Friday, October 27, 2006

Caveat Emptor -- Especially to aspiring writers.

A NY literary agent who hosts a blog under the pseudonym "Miss Snark" posted twice today about a new scam that threatens the prospective careers of writers along with the integrity of the industry she holds dear. It's not NICE to fool Miss Snark. And she is PISSED. Rightly so.

The nutshell version goes like this. Scam literary agents exist. They charge "reading fees", refer new writers to for-pay-editorial-work houses who kick back fees or are on their payroll and general run scams that seldom if ever lead to legit publishing. They operate for a while, close their doors, reopen with another name. Like any flim flam business, like "Wobistics"the stock scam run a few seasons ago on The Sopranos.

There are websites dedicated to flushing out the scammers. Preditors and Editors is one such site.

A new site has been launched as a counterpoint to Preditors and Editors, by several of the agencies known throughout the industry as on the "low side of integrity" -- capsica? This site announces a "new" literary association called the International Independent Literary Agents Association.

Perhaps an analogy would be if 20 doctors who had been sued for malpracticed and LOST announced that they were part of the AAALP, The American Association for the Advancement of Live Patients". Their name sounds nifty, until you peel back the layers to find the rotten core.

I am a unpublished writer (for now.) I've joined groups that have helped me learn the do's and don'ts of how to get published on the "up and up." Sending your query to agents takes chutzpah -- the rejection level high and the process is daunting. But to submit to a scammer and be taken for a costly ride because you didn't know they weren't legit? That's just wrong.

So, as a dedicated Snarkling -- I am blogging this so that writers will spread the word. There's a new virus in town. Mind your firewalls.



Thomma Lyn said...

Hi, Kim! Excellent post! And yes, I'm very impressed with Miss Snark, too. That recent post of hers about all this IILAA stuff wowed me. :)

Kim Stagliano said...

Wowed me too. There are people who THINK about problems, people who WORRY about problems and people who ACT to try to solve problems. Miss Snark acted on her beliefs. That takes guts. It's easier to tuck your head into your shell and ignore problems. I like people with guts. The autism world is full of parents who stick their necks out too - "turtles of a feather, er shell?"

Thanks for visiting Thomma (cool name.)