5.26.2006

Oh, Miss Snark...you've been (harumph) BAD

The comment tails on the last four posts about Barbara Bauer, one of the 20 Worst Agents, has coughed up some interesting points I'd like to address.


First, I didn't wake up Thursday morning and decide to nip at the heels of an "agent" on the SFWA 20 worst list. I got an email that told me the Absolute Write site had been removed because a "literary agent" complained it "libeled" her. I proceeded to read the post and comments at Making Light, a place I go to get lots of info, maintained by people I know and trust. I verified that the AW site was down.



I decided that if Barbara Bauer was able to hoodwink someone into thinking she'd been libeled, one of the very best responses was to make it clear to anyone with the wit to google her name that other people think she's a scammer and why. So I posted. And posted. And you commented. And the fun started.

Now, if someone said to ME: "Miss Snark you are a scammer, you have no sales" what would I do? Well, I'd probably email them with a list of sales. And I'd be hopping mad. And I'd probably huff and puff. Probably in that order. Barbara Bauer did two of those three things. Guess which.



Second, people have expressed dismay at the idea that I'd say anything negative about a real person. Well, wake up and smell the coffee folks. This woman claims to be in MY profession. She holds herself up as my colleague. She's actually used the words "Miss Snark my competition" in posts on AW. (Hell yes I read that stuff). I was able to laugh that off for a while but now she's bullying people who are in the very business of helping clueless newbies (among others) ...that makes me as angry as I've been in a while. She gives mercenary and avaricious a bad name, and for that, I'll be as loud and public as I need to be. If you don't like it, go read someone else's damn blog.



Third, people have intimated that AW isn't a paragon of holiness and virtue. Well, d'uh. No one said it was. It's a damn bbs with 7000 members. Of COURSE people are going to do, say, post and illustrate completely lame ass stupid vile and cruel stuff. And other people on the board are going to chide them, correct them, and in really flagrant cases ban them.

AW doesn't have to be perfect or even close to it to have my respect. They're TRYING which is more than can be said for those scam "agents" who are preying.

I've read more than one post at AW that said "Miss Snark wears support hose and drinks moonshine" but I've never felt the need to threaten anyone with libel, or any kind of legal sanction. I don't need to defend myself, and I sure as hell don't need to shut anyone up.


Fourth, I've been chided for using this to promote a book. Well, folks, lets all remember that when I chide agents for selling stuff, it's for selling things they get a piece of and as part of a rejection letter.

I've recommended books here before, I'll keep doing it. Hell, I post a list of the books I've read this year so you can go read those too. I don't get a piece of those, and I sure as hell don't get a piece of Jenna's book at Nomad Press.

And last but not least, Hell yes I'm mad. I love this industry and I love my job. I get VERY prickly when someone does something that associates the word "literary agent" with "scam". And I get even more hot under the collar when people think the proper response to that is to either ignore it or deal with it like it doesn't matter. It does matter. It matters a lot.

I would hope to dog you'd value the idea that a literary agent isn't just ho-hum about someone preying on writers LIKE YOU. And if you think for one tiny little minute that you could never ever be that kind of clueless newbie who'd fall for a scam, remember, you weren't born knowing everything you know today. Someone taught you. Someone helped you. Sneer all you want to at those clueless puppies today but we were all born clueless and the idea of letting someone chomp them up like they don't count is repugnant to me, and it should be to you to. If it isn't, get the hell out of my blogosphere.


And, of course, I can see from my email that a lot of people wish we'd get back to "business and usual". We will.

You can follow the events in the comments trail at Making Light, as I do.

76 comments:

Dave Kuzminski said...

Well, I'm proud that Miss Snark and P&E both received attention from (cough, cough) A Gent's Outlook. Let's face it, Sammy's thinking with his little head once more.

December Quinn said...

Dogs forbid (I believe in more than one dog :-)) that any of us should support our fellow writers by-gasp-buying their books.

Guess I've got quite a few novels to return to bookstores. I won't make that mistake again! I certainly won't plug my own books on my own website anymore, either. What a shameful practice.

