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April 16, 2006

Dumbest of the Twenty Worst
Posted by Teresa at 06:14 PM *

Last month, Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware posted WB’s list of the 20 Worst (literary) Agents:

Below is a list of the 20 agents about which Writer Beware has received the greatest number of advisories/complaints during the past several years.

None of these agents has a significant track record of sales to commercial (advance-paying) publishers, and most have virtually no documented and verified sales at all (many sales claimed by these agents turn out to be vanity publishers). All charge clients before a sale is made, whether directly, by charging fees such as reading or administrative fees, or indirectly, for “editing services.”

Writer Beware suggests that writers searching for agents avoid questionable agents, and instead query agents who have actual track records of sales to commercial publishing houses.

THE LIST:

* The Abacus Group Literary Agency
* Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to “book doctor” Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
* Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
* Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
* Benedict & Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
* Sherwood Broome, Inc.
* Desert Rose Literary Agency
* Arthur Fleming Associates
* Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
* Brock Gannon Literary Agency
* Harris Literary Agency
* The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
Children’s Literary Agency
Christian Literary Agency
New York Literary Agency
Poets Literary Agency
The Screenplay Agency
Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency)
Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
* Martin-McLean Literary Associates
* Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
* B.K. Nelson, Inc.
* The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
* Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency and Simply Nonfiction)
* Southeast Literary Agency
* Mark Sullivan Associates
* West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)

Naturally, this list got copied and posted in other venues. One of them was Miss Snark’s blog, where Miss Snark made various worthy remarks, among them nominating the Lee Shore Agency for #21. From there the story was picked up by aspiring writer Paula Offutt, who also reprinted the list.

The word today in the AbsoluteWrite bulletin board’s 20 Worst Agents thread is that Barbara Bauer, a well-known scam agent who made the Top 20, is trying to harass Paula Offutt into taking the list off her site. Bauer wrote:

Cease and Desist: Regarding your post of the 20 Worst Agents which you have copied from an Anonymous Competitor “Miss Snark,” it is disparaging, and inappropriate as well as libelous and defamatory. Remove it promptly. Thank you. Sincerely, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D.

Website: IP: 4.186.117.7

I’m impressed. Here I was thinking Cris Robins was the only scam agent who’s stupid enough to publicly denounce the list. Apparently not.

(Why is it dumb to do that? First, because those agents wouldn’t be on the list if Victoria didn’t have them dead to rights—she’s very meticulous about documenting their practices. Second, because for all their threats of legal action, the last thing scam agents want is to go through the discovery phase of a court case. And third, because starting a dust-up about it just publicizes their presence on the list, and raises its Google ranking.)

Barbara Bauer Ph.D.’s cease-and-desisting, there and elsewhere, has had the predictable effect: it’s gotten people talking about Barbara Bauer’s misdeeds. A sample:

Dhewco: Here’s the story: A friend of mine sent a request for a brochure from Bauer’s agency. Afterwards she checked Dave’s site [Preditors and Editors] and noticed the ‘not recommended’ and ‘charges fees’, my friend asked for a response.

The response was laughable. Claimed P&E was owned by a foreign monopoly ‘with a hidden agenda to make money off writers by destroying the credibility of the American publishing industry’ and sought to direct writers to self-publishers.

Has anyone dealt with this agency? Has the woman lost it? I’ve seen nothing on Dave’s site to support such crazy statement.

=====

Victoria Strauss: Barbara has a short fuse. I’ve heard from people who questioned her fees or claims and got abusive, profane responses.

For the record, she asks or has asked for a number of different kinds of fees, including a $50 reading fee, a $650 upfront marketing fee, and a flat “representation” fee of $1,000. As far as I know, she has no recent record of book sales.

No doubt there’s more to come. Dealing with subjects you want to have go away by prompting online public discussions of them is, as always, its own reward.
Comments on Dumbest of the Twenty Worst:
#1 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 08:56 PM:

"Mocknick Productions"? Surely this must be Splattdeutsch.

#2 ::: Writerious ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 09:13 PM:

There is a thriving industry that preys on novice writers. Suckers are easy to find because the scammers know those magic five words that will open their wallets wide: "We want to publish you!"

