10.27.2006

Why Should You Care...you're not an idiot right?

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?

82 comments:

M. G. Tarquini said...

Holy sh*t.

Thank you.

Elektra said...

I heart Miss Snark

LadyBronco said...

Miss Snark...
If it were not for you and other agents who gave a damn about their industry and all of us 'nitwits' and 'Snarklings', a lot of newbies would be in the dark about these flim flam agents; so as a hopeful new author...thanks a million. You rock!

Karen Mary Lynch said...

You go Miss Snark. I've not written a novel and have not sought out an agent before so this hasn't been an issue for me ... but man, if you didn't get me saying, 'Yeah, what she said!' tonight as I read your post! I love professionals with ethics and integrity. You are clearly a woman of that caliber.

Mrs. Brain Bomb said...

I think the comment on agents having a page that would briefly say, "xyz are red flags for unscrupulous agents," is a great idea. It doesn't need to take up a lot of space on the site and it's good agenting karma, right? I hope agents follow suit.

Anonymous said...

You may be a snark, but you are a wonderful person and thank you.

Kim Stagliano said...

I am mere plankton in the ocean of publishing, Miss Snark is a killer whale -- but I did blog this situation.

I liken this new literary "association" to the following: Say 20 doctors have been sued to smithereens and lost every case. They band together and form the AAALP, "The American Association For The Advancement of Living Patients." You find them on your insurance list and are impressed. WOW! They created an entire medical association? Are you disconcerted when they hand out pamplets directing you to funeral homes at your first visit?

CAVEAT EMPTOR has always and will always hold true. And most people are unwillinging to get involved or stick their necks out even for a good reason. Sad but also true.

Thanks for spreading the word, Miss Snark.

(PS)You know I meant killer whale in the nicest possible way, right?

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You go, Miss Snark!!!

Frankly, I've never picked up an agent's book on how to get published and to be honest, with all you agents blogging (along with the good folk you named), why would I need to?

Agents, please concentrate on finding the best of what you represent. Bring THAT to us readers (we just might buy new books again instead of trading them online).

Part of your quest to find the best should be putting your best face out there to us who are aspiring to be published. If you'd put more information on your websites, you might find fewer queries for things you don't represent.

Maya said...

I quit subscribing to The Writer's Digest for exactly this reason.

I understand that they can't be expected to screen all the ads they run, but come on! They run ads for operations *I* know are scams. How come they don't know it?

If I had a dollar for every young writer I've warned about an agent or publisher who told me "But I found the ad in Writer's Digest," I'd be able to finance a trip to Harrods. If you're going to advertise yourself as a source of info for young writers, you ought to feel a sense of obligation to those same writers.

I know that doesn't excuse the newbie from not doing his/her homework, but it frosts me just the same.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I heart you.

overdog said...

"Why aren't we, the agents, putting "here's how to recognize the riff raff" on OUR websites?"

Maybe it takes Miss Snark to start the trend.

Bless you, Miss S.

michaelgav said...

First of all, $450 to turn the upholstery world upside down, well, I thought it was worth it.

Second of all, I love when you make a speech. I mean that. The things that stir me, and make me slap my hand on the bar and say, "Damn right!" -- these things come from way down inside of the speaker. You show us more of yourself when you get pissed. That matters because we find out that it's not just attitude. It is passion.

That distinction is important.

Christine said...

Brava!
Every agent/publisher should have a space on their site dedicated to "things to watch out for"

Of course, outside third party information, like Writer Beware or AW, help to back up that information.

We all need to work together for a better publishing world. :)

No, please don't sing kumbayah. Please.

Euan said...

Right on, Miss Snark. About the 'New York Literary Agency' though--all the ads I've seen for that have been in the little Google Ad boxes, so I don't think the owners of the site have any control over them. At one point, ads for various scammers were popping up on the old AW board in the same way.

Jenan Mac said...

Oh my.
If I had George Clooney sitting at my desk right now, I'd giftwrap him for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I'm almost crying here out of gratitude for all you've done for writers. There was so much more I wanted to say, but I'll just stop with that.

Christie said...

That was awesome. (wipes a tear from her eye)
You really do care.