You say whatever you want, Miss Snark. It's your blog. We're just along for the ride. I'm having a hard time blogging about anything else, myself.

Anonymous said...

Word, Miss Snark. Dog bless you for having the chutzpah to stand up and fight this crap. I despair at the way so many people want to attack the folk who take a stand against unethical, amoral, illegal and repugnant behaviour. Moral relativism has a lot to answer for.

For every pinhead who whines about you fighting the scumsucking likes of Ms Bauer, please know there are many many many more who are cheering you, and those like you, who are as mad as hell and aren't going to take this shit any more.

Karen
in Sydney

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Miss Snark!

Writerious said...

As a writer who very nearly got taken in by the infamous Kelly O'Donnell when I was still naive and unpublished (the sudden request for fees when she'd advertised as a non-fee-charging agent was my first clue), I give a tip of the hat and a large splash of gin to you (and lovely slice of filet mignon for Killer Yapp) for defending your profession and, in so doing, defending writers. If The Bauer can't stand the heat, she should stay out of the agency.

Chrysoula said...

Thanks for the response, Miss Snark.

"I've recommended books here before, I'll keep doing it. Hell, I post a list of the books I've read this year so you can go read those too. I don't get a piece of those, and I sure as hell don't get a piece of Jenna's book at Nomad Press."

Unfortunately, because we don't know who you are, we don't know that. You've advised us again and again to exercise a practical degree of wariness and information-gathering. This entire affair is based around people who claim to be helpful, and charge you money for it-- money you don't really need to spend. I was disturbed by the advertisements-for-book-on-AW situation before you posted your suggestion. When you followed up your previous posts with encouragement to buy a book-- well, I almost spewed my coffee, and not in the good way. I was confused.

You've posted book-buying suggestions before, but this one seemed off. You'd mentioned it before in the context of not having read it, asking for opinions (which is, believe it or not, the approach taken by corporate plants to promote things like video games). It seemed like taking advantage of people being riled up. And it made me nervous.

Perhaps my imagination is overactive, perhaps I've spent too much time studying PublishAmerica, but it seems like the natural evolutionary step of scammers like Barbara is concealing themselves among the aspiring writers and even organizing them against other scammers-- and making sure to write books about what to do, and tell the community how much they need those books. I mean, I basically consider writing software like Dramatica a scam, too.

Anyhow, forgive me, Miss Snark. I have no way of knowing you aren't Jenna, or Jenna's secret partner, and supposedly that's true for most of us (or maybe I'm just behind the times). It's worrying to see so many people advocating ways to avoid scammers and at the same time blindly trusting somebody we know very little about. I hope you can understand.

Thank you for taking the time to defend yourself.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Miss Snark. I applaude you and your convictions. Keep up the good work.

Lex In OZ

girl on top said...

Miss Snark, you're the greatest. Don't wait until you're as old as Deep Throat though, before you come out of the shadows and get your justly deserved accolades (not that Deep Throat really deserved any, but you know what I mean).

Benja Fallenstein said...

I wonder if the reason that nothing said this yet is that Miss Snark is deleting all the comments making this joke, but I just can't resist...

Miss Snark, you are a scammer! You have no sales. I read your entire blog and you have not a single sale listed. This is why I would never query you. If you want to disprove that you're a scammer, my e-mail address is...

Deanna Hoak said...

*claps* This is a great post, Miss Snark. Anyone really good at their job gets angry when someone does something that threatens to reflect badly on their profession as a whole. I deal with it in copyediting all the time. There are good folks and bad folks in every line of work, and educating people so that they can understand the difference between those sets can be incredibly rewarding.

Benja Fallenstein said...

[Not that I'd have anything to query about, but that's off the point.]

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!!

(Did anyone else hear the crescendo of inspirational orchestration and envision Miss Snark standing tall, waving one well-manicured fist, and clutching her copy of The Chicago Manual of Style to her chest?)

Glenda Larke said...

