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Author scam - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Author scam
James Frey tries a new scam on aspiring authors.

[Quirrel voice]Thought you ought to know.[/Quirrel voice]
6 comments or Leave a comment
mk_tortie From: mk_tortie Date: November 14th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why on earth would someone fall for that? Ergh... scammers will always exist so long as people are willing to let someone else think for them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 14th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Every scam I hear, I think that.

But I think that younger writers, particularly, have been inundated with people telling them that they're so brilliant, only publishing industry conspiracies could possibly explain their lack of sales, so they need to get around the gatekeepers, and here's a way...

I remember once when I was young (so very long ago), having a friend utterly refuse to believe me when she said that a friend had just gotten an agent, and was only paying the guy a thousand dollars or so... and I pointed out that agents work on commission. "Oh, but my friend is new! You can't get one of those agents, they'd never trust a new writer, of course you have to put up the money first..."


ETA: The indispensable Writer Beware blog has something about this phenomenon here.

Edited at 2010-11-14 06:18 pm (UTC)
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: November 14th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, not even the Mafia would offer a contract that dishonest. Worse yet, this guy is a known b.s. artist! I'd only take his advice in learning how to lie and cheat.

But then again, I have taken classes in contracts and entertainment law, and I'm not desperate to get my precious bodice ripper out to the public. It's mindboggling that MFA programs don't require an entertainment law class or at least a course in how contracts work. Agents don't turn people down arbitrarily nor are they in a conspiracy to keep out good writers. They, as you mentioned, work on commission and it's tough to convince them to invest their time and effort if they don't think--rightly or wrongly--that your work is going to sell. Certainly if you are famous, have connections within the industry, etc. you have a leg up on the competition. But the main thing is to convince people your work has commercial value.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: November 14th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
What really shocked me was people signing up for it. I mean seriously, Frey is like P.T. Barnum except that he doesn't even bother to get any cool outside acts - it's all just him, and the admission price is higher than Barnum would have dreamed of charging. I sometimes think I don't have enough ambition - I write stories like fury but don't send most of them out and then those I send mostly get sent back - but damn, if this is the kind of trap I avoid by that ...
mcgonagalls_cat From: mcgonagalls_cat Date: November 15th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
* shakes head *

Thanks for the linkage.....
(Deleted comment)
6 comments or Leave a comment