Hey Barbara Bauer! Put up or shut up!

So Miss Snark, you say, there's a lot of sturm und drang about Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 Worst Literary Agents. Lots of people saying lots of stuff. How about you SHOW not tell, kinda like you're always yapping about on those query letters.

Fair enough.

Open a new window and paste in the URL of Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 Worst Literary Agents. Here it is:

See the button that says "our client's work"? Click it.
Or use this link: Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 Worst Agents, Client List

Notice it starts out with "Below are just a few of the many companies who have worked with our clients".

Ok. Sound good? Notice the word "sold" doesn't appear. Nor the phrase "here are the books we've sold"

If you look at other agent's websites you'll notice they list the CLIENT names and which client may have been on Oprah, or Rikki Lake, or NYPD Blue. Click any agent pretty much at random off the AAR list, or the Publishers Marketplace list and see what I mean.

And "book publishers who've worked with our clients"?? What the hell kind of claptrap is that?

Have they published ANY of the books you represent? NO.
How do I know this?
Cause I clicked on the links section and all those authors have "prepublished books"...and they're "ready for publication" and "ready for sale"...ie NOT sold to a publisher. I know this cause the name of any publisher is sadly absent. Any agent worth his/her salt posts deals pretty promptly with at least the name of the publisher and FORTHCOMING to indicate it's a new deal. Trouble is of course, you have to sell something to someone to say that.

oh wait, there is one guy who has a book published, and it's for sale on Amazon. Just to double check that Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 worst agents, really was 0-0, I googled the publisher.
Take a look at their agreement.

Boy, I'd sure want to advertise a vanity press publication on my agency's website!

And the piece de resistence is "some popular books the agency helped get published".

Barbara Bauer has been yapping a lot about people "libelling" her. Here's a clue Babs:
It's not libel if you tell the truth.
It's not libel if you point out that there are no sales on a self styled literary agent's website and that is a HUGE WARNING SIGN FOR A SCAMMER.

Barbara Bauer
, you are a scam artist. You know it. I know it. And now, about 3,000 more people know it cause that's the numbe of hits on this blog in a day.

You can storm around all you want and huff and puff till the house blows down. I have only one question, Babs, honey: "What have you sold"?

Technorati tag:


Brooke said...

Good for you! Let us know if we need to start a legal defense fund - although you're right, that Bauer woman doesn't have anything resembling a case.

michael gavaghen said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Thank you for fighting for integrity -- not just here, but in many of your posts. It is lonely and mystifying trying to break into this business. Hearing you rant about raising the standards makes me feel better about trying.

-- Michael Gavaghen

Stephen said...

Although Miss Snark is correct that truth is an absolute defense to libel, it's worth considering that Ms. Bauer could file suit regardless and compel Miss Snark to reveal her identity. A lawsuit doesn't need merit to prove troublesome — and if I were a two-bit scam artist who had just been called out by a popular anonymous blogger, that's exactly the sort of underhanded revenge that I might seek for a couple of hundred bucks.

If what Miss Snark says about Ms. Bauer is true, then I'm tempted to join the voices of those thanking Her Snarkiness for standing up and speaking out. But I have to confess, it's difficult to congratulate someone for having guts when she's posting other people's names from behind a curtain.

librisfb said...

Miss Snark:
michaelgav said just what I'm feeling.
Me too...Stella

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me just now that writers don't sleep a whole lot.

Good night, Snarkiverse. I'm very excited to see what will hatch out of all the eggs laid during these wee hours. It should be fun.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I haven't seen you this fired up in quite a while.

You go, Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

Darling Miss Snark can rest easy, for the Mad Cow will not take legal action.

That requires a lawyer and they ain't cheap.

And a lawsuit will require a certain person to open her books so the whole world can see how much money she's scammed from writers and compare it to how much she's made from books sold.

Oh--wait--she's not sold any books! Yow.

What HAS she sold?

Her, soul, baby, just her soul.

Miss Snark, you RAWK.

Anonymous said...

The rawkin' anonymous has it right. Bauer would have to stand up in public and show her books (and her face) to sue. She won't. One doesn't end up on the 20 worst agents list without being researched.

The AW community is talking tonight at www.absolutewrite.com. Click the link and it takes you to a substitute site where you can sign on and chat. A little disorganized, but the community's still there, all abuzz. Countless blogs have linked Bauer's name to Writer Beware. Surely her ears are burning. She's probably reading every post she can find, if she can read.

Good night, Snarklings. Thank you, Miss Snark. AW will survive and thrive, and this too, shall pass.

d said...

I'm with you.

I've posted a link to the 20 Worst Agents list at SFWA on my blog --posted an-ever-so-classy message to Barb to go along with it and I'll also be posting the list to a 300+ member forum I moderate.

Writers need to watch each other's backs.

Anonymous said...

Not all the www.absolutewrite.com community is available to discuss this issue tonight on the alternate site.

But that said, I do want to applaud Miss Snark for her courage to speak up and speak out about agents who's questionable behavior needs spanking.

Good job again, and keep up the good fight.

P.S. www.absolutewrite.com was brought down because some nitwit decided Jenna wasn't following the rules.

Hey Haskins, rules baby? They suck when it comes to free speech.

Nell Dixon said...

Michael Jackson is on the list of people endorsing her clients work?????

Anonymous said...

Actually at least three of the books shown on Barbara Bauer's pages are available at Amazon or through their site. I like the one that is abour paintint with oils that can be purchased for the sum of $149.50! The other two books, Father Orsini's Italian Kitchen and the Scarlet Spinster are each from the early 1990's (and are these the ones that are vanity published?) None of this inspires confidence in Ms. Bauer as an agent. She does indeed appear to be a scam artist.

I like her photo in Ph.D gear. Notice her web page does not identify what esteemed university she attended. And her robes appear to me to be copied from the photo, but not necessarily the real thing. jmho. I am curious and would like to know where and when she graduated.

I think that all of Miss Snark's 3000 visitors should send a question to Ms. Bauer asking her why she's on the 20 worst agents list--just to see if she adds it to her FAQ's! (joke).

Anonymous said...

ew. hey cribcage...