Believe me, there are plenty of people out there who are going to bless you today, Miss Snark. I was once an unpublished writer, and I remember the vulnerability of the species...there was no one around back then to warn me like this.

Luckily, I found a wonderful agent and not a scammer - and if anyone wants to know what a REAL agent can be like (besides Miss Snark, of course) read my blog today. I think good agents are worth all the gin in the world.

Anonymous said...

Absolute Write is up, i just went there and it looks like they are on a new host but are still moving info from the last host over.
Just an FYI.

Brooke said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the Bravo...

M. G. Tarquini said...

May you continue being 'bad' Miss Snark. You did a good thing with this.

Anonymous said...

Get it, Miss Snark! I admire you more every day.

Chrysoula said...

I'm sorry, it's not that I enjoy causing trouble. I just think about, oh, everything that people have been talking about, from James Frey to the softness of the mainstream media in questioning our leadership. And I have to poke around. I have to encourage people to think about stuff. And I have to thank Miss Snark for approving these comments, even though they're no doubt annoying.

Anyhow, I went and looked at your books-read library, Miss Snark, and there's no Street-Smart Writer there. As of March 10th, you hadn't read it (and yet the Absolute Write cached forums link to that post by calling it a plug). Why are you endorsing it? This really doesn't seem to be the time to rely on hearsay rather than one's own judgement. There is a message being sent to arbitrary observers who are NOT familiar with the communities involved, who are simply doing research, maybe months later, and it is that it is okay to give other people your money to improve your publication chances, but only if the talking heads on the internet say so.

Anonymous said...

This is the only blog I read on a daily basis. I get up, sometimes I'd rather not bother. I fix a cup of coffee (I don't even like the stuff)but it gets me going. Then, I turn on my laptop and see what Snark's been up to. You know,you may not agree with everything she says and at times she may seem a little bit of a bitch and mean as hell (lord only knows the times I've been referred to as such)but you gotta love the girl. Snark, you've got my vote. Blog on. Oh, I catch you nightly too.

Georgia Girl

Mark said...

"I got an email that told me the Absolute Write site had been removed because a "literary agent" complained it "libeled" her."

It sounds like this is a side story to me. The Cordrays claim some sort of mess up over fees for the hosting service, and Glatzer blew them off. The backstory is always where meat is or Milk Bones if you will depending on species-preference. As some are starting to say in the blogstorm whirlwind, albeit faintly, there has to be something to it beside this BS reason.

LauraT said...

This is where I get mad all over again:

"I got an email that told me the Absolute Write site had been removed because a "literary agent" complained it "libeled" her."


sooo I hope they contact the EFF http://www.eff.org/
if they need to. Or for anyone else who might get some kind of lawsuit. I mean Miss Snark, someone might sue you for having a blog about being an undercover agent that talks about... omg... your business!! which is highly unlikely @ this point.

To quote them (EFF) exactly, "When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense."

anyway, I am off of my soap box now. I just want to see AW back up and running again~!

Anonymous said...

Getting back to business as usual, I bow before the Inestimable Snark [beautiful and terrible as the stiletto heel, stronger than the foundations of all good gin; all shall love her and despair] for her book recommendations.

Especially, at present, for mentioning The Amulet of Samarkand uncounted posts ago. It's my bedtime reading this week, and I'm becoming rather sleep-deprived.

This is 'Harry Potter' for politics junkies, a naive variant of 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell'. The Ministers are recognizable government types, but with amulets, imps and other magical accoutrements in their toolkits. The intermittently-revealed rules of engagement between demons and the magicians who summon them are SUCH a giggle!

I bow to Miss Snark [beautiful and terrible as....]

Jeb

Chrysoula said...

december quinn: if your stance was that information should be free, and then you sold your own books about it on your website, yes, that would be shameful.

And yes, I do think it's dishonest to buy a book simply to support a 'fellow writer' rather than because it is worth buying. Is that what you do? Or do you believe that all books are worth buying, as long as they're written by somebody you know and approve of?