Much lovin to you, Miss Snark.

Lauren said...

That is the kindest, most caring piece of snarkism you've ever posted, you heart of gold, you.

Kim said...

Woohoo!

I can't top any of the other comments here and I wholeheartedly agree!

Thank you - maybe this will start a new trend...

Lori said...

Well said, Miss Snark, and thank you.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Bravo, Miss Snark! I agree with every word.

Mark said...

Yeah I hear ya and it's because most agents don't even know who these fringe scammers are. You have to admit it's a big business and the numbers who think they belong are staggering despite the proof available that they don't.

It's a shark tank. I keep trying to educate PA victims because that particular outfit has rooked so many. The toughest part is convincing them to concentrate on the work and not the fact that PA has or had it. Particularly in the legal sense. Don't submit anything encumbered by these crooks. On the off chance it's accepted (albeit long I'll admit) they'd latch on like a Remorra.

miss snark is playing a key role in this educational process. And she's from a cool part of the country and hasn't forgotten it in Gotham.

Here's lookin at you kid.

Nick said...

Hmm. Well, Miss Snark, I have to disagree with you on one part. It shouldn't be the agents who watchdog for other agents. To get cliché, who will police the police? The good agents will have one list of things to watch out for, the bad ones another. The situation actually demands a neutral third-party (whether it be writers or someone else) to sit back and objectively make these judgment calls.

I do completely understand your frustration, though.

-Nick

Miss Snark said...

Nick--the bar association polices its own, as do the docs.

Thomma Lyn said...

Miss Snark: you rock, and that's all there is to it. Your courage, integrity, and desire to help shines through each one of your posts, snarkiness and all. :)

Thank you for being there for us writers.

Sal said...

Blogged about this. Posted a heads-up in misc.writing.

Brava to you, Miss Snark, for warning and ranting.

All of us-ns on the other side of the transom also need to do our bit to join Dave and Ann and Victoria and smite those little ratties when they poke their heads out of their rat holes.

carlynarr said...

Miss Snark, you are just so awesome. Please don't ever, ever doubt that. I appreciate you so much and the way you donate your time and position to help out writers. THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

You work to develop your art. Learn about archs and nuance and subtext while ignoring family, food, friends. Even guess how warm the day is, always looking out that damned window. You're a writer. You pay your fucking dues.

I'm not stupid. But I would have fallen for that one.

Chumplet said...

Damned straight your heads-up is not intended for the industry insiders - they're intended for the wee pie-in-the-sky writers who have just begun their tentative journey into query world.

That website looks reaaaal purty, and anyone can be sucked into their smooth, silky, slick, slimy assurances that they are doing it all for Y.O.U.

Don't get sucked in, aspiring authors. Don't hand over a single penny, euro, ruble or dinar until you receive your due.

Just spend your money on stamps, ink, toner, paper and envelopes (okay, and a conference or two if you got the cash) and hold onto every receipt.

Chumplet said...

Nick, in Canada, SIU investigates any shooting that involves police, to determine if every guidline is being followed. Many organizations watch their own - Chartered Accountants, builders, contractors. Ever heard of the Better Business Bureau?

Chumplet said...

Maya, I work for a newspaper. If we get a complaint about an advertiser not operating to a certain code of ethics, we investigate and exercise our right NOT to allow that advertiser to purchase an ad in our paper. Perhaps Writer's Digest should follow the same path.

I read the articles in Writer's Digest, but not the ads.

ORION said...

Miss Snark,
You're beautiful when you get angry.

Bill Thompson said...

Euan, every website owner who displays Google Adsense ads has the option of blocking ads from specific advertisers. Log into your Adsense account, go to "Competitive Ad Filter," and add the URL of the advertiser you want to block, and their ads will never appear on your website.

I've now added New York Literary Agency to the list of advertisers blocked from appearing on my three websites.

McKoala said...

Good on you, Miss Snark. With thanks from us all.

Sallymannder said...