I don't understand you. Miss Snark "being behind a curtain" so to speak... is very important. I for one do not want to know who she is. I like not knowing, and I hope it stays that way...

Hiding behind a curtain? She has thousands of people that come to this webpage daily. For her own protection, it is very important she remain annon. No one is going to make her reveal herself, and I don't think that is the point.

The point is, there are predators out there, and to suddenly try to discredit someone who is not to blame, but who is helping is ridiculous. The top 20 list, if you did any kind of research...is there for a reason, and legit.

If you did any research on Miss Snark, you would find that ALL editorial, angency, and some author sites link to her. People who are not Annon and very important in the publishing world. I do not think that they would put their names in association with Miss Snark if she were doing something simple as "hiding behind a curtain... it's a little more complicated than that.

Unknown said...

Very well said! I really applaude you for posting this and your previous entry -- writers really do need to be aware of this information and I know MANY frequent your blog. Thank you for adding to an already valuable resource.

Bernita said...

Her website infers she graduated from St'John's University, NY.

Anonymous said...

Go, go, Snarkles, go!

Like others, I've posted a link to the top twenty list of scammers. The goal? Educate the masses & put them out of business!

Mad Scientist Matt said...

Cribcage, that assumes things would even make it to a trial. Miss Snark has her real name as a secret, but Babs would get her records of clients and sales (if any) subpoenaed and shown to the world in court. Not only would this show the world how badly she does at selling books, but this would give magazines and print media rock-solid reliable information should one of them want to run an article like "The rip-off 'agent' who took down a popular writing website."

For Barbara Bauer to sue Miss Snark - or any of the other bloggers who covered this (which has now hit about one hundred) - would be a blunder even larger than her attempted takedown of Absolute Write.

theinadvertentauthor said...

Snark Attack! Ms. Bauer should be VERY afraid to go back in the water.

Anonymous said...

Rock on Miss Snark! Way to represent...

And to the person accusing the Illustrious Miss Snark of hiding behind a curtain of anonymity...don't you think other agents (real ones) know who she really is? I'll wager some do.

BTW, if you click on the thumbnails of the picture of BB in the audience of graduation, it does say she graduated in 79 from St. John's University, NY.

Anonymous said...

Just posted the link & list on my site.

I've seen a couple of comments from bloggers who note they don't get a lot of traffic.

I don't get much traffic, either, but once in awhile I'll get an email out of the blue from a wannabe writer. I always direct them to this blog and sites like AW in the hopes that they'll educate themselves the easy way.

So -- if you blog about writing, you can be sure other writers are finding you, at least once in awhile -- and every bit helps!

Anonymous said...

I'm worried - maybe Killer Yapp should come stay with me for a while 'til you find out how Barbara Bauer will respond. He'll be in puppy heaven and I promise I won't feed him from the table.

Also, my lab adores poodles: there will be very many dog kisses, lots of play time and me and my big doggie will protect KY from rampaging, fake-ass agents.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark- my admiration for you continues to grow. I feel the desire to stitch up a wee Robin cape for Killer Yapp. I value your willingness to stand up for what you believe.

Anonymous said...

My favourite part of Barbara Bauer's site is listed in the FAQ:

'A literary agency is a friend to writers and other creative people and a resource which enhances the quality of life in our communities.'


Thanks for speaking up, Miss Snark.


Anonymous said...

Now look what you've done! I'm melting! What a world, what a world!

Anonymous said...

I like her photo in Ph.D gear. Notice her web page does not identify what esteemed university she attended.

Not true. If you click on the picture, you'll find out it's St. John's University, NY, 1979.

Bernita said...

Barbara Mangano Bauer is also an aspiring actress and cabaret singer, it appears.

Jackie said...

Rock on, Miss Snark!

christen comer said...

Thanks a million! Though we all know in heart of hearts that some people are more posers and putting up fronts, rarely do I get the "oomph!" to open a door and look in - just to confirm. You did that for me just fine! I am now confident, once again, in my gut feeling on the matter. You rock.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for all your wonderful advice, including the most basic way to spot a scammer - they don't make sales. If they've been in business for some time, as Bauer has, you know they're making their money solely off charging writers for various fees and edits and form letters.

On reading the posts on Making Light, it seems a trifle more convoluted than I first thought. Bauer receives spam - obviously from the temporary AW post because it couldn't possibly be from her own posting of her e-mail address - and calls Stephanie to complain.

Stephanie "panics", as some have charitably named it, and pulls the plug. Stephanie also posts on the AW boards and had very recently sent an angry missile. Additionally, Stephanie is just now starting her own blog to rival AW. (As if anyone could. AW and Miss Snark are unique.)

Does this strike anyone else as entirely too coincidental? Everyone who reads AW, P&E, etc. knows Bauer is a foamer (as in mouth) who consistently threatens lawsuits. Who contacted whom?

Please, writers, don't read Stephanie's board. Let her wither away with Bauer.

My love to KY. When are we going to see a photo, complete with tam?

Mark said...

"Our authors have been published worldwide in English as well as French, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Vietnamese, German, Dutch, etc."

From the about us page. Published by whom?

lizzie26 said...

Who in the world would pay to have their book published? Or pay an agent? Oh, yeah, I forgot--there's a fool born every minute.

Bernita said...

As Nero Wolf puts it, Anon...
"In a world largely composed of cause and effect, coincidences are suspect."

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I've posted the list on my home page as well.

Anonymous said...

"Our authors have been published worldwide in English as well as French, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Vietnamese, German, Dutch, etc."

From the about us page. Published by whom?

Yes, the authors have been published--clearly AFTER they left the Mad Cow's scam agency.

Little Babs, who can't be bothered to actually SELL anything, was industrious enough to check up on those who left her spitting in the dust, saw their names placed with real print houses, and weaseled a way to take credit for it.

I have a minister friend who councils at a prison. He said one odd characteristic about a lot of criminals is that while dumb as bricks at the same time they can be scary cunning. They can go to tremendously creative lengths to get what they want. When caught out it's never their fault, but some other person who is responsible.

Locking my doors now.

Anonymous said...

Not such a hot strategy, Barbara.

I've seen people pound a nail into their own coffin, but you managed to hammer in a whole box.

James Goodman said...