Sara said...

Miss Snark, until now I've simply bookmarked you and read your missives religiously, (sometimes in a literal way, having given up church some years ago) but now I'm lurching out of the hordes of lurkers to tell you how much I appreciate your anti-Barbara Bauer efforts. Fight the good fight! Thank you! At this very moment I'm in search of an agent, and I'd like to think that I have enough savvy to know scam from legit, but who knows. Anyhow, I've added the Technorati tag to my blog, FWIW.

Desperate Writer said...

Thanks for all you do, Miss Snark. :)

Jeff smith said...

Miss Snark you rock. Thanks for looking out for the clueless.

FreeSpriit said...

I ran into Lee Shore seven years ago when I tried to get representation for my first book. I couldn't afford them. Then I ran into Cris Robins. I couldn't afford her either. Thank dog for the Internet. Miss Snark nailed it--we weren't born knowing who the scammers are, we've learned by fire. If it weren't for the good folks at AW, Ann, Victoria, Dave, Miss Snark and others who take their valuable time to educate new writers, the scammers would be winning. I for one salute you.

LA Burton said...

Great post and well said!!!

Nonny said...

Miss Snark, you rule. Enough said. :)

Sara Hantz said...

WTG Miss Snark. Great response.

Chuck Rothman said...

I'm sure you're not, but don't be worried by the "libel" handwaving. Libel is a misstatement of fact; opinions (such as your list) are not libel.

Keep up the good work

Corn Dog said...

Miss Snark's been bad. I've been tacky and the dachshund has been e-vile. What else is new? Absolute Write is still not right. The message boards and posts are not functioning and 404ing. I also hold into question the subscription base. Where did that go? Stephanie's back pocket? You go Steph. Umm, incidentally I'll be in Nashville in 2 weeks. Oh..yeah!

McKoala said...

Chrysoula, an enquiring mind is a fantastic thing, but I wonder if you are over-thinking this a little and seeing conspiracies behind every word?

Thanks for standing up Miss Snark.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

You go girl!

Hooray for Miss Snark!

You're the champion of the little guy...or girl...or whatever is politically correct to call all of us who are clueless in blogland!

Anonymous said...

I have nothing clever to say... However, I love your blog and am glad that you get so fired up about what you do. As of yet, I lack a novel to be scammed over, but it's nice knowing there are people looking out for us little guys where they can.

tlh said...

Heh, I wrote a very long comment but thought better of posting it; I'll just say BRAVO, Miss Snark, and thank you for all the great posts, and for being willing to stand up for a cause you believe is just.

Carmen said...

chrysoula, a good book is a good book no matter who wrote it (or agented it). It would be highly suspect if the book were touted here and nowhere else, but it's a must-buy on many lists. Do yourself a favor and buy it. Buy it used if you want, tell Santa you want it for Christmas, whatever. But get it on your bookshelf somehow.

2readornot said...

Amen! It's good to put out a warning, because it's amazing how many people want so badly to see their words in print that they'll give in, even when a little voice inside them says, 'Don't, you idiot!'...I was nearly one of those people only a year ago...thankfully my family helped me listen to my voice. and now, Miss Snark, you are that voice!

Chrysoula said...

McKoala:

I'm reacting as somebody who doesn't spend much time on any bulletin boards related to writing. There are a lot of us out there and it's not good to assume that every aspiring writer frequents and is familiar with community and tribal rules. I believe I'm thinking, falling somewhere between over-thinking and blindly accepting something as truth. And I believe that the essential problem behind scammers is when aspiring writers simply accept something as true, without researching and cross-checking it. So I think it's important to stand up for that here and now.

I also think it's important to approach serious decisions rationally. And I find myself wondering why it took Absolute Write going down to prompt this degree of a smear campaign; surely getting Absolute Write kicked off its hosting isn't the most heinous of her crimes? And yet it's sparked all this; it feels like personal revenge rather than justice.

