

I was flipping through my library's copy of this just last night... and I kept thinking "I know that already, because I read about that on Miss Snark."

(sigh... is that too much groveling, or do I only hit that mark if I make a comment about how wise Killer Yapp is and how I should send you buckets of gin?)

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark doesn't need it. Experienced writers, agents, and editors probably don't need it.

Newbies do.

Jenna knows her stuff.

Anonymous said...

Paying someone to avoid paying someone else seems a bit weird to me. I'd give it a quick look in the library, but all you really need is common sense.

M

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Never pay an agent up front. Never enter contests that require a fee. Never pay to have your book published.

In short, never give anybody (with the possible exception of a good freelance editor whom you've researched thoroughly) any money and you'll be all right.

Why does anybody need to buy a book to learn that?


Because it's not always that simple. A lot of people who signed with Publish America knew not to pay to be published, but didn't know enough to recognize that PA charges for publication.

Scammers are devious and often not obvious. There's definitely a book's worth of warning on the ways they attempt to avoid detection until it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Thumbed through it when it came out. Didn't see much new.

Jen said...

It's like someone else said. Pro's probably don't need it. Newbies probably do.

I think while there is some of the information in it already on the Absolute Write Water Cooler, it is helpful to have it mostly all in one place. It's also helpful to have it in case (1) you don't have internet access all the time (I don't know anyone who does) and (2) you need to point it out to a particularly dense person (I know a few here in town that this applies to, no one on this board, obviously *s*).

I feel like I'm rather knowledgable about what to look for and what to avoid. But at the same time, I also admit that sometimes I need a refresher.

Jenna is/has been a crusader for writers' rights and helping people out in avoiding scams. I personally think with the way she goes about it, she's at the same level as A.C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss, although possibly in not such a public manner.

~Jen

David Isaak said...

Read it, liked it.

Nothing really surprising, but good anecdotes, and I expect to loan it to some of my writer friends one of these days.

Also good advice on things I'd never seen before, even though not relevant to me--such as what to do if your magazine publisher/e-zine publhser doesn't pay up on time (or ever).

No, most writers who've been around the block a few times don;t need this book. Many might enjoy it anyhow. But for those just wading into this infernal swamp--well, if you can't discourage them from writing in the first place (which is your moral duty), this is a good book to point them to for coping with everything from alligators to mosquitoes.

Jude Hardin said...

I see your point, Nicole, but anyone who doesn't have enough sense to do a little research before signing with a publisher probably won't notice this book either. Some people have to learn the hard way, and those are the people scammers depend on.

When in doubt, I use google. There's a wealth of information at your fingertips, and it's free.

emeraldcite said...

It's great for new writers. Those who have little to no experience could very much benefit from this book.

Not only does it outline all the pitfalls out there for people just being introduced to the biz, it demonstrates how the scammed get scammed.

Scammers are great at convincing possible marks that the "naysayers" are just angry about the industry. They're great at getting people to "buy in" to certain marketing ventures.

It seems like common sense in hind sight, but how is a newbie to know that places like Publish American who offer advances and royalties is actually an authormill?

Hell, how are they even to know what an authormill is?

Most newbies will jump in feet first with little research. If this is all the research they do, they'll be far safer in the long run than becoming another sob story about the industry.

I think all newbies could benefit from it.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new. Save your money.