Good on ya for doing this Miss Snark.

PJD said...

mark noted that BB's site says her clients have been published in many languages. Well... so have I. And so has anyone who's ever had an article posted on line. See Google's translation tool. Boy, was I surprised to see that an EE Times article I wrote seven years ago is available in Arabic!

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, you deserve a commendation for this. Really, you do.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Babs gives certificates of achievement to those who complete their work.

No joke:

How bad can she be, if she HAND PRINTS certificates of accomplishment for her clients? C'mon....

BorderMoon said...

I think this bit, from the bottom of one of the pages on a "client's" website pretty much says it all:

"Pre-publication orders are accepted on all titles, just mail Gary or Dr Bauer."

Uh...just how long are you supposed to wait for the "publication" of these books? (I mean, I finally DID get my copy of SPOCK ENSLAVED, but it took 25 years -- and buying a reprint on eBay!

And I think people who call themselves "Dr." when what they've got is a Ph.D. are pretentious anyway. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

First of all, cribcage, a lot of people who come to this blog know who Miss Snark really is - and who cares?

Also, if Ms. Bauer files what is later determined to be a frivolous lawsuit, which is what I think will be the case, she will be the one paying Miss Snark,and not the other way around - now wouldn't that be cool? Lots of dog treats for KY!

Anonymous said...

A woman with spunk. Not afraid to speak the truth or say what she thinks. I've long suspected you may have a little southern blood running through them Yankee veins. Freedom of Speech. You have to love it. I left a site; where I was the main entertainment because I was "reprimanded" for voicing an opinion. I was told, "we need to monitor your post, but don't worry this has happened to several of us." I said, don't waste your monitoring on me. Apparently, I offended one of their kiss-ass politically minded liberal wanna be's. I toast you.

Georgia Girl

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you along with everyone else, Miss Snark. However, I would like to point out that having a case has nothing to do with being sued. If a woman can spill hot coffee on herself and win, then any "case" can win. All one needs is a liberal judge.

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up - Bauer has an alias and an acting career.

Anonymous said...

If a woman can spill hot coffee on herself and win, then any "case" can win.

That case is far more complex than the publicity would reveal. McDonalds (or wherever it was) did have their coffee too hot to serve, and when she spilled it on herself, she got third degree burns across her inner thighs. So no, that particular lawsuit wasn't frivalous as the case sounds.


*shakes pompoms madly*

Go, Miss Snark!

I followed suit and put a message up on my blog, too.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic here, but couldn't resist responding to this:

((If a woman can spill hot coffee on herself and win, then any "case" can win.))

A) The woman suffered third-degree burns on her inner thighs and genitals and was hospitalized for eight days for skin grafts.

B) McDonalds was, as a matter of formal policy, serving coffee at 180-190 degrees. That is much hotter than what comes out of your coffee maker at home, and easily 40 degrees hotter than injury-causing level.

C) McDonald's stuck with their hot-coffee policy in spite of 700 complaints of other burns caused by its coffee, including other third-degree burn cases.

D) The woman initially asked for $20,000 in compensation, which McDonald's rejected.

E) The jury (not the judge) awarded her $200,000 compensatoin and $2.7 million in punitive damages. A judge later reduced the punitive damage to less than $500,000. Afterward the two parties made a private settlement, terms of which were never revealed.

Anonymous said...

Yeehaw! That was fab.

I really detest so-called agents who are little more than scam artists. Cheers to Miss Snark for putting this con artist in her place.

BorderMoon said...

Um...it just occurred to me that the non-Trekkies (or Trekkers, or Trekfans, your choice of name) may not realize that SPOCK ENSLAVED was NOT written by one of Bauer's clients. It's a fanzine with a long and rather peculiar history, which is how I wound up finally, after two decades, getting a copy on eBay. Sorry for any confusion.

BorderMoon said...

Yes, Anonymous, but the "coffee is too hot case" woman was also trying to balance the cup on her curved dashboard while she drove. I'm afraid I'm silly enough to assume that hot coffee will be HOT. (By the way, don't third degree burns involve charring? I don't see how a hot liquid could do that, or am I wrong here? Hmm...off to Turn A Noun Into a Verb and Google it.)

justJoan said...

She who Snarks in an anonymous way, lives to Snark another day.

I applaud Miss Snark's anonymity, and I'm sorry that cribcage does not.

BorderMoon said...

Okay, now I know about third degree burns, and that hot enough liquid could cause same. Thanks!

(I always learn something when I read this blog, even if it wasn't actually about writing.)

BorderMoon said...

By the way -- Absolute Write may be gone, but if you go to Google.com and type in "Barbara Bauer" you come up with a lot of hits, including the ones from posts in Absolute Write. The link to Absolute Write doesn't work, but you can read the posts by clicking on "cached" or "similar pages" just under the useless link. The site may be down, but the cached material is still there...somewhere...and readable.

Christine said...

Hey Miss Snark
Haven't posted here in a while, but I joined the googlebomb effort with blogs at xanga (www.xanga.com/kidswriter) and my LJ (http://christinenorris.livejournal.com) The LJ shows up on page 4 of Technorati for BB's tag, which of course I added.
Stick a fork in that woman, she is SO done.

As they say, she'll never work in this town again.

Anonymous said...

There are currently 3,249 blog posts about Barbara Bauer. Power to the people!

Stephen said...

"First of all, cribcage, a lot of people who come to this blog know who Miss Snark really is - and who cares?"

Miss Snark, apparently.

"Cribcage, that assumes things would even make it to a trial."

No, it doesn't. The first step in the process of suing any anonymous blogger — long before trial — would be compelling her to reveal her identity. The court can't serve papers unless it knows her name. As I said above, a lawsuit doesn't need merit in order to sting. It doesn't have to go to trial, and it certainly doesn't have to win.

"And a lawsuit will require a certain person to open her books so the whole world can see how much money she's scammed from writers and compare it to how much she's made from books sold."

Why would she care? This "20 Worst" list is already plastered across Google. Everyone who reads these forums already assumes she's a fraud. I doubt a slap fight between two book agents would make the evening news; so short of contracting a hit squad, there's nothing Ms. Bauer could do to expand her shame at the moment. What's to lose? Why not exact a bit of revenge by "outing" a minor celebrity?