Anyhow, posting here is part of my cross-checking and research. I am heartened by Miss Snark's approval of my comments, and disheartened by some of the other comments people have chosen to make. Life goes on.

Moon Goddess said...

Cheers! Bravo! And well said indeed!

Quick said...

Wow. Never been to this site before and I'm instantly hooked. Have been reading to catch up, going to read more. Fascinating stuff. I think I like Miss Snark.

Chrysoula said...

I think this is the right thread to post this clarification in but there are so many I'm getting dizzy:

Just to be clear, it isn't Miss Snark's blog posts that feel like revenge, but others' comments and actions. I accept her reasoning for the actions she's taken: that if the woman is able to convince somebody she's been libeled, her infamy needs to be more publicized. (Though I thought it was because she'd claimed she was getting spam via her address being posted there? That she'd threatened to have the ISP shut down as a spammer? I hadn't noticed before that the stories had varied. ... It looks like the libel thing came from Making Light, April 20th; she'd accused TNL of libel but hadn't actually convinced anybody.)

In any case, as previously indicated, I continue to respect and admire Miss Snark for her wit and integrity even as I see more of her human side.

dangerous writer in Oregon said...

chrysoula, is it safe to assume that you've found Miss Snark's blog as a result of this latest controversy?

I've been reading here since last summer, and I double-dog-dare you to go back and read the archives from the beginning. Sit back, hang out, and read it all as if you had just gotten here, as a newbie writer. Read it with as much prejudice as you can muster. Assume that Miss Snark is trying to get your money at every turn. You won't be able to support that theory when you're done, because it's not true. She's an authentic voice, working selflessly to entertain and teach us about the literary industry. It's damn cool. And fun.

Miss Snark, you are a class act. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Surely, this is business as usual. I bet that most people who follow this blog religiously are writers who aspire to getting their work published by real publishers--and writers who have already done so. This is an audience interested in the getting-of-agents (in a good way). So, why would advice about agents who are bad, bad, bad, for writers be anything other than business as usual? As others have noted, newbies might be especially vulnerable because they don't know any better, but even writers who have heard about scams still fall for the seductive words of scamsters playing the role of "agent" or "publisher."

zornhau said...

The nice brigade should realise that if you refrain from being publicly nasty about a shark, that makes you morally culpable.

beard5 said...

Bravo! Thank you for stating what I've been thinking, in such an emphatic manner. We've all started off as newbies, and it's only because of the generosity of many anonymous members of the net, that we learn. And, thank you for, again, emphatically, defending your noble profession. (yes, yes it is a noble profession) Bravo!
Many wishes for a gin pail filled with Bombay Sapphire, roses from the delightful Mr Clooney, and filet mignon for Killer Yap.

December Quinn said...

Chrysoula, you've shown the the error of my ways. In future I will endeavor to always be completely honest. No longer will I buy books of people I like unless I have read them (for free) first to make sure I enjoyed them. If the plot doesn't interest me, I'll tell my good friend that supporting their endeavors and their happiness isn't worth £5 to me.

(Konrath did an excellent post on why we should buy our fellow writers' books, btw, if you search his archives.)

In fact, I feel so good about my new decision to be selfish and needlessly harsh, I'm going to carry it over into every aspect of my life! I'll tell my mother-in-law that she can get a cab to our house next time she visits because I don't feel like going to pick her up. I'll tell my daughter's school I feel like they're trying to steak from me by asking me to donate a cake to the school fete, since we might not be at that school next year why should I bother donating anything? And my friend who just had a baby? I'm gonna keep those chocolates for myself and tell her he's ugly. Why should I spend any of my money for gifts for her? She's only trying to scam me out of those chocolates. Next thing you know, she'll have another baby, and another, and I'll be expected to cough up the cash every time! She's nothing but a theif.

That's an interesting philosophy you have there. It's fine, if it suits you and makes you happy, but some of us don't live in a world that's so black and white. Some of us are/were well aware of exactly who Jenna Glatzer was and what she did at Absolute Write before we leapt in and accused Miss Snark and Absolute Write of being scammers for suggesting we buy her book.