When I was ready to start querying agencies, every time I clicked something on agencies, the New York Literary Agency (full page) popped up. I saw that I could submit my query info right on their site, so I typed it in. Lo and behold, the very next hour they were requesting my full manuscript and I was jumping up and down. I thought to myself, finding an agent isn't as difficult as I thought. But, before sending anything, I started wondering why there were no agent bios to read, no addresses or phone numbers. They wanted my manuscript electronically. I wasn't a total nitwit, novice that I was. I checked them out and found they were under investigation by the FBI and were being sued by many writers. Without any warnings out there for new writers, we could be shot down before we even get started. You are doing everyone a great service Miss Snark. Thank you.

Jenna Glatzer said...

May your gin pail never run dry, Miss Snark.

I agree a thousand times over. It would be so nice to have more agents bolstering the efforts of the "scambusters."

Euan, regarding the Google ads: yes, you're remembering right-- when we were on ezBoard, we weren't allowed to control the Google ads that appeared. Now that we're on our own server, we can block specific urls from appearing in our Google ads. I wish everyone who has the ability to do that would block scammers' ads!

Anonymous said...

Agent Kirsten has joined the fray with her blog entry tonight. Between the two of you, I hope to avoid the worst of the pitfalls. Thank you Miss Snark. You and your little dog too.

roach said...

In case any website owners using Google Ads doesn't already know this: there is a way to block ads that link to certain domain names. It does require constant vigilance (NYLA has a gazillion different urls that redirect to their main site) but it's better than the alternative (being viewed as endorsing scam operations.)

Anonymous said...

Chumplet, I think you meant to say that, in Ontario, SIU investigates any shooting that involves the police. Good for Ontario, to have an independent civilian agency that has the power to investigate. It would be a better Canada if every province had its own SIU.

Senile in St. Louis said...

I wanna pile on! Miss Snark rocks, socks, and bops.

Keep on fighting the good fight. If I could figure out a way to scam the scammers I’d do it. Yanno, like a mission impossible thing, but maybe with George instead of that grinning midget?

Senile in St. Louis said...

Another thought. Are those bottom feeders organizationally related? Or did several disreputable agencies really forge an agreement to self-promote?

Talentless said...

Brilliantly said! The fact is dreams make people vulnerable to being nitwits. And the great unpublished masses are a large and potentially profitable marketing opportunity for both the good guys and the bad.

Sam said...

As in any job, writing is full of pitfalls. Your blog makes it easier - thank you!


I was just telling my daughter about The Producers (have to find a copy for her) - So thanks for the link to Springtime for Germany!

Ray Goldensundrop said...

That was good, first reading experience of the day. Makes me want to break into song:

It's Springtime,
For Writers,
And Publishing!


Except it's early and the house is asleep.

Anonymous said...

Here in the UK we have the Association of Authors Agents. It's voluntary, but most reputable agents are members. Their Code of Practice is a good summary of how any decent agent should behave, and an aspiring writer enquiring into these matters should get to hear of it pretty quickly, if they know enough to start digging. But so many don't know they need to dig, and as you say, Miss Snark, it's not obvious: there's much about the industry that's peculiar.

The ideal would be for the Association's existence to be well-enough known that any newbie writer would automatically look for a membership logo, and mistrust any organisation that didn't have it. But alas, it's a tiny organisation with no staff or premises, run by agents with all too much to do already in earning their own livings.

And yes, I too think that 'we have no control over the Google ads' isn't a good enough defence for a site that advertises scams, even inadvertently. At the very least there should be a line - bigger than the ads - making it clear that the site doesn't warrant anything about them. And for real integrity, the site should pay the rent some other way.

WitLiz Today said...

The rallying cry for change is good. As far as it goes. Will it affect change? Probably not. Change comes from within; from the writer willing to educate himself, and work hard to carve out a long road to success, and from agents, editors, publishers and authors,willing to extend themselves to help educate the writer.

Unfortunately the reality is that there will always be people ready, willing and able to separate a writer from his money. There will always be writers willing to be seduced on the flimsiest of promises. It doesn't matter how obvious a scam might seem to me, or to others who have great powers of discernment, like Miss Snark; if writers are looking somewhere over the rainbow for the shortest path to success, long live the scammer.

This plays out in all areas of life, not just publishing. It's an age old problem.