Besides, you're ascribing reason without cause. According to one report, Ms. Bauer made a screaming telephone call demanding that a website be shut down for allegedly violating an irrelevant law. Does this sound like a person who would carefully consider consequences before acting?

"[Miss Snark] has thousands of people that come to this webpage daily. For her own protection, it is very important she remain annon.

Maybe. But that doesn't change the fact that she's making real allegations about real people, and doing it anonymously.

When I write something, I sign my name. I didn't like when Miss Snark publicly and anonymously excoriated Eleanor Roth, and I don't like this. I agree that Roth's e-mail was stupid, and I agree that Ms. Bauer sounds unqualified — but I'm not inclined to compliment the backbone of someone who maligns others from an anonymous blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, is Barbara Bauer, scam literary agent really Barbara Mangano, actress/model? Is that for real?

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Miss Snark...you rock!

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark- put down the gin and step away from the keyboard... No wait... don't! I love it when you file your stilettos for good use! Mince away, you spandex slinging super agent!

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late joining this pandemonium, but I've been in a cave all day.

I'm very sorry that Jenna felt the need to back down from that bully, but thrilled that Ms. Snark has balls of steel.

How's it feel to be the most hated woman in America today, Ms. Bauer?

Better yet, how's it feel to be the most loved and appreciated, Ms. Snark? I hope it feels great to you. We're all with you 'til the end, and we're burning up the blogs passing the word.

archer said...

The best intellectual property lawyers in New York would compete to offer their services to Miss Snark pro bono. George Clooney would defend her. Inspired by the rightousness of his cause and by Miss Snark's red stiletto heels he would bring the case to a swift and savage conclusion, humiliating BB and successfully concealing Miss Snark's identity by whisking her (Miss Snark, not BB)away to the Hamptons.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous # gazillion said: "Oh my gosh, is Barbara Bauer, scam literary agent really Barbara Mangano, actress/model? Is that for real?"

WHO? Never heard of her!

roach said...

bordermoon wrote Yes, Anonymous, but the "coffee is too hot case" woman was also trying to balance the cup on her curved dashboard while she drove.

Ahem, no she was not driving. You can read the details of the case here: http://caoc.com/CA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=facts

In a nutshell: she wasn't driving, her son had pulled over in the lot so that she could put creamer, etc. in her coffee, the cup was held between her legs.

Anonymous said...

Somebody explain the Barbara Bauers of the world to me. The woman has a BA, an MA and a Ph.D--she can't be lazy or stupid.

She has a career in comedy, modeling and acting (per her resume, kindly posted by another commenter), so she can't be too cowardly.

She could legitimately work in the publishing industry or in education or just offering critique services, etc. Why does she have to "scam"?

She's not a literary agent, obviously, but if she called herself a book doctor or a writer's service, she could do what she's doing--taking fees to pat people on the back, possibly edit a little, help them self-publish.

So why do it the wrong way? Why is she scamming? Could she be making so much more money this way than if she handled things legitimately?

Maya Reynolds said...

Miss Snark's blog made today's edition of Publisher's Lunch. Quote: Blogger/agent Miss Snark is on the warpath over Barbara Bauer.

The article includes a link to MS' blog.


Anonymous said...

Cribcage would probably pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. I'm not giving you the satisfaction of clicking on your site. And the only reason to click on Ms. Bauer's is to let her know how much she's despised today.

Long live Ms. Snark and Killer Yap!

emeraldcite said...

I'm very sorry that Jenna felt the need to back down from that bully, but thrilled that Ms. Snark has balls of steel.

actually, umbrellagirl, jenna didn't back down. when she didn't back down, bauer called the host for absolutewrite.com and complained to them threatening, falsely, to pursue legal action. the host panicked and took down the site offering only an hour for backing up data.

jenna held firm, but the host, whose only affiliation with absolutewrite is that they were paid to provide servers for the site, ran scared.

just clearing things up. jenna puts up with quite a bit of crap to keep that site running to get the right info into the hands of people who need it.

she's one of those heroes, along with Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors, of scam-busting.

Many, many writers own her, and those mentioned above, their thanks for being so brave and putting up with all the threats and bull that scammers send their way.

In the end, they get little out of it other than my respect and the respect of the writers out there that have come to know them.

Anonymous said...

Umbrella Girl, Jenna did not back down--please be clear on that. The ISP pulled the plug on her, not the other way around. It's JC Hosting in Tenn, btw, that hit the panic button, literally, instead of standing their ground and doing right by Jenna as Miss Snark has done. Jenna does not back down from a fight that easily. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

My sincerest apologies to Jenna! Thanx for setting me straight, good people. Now let me go fix my blogs!

Anonymous said...

All right, Miss Snark - way to go!

BTW, I checked out BB's site (briefly) and noted she's in Matawan, NJ. ::grumble::

Hubby pointed out that in 1916 some sharks swam up a river to Matawan.

Read about it here:



veinglory said...

Jenna Glatzer fights the good fight, and I am missing the forums badly. I guess all I can do is be part of the blogging... and make a contribution as soon as the forums are back. Hit me with a large wet mackerel if I don't follow through on that. (Emily Veinglory)

Jo Bourne said...

Cribcage said ---
>>>> But I have to confess, it's difficult to congratulate someone for having guts when she's posting other people's names from behind a curtain. <<<

One of the bright points of my evening

was the contemplation of someone criticizing the use of a pseudonym as cowardly ...

using a pseudonym
to do it.

Anonymous said...

I've lost all respect for Miss Snark over this entire dire situation. Sure, Barbara may not be legit, but neither was Absolute Write, which relied too much on inuendo and word-of-mouth to foster a virulent blacklist that may have affected a few decent, legitimate agents along the way.

I've seen posts about agents that have been down right vicious and without merit. I know, because I know some of those agents personally, and the remarks were totally unfounded. Yet they inspired writer after writer (including Victoria) to write nasty things -- again, without merit. One writer went off on an agent after being rejected by said agent, not realizing that agent had become aware of said writer trashing said agent in a previous post. On Absolute Write. What a fucking idiot.