What would be sharmeful is if you required people to buy your book in order to access the information provided at your website. Not merely offering it for sale.


I'm not trying to fight with you, Chrysoula, just point out that as mg said, maybe you're overthinking this a bit too much. It's great that you have such strong principles. But sometimes a recommendation is just a reocmmendation, and nobody deserves to be attacked for doing something like recommending a book--even if it violates your principles, it doesn't violate any of ours.

Lanisse said...

The world needs more people who stand up for the rights of the uneducated and the wilfully clueless. Its your living room, you do whatever the hell you like!

Susan said...

My two cents. Miss Snark performs this service for us in order to enlighten - not because she gets her rocks off answering the same questions over and over. Recently I was sucked into the scary world of Scammer Agents and a Scammer Editor - it was terrifying. I did a google search “I think I’m being scammed”, and this is how I found her blog. Without her hard advice and kind words I would have thrown in the towel, giving up on my dream. Miss Snark took coveted time out of her own busy day to respond to my pleas and questions personally and via her blog. Who in the world takes the time to care anymore? Miss Snark!

I could give a rats ass what her real name is or if she is really an agent. If she wants to remain in the shadows, then bugger off and leave her alone. She does not get paid for this labor and every once in a while some jerk comes along and fires her up. Miss Snark is a true friend to each and everyone of us. So what if she hypes on a book for us to read – shut up and buy it. If she recommends another blog or news article, read it! I will continue to take all of her advice and read everything she directs us towards – not because I am a follower, but because she knows this business and I consider knowledge a great power.

Miss Snark – I hope you will continue to shower us with your golden words of wisdom, your wit and your at times painful warnings. Many of us don’t have a clue – thanks to your blog, you have lifted the fog of ignorance and showed many of us a better way. I too tip my hat!

Christine said...

Whatever Chyrsola...

If you went and looked at the book on Amazon, you'd probably see Jenna's bio, which includes a long freelancing career, writing bios for distinguished people... like Celine Dion, and that guy from the bachelor (ok, so he's probably not distinguished). If anyone knows how to be street-smart in this biz, it's Jenna.

Just because someone recommends the book doesn't mean you have to blindly buy it. It's called a 'suggestion'.

When someone else, on a popular site, recommends something, it's called an 'endorsement'. Miss Snark endorses the book because it's written by a credible source and put out by a credible publisher. No one's twisting your arm to buy it - a 'suggestion'! a 'recommendation'!

Get a clue.

Val Tear said...

Miss Snark on her white horse with a lance in one hand, KY in the other (or is that a gin bottle?), and fire in her eyes. Makes me proud to be a snarkling.

Anonymous said...

Chrysoula, thinking for yourself and practicing due diligence involves taking expert opinion into account when evaluating information.

Why do I take most of the advice on AW and on Miss Snark's blog seriously? Because industry experts with verifiable credentials indicate it's sound advice. This isn't blind faith; it's addressing the issue of credibility.

Until you're an expert yourself, you have to rely, to a greater or lesser degree, on the experience of experts. And you only get to be an expert by having been at some point a clueless newbie listening to the advice of experts and learning to evaluate information. Going it alone and trusting no one's opinion sounds kewl and ruggedly independent and all, but in the real world it usually leads to stunning ignorance about how things actually work.

Skepticism is a fine thing. (It's even something that can be tactfully and politely expressed without offense.) Head-up-the-buttness is another thing entirely.

Mad Scientist Matt said...

If the guy behind A Gent's Outlook isn't a member of the 20 Worst Agents list, he's got to either be a contrarian nuisance impersonating an agent, or somebody with less common sense than Neville Chamberlain. It is kind of funny seeing him rant about "How dare they question the professionalism of an 'agent' whose only known sales are to a vanity press!" though.

TillyLost said...