So it really is up to the writer, or person to quit looking over the rainbow for the shortest distance to nirvana.

Blogs like this one can only do so much. You could put a neon sign on your website, saying, WARNING, IILLLALALAL is phony baloney. How that sign is interpreted is what matters. And there will be umpteen interpretations depending on the needs and wants of the writer.

It's my belief that published authors could do more to stem the tide of scammers than agents, editors or publishers put together.

All too often however, the published author winds up obsessing about the next book and the next book...because they know it ain't what you've done, but what have you done for me lately. Another whacked out philosophy modern society has latched onto. Agents, publishers and editors could do more to help the published author.

One thing I do know and I'm very glad that Miss Snark brought this out into the open; you will never affect change as a single individual if you point fingers and name call. Patience is truly a virtue on these blogs if you are a regular commenter. Not raising the third finger of judgment in your comments will go along way towards helping people and not hurting them. That can help affect change. Never underestimate the power of your commentary-- for good or bad.

In the final analysis, the quickest way to affect change is to change as an individual, and live by example. Words aren't enough in this get rich quick, instant gratification society of ours.

Integrity starts from within. Caring begins when we are respected as individuals, writers, or nitwits. Respect goes far when it trickles down from the top of the totem pole to the person or writer who struggles the most. Unfortunately when the cream rises to the top it often curdles, so that the people who have the most influence end up passing e coli around.

Christine said...

That's why the police have a Department of Internal Affairs.

Maybe agents should have a Agent Patrol.

Come on, can't you just see Miss Snark in shiny leather boots, storming the offices of someone like BB??

Ah, does the heart good.

Bridget Medora said...

I heart Miss Snark for so many reasons...not the least of which is that she obviously so dearly hearts us, every last one of us. Thank you, thank you.

Kelley Bell said...

If this were the real world, I would cover your soap box in gold.

BuffySquirrel said...

Well said.

When I was looking into one bait-and-switch vanity press, the most references Google could turn up were, yes, their ads on various writing sites. Let's be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

tinkerbell said...

It's great that you're alerting writers to this pitfall. Is it not a criminal offence, what they're doing? Because if not it should be. It's misrepresentation isn't it?

Bonnie Shimko said...

I've never been accused of being a moron, at least not to my face. But when I finished my first novel, Going to War with the Avon Lady, I queried an "agent" I found in the back of a popular writers magazine. (Their ad is still running.) First off, even though I thought the book was wonderful, it was just awful - putrid, in fact . But, in a very short time, I received a signed, very official-looking contract in the mail. All I had to do was sign the contract and send them $140 and they'd sell my book. I was thrilled! Before I could even find my check book and a pen, I got a phone call from the "agent." "Have you sent the contract back yet?" she wanted to know. "We're anxious to sell your book." Still no clue on my end. But then she began to sound like a telemarketer, and bells started to ring in my head. Little, bitty bells, but they were ringing. "What did you like about the book?" I asked. She hemmed and hawed and tried to change the subject. Finally, she said, "Well, I haven't actually read the book, but I used to be an Avon lady, so I know I could sell it." And to think they're still at it.

Thanks, Miss Snark.

NitWitness said...

Barbara Bauer's website says it all, in one word, about this group.

Spew it with me:

www.BBLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.com

There. Don't you feel better now?

katiesandwich said...

Maya: Yeah, the whole thing about Writer's Digest advertizing for New York Literary Agency and vanity presses really gets me, too. (And does anybody else think that naming an agency "The New York Literary Agency" is stupid? It's like naming a restaurant "The Restaurant.") I haven't taken action like you have and cancelled my subscription, but maybe I will. The magazine has been sucking lately, anyway.

Heatheness said...

WitLiz - What an insightful post. I think this especially bears repeating:

*So it really is up to the writer, or person to quit looking over the rainbow for the shortest distance to nirvana.*

Scammers preying on naiive authors are nasty and awful. No doubt! But writers who can't write, who don't know good writing when they see it, who won't take criticism or do the work to get better, who won't learn about the business from the expert advice available because they're too busy thinking of their own imminent fame, AND THESE FOLKS ARE LEGION, do not inspire any more sympathy from me than any other silly idiot out stumbling around in the world. (A little, not too much, I admit.)