Which is why I tell newcomers to the various writing boards I frequent that before they submit anything, they should go to the library and check out an armload of books on writing and the publishing industry. Writing may be an art or a craft (or both), but publishing is a business. It's best to know the business before diving in.

#3 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 09:28 PM:

It takes an extra-special kind of dumb to fulminate about "libelous and defamatory" remarks. That's a bit like saying something is "hot and high-temperature".

#4 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 09:49 PM:

Though I'm certain Ann and Victoria would give me permission to just copy their list, I decided that I'm going to honor their efforts in a different way. It took me a few days to finally figure out the best way and I spent some time today going through the P&E listings to get them prepared. Sometime tomorrow, new page updates will go online with references by each of their worst twenty that they were honored as a worst twenty by Writer Beware. I'll keep you all informed if I hear anything from any of them. ;)

#5 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 10:04 PM:

IANAL, but I know enough not to try to sound legalistic without actually checking. BB's dumb as a box o' wood, ain't she?

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 10:09 PM:

Xopher, she is indeed. Thank ghod, most of them are.

Writerious, that's good, constructive thing to do. You might want to check out some of my previous posts on the subject.

Mike, I like the concept of Splatterdeutsch. Of course, this is a universe in which an agency named itself Lee Shore.

#7 ::: PaulaO ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2006, 10:22 PM:

After much inner debate (okay, like, maybe 2 minutes tops) I have decided to not respond to the email.

I did, however, write out a glorious smart aleck email to her just to get it out of my system. Then I hit delete. Ah, much better.

#8 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 12:14 AM:

IANAL, but I know enough not to try to sound legalistic without actually checking

Or, better, without going to an actual lawyer and saying "Is there anything we can do to stop these people from saying bad things about me?" Because if your lawyer says no, there isn't, you can probably count on sounding like an ass (or worse) if you try anyway; and if the answer is yes, then you are better off letting an actual lawyer handle the nastygram.

#9 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:01 AM:

I wouldn't be surprised if phrases similar to "libelous and defamatory" do crop up in the legal world.

Defamation is the what; libel is the how.

(OK, I over-simplify, IANAL, but I have read Uncommon Law on signal-flags.)

#10 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:19 AM:

"Lee Shore"?

Some people do have odd names. "Lee Shaw" would feel more plausible, and it would be almost inevitable that he would be a Chinese-American naval officer.

#11 ::: Samantha Joy ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:34 AM:

Mike, I like the concept of Splatterdeutsch.

Oooohhhhhh, now I know what the M. stands for.

I'll be returning to lurker mode now . . .

#12 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 03:27 AM:

Oooohhhhhh, now I know what the M. stands for.

Well, you probably don't, yet. It's "Milo."

"Dictionopolis was at war with Digitopolis. Dictionopolis had always been at war with Digitopolis."

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 04:08 AM:

Just been by the Robins site, and this sentence leapt out at me:

However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency.

I always thought the validity of an agency should rest on the manuscripts they sell, or at the very least, care in the use of written language ("claimed" should be "claim").

Silly me.

#14 ::: Alter S. Reiss ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:22 AM:

Dave Bell:

(OK, I over-simplify, IANAL, but I have read Uncommon Law on signal-flags.)

Is that like the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights, or Julius Caesar on an Aldis lamp?

#15 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 06:41 AM:

John M. Ford: Does the name mean that they sell mock knickers?

#16 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 07:11 AM:

Fragano: The thought (which may be giving the people involved way too much credit for cleverness) was that the name came from the German es macht nichts, often elided to "macht's nichts," which means "it doesn't matter." (It literally means "it makes nothing," but that's another idiomatic fishkettle.)

Rockstar North, the guys who design the Grand Theft Auto games (and before that, Lemmings) used to be called DMA Designs, which originally stood for "Doesn't Mean Anything" -- though they later put two successive sets of "real" words to it, Direct Mind Access and Dundee Modern Arts. (I'm waiting for them to do a historical game in the GTA mode called Susie Clelland's Got a Gun.)

Having provided More Than You Wanted To Know, we return the thread to its original topic.

#17 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 08:39 AM:

Alter, I mis-cited: More Uncommon Law, Sir Alan Patrick Herbert, reporting the "Slander at Sea" case.

#18 ::: Neil Gaiman ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 09:03 AM:

Is a Snail a Dangerous Animal was probably my favourite Misleading Case...