The main absolutewrite website, with its wonderful articles, is up, but the forums sadly are not. There's an update from Jenna Glatzer on her blog:

http://jennaglatzer.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

You are particularly attractive when you get angry. Thank you for taking a stand on this. I think most of the industry will stay out of the fray, thinking they have nothing to gain. Scammers have always been around. It takes guts to jump into the middle of a bar fight. You've got guts girl.

dsquared

Inkwolf said...

For what it's worth:

I officially proclaim Miss Snark to be on the Good Guys' Side of this conflict.

You may pick up your white hat and silver spurs (and matching pair of pink poodle bandanas) at the front desk.

And I proudly award you with this rusty Clue Sledgehammer, for times when saying it long-distance with firearms just isn't enough.

Jim C. Hines said...

For anyone who's curious, check out this little Google screenshot...

http://dsnight.livejournal.com/155429.html

It shows the SFWA top 20 list as the #2 result for a Google of Barbara Bauer. That's up from about 150 over the course of 2 days.

So, anyone want to help push it to number one? :-)

Joni Rodgers said...

Go, Miss Snark! This is one of my pet diatribe issues.

I haven't forgotten my slush pile days and what it feels like to want that first book contract so bad it's burning a hole in your spleen. Those of us who've made some progress in this jungle need to better mentor the newbies.

Eika said...

THANK you, Miss Snark. Some people seem to be lacking common sense, by thinking you wouldn't stand against a scam artist like this. The REASON I didn't post my support in kicking this... this.... aw, dang, I can't think of any words that won't get my post deleted. I didn't post earlier because I ASSUMED my fellow snarklings would be just as outraged at that (insert word here) as you are.

Anonymous said...

chrysoula,
Good for you. I too have gone against the flow on this blog and posed unpopular questions on sensitive issues. I have challenged Miss Snark and upbraided some of her devotees on other issues. There were times when I was certain that Miss Snark would not post my comments but, to her credit, she did post them, [all but one time]. She has earned my respect for that, and for other reasons, but at the same time I am no blind devotee, and I would not run out and buy something just because she endorses it. I do not think she is infallible, or unflawed, or anything like that. I appreciate the service that she provides, I love her wit, and the comments trail is often as informative and entertaining as her posts.

There will always be people on this blog [as everywhere] who are so invested here that they will accuse you of having something up your butt because you dare to question or challenge Miss Snark or a Snarkling, especially at times like this when the community is in full cry and baying for blood [which in this instance, I think is justified].

Miss Snark typically conducts herself admirably, even while her devotees are foaming at the mouth in her defence. She can - and does - take care of herself.

Beyond that, anything is possible, as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who consels people to be sceptical of other people's hidden agendas is doing a public service. So - you say your say, chrysoula. Scepticism and investigation just make good sense. Especially for writers.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark: Good
Barbara Bauer: Bad

Elizabeth said...

Dog bless you, Miss Snark, and all of you Snarklings, too! May an army of stiletto heels stamp out the scammers for keeps.

Anonymous said...

Chrysoula, don't you have a book to write? ;)

Miss Snark, thank you for sharing your expertise and time so freely. You are my shero.

down_not_out said...

Oy Vey.

Free country-->
say, write, recommend what you like.

Tell all the monkeys to bite the toe of your stiletto.

Folks just like to complain. Bah! to that.

lizzie26 said...

What it all boils down to (love that phrase)is that scammers get caught, they don't like it, and neither do some of the ones who went along for the ride. I thank God they are the minority. Real agents, real publishers, and real writers (the ones who work their butt off to have a polished manuscript), are in the majority. And they rule.

You rule, too, Miss Snark. Thank you.

Kiskadee said...

To anyone accusing Jenna of just wanting our money, I'd like to quote the following form her blog:

"To the people asking about donating: I really appreciate it and may need your help soon, but right now, I don't feel comfortable accepting donations until I know if I can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I don't want to let you down."

Are those the words of a scammer?

M.E Ellis said...

People should be grateful you have brought this to our attention.

Grateful that you take the time to explain things to us.

Grateful for every thing really.