Like Kat McPhee said on Access Hollywood earlier today, there will always be somebody out there trying to tear you down.

In the end, what is the purpose of this blog, anyway? To promote the positive advancement of the writing community? Or to rip people to shreds through the fog of anonymity?

If Barbara B is a fake, then she will do herself in -- in good time. Why does Miss Snark need to be judge, jury, and executioner? I've witnessed enough venom on this site to last me a lifetime and then some.

docbrite said...

If you enjoy reading Miss Snark, you should be glad she is writing this blog anonymously and pray to Dog that she is able to continue doing so. There's no way an agent of repute could maintain such a blog under her real name -- not because she's doing anything illegal, unscrupulous, or cowardly, but because aspiring authors would be terrified to submit to her, authors already represented by her would get antsy that confidential details of their careers might be revealed, publishers would be wary of dealing with her, and she'd lose her livelihood. Since I'm sure she wouldn't allow this to happen, the result of unmasking Miss Snark would be the demise of a supremely entertaining and often useful blog.

siobhann grey said...

I wonder how many people Bauer can take on. I've reposted the list so many times today and I know I'm not the only one. She's not going to find them all.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Well, JFC, I guess you won't believe either that sites like Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors actually verify the information and complaints they receive and even have standard criteria. While AW permitted individuals to post their own complaints and information, even that was vetted for accuracy.

Besides which, I'm really interested in just why you believe that BB will do herself in without watchdog sites to make the information available to writers who would otherwise be unaware that her operation is a scam? Sounds to me like you want to go back to the age before the Internet just so scammers can operate freely without any regulation and I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone with integrity would actually want to leave it to scammers to put themselves out of business. That's assuming you're not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jesus. That was pretty judgy.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Yikes Jesus F Christ...I'm sure I could do a great post on your Asian Food site and what JFC really means....Christians all over the world would love that!


Anonymous said...

Some more thoughts:

On suing Miss Snark. When you file suit, you name the individual and have to serve them with process. Until they receive the papers, they have no obligation to come forth and identify themselves. So to successfuly sue, Ms. Bauer would first have to know the identity of Miss Snark.

On anonymity. Miss Snark has reasons for anonymity. Miss Snark also wants to be heard in opposition to so-called agents scamming wannabe writers. Well within her rights. It is easier to believe those who are not anonymous--and there are plenty of named individuals on the trail of Ms. Bauer, even if Miss Snark remains anonymous.

On JFC's comments: "...there will always be somebody out there trying to tear you down. " Obviously you identify with Ms. Bauer. Interesting. As Shakespeare said--methinks thou doth protest too much (or something like that).

Mindy Tarquini said...

I heart Miss Snark just the way she is - anonymous and honest.

Anonymous said...

Woah she is from Matawan, NJ? That is about ten minutes away from me. Maybe I should pay her a little visit.

(I'm just kidding)

s.w. vaughn said...

I will admit, JFC, that I've had a few moments of doubt about this whole situation. It does seem vicious to unleash such a flood of indignation against one person.

However, I've brought myself around by remembering what it feels like to be scammed. It's happened to me. People like Barbara Bauer must be pointed out so others don't fall for their lies. And if it takes an Internet-wide crusade to do it, then so be it. Exposure is critical.

Have you ever been scammed? It's downright painful. Anyone who's serious about writing goes through rejection after rejection after rejection. It's inevitable. And after all those impersonable "no"s and "not for me"s, when someone finally says "Yes!", we get excited. Our dreams are about to come true. At this point we expect certain things to happen, such as our years of hard work finally seeing legitimate print.

But if the person who said yes is a scammer, these things do not happen. The scammer assures us that yes, it's coming, any day now. We'll get that fabled contract. We'll see our names in print, our books on shelves. And sometimes we're told all it will take is a little bit of cash. No, we shouldn't fall for it. But after so many rejections, to have someone finally telling us what we've been struggling to tell the world is really worth telling, it's easy to believe a hundred bucks is a small price to pay.

Then, even after we pay the money, we discover that our books will not be in bookstores after all -- and if we're lucky, we might be able to give our mothers autographed copies of our books for Christmas...books which are now, by the way, worthless to the traditional publishing industry because the first print rights publishers want are gone. And so is our money, and our dreams. Scammers force writers to start the journey all over again.

We are only as vicious to people like Barbara Bauer as they have been to us. Forgive us for having feelings.

Maya Reynolds said...

I'm reminded of another scam artist that Writer Beware went after.

From 1995 to 2002, Martha Ivery (publisher of Press-Tige Publishing Company) scammed an estimated 200 wannabe writers out of $700,000. When Writer Beware posted Martha's name on their list, she simply created a new persona, Kelly O'Donnell, literary agent, and continued her scams with the SAME client list. The FBI finally stepped in to investigate in 2001.

This past December, Martha/Kelly admitted guilt in federal court.

This case might never have been investigated without Writer Beware.

Miss Snark said...

Hey JFC, after you get that cranio-rectotomy, consider this:

Miss Snark herself has come in for some pretty negative posts over at Absolute Write.

But, when you are reputable and someone maligns you, you do one of two things: laugh it off or cough up refuting evidence.

I never felt the need to take criticism seriously when I knew it wasn't founded in fact.

Barbara Bauer's response substantiates the truth of the listing as a scammer.

Anonymous said...

Jo Bourne - LMAO!

Jesus F. Christ - I agree with part of what you said - we should spread it around a little. Why don't you lead the way?

Our darling Ms. Snark doesn't ask much of us:

First, you can read this post by Jim Hines and decide if his strategy is something you want to be part of.

(We all did that and thanked him for his participation.)

Second you can post this list of the 20 Worst Agents with the link to the SFWA site

(We all did that in record numbers, right?)

And third, you might email everyone on that list, just yanno (tm/pp) to let them know that their "colleague" Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 Worst Agents, has made sure that their name is published far and wide.

Oops. Did we follow through?

I made it as easy for us as I could. A lot of these people have gotten a clue and moved on (or I didn’t Google well, so if anyone has spare time today, let’s see if we can fill in the blanks) but here are email addresses for those I found.