If they want to go to a pretend-publisher and pretend-publish their book and then pretend to be published authors, well, I hate to say it but no amount of warnings from reputable agents and editors (no one listens to writers, anyway, so...) is going to change anything.

Incidently, this is not an endorsement of MFAs or writing programs or even critique groups (me? none, none and none), nor meant to imply anything but that writing takes work, and so does representing it, editing it, publishing it, distributing it, promoting it and hey, sometimes, even READING it. Anyone who thinks they know otherwise or better, well, they kind of deserve what they find at the end of their shortcut.

2readornot said...

I had an editor approach me like that. I didn't have to pay anything, but I also would only receive royalties when the book sold from the publisher's website for full price! Otherwise, I got nothin'! There are tons of scams out there -- thanks for doing your part, Miss Snark!

ChunkyC said...

Thank you, Miss Snark.

Upthread, someone mentioned the UK agent's association. Many who read here will know the American version is the Association of Author's Representatives.

I'm curious, why would anyone form a new agent's association when there already are highly respected professional associations they could join?

Oh by the way, both the AAA and AAR have codes of ethics all members must adhere to. Just thought I'd mention that.

Once again, thank you Miss Snark for all that you do.

Charlie
board admin
Absolute Write

Catja (green_knight) said...

Actually, there *is* an agent who gives up a lot of time and energy to educate writers about how reputable agents work, what writers should expect, and how they should behave towards agents.

She's known as Miss Snark ;-)

Yes, there were other agents blogging before you, but this blog has raised the bar considerably - since it began it has become acceptable for agents to speak very frankly about the quality of submissions; about the ways in which writers further (or kill) their careers, what happens inbetween (or at) those three-hour lunches...

It's hard to overestimate the impact this blog had on the writing community.

Thank you, Miss Snark.

wonderer said...

Miss Snark, you rock. Thank you.

Yahzi said...

Hear, hear.

Miss Snark is exactly right.

If more people paid attention to what was going on outside their own immediate, internal affairs, then there would be a lot less going on.

NitWitness said...

Oh you just gotta love this:

http://www.vampwriter.com/10%20Best%20Literary%20Agents.htm

Crash Froelich said...

Sometimes the difference between petulance and indignation is an honest heart. Congratulations on the content of yours.

p.n. elrod said...

My thanks to you and the rest for pouring salt on the slugs:

http://p-n-elrod.livejournal.com/16292.html

Rashenbo said...

Very informative, this post is a must read for writers. And, I have to say there are some great comments by the visitors. I'm enjoying reading all this!

Thanks

Anonymous said...

It's not just agents that should open thier mouths. While at a critique meeting last month one of the members was so excited to tell us she'd been offered a contract from an agent. When she said the agent's name I choked on my coffee. Without a waste of a second, I told her it was a scam and to really research them before signing that contract. I was accused to being jealous and petty. I lost a critique group, but would I do it again? Yes.

Chumplet said...

We played 'Springtime for Hitler' last night, on both laptops. Good times. At the moment I am enjoying Young Frankenstein. T'is the season!

Anonymous, I mentioned the SIU and forgot to say that it was Ontario. Too bad it isn't Canada-wide.

Aso, if any consumers are upset about the advertising content of certain writing magazines, they should lodge a complaint with the publisher. These days the internet can make or break a magazine, and an Editor-in-Chief with half a brain will sit up and pay attention.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Of course, the scammers and even some misinformed writers typically accuse Preditors & Editors of not having proof and just spewing our opinions. However, the truth is if that was the case, the list of not recommended sites on the P&E pages would increase immediately because there are a dozen at least that I'd dearly like to label as not recommended because of a strong feeling that they're not legitimate. Fortunately for them and unfortunately for writers, I actually require proof before P&E labels any agent, publisher, editing service or other writing business as not recommended.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for the cabal meeting with Ann, Victoria, Jim, Miss Snark, and Jenna. We have to decide how to divide the green stamp that ten years of cabaling has earned us. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you once again, Miss Snark, for sticking up for the writer. We ALL (writers, agents, anyone in the publishing community) need to be vigilant about spreading the word about these pirahnas. I was able to read the correspondence between the NY Literary Agency and a writer, and even as a former lawyer, I was able to see how they can look pretty damn seductive to a writer trying to score an agent. There were red-flag statements, but they "explained" their view on them (such as declining AAR membership) and all the initial correspondence could seem like the real thing to someone not incredibly savvy about the business, or who hadn't been given the heads-up about them.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Even when there are standards of professional conduct, people are reluctant to criticize others.

