When the scams get desperate…

…they go bonkers. I’m talking about the latest kerfluffle to hit Cyberland. The Write Agenda sounds sweet and benevolent, right? It sounds like they want nothing more than to help authors hurdle the mass confusion that has become The Publishing Industry.

And you wouldn’t be more wrong.

In a word, they have come together as a unified front to attack anyone who has been involved in ferreting out the scams of the publishing industry. So, of course, they have anointed Victoria Strauss as the main bull’s eye on their target. Here is the link to the whole mess. Not only is this campaign a pack of lies, but it’s the scammers’ desperate last gasp to hold on to their waning control over under-educated authors who invariably wander into their web.

Who are “they”? I have no idea. And that’s the boggle of it. Based on the vitriol they spew at Vic and their “hit list,” I would say it’s a conglomeration of illicit folks who have banded together under the mantra, “Scammers Unite!”

So why the potent push back? Jim Macdonald put it very succinctly here. His suggestion is that scammers have taken a financial dirt nap with the advent of CreateSpace and the ease of self-publishing one’s e-b00k, and they’re angry, darn it. Just like Dire Straits’ song, “I Want My MTV,” scammers are screaming, “I want my victims back.” They believe their salvation will come from driving a stake through the hearts of those who work long hours protecting authors.

Good luck with that.

Yes, there will always be victims…sadly. I’ve had many conversations with authors who are blinded by the fact that “someone loves me” and insist on signing with publishers whose mantras run along the lines of “giving authors the chance they deserve.” No matter how much proof you put in front of them, they still go down the dark path. Then one day they contact you to say that you were right. The confirmation feels horrible because you know that one more author lost a book, their faith in publishing, and faith in their writing.

And this is what scams do. They’re morally bankrupt, and take their victims down with them.

I’ve been excited about the advent of authors going DIY because it allows for so many wonderful options that exclude these soggy bits of pond scum. But should you come across a Write Agenda type, give them wide berth. It takes a lot of energy to sustain that kind of bilge, and the first thing one think is, “My, they protesteth too much.”

4 Responses to When the scams get desperate…

  1. Amanda Adams says:

    I will FOREVER be grateful to Victoria for responding quickly and filling me in on information I didn’t know about my previous potential Agent/Publishing “deal.” I had no idea you two new each other, but karma is on her side and yours. And the publishing world is indeed a very small one.

    Being nearly “taken” if not for money than for opportunities lost, and now seeing the potential of my book in the right hands, I think Victoria is a guardian angel of sorts. These people are sick and evil, as is anyone who preys upon the aspiration and desperation of hapless but well-intentioned people.

    You go Victoria! You have a legion of loyal fans because of your selfless advocacy for writers, and you’ve done so much good in the world already.

  2. Amanda Adams says:

    Argh – I can spell “k”new – just so passionately angry about these sickos they made me typo!

  3. Lauren says:

    It’s thanks to Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin and SFWA and Janet Reid and Jim MacDonald and Absolute Write and you and many others like you that the scammers are struggling. As you said, you can’t save all the writers but what you do is save many with your words and your constant vigliance. It may not be Friday yet, but I am ready to anoint everyone who does a part in warning new writers off scams as heroes.

  4. NinjaFingers says:

    …wow. They’re everywhere these days. It’s like the writing equivalent of the Westboro Baptist ‘Church’, isn’t it.

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