Has anyone looked at the 9/11 poetry on Barbara Bauer's site? I mean.... (words fail me)

#19 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 09:20 AM:

I can't say enough good things about the work that Ann and Victoria (and Mr. Kuzminski, of course) do to protect newbies from the sharks. There is a special place in hell for these predators. Probably right be side the geniuses who thought up the Nigerian widow scams and their variations.

#20 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 11:54 AM:

I wouldn't be surprised if phrases similar to "libelous and defamatory" do crop up in the legal world.

IAAL. Again, 'libelous and defamatory' is silly and a pretty clear sign that the person in question is trying to sound scary and lawyerific, like a cat fluffing its fur to appear larger to predators. If something is libelous, it is defamatory, by definition. A better-explained definition can be found here.

Not meaning to beat this to death, but accusations of "OMFG I will sue j00!" are so commonly thrown about by wrongdoers in an attempt to squelch criticism that it's a good idea to know a) if they have a leg to stand on and b) even if they did, whether they're just throwing around highfalutin' legal-sounding stuff in an attempt to be intimidating.

Oh, another clue that the threats are nonsense: the person waving the libel flag claims that their lawyer told them such-and-such or will attack you if you don't shut up. If a person really has a lawyer and really has that lawyer review what you said, the attempt to shut you up will be sent to you by the lawyer.

(Which brings up yet another tangent, namely that many state bar associations have websites where you can search to see if a person is in fact a practicing lawyer, and whether Joseph Q. Crookedagent, Esq., who sent you that cease-and-desist e-mail, is in fact an attorney or simply a figment of a scammer's imagination.)

#21 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 11:54 AM:

At Neil Gaiman's recommendation I tried to look at the 9/11 poetry on Barbara Bauer's site. Unfortunately, following

How many more lives must die?
leaving parentless children to cry
Oh my father in heaven I ask Oh Why?
Do we live in a world of the fiery eye
and especially
More Crime!! More Crime!!
Stricken by the clock of time
--I am unable to read further, because I am now sitting at my desk clawing out my eyes with a plastic spoon.

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 12:29 PM:

John M. Ford: The 'es machts nichts' possibility had occurred to me. I'd also thought of 'Mockney' as in Dick van Dyke's accent in 'Mary Poppins'.

PNH: The possibility that William McGonnagal has reincarnated may have occurred to you.

#23 ::: Jonah ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:17 PM:
How many more lives must die?
leaving parentless children to cry
Oh my father in heaven I ask Oh Why?
Do we live in a world of the fiery eye
It's enough to make me think that maybe we need some sort of Internet Censorship Act. I mean, won't somebody please think of the children? (Of course, the pro-censorship crowd never seems to target the truly disturbing material that's out there on the 'net.)
#24 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:17 PM:

The excerpts you cite are enough to keep me away from the 911 "poetry". Thank you for sacrificing your eyes to the greater good.

#25 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:25 PM:

Quick, somebody in the Flatrion Building (or environs), turn Patrick's chair away from his monitor! Turn the monitor off! Take the spoon away and read, soothingly to him from Shakespeare!

#26 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:29 PM:

Re: The eyeball-gouge-inducing 9/11 poetry

Why the inclusion of "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls"?

It seems, one might venture to say, mildly out of place.

#27 ::: Trey ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:42 PM:

Dumb thing - is absoloutewrite.com down? I keep getting site not found errors.

#28 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 01:51 PM:

I don't know, but when I was paying attention to libel, from the point of view of working reporter/newspaper editor, it was explained that not all libels are defamatory (as well that not all defamations are libellous, but that's a horse of another color).

#29 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:04 PM:

The Asian Bird Flu Disaster
(after Julia Moore, with squeaky shoes on)

O what is that cackling, so mournful, so sad?
O what is that noise from the coops?
The birdies are coughing, they feel mighty bad,
So they speak, though they cannot say "oops."

An unpleasant scourge has flown out of the East,
Like the Great Khan's bold ponies all creeping;
It has laid low the poultry, and many a beast,
Now it comes where our people are sleeping.

'Tis a pestilence vile, 'tis a type of disease
And it strikes, as some do, without warning;
And Science looks wan, and says "Take two of these,"
"And call if you live in the morning."