I hope Miss Snark will forgive me but I had already infringed her copyright a couple times before I realized what I was doing (humblest apologies Ms. Snark) by copying this blog entry into a new email to these people with a subject line that said “We See You!”

Someone asked Ms. Snark to step up to the plate and she did. So did Jenna. It’s our turn. Let’s prove to these two how much they really mean to us! Send your emails today!

Abacus Group http://www.abacusgroup.com/contact.php

Allred – couldn’t find it

Capital Literary Agency – couldn’t find it

Benedict & Associates – couldn’t find it

Sherwood Broome, Inc. – couldn’t find it

Desert Rose mail@desertroseagency.com

Arthur Fleming Associates – couldn’t find it

Finesse – couldn’t find it

Brock Gannon – couldn’t find it

Harris Literary Agency - hlit@adnc.com

Literary Agency Group – couldn’t find it

Stylus - http://www.stylusagency.com/-contact2 (the contact link doesn’t work)

Writers Literary & Publishing Services administration@ writersliterary.com (this one has to be fiddled with to work, and bounced)

Martin-McLean Literary Associates http://mcleanlit.com/

Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc. davemocknick@yahoo.com

B.K. Nelson, Inc. bknelson4@cs.com

The Robins Agency http://www.robins-agency.com/contact.htm

Michele Rooney Literary Agency – couldn’t find it; Creative Literary – well, I don’t even know what that was. Consider it an Error 404; Simply Nonfiction; couldn’t find it

Southeast Literary Agency - couldn’t find it

Mark Sullivan Associates – site is here, but no email contact info is provided.

West Coast Literary Associates – couldn’t find it; California Literary Services - couldn’t find it

We need to do this in the same record numbers that we completed the first two tasks. And if someone knows how to contact the nitwits who pulled the plug on AW, let's write to them, too.

Carry on!

Anonymous said...

You go, Miss Snark.

JFC, just because a few posters at AW got vicious about a few agents, it doesn't reflect the opinion of the owners of the site. To think so reflects a lack of understanding of how these websites work.

As we've seen here, individuals can post any number of varying opinions in a discussion. The owners of AW aren't reflected in what individuals say in the forums, just as Miss Snark isn't reflected in what individuals post here in the comments.

Yes, Miss Snark (or perhaps KY) screens our comments, but happily she's not censoring us, or else I daresay your comments wouldn't be here.

I'm glad to hear diverging opinions, but I don't take your opinions to be those of Miss Snark. Nor am I ignorant enough to think that a couple of inexperienced writers with hurt feelings reflect the professionals who run AbsoluteWrite.

Juan Gabriel Llorca said...

Libel, I believe, is the spreading of information one knows to be false, with the intent of defaming the charcater, or damaging the reputation,of another person. So, while you may know that the 'telling of the truth' might damage the reputation of BB, it is clearly not your intent...nor do you believe your information about her effectiveness as an agent to be false. You have the right to express your opinion, in this case with the intent to protect authors from being cheated. All very commendable...Snark on! Forward!

Jenna said...


And that is all I have to say about that. ;)

Anonymous said...

RE: Whether or not BB would eventually "bring herself down" without being outed and castigated like this, note Maya's point.

Anyone who has followed Ann and Victoria over time knows that what scammers do when caught is to change identity and brazenly set up shop again under a new name. The only real way to stop her permanently is to put her in jail, but in the meantime keeping the bright shining light of the internet writing community on her as squarely as we can is the best we can do. Even (especially) when she seems to scurry away instead of trying to stand up to us.

Shadow (forgot my blogger password)

Anonymous said...

After reading JFC's post, I'm glad we don't know Miss Snark's true identity. And speaking of identities and being a stand-up kind of guy, who the hell are YOU JFC?

LauraT said...

I really don't think you have an argument here, and you aren't looking @ the big picture. Which is surprising, but perhaps you just like arguing, but you should stick to the points. Miss Snark is annon. She has been forever. Your little taunting and what not and waste of time argument is never going to change that.

I understand you have a very strong opinion on Miss Snark not signing her true name. A lot of people disagree with you. So, maybe we can all move on from a moot argument. This is a FREE country and if someone wants to remain annon. on a website that thrives with mystery, with someone who can give us the scoop, advice, and whatever else we all want, and entertain us with that little bit of mystery.... who are you to say who should sign their name to anything? There are soooo many pseudonyms out there. You can't believe that you think those authors should be signing their true names as well?

OK ... see... all of the sudden we are talking about Miss Snark's identity which has been done before and thousands of times. So, we get it, you think she should have guts and no one should be thanking her for all of the advice, entertainment, and calling out on frauds... to people who might be taken in by such an agency. To get back to the point (see this is how you win cases and stuff here:) The list is imporatant. I am going to be in the market soon for an agent...

you think if that list wasn't there, that I might fall prey to Barbara Bauer and the reast of the liars out there...

Well, guess what? I bet there was a possibility of that, and now I won't waste time and money on those agencies...

I am not even going to address Jesus F. over there who is beyond ridiculous. because I have already said what I had to say about that in a post above.

Miss Snark, whoever you may be, thanks again.

Anonymous said...

SHE spilled the coffee, McDonalds did not. People are responsible for their own actions.

Mac said...

AW is a community of thousands. There are bound to be a lot of opinions, and some of them are bound to be, well, wrong--as so clearly evidenced by the criticism of our esteemed hostess.

There might even be an AW member or two that agrees with JFC. *shrug* Although I don't really know why they'd stick around if they did.

Thanks so much, everyone for the words of support for the AW community, but especially for giving extra google juice to Dr. Bauer's latest public tantrum. *g*

Anonymous said...

Umbrella Girl,
Thanks for your hard work. One note-Mark Sullivan's e-mail addy is in tiny print under the photo of NYC on his page that you linked.

And I sent out my notes to those you've handed to us.

Signed my name for them, too--not anonymous.

Did my part. Community standards are important--and writers need to let those who are in the writerly community know.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Barbara may not be legit, but neither was Absolute Write, which relied too much on inuendo and word-of-mouth to foster a virulent blacklist that may have affected a few decent, legitimate agents along the way.