This is part of the "don't judge me" mentality that infects America. It's a wrong-headed attitude.

If the good agents out there don't want to expose the bad, that's fine. But put a page on your site that clearly summarizes what professional and ethical conduct for a Literary Agent is.

I wonder about some agents. There are a few who seem to skirt the edge of ethical behaviour. A few of these have "big names." There are some that may even be suffering from a strange psychological disorder. I read a science article that scientists think they found "a god module" in the human brain. At least one agent out there suffered slippage. Their name slipped into the module, and they now think they're god. If one thinks they're god, they can't expose others of their sort, can they? If others of the same sort are less than divine, they are too.

That does seem to be a problem. But most of the agents who've touched my life are at least moderately nice. One or two have been true humans, exceptionally kind, even while telling me to take my sorry writing somewhere else. I really liked the nice Lady who told me that my submission wasn't for her, but to keep her in mind for other things. Her letter was well written, professional, and –well- nice. Nice came through very clearly. I'm into nice in business relationships.

I'm also rambling. But that's okay … Even roses ramble.

Maya said...

Chumplet: I agree, which was why I wrote a letter cancelling my subscription and saying exactly why I was cancelling.

Sheila said...

Anonymous - You lost a critique group??!! WTF? Hope you found a better one!

Miss Snark - Thank You!

Would the AAR have any say/power/recommendations on this?

Benjamin Solah said...

I wasn't really surprised when I looked at their list of top 10 literary agents. Surprise, surprise! Number one is Barbara Bauer.

NitWitness said...

*gasp*

Bawbwa Bauer accused you of being 'a dragoon of writers'.

Say it ain't so, Miss Snark. Say it aint' so! ;)

PS - Stupid, isn't it? Her mentioning you and sending the curious over HERE to learn about the real in's and out's of writing.

A. C. Crispin said...

Kudos to you, Miss Snark, you rule!

If only there were some way to get the Association of Authors Representatives and the Association of American Publishers to post warnings on their site, giving newbie writers criteria on how to judge agents or publishers...

But I suspect that might be viewed as restraint of trade.

Bummer. I guess the "cabal" will just have to keep slogging down here in the trenches.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com
www.accrispin.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

It certainly doesn't help when reputable (?) organizations like PMA (Independent Book Publishers Association - http://www.pma-online.org/index.cfm) continues to accept scam publishers for membership and advertise scam agents in their newsletter.

MrsMacNeil said...

Ha ha ha!
I love that the site you linked to has a faq stating the reason authors should pay an agent a retainer is because of computers.
"Now that computers have entered the home…" That made me chuckle.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Ann, first they'd have to prove that they have a trade, wouldn't they? I don't think scam agency is recognized as a legal trade.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Just came from the IILAA pages and they're gone! Vanished! :)

Miss Snark said...

they aren't blank now.
they are...well.."professional" isn't quite the word

thank goodness this is Sunday and we all have to go back to work in 12 hours!

~Nancy said...

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?

Well, you have, Miss Snark, and you've made it prominent in your blog entries.

So you're off the hook.

BTW, thanks for recognizing the riff raff and pointing it out to us snarklings.

~JerseyGirl

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Miss Snark, you ROCK!

Yasmine

Anonymous said...

Chumplet said: Ever heard of the Better Business Bureau?

Friends, the BBB is NOT a consumer protection agency. It exists to promote the interests of the businesses that are members. Pay your fees on time and respond to customer complaints (which may be done by sending a form letter that says, in effect, "We're not going to do anything, neener neener"), and you're a member in good standing of the local BBB.

PublishAmerica is a member of their local BBB, for example.

The BBB's purpose is not to protect the consumer.

Aconite