STATUS: Feeling happy. I’m really close to resolving an outstanding issue. My New Zealand/Australian author Cheryl Sawyer needed an ITIN (International Tax Identification Number) so her publisher could pay her without withholding 30% of her royalties for tax purposes. It has been a long, frustrating road for Cheryl. Many IRS hoops to jump through, but finally the ITIN is here and the W8BEN form has been completed. We can now benefit from the US tax treaty with Australia. No 30% for you IRS!
What song is playing on the iPod right now? TRULY MADLY DEEPLY by Savage Garden
If you know me personally, you’d know that nothing burns me more then hearing about writers who are fleeced by scam agents. It makes me truly irate that there are unethical people in the world who prey on the hopes, dreams, (and I have to say) ignorance of aspiring authors.
Lucky for me, there are brilliant people in the world like Dave Kuzminski for Preditors and Editors and A.C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware.
Well guess what? Ann and Victoria have just nailed another scam b*stard. Click here to read the whole story. These folks unselfishly take a lot of heat and keep the world safe for the newbies in the publishing world.
Three Cheers! Three Cheers! Three Cheers!
And while I’m on this topic, I want to throw in a warning about marginal agents—folks who might mean well and aren’t scammers but also aren’t very effective (folks that might be on the writer conference circuit but don’t seem to be selling any books). And just to be clear, I’m not talking about new agents who are brand new to an already established agency or have recently established their own agencies. These folks are either paying their dues or have paid their dues by working at other agencies or by being actual editors at publishing houses. Obviously these folks won’t have a lot of sales to their credit. I’m talking about “agents” for whom you can’t find any information about recent sales or past publishing jobs. Trust me, this information should not be hard to find and if it is…
That’s a red flag (as are any fees: editorial, reading, submission, or whatever they are being called. Money flows to the author—not the other way around).
Remember, anyone can hang a shingle and state that he/she is an agent. Hanging the shingle doesn’t make that true. Only good contacts and a solid sales record can.