Now we see where Barbara Bauer finds her clients

There's been quite a bit about literary agents posting on ebay, and agents/authors on Craigslist. A very sharp eyed Snarkling found this:


Back in 1996 I wrote a book and submitted it to TWELVE publishers WITHOUT an AGENT and they almost NEVER look at work not submitted by an agent.

out of those twelve letters TWO VERY LARGE companies took note of the book and asked me to rewrite it for one of them.

The editor of HHARLEQUIN ROMANCE 'called me personally' and told met that he wanted to see ANYTHING that I wrote in the future and that this book had a bit too much soft porn in it. (love scenes) AT THAT time it was soft porn, NOW they have the BLAZE harder type graphic books out on the racks.

I got a divorce that year and it ripped up my mind and life and I have not written since.
Don't have the time or creative mind due to stress and finances currently.

This is a book about
SOULMATES and is a love story, (soulmates - ALL THE HOT RAGE today)

Back then very few really knew the word and TODAY 'EVERBODY' is seeking to find their SOULMATE !
and has adventure, mystery and other misc in it. I am NOT a trained or educated writer yet they took interest inmy stuff due to dialogue mostly I think. I would like to drag that OL' BOOK out and have someone go over it and they would onlyhave to do VERY LITTLE work on it to get it into shape for publishers again. HARCOURT BRACE & JANOVICH told me to 'REWRITE THE ENDING' so that I did not give the MYSTERY OF it away before they ending, ( very small bit of work) and resend it to them and I just never did (dumb I know) but now I am ready to work with someone who is willing to go over it and get a PERCENTAGE of the profits IF it is published. Interested ? EAMIL ME !

AGENT NEEDED ALSO ! for resubmiting.

I will send it out again when it is goneover without and agent though so EDITORS, HELP ME!

VERY EAST REDO of the end of the book and some editing. I do not have the computer disc of it so it would have to be put on CD or into computer format again by this writer editor person.

Pardon typos, as I don't have good eyes or my glasses right now ;)

SERIOUS ONLY and again PERCENTAGE OF PROFITS IF it is published. I would be looking to work with someone in the future for other projects that have been STORED in my HEAD for years now.... if we are compatible for such projects.


Also a TV SERIES like The Ghost Whisperer and MEDIUM.
PARDON typos, have very tired eyes, bad eyes and left my glasses somehwere... ;)

Let's make a DEAL !

Compensation: PERCENTAGE OF PROFITS when & if published
no -- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
no -- Please, no phone calls about this job!
no -- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Before you leap all over me snarling "well, you have to think outside the box these days" let me remind you that if you want to think creatively, have at it, just spell all the words right, get the names of the publishers right and understand that "graphic" means three different things in publishing terms, none of which are lurid sex.

This is the exact kind of thinking that leads people to scam artists. They "know" (quotes used correctly thank you) it's easy to get published, they just need a little help with the details.

What's truly sad about this is that Craigslist charges people money for help wanted ads (where this ad appeared). This poor soul actually coughed up dough to post this.


Sonarbabe said...

Oh dear dog, tell me this is a joke. Tell me, Miss Snark, that this individual is not serious about this! As a romance writer who tries to target her work for Harlequin's Blaze line and trying to secure an agent all by my little lonesome, I find that ad a bit pathetic. I'm not a fantabulous author yet, (if I were, I'd be published by now) but even I know that you just have to suck it up and do the work yourself. *shakes head* Say it ain't so, Miss Snark. Say it ain't so.

Anonymous said...

If it's so little work, then why the heck aren't they doing it themselves. It saves having to fork over profits and besides, the times changed. Perhaps someone will like their style better now.

Not sending a requested rewrite is a bad thing though. No one's going to accept a query mentioning "oh yeah you requested this 10 years ago."

orishagirl said...

I guess this is what blood in the water would look like if converted into text. (Cue theme to Jaws.)

Bernita said...

Donno, Miss Snark, the whole style of this thing reads like a Nigerian scam letter - the pity-me excuses ( my eyes), the capitals.
Did Harlequin have a male editor in 1996?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, if she rambles like that in her writing she really does need an editor. And she needs to get herself organized (like finding her glasses) before she starts contacting people.

Anonymous said...

just a good example that desperate publishing times, limited understanding of the industry, and high hopes based on fantasy lead to idiotic ads.

Nick said...

I believe agents are too busy stuffing SASEs with form responses than to actually find people to reject.

Steorling said...

oh, ouch, if I ever get this desperate I hope there is some kind soul nearby who will put me out like a light.

(And as I've gotten close, my preferred method of being put "out" is tranqualizer dart, not gin pail or upper cut to the jaw.)
hehe Those last two have longer lasting side affects!

Sue said...

There are different levels of editing. If the editing work was limited to copy editing, well, maybe you could pay for a proofreader. If the editing work is line editing, well, a once over for style might be worth it as long as you LEARN from the experience and try to understand how the rewrite jazzed up your prose so you could do likewise in the future. If the editing was deeper, for structure, YIKES, unless it was relatively minor stuff like, hey, this piece of information would serve the story better if it appeared earlier or later, you need to practice more and take a class in writing or join a writer's community for critique and commentary.

As a writer, part of the joy of writing is learning all of the above so I don't need to rely to on editors to make it right. I want my prose to sing and I want the know that the song was mine. This means that for now I am learning, but learning is work. I don't want someone else to do the work for me.

Laurie said...

