Pub Rants

Not Quite The American Export I’d Hope For

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STATUS: TGIF! I haven’t seen a good funny (that I could share on the blog anyway) in ages. I need to rally the troops to send some my way again.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME by Jewel

I was reading Publishing Perspectives this morning and came across an article that just made me groan. Of course there are scam artists all around the world but in general, the whole shady practice of pretending to be a literary agent and charging reading fees has been a pretty American concept.

Alas, not anymore.

Great. One of the things I’d prefer not to be an American export…. Not to mention, there are SO many more resources available online here in The States to help writers avoid the publishing-money-scam pitfall. I can’t imagine the same holds true in India. Perhaps I have some intrepid blog readers there who might help spread the word by posting links to the article or starting chats on the subject.

12 Responses

  1. Angela Brown said:

    Would have been nice to export something like…I don’t know, new and improved toe socks?

    There are, unfortunately, so many people who want to be published so bad that they’ll fall for so many things.

  2. Anonymous said:

    I hope this makes the rounds in social networks. But it’s the kind of thing a lot of authors want to stay away from. It’s like trying to go up against book pirates. They can, and will, leave bad reviews about authors on purpose just to get even. And with the way review systems are set up on places like amazon and goodreads, they have full control to do whatever they way. And bad reviews can hurt. There’s a certain amount of fear involved and I know authors who have been told to stay away from these things by publishers.

    But I hope that other people reading this will help spread the word.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Dont pay agents. Just keep sending them your horrible writing and drive them to an early grave from starvation.

  4. Anonymous said:

    I have been through something like that,a scam. I won’t mention any names but it’s like Angela said, you are desperate to get published and would do about anything. I was so exited when they said they want to represent me that I was blind and didn’t see the big question marks. It sucks though to find out that they were only a scam. At least I have learned my lesson and will do my research first before making a decision. Thank you agent for blogs like these. I have learned so many things just by reading your entries.

    Regard, all the way from Sunny South Africa.

  5. Anonymous said:

    Keep scamming literary agents with your awful writing and tell them it will be a bestseller. That’s right, just keep scamming the literary agents and drive them to an early grave by wasting all their time on your badly written work that no one will ever buy and make them read your work for free so they die young.

  6. Lucy said:


    I forget how this came up a while back, but an Indian writer did mention it in the comments of another blog. It does, sadly, seem to be the sort of cottage industry for which there are always consumers.

    And yes, I’d love to see someone get going with the Indian counterpart to Writer Beware.


  7. Lucy said:

    Folks, regarding Anon 9:02

    Where anonymous attacks on Writer Beware are concerned, you may find it helpful and informative to read this link. This is an ongoing problem in the comments of agent blogs lately, as it is elsewhere.

    To be succinct: Writer Beware is a publishing watchdog with an excellent history of helping and protecting writers. However, the scammers who are being exposed are not amused, and are retaliating through anonymous character assassinations such as the example above.

    The Write Agenda