One of my favorite Friday night activities is talking about scam, sham, and flim-flam agencies like these.
There have been some comments along the lines of "anyone who gets fooled by this deserves what they get" (as happened when we had some fun advertising the Twenty Worst Literary Agencies).
Maybe. There are some truly truly witless people out there, and you can't save people who are marching over a cliff singing "Springtime for Hitler".
But we weren't all born knowing that reputable agents don't charge a fee; that reputable agents are inundated with queries and don't particularly want to talk to you on the phone; that reputable agents don't advertise.
In fact, much of publishing, particularly contacting agents, is not only counter-intuitive, it's absolutely contrary to how other businesses are run. In any other business calling to check up on the status of a project is the sign of a with-it, on top of things, organized person. In publishing, from a potential client, it's not any of those things.
A very very good editor weighed in saying "this is basically a tempest in a teapot" and "no editor pays attention to this". That's also very true, and my posts about these flim flam scam mongers weren't intended for the industry professionals reading this blog.
But this BIG RED LETTER comment is directed to my colleagues:
It pisses me off that people use OUR profession to prey on people. You can bet your bottom dollar that if some flim flam scam sham artist went around to writing conferences advertising him/herself as an editor at BookEmDanno Publishing Company that there be fecal matter hitting the cooling device faster than you can say "clean up your euphemisms for the RSS feed".
It pisses me off that the people who had to lead the parade about policing OUR profession are the WRITERS: Ann, Victoria, Dave, and Absolute Write. Why aren't we, the agents, putting "here's how to recognize the riff raff" on OUR websites? Are we too busy touting our own books on how to get published or how to write well to actually provide easy to understand information that explains our industry and might possibly help some poor guy out in Wrightersville who thinks $450 is a small price to pay for getting his upholstery novel published??
It pisses me off that in the interest of making money on google ads, otherwise reputable people are giving space to flim flam scam agencies. How the hell is anyone supposed to know that "NEW YORK LITERARY AGENCY" is a sham when they see it on every site they click on?
Why should you care? Cause you have some integrity, don't you?