O what's its beginning, this terrible thing,
O what is the force that could do it?
It might be from Shanghai, or far-off Beijing,
Or "Peking," as we formerly knew it.

The chickens and geese come to shadow your town
With a fell and unspeakable clucking
They are sneezing and pale, they are eastbound and down,
They are loaded and Interstate trucking.

No, that was a mistake. You can't do this kind of thing deliberately.

#30 ::: Mike ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:05 PM:
More Crime!! More Crime!!
Stricken by the clock of time

Isn't the Clock of Crime sitting next to the giant penny in the Batcave?

#31 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Mr. Ford: Strive to be worse.

#32 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:23 PM:

Would a fake agent named Lee Shore cause an impervious horror or an eldritch one?

#33 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:47 PM:

"A fell and unspeakable clucking."

That is a sound image for the ages.

#34 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:54 PM:

Someone is rewinding the Clock of Crime.

I don't know whether anyone here really needs to know this -- but the giant penny in the Batcave has had its origin retconned in the new Batman animated series. The episode "A Fistful of Felt" includes a flashback that depicts a solo Batman deploying the giant penny to save himself -- in a warehouse battle with Arnold Wesker and Scarface. Notwithstanding the fact that Arnold Wesker is a great, recent addition to the Batman rogues gallery, I find this to be annoying.

The traditional explanation for the giant penny in the Batcave (as Teresa may remember my showing her, several Minicons ago), is here.

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:58 PM:

(Loud noises. Weeping. Wish I still smoked, so I could have the traditional cigarette afterward.)

#36 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 02:59 PM:

[Following emergency eye surgery. All better now.]

Its epigraph notwithstanding, Ford's "Asian Bird Flu Disaster" owes more to McGonagall than to Julia Moore. In its delivery of irrelevant asides at the most sublimely irrelevant moment ("Or 'Peking,' as we formerly knew it"), the "Disaster" approaches the Bard of Dundee at his brain-hurting best.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 03:31 PM:

Dear, I have to disagree, though the monumentally irrelevant lines put in for the sake of the rhyme are indeed reminiscent of McGonagall. However, the regularity of the lines and meter mark it as Julia Moore. Moore and McGonagall both had trouble matching sense with meter, but when faced with a choice, McGonagall's usual answer was to dispense with meter:

So let the beautiful city of Glasgow flourish,
And may the inhabitants always find food their bodies to nourish.
...
Then there's the Duke of Wellington's statue in Royal Exchange Square ---
It is a beautiful statue I without fear declare...
When faced with the same challenge, Julia Moore kept her lines regular by scanting sense (and sometimes grammar):
And now kind friends, what I have wrote,
I hope you will pass o'er,
And not criticize, as some have done,
Hitherto herebefore.
Fans of bad poetry can always locate new specimens of it by using the magic search strings: peom, peoms, pomes, peotry, poerty, and of course that fateful day, as witness.

#38 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 04:00 PM:

Dumb thing - is absoloutewrite.com down? I keep getting site not found errors.

Nope, it's been fine all morning. Check your address, cuz as typed you gots too many ohs. :)

#39 ::: Rob Davies ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 04:07 PM:

According to her website, Barbara Bauer is endorsed by the unholy trinity of Dom DeLuise, Michael Jackson and Jerry Falwell!

#40 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 04:08 PM:

"Parentless children"??

They're clones, then?

#41 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:00 PM:

Love is being wasted

Taken place by hatred

This is a perfect example of complete meaninglessness. It is beyond 'The Sweet Singer of Michigan', beyond 'the Cheese Poet', beyond even the Bard of Dundee himself. It is, however, the kind of 'poetry' (or should that be 'poultry'?) that the current occupant of the Oval Office might write were he literate.

#42 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:03 PM:

Either state bar associations or the system that licenses attorneys in the state (in New York and many other states, it's the court system; Massachusetts has a "Board of Bar Overseers"; it varies). Try "attorney registration" as as a search ("attorney directory" usually gives commercial results, I think).

#43 ::: d ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:21 PM:

"Dictionopolis was at war with Digitopolis. Dictionopolis had always been at war with Digitopolis."

Oh my I love that book.