Folks, there aren't many honest people in the world. When you find one, like Miss Snark, be glad that what you see is what you get. Too many humans out there are ready to fleece you while they look you in the eye and promise you the world.

I have personally learned one hell of a lot from this blog. I may not comment often but I do come here for my daily 'lessons' and leave feeling richer that I know something new.

The fact that you're an agent (I hate ass-lickers so refuse to be one just because of your job - we're all people at the end of the day who poo, wee and puke), the fact that you know what you're talking about aside, thanks for all the help.

People like you are few and far between, giving their time freely and showing such a passion for the likes of people like me.

Thank you for giving a shit.

:O)

Susan said...

Joni Rodgers, "Those of us who've made some progress in this jungle need to better mentor the newbies." Well said! Again, it is folks like you, Miss Snark and the hand full of great agents in the world who give us "newbies" the strength to fight for our dreams. When scammers abuse hungry writers it is a crime, end of story. To those who criticize Miss Snark – if you were on the street and a child was being robbed, would you help or keep walking? A true hero would fight – it’s the right thing to do – this situation is no different. As humans we have eyes, yet this does not necessarily mean we see well.

Mark said...

My contention wasn't Jenna wanted money and is a scammer. The Cordrays wanted money and she wouldn't pay it for the hosting and database management service. Unless they really are lying to cover up the alliance with Bauer.

As one of the first to be banned from AW for apparently being "disrespectful to writers" as a writer mind you, and the first one to advocate fighting Willem Meiners, I got blogswarmed by PA authors not ready to face the music of their books' dismal future.

Miss Snark would be banned from there for the nitwit thing alone. That's not respectiful either, but it's spot on accurate as were my comments to the thin-skinned populace.

laow said...

Ms Snark, you may be baaaad.
But you're not bad.
Thank you for keeping us informed.

M. C. Pearson said...

Thank you for helping out us newbies. I adore this post.

Chumplet said...

The Clue Gun is spewing all over the place. These scammers have been around for a long time, and the various helpful websites are a godsend to us newbies. When I first started to research agents last autumn, I found many helpful sites that provided details about bad agents. Why all the fuss now? Because one of them got her pantyhose in a knot.
It's amazing how talented some of these questionable (I'm being kind) agents are at faking their own deaths. Well, maybe they're not so good at it - they always get caught.
Miss Snark, I discovered you many months ago, and I am eternally grateful for your helpful advice and your wonderful wit. You pointed my nose toward EE (for which I am developing a secret crush) and he was kind (cruel?) enough to critique two of my queries. I'm putting one to the test this week, sending out five more letters with fingers, toes and eyes crossed.
It's your blog. Do whatever you want with it. I bow deeply to your wisdom, and sincerely hope that one of my queries (hopefully post-EE) makes it to your inbox eventually.

dink said...

Thank You Miss Snark.

Victoria and Ann's credibility is impeccable. Jenna's been around helping writers for a long while.

It’s easy to substantiate both those things as well as Barbara Bauer’s reputation and the many complaints against her.

I'm afraid I don't understand how recommending a book you may not have read (Hey could the recommendation be based on the authors LONG record of accomplishment and knowledge of her subject?) is "shameful" and the passing along of a verifiable list of the 20 Worst Agents is touted as a possible "smear campaign" ... I mean, HUH?

Anyway, thanks for the righteous anger, the logic, the patience, and grace under fire. The work you do here benefits us all.

I'm grateful.

Snarkings Go Bragh!

Bernita said...

Miss Snark, you have my heart's admiration and respect.

Anonymous said...

...The nice brigade should realise that if you refrain from being publicly nasty about a shark, that makes you morally culpable.

No, it doesn't. If you're publicly nasty you may become a shark yourself. It's failure to speak up that makes you morally culpable. A snarkling, in an otherwise reasoned comment recently, wrote something like, we're only being as vicious to barbara bauer as she was to us, and i thought, vicious? anyone who wants it said of them that they acted viciously toward another, please go stand over there with the sharklings, not the snarklings.

how do you make italics in comment mode anyway?