I've seen posts about agents that have been down right vicious and without merit. I know, because I know some of those agents personally, and the remarks were totally unfounded. Yet they inspired writer after writer (including Victoria) to write nasty things -- again, without merit. One writer went off on an agent after being rejected by said agent, not realizing that agent had become aware of said writer trashing said agent in a previous post. On Absolute Write. What a fucking idiot.

All right, big guy. Put up some examples.

1. Which "decent, legitimate agents" "may have been affected" by posts at Absolute Write? Name some names.

2. What proof do you have that AW "foster[ed] a virulent blacklist"? Whose names were on the blacklist?

3. You say the blacklist "relied too much on inuendo and word-of-mouth." Any proof of that?

4. You say you've "seen posts about agents that have been down right vicious and without merit." Sure, I'll buy that. But your construction implies those posts went unquestioned and unanswered by the community. Care to give some examples?

5. As a matter of fact, you specifically say these posts "inspired writer after writer (including Victoria) to write nasty things -- again, without merit." Got some examples? Name some names. What agents are we talking about? Which posters?

6. "One writer went off on an agent after being rejected by said agent, not realizing that agent had become aware of said writer trashing said agent in a previous post." Aha! A supporting example! Got a name here? Anything? Anything to show this isn't more than one person being stupid?

In short, I think you're full of crap.

TNH said...

"Barbara Bauer, you are a scam artist. You know it. I know it. And now, about 3,000 more people know it cause that's the number of hits on this blog in a day."

Lots more people than that know it. If we could figure out how much overlap there was between your visitors and mine, we could add up the unique visitors and the number would go higher still. And then there are all the people from Absolute Write, and everyone who read the scores of Live Journals that covered it. The overlap problem still applies to all those other sites, so we can't just ask everyone for their site stats; but you've got to figure the total is a gratifyingly healthy number.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a damn who Miss Snark is. It's obvious to anyone with half a functioning brain that she knows her stuff. That's all I need to know. If I knew her first, last and middle names, her date of birth and her favourite colour, would that give me a better sense of whether her opinions should be taken seriously? Not a chance. I learn that not from her name, but from the opinions themselves and the ways in which she backs them up.

I don't know much about Barbara Bauer, but I do know this: she could, at any time, have put a complete stop to rumours that she's a scammer, simply by posting a list of the books she's sold.

I've occasionally lurked at AbsoluteWrite, and JFC is totally correct that there were some posts questioning the legitimacy of perfectly legitimate agents. In no time flat, someone - either the agent himself, his clients or simply random boardies - posted solid evidence that the agent was in fact legitimate: books he had sold. And that was the end of that. The agent's reputation was not damaged but strengthened, in that anyone who had had questions about him now had solid reasons to consider him legit.

Barbara Bauer is clearly aware of all this chaos, given that she set it in motion. Rather than getting AW pulled, why didn't she simply post a list of books she's sold, forcing her critics to slink away with their tails between their legs? And now, rather than sending frantic messages to anyone who posts the '20 Worst Agents' list, why doesn't she simply post a list of books she's sold?

If anyone ever suggested that my agent was a scammer, I could blow that theory out of the water in thirty seconds flat, with solid, easily available proof. Why doesn't she do the same for herself?

If Barbara B is a fake, then she will do herself in -- in good time.

Clarify this for me: are you seriously saying that no one should ever do anything about frauds and con artists, just let them operate unhindered, because someday they'll somehow shoot themselves in the foot?

Maybe it's true. But every day that a fake agent is left to operate unhindered (because, gee, she'll do herself in someday) leaves another writer with smashed dreams, smashed confidence and a smashed bank account. What makes that seem like a good thing?

Pepper Smith said...

I will not dignify you by addressing you by the profane name you've chosen to post under, but you know who you are.

I'm sorry? What on earth would give anyone the idea that the way to bring a scammer down is to ignore them and wait for them to bring themselves down? Scammers thrive because people are often so hurt and embarrassed by getting scammed that they don't report it. That does nothing but help the scammer, who continues to work his/her tricks on new victims. It takes courage and fortitude to speak out, and you bet people's emotions are going to come out in what they say, especially right at first when they've worked themselves up into enough anger to get past the embarrassment and speak out.

Suggesting that ignoring a scammer is the way to bring him/her down is disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

Anon who said: "In short, I think you're full of crap."

*Thunderous Applause*

What a great post. You're absolutely correct to call JFC out for using "inuendo (sic) and word-of-mouth" to decry Absolute Write for allegedly doing the same.

BorderMoon said...

Thanks for the info link on the McDonald's Coffee Case, roach. It makes more sense now, although I still think holding a styrofoam cup of liquid between one's knees and prying its top off is not the world's best idea. Thanks again for the clarification.

roach said...

In the year and a half that I've read/posted at AW I've seen very little vicious piling on of legitimate agents that JFC is implying. What I have seen is this:

Inquisitive writer posts a question, usually along the lines of "Does anyone know anything about Agent XYZ?" If the Inquisitive Author is asking about a legitimate, established agent they will receive a response of "Yes Agent XYZ is legit, and here's how we know." If the name isn't familiar then usually Victoria, Uncle Jim, or other, wiser posters will respond with some questions to determine if the agent a) charges any kind of fees and b) has a list of books sold/authors represented.

What happens after those questions are answered is either the agent in question sends up no red flags and so it's up to Inquisitive Author to decide whether to query or not. Or it's determined that Agent in Question is questionable, Yog's Law is recited, and again it's left up to Inquisitive Author to decide what to do next.

This doesn't even take into account the occasional swarm of sockpuppets that might pop up in a topic to "vouch" for the Agent in Question's bonafides, the times when the topic will veer off into how to find a legit agent, etc.

And beyond the above, I can think of a recent example when the outcome of an agent query fell into another category. The Agent in Question had listed sales of titles to publishers that didn't require agented submissions. Several of the AQ's clients showed up to defend their agent. Several times Victoria and others had to clarify that they weren't questioning whether AQ was a scammer or not (they said they didn't think so) but that they wondered if AQ was selling to these publishers because she couldn't crack the larger publishers. All this became a moot point later in the topic as word came out that AQ had just made some nice deals to major publishers. While some of the clients might have felt put out that their agent was being called into question, there was no piling on the agent. I wish I could point to this thread and others as examples, however, BB has made sure that no one can do that for the moment.