#44 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:38 PM:

There once was a writer of verses,
Whose efforts provoked many curses.
As an agent, her crime, lies;
Her poems, not rhyme-wise;
And lawyeras will empty her purses.


#45 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 05:49 PM:

Thanks for the analysis of McGonagall, It makes sense, maybe I've just never wanted to look hard enough.

#46 ::: Dan Lewis ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 06:48 PM:

Dictionopolis has never been at war with Digitopolis. Dictionopolis has always been at war with Silent Hill.

#47 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 07:06 PM:

Do we live in a world of the fiery eye?

We used to. Then this magic ring fell into a volcano...

#48 ::: Vicky Byard ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 07:25 PM:

"Terror, Terror
has become a dangerous warrior
By a sick twisted individual slayer"

Wasn't this an episode of Buffy?

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 09:00 PM:

TexAnne: Lee Shore. Impervious horror. Took me long enough.

Thank you.

#51 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 10:08 PM:

The 911 memorial poems bring to mind a section of the book "The World's Worst Writers" about the horrible "Titanic" memorial poems which were printed after the disaster. I'd give examples, but after the editor ranked Ros as worse than McGonagall I decided I needed to put it away for awhile. McGonagall's lack of bile cheers me up, whereas Ros just depresses the hell out of me--bad writing *and* venom combined. Just what I needed.

#52 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 10:14 PM:

Bruce Durocher: Than Amanda McKittrick Ros there are few worse. I'd nominate Stennett Kerr Coombs, whose self-published (he owned a printery in Kingston, Jamaica) were an amusement of my youth.

I can still remember some odd lines:

My name is Sten Kerr Co
I have no place to go.

and

My name is Kerr Co Sten
I love my fellow men.

#53 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2006, 10:38 PM:

(I'm waiting for them to do a historical game in the GTA mode called Susie Clelland's Got a Gun.)

*is killed dead with laughing*

The Asian Bird Flu Disaster

*is resurrected just so she can be killed again*

#54 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 12:29 AM:

As I understand it, Rivka could use a little killed-dead-with-laughterism. How go the legal wars? I keep wanting to do a Making Light front page post soliciting for your cause, but I don't know how appropriate that would be.

#55 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 12:32 AM:

not all libels are defamatory

Well, now we're getting into even trickier areas like "embarassing public disclosure of private facts" and "portraying the subject in a false light", but they're far more tangential.

#56 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 03:29 AM:

Lenny: Is there anything in the new Batman animated series that isn't retconned?

#57 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 09:50 AM:

Bruce-

Do you know the wonderfully cheerful kids' song about the Titanic?

Oh they built the ship Titanic
To sail the ocean blue,
And they thought it was a ship
That the water would ne'er get through,
But the good lord raised his hand
And said that ship would never land,

Oh it was sad when the great ship went down.
Oh it was sad sad sad
Oh it was sad sad sad
It was sad when the great ship went down
To the bottom of the seeeeeeeeeeeaaaaa (husbands and wives, little children lost their lives)
Oh it was sad when the great ship when down!


It's hard to convey the joys of it properly in print, because it's the chipper little tune that really makes it work. If you don't know it, find a former girl scout and ask her to sing it for you...

#58 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 10:43 AM:

You ought to hear Joe Haldeman sing it as "The Ballad of Orbital Hubris":

Oh it was sad (it was sad)
It was sad (it was sad)
It was sad when that colony came down
(In Peoria!)
Husbands and wives
Little children lost their lives
It was sad to see that colony come down!

#59 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 11:36 AM:

Former girl scout here, now with earworm for the rest of the day...

Mrs. Brown turned around
Just to see her husband drown
When the great Titanic
Gave a gurgling sound
So she wrapped her self in mink
Just to watch her husband sink
It was sad when the great ship went down, down, down
It was sad (so sad)
It was sad (too bad)
It was sad whent the great ship went down
To the bottom of the (uncles lost their aunts, little children lost their pants)
It was sad when the great ship went down
(kerplunk, it sunk, the end, amen, cha cha cha)

Heartless little brutes, girl scouts...

#60 ::: suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 12:25 PM:

I still think Gregory Corso's poem "Bomb" (which can be found here) is right up there among the worst. Note that the words themselves are supposed to form the shape of a (very attenuated) mushroom cloud, though the above site has it a little bent in the middle. It's stupidly fun to read out loud, particularly if alcohol and/or sleep-deprivation is involved.

To quote:
to die by cobra is not to die by bad pork

#61 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 01:57 PM:
Love is being wasted
Taken place by hatred
I nearly bought one of the "Happy Bunny" books this weekend, but they are just a little too sparse. Still, I have to give them credit for a most wonderful adage:
Hate is a special kind of love that we give to people who suck.
#62 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 02:18 PM:

There were many popular songs about the Titanic in the Twenties, including the one aforementioned (poor sound quality even for a 78 transfer, but you get the idea) and a talking blues.

"According to Jeff Place, the story of the Titanic 'was particularly important to African-American musicians who were strongly aware of the irony that Jim Crow laws had disallowed African-Americans on the ship. It was felt that the owners certainly had received divine retribution.'"


#63 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 02:19 PM:

I assumed she was trying for "false and defamatory." Aren't those the "forked stick" of libel or something? Mythago?

And Mike, 'es macht nichts' also means "It does nothing" or more colloquially, "It doesn't do anything." A 'nichtsmacher' is a do-nothing.

#64 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 02:23 PM:

Patrick, I'm glad to hear your eyeballs found their way back into their sockets. Did you take the opportunity while they were out to give them a good washing? It's nice to see that particle/sidelight about eyeball luxation come in such handy.

Titanic girl scouts et al -- while the tune is eluding me (was only a girl scout for a couple years, alas), the words have got me humming TMBG's "Mr. Me".

I've floundered in the misty sea
But can't abide its mystery
I wound up sad, you bet

He ended up sad, he ended up sad,
He ended up really, really, really sad (&etc)

...which seems oddly appropriate on any number of levels.

In searching out the lyrics online, y'know, just to make sure I got 'em right, I happened upon This Might Be A Wiki.

TMBG have a Wiki?

*dies happily*

#65 ::: Robert Fowler ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 04:17 PM:

If I ever thought of putting together a "Celebrity Endorsements" for my buisness... would I use the following with a straight face.... Is the prerequisite a serious psychological disorder?
Link
Celebrity Endorsements:
Dom DeLuise
Michael Jackson
Jerry Falwell

She seems to think it is a good idea...

#66 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 08:15 PM:

Patrick! Teresa!! Why are you working so hard? Everyone's been talking about writers, but didn't you know Barbara can save *editors* a lot of time and wasted effort?

To assist you in finding authors who match your requirements, we offer a specialized service which many busy editors prefer. We will seek out and counsel authors in light of your needs, and then submit to you only those manuscripts we believe are appropriate.

How thoughtful.

#67 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 08:43 PM:

It would be my assumption that the "editorial service" is a false front (or, more precisely, a slightly different sort of false front) -- the marks read that Actual Famous Editors are signing up to have stuff written to order, and with this "guaranteed market," write stuff to order.* They are no doubt paying at every stage of the process: for the advice on what to write, the "editorial work" to gild the refined pyrite, and then the agenting. And then probably a subsidy publishing "sale," in what those of us who read David Maurer at an impressionable age call "cooling out the mark."

This is, of course, merely a hypothetical construction, though the data point that no editor with a line to fill, no matter how desperate (or how cacopulpulous the subject) would buy books this way nudges it in the direction of theory.

*Sample Outline:
1. Spin the Wheel O'Genres.
2. Hero gets in trouble.
3. Trouble gets worse.
4. Heroine shows up.
5. Haben Sie gehrt das Rising Action?
6. Mit ze bang.
7. Mit ze boom.
8. Mit ze bang bang boom boom bang.
9. Heroine sighs (or, if you spun "Romance," sighs deeply).
10. Trouble gets really bad.
11. No, worse than that. Send money order for $500 to find out how bad.
12. Happy Ending (or, if you spun "Novel of Grim Irony," Not-Happy Ending).

#68 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 08:52 PM:

John M. Ford: On point #9 above I'd say that if 'Romance' was spun then that should read 'Heroine's bosom heaved with a deep sigh'.

#69 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 09:01 PM:

The Asian Bird Flu Disaster

As someone said, Mike Ford is too good a poet to be able to imitate McGonagall. But it's actually very difficult indeed to imitate McGonagall, with the result that at least one book I've read makes a claim that he is actually a genuine major poet, since he has a genuine "strong style". Certainly it does something painful to my brain to read it - I don't know if that's what they mean.

Mike Ford's poem, though, is genuinely good light verse. And I don't think there's enough of that about.

Take the spoon away and read, soothingly to him from Shakespeare!

I hope you weren't planning on reading him King Lear. Or was that the joke?

#70 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 09:13 PM:

McGonagall is a major poet. There's no denying it. How many poets of the later nineteenth century are now regularly quoted and read? Even in his own day, his verse was eagerly sought. People commissioned him. He was and is often imitated, but not often with success.

He survives, and will survive. A Scotsman of my acquaintance has the habit of stopping in his work, looking abstracted to the heavens and declaiming the immortal lines: "Oh, the Tay, the Tay, the silvery Tay/ It goes in and out, twice a day", and returning content to his labours. How many poets can be said to have such ameliorative and restorative powers?

No, mere competence will pass into dust, unremarked, unlamented. McGonagall's verse will stand for as long as English means something.

#71 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 10:04 PM:

I note in passing that The Stuffed Owl,* edited by D. B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee, is once again in print. McGonagall is unfortunately not present, though Juli/a Moore is, along with Bill Nye's encomium,** as well as some people, like Wordsworth and Poe, who did have their off days --

While ever does the dear Eulalie raise violet eyes and blink,
While ever does the dear Eulalie -- G-d, I need a drink.***

And on Longfellow's Excelsior, the editors offer a pertinent observation:

[We] would merely point out, before passing on, that the poet's suggestion that village maidens in Switzerland are in the habit of inviting complete strangers in to lay their heads on their virgin breasts has been strongly censured by many who consider it an unwarrantable slur on a British Dependency.

*"It ought to be in every home." --Vita Sackville-West, whose taste may be considered irreproachable.

**The Humor Guy of a century-plus ago, not the Science Guy. "Julia is worse than a Gatling gun; I have counted twenty-one killed, and nine wounded, in the small volume she has given the public."

***Periphrasis is Your Phriend.

#72 ::: Janet McConnaughey ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 11:57 PM:

Janet Croft -
For earworm treatment, I recommend either "I had a horse and his name was Bill" (which is sung to the tune of Dixie) or the music-hall song starting, "Hurrah! Hurrah! My father's being hung."

Dave Bell -
I don't find Lee Shore's name that difficult to believe in, having been exposed to names that are cruel examples for the theory of nominative determinism. One of the best-known fertility experts in the New Orleans area is Dr. Richard Peter Dickey, and in the DC area a colleague's wife worked for a gynecologist named Dr. Harry Beaver.

Candle -
I'm not sure that it's really all that hard
To write like William McGonnagal, the bard
Of that wonderful town we all know as Dundee.
At least that's how it seems to me.
The main requirement seems to be
Keeping a terminally faint beat without any regularity.
And if you have a refrain,
Why you can use it over and over without pain.
At least that's how it seems to me,
as I honor the wonderful bard of Dundee.

#73 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2006, 11:58 PM:

Cease and desist letters can be entertaining. I get them every few weeks when someone gets upset about a posting on the board I moderate.

My very favorite one was from the lady who was quite irate about the "flase and liable" postings besmirching her family name. Her husband the lawyer, who was also a blacksmith or something, was going to sue me personally, just as soon as they found their son who had been blown up on a naval boat shortly before going AWOL. (I know, I know, none of that makes sense and some of it's impossible.)

I think my boss finally had to call her boss to get her to leave me alone, but boy, there were some funny moments in there.

#74 ::: Larry Kestenbaum ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 01:18 AM:

The scam "literary agents" publicized in the main entry remind me of the Manutius "publishing house" in Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum.

It was more than just a vanity press. With fake, glossy "literary magazines" and staged book signings and social events, Manutius lulled its authors into an expansive belief in their own importance.

Then the publisher would quietly let slip to the author that the book wasn't selling as well as hoped, and all those newly printed volumes would have to be pulped unless, ahem, someone came up with the money to buy them all ...

#75 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 07:02 AM:

Dave Luckett: Without any mental effort, I can think of three late Victorian poets still read