Someone should tell this poor soul that plunging back into her book could be the best post-divorce therapy money can't buy. Besides, if it's such an easy fix, she should be doing the revisions herself rather than trying to lure an editor into it "for a percentage of the profits." Who's scamming whom here? And for dog's sake (borrowing a handy expression from Miss Snark), get the ms scanned or do the keyboarding yourself.

kis said...

What's wrong with this woman? If all she needs is to change the ending and eliminate typos while putting it on disc, she could get her mom or sister or best friend to do that--and they'd probably do it for free. This just doesn't seem on the up and up. An author out to scam scammer agents? Now why does that idea make me smile?

lizzie26 said...

I agree with kis. This doesn't seem above-board at all. Words in all caps interspersed throughout the ad, the "personal touch" by mentioning weak eyes.... It reads like junk email or snail mail. Definite scam in some way.

Sal said...

What's truly sad about this is that Craigslist charges people money for help wanted ads (where this ad appeared). This poor soul actually coughed up dough to post this.

Quick search shows the posting comes from the Santa Barbara Craigslist. Craigslist only charges for job postings in Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area and for brokered housing listings in NYC.

Everything else you said was spot on.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Unfortunately, there are some writers out there who will attempt to scam an agent.

Jessica said...

Please forgive my hand writing as I have busted whichever hand it is I write with. When she said "graphic novel," I thought she was talking about actual graphic novels (comic books), and I was really confused for a moment. But my question is what exaclty is an "East redo?" Is she changing the setting to the East? Oh, she meant easy? Well, if her novel has as many mistakes as this "query," I don't think any editing on it will be easy. It comes down to the simple fact that she's exaclty right when she said, "editors, help me!"

Ken Boy said...

That is so sad. At times like this, I don't want to read between the lines. :(

Skylar said...

As a freelance editor who often works with self-published authors, I cannot imagine agreeing to a "percentage of the profits IF and when" a book is published. It sounds like she is trying to secure free editing services. And, based on this listing, I rather doubt her book needs a mere touch-up.

cl nut said...

This ad offers pretty good evidence as to why craigslist *should* charge for ads.

Corn Dog said...

Craigslist is a constant source of entertainment, perhaps when it shouldn't be. This was also posted under writing gigs today:

"I am trying to reach a woman in Tamil Nadu but either I have the wrong number or she does not speak English. I need somebody's help!

If you can call and find a Ms. Sxxxxxx, and find someone English-speaking that can communicate with me, I will paypal you $5.00. Please help me do a good deed!

India country code is xxx
Her phone number (supposedly) is xxxxx-xxxx
So I believe you will dial: xxx xxxx xxxxxxx"

Yeah, ummm. I'm going to jump right on that opportunity too.

word verification: snggwrkm - looks suspiciously like snag work - believe you me, I'm trying

Chumplet said...

How do you know the poor soul is a woman? I read it through and I can't find any gender reference.

Anonymous said...

Nope, no male editors at Harlequin in 1996 (I think that was the year). And Jovanovich (not "Janovich") left Harcourt Brace in the 1970s--

My guess is this poor person actually does have a book and wants someone to fix it for her, but she is making up the supposed responses from editors in a pathetic effort to catch someone's eye. Sad, very sad.

Writerious said...

I've run across this sort of offer before: "I have this great idea and even outlined it. I need someone to write it. We'll split the profits." To a writer this says, "I did the easy part, now you do all the long, hard work, and we'll divide the money evenly between us." Such a deal.

Piecing together a story from the clues here (and I may be trotting in entirely the wrong direction), I'm going to guess that this "rewrite" is more than just a rewrite -- that this person's old idea has been sketched out, but the hapless "editor" who answers will be writing much of the book from scratch. If this ad is for real (and I have to wonder), I suspect this person has ONE big idea, and believing that ideas are rare and miraculous, doesn't want to let go of it. But neither does she really want to write -- she wants to have written. So, believing she's done all the hard work, she'd going to hire someone to finish up the part she doesn't have the patience for -- that is, piecing together an actual story out of all those soft porn scenes and coming up with a satisfactory ending.

Notice also the enticement that she has some other ideas in her head and will "work with" the hireling on these -- oh, boy. More offers of "I have an idea, all you have to do is write it."

Sounds like she's looking for a ghostwriter so she can be a famous author without all that bother of actually writing anything.

Lydia said...

Harcourt Brace doesn't even publish romance....

Akuseru said...

I got a divorce that year and it ripped up my mind and life

Somehow, I have equated the above line with "My dog ate my homework!" Am I the only weirdo here who read that line and immediately pictured a creature somewhat like an ugly puppy with cloven hooves, running rampant through someone's beautifully decorated house and wreaking absolute havoc on everything it contained?

Sophia said...

Reading that letter gave me the impression of a man, not a woman, writing it. I didn't think "pathetic writer, likely to be taken in my scammers" but "twisted scammer, out to get as much as they can from a gullible writer out there, and then head off with any earnings". That CD idea is handy - makes it harder for the real writer to prove they did the work. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

Julie Leto said...

There is no way that letter is real. Harlequin was already publishing Blaze in 1996, albiet under the Temptation banner. And no male editors were working for the company back then. And doesn't Hardcourt do textbooks and nonfiction?

And besides, it's clear this person cannot write, lost glasses or not. I'm blind as a bat without my specs and I'm typing this right now without them and well, lack of coffee notwithstanding, I doubt I'd make such errors.

Bethany said...

People didn't know the word "soulmates" in 1996??

I'm quite sure it was already a cliche in 1996.

Anonymous said...

What was publish-able in romance 1996 is vastly different than publish-able today. Harlequin will probably reject the manuscript today. She should query first before putting all the time in editing and rewriting.