And if I can don my pedantic beret, Miss Snark is pseudonymous, not anonymous.

Stephen said...

Jo: It's not much of a "pseudonym" if it's hyperlinked to my legal name. If you don't see a difference between that and publishing an anonymous blog, then I can't help you other than to suggest you avoid using the word "bright."

Laura: I don't object to anonymous blogs per se, or else I wouldn't be here. I like Miss Snark. Most of her columns are good-natured and clever, and many offer valuable advice. Her guidelines for query letters, for example, were succinct and helpful. But again, if you don't see a difference between those columns and this one — or if you can't distinguish between objecting to one column versus condemning the entire blog — then you need to check the label on whatever you're drinking.

As to the idea that my criticism of Miss Snark amounts to defending Ms. Bauer: I've heard that logic before — something like, "If you object to indiscriminate wire-tapping, then you support terrorism." Nice to hear fellow writers marching down that road.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I don't have a blog, but I made sure to post about BB and the 20 worst agencies on the writing sites where I hang out. The response around the Net has made me proud to be a member of the online writing community. Nobody gets to bully one of our own. Rock on, AW!

Anonymous said...

After reading all this hoo ha about BB, I'm torn between laughing maniacally and throwing my hands up in dispair. ;) If only the giant repository of knoweledge that is the internet today existed six years ago, I probably would have been published by now. But don't worry, I'm not crying about it. I just find it facinating that *now* of all times in my life I'm hearing about her in huge volumes just as I'm discovering agent blogs among other things.

Like one of the comments here (I can't remember who at the moment), I was one of those aspiring writers wading through mountains of rejections at the tender and naieve age of my mid twenties and had the illustrious Barbara Bauer as the one agent willing to be a hero to my cause. I remember that one time handling fee. I remember bunking a whole day of college classes waiting by the phone for her to call for an "interview." (Terrible brooklyn accent I must say) I remember paying various reciepts for various fees of which I can't remember now. I remember the comments of "things are a bit slow now, but we will keep you posted." I remember the trite, mass produced birthday and christmas cards too. Thank God that circumstances in life led to the cancellation of my contract or else I can't imagine how much money I would have wasted on the hopes that she would actually publish my work.

And the real kicker is that she never commented at all at the state of my manuscript. After six years of it sitting under the bed (so to speak), I've picked it back up and realized that the manuscript as it is now, no true agent would have even looked at it. (It still needed *lots* of work to make it look professional)

In the famous wisdom of Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that." ;)

Miss Snark, go gettim gerl.

Anonymous said...

And Jesus wept. I don't like it when people get snarky. Especially when they are pretending to be me.

You go Miss Snark. You are revealing the truth. It shall set us all free.

Pay no attention to Jesus F. Christ

Yours truly,
Jesus H. Christ

Anonymous said...

cribcage: As to the idea that my criticism of Miss Snark amounts to defending Ms. Bauer: I've heard that logic before — something like, "If you object to indiscriminate wire-tapping, then you support terrorism." Nice to hear fellow writers marching down that road.

Ooh, nice one. Except...nobody said, or implied, that your criticism of Miss Snark amounted to defending Barbara Bauer. Good attempt and all, but not a strong showing. Martyr complex much?

JFC, Victoria and Ann have extensive documentation proving every single thing they say about an agent or publisher. They've been expert witnesses in FBI cases involving literary fraud. Did you actually not know that, or did you just hope nobody would follow up?

Victoria and Ann clearly stated the criteria for making the Twenty Worst Agents list. Choices were not random or arbitrary. Anyone doing even the most rudimentary fact-checking would have discovered that, so I wonder at the motivations of the people who dismiss the list as "just opinion" or "arbitrary."

Anonymous said...

It's scary how, after a blog acquaintance of only a few months, I've come to worship Ms. Snark....

Anonymous said...

I just noticed the link here leads to "page cannot be found."

Has she succeeded in taking down another?


LauraT said...


How is it not helpful to bring to light one of the top 20 worst agents? like annon said, had this info been out before she would have not wasted all of that time and money. How is this NOT helpful? I popped on here not knowing about those agents and now I do. I don't see how this one entry is any less helpful than the others. And AW is gone! I mean, should I just go around blindfolded checking my drinks and not thanking someone whom I don't know for stopping a lot of people from throwing their money away? From avoiding complete frauds? From people who use brainwashing tactics on the unknowing? (see Robins Agency please) that say things like its a MYTH to give money up front to an agent???

how is it NOT helpful to have all of these jerks listed in one place? and now we are onto if Miss Snak's post is "succinct and helpful" or whatever compared to her other posts? How is this one NOT?

go check your drink.

Anonymous said...

The 20 Worst list is still up. The slash at the end is the problem.

is the correct link.

Ollie Ollie said...

'Cribcage would probably pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. '

Quite. Questions of cowardice/guts are utterly irrelevant and nothing more than a smokescreen here. As has been noted again and again, it ain't libel if it's the truth. No-one has anything to fear from stating the truth and appending their name to the statement. (And plenty of people have).

But that ain't what a pseudonymous blog that makes a big amusing hoo-hah about the secret identity of the owner is about. And, except for humourless killjoys, it wouldn't be worth spoiling the joke, nor achieve anything beyond satisfying carping trolls.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, no....

You're all going about it the wrong way!

We should give BB LOTS of business. She'll send brochures to those who ask - let us make sure that our aunts, uncles, children, cats, etc. ask for brochures! Let us make her INCREDIBLY popular at the Post Office!

:::evil grin::::

Anonymous said...

Off topic: McDonald's case
Anonymous said...
SHE spilled the coffee, McDonalds did not. People are responsible for their own actions.

Yes. And the jury reduced the award because of her part in causing the injuries. But usually when you spill coffee on yourself, all you get is wet, uncomfortable and coffee stains on your clothes--not 3rd degree burns requiring 8 days in the hospital.

McDonalds was responsible for serving coffee that was kept inordinately hot--so hot that they knew it could even not be drunk at that temperature without causing burns! So they, too, are responsible for their actions.

Just a reminder to see the link that Roach posted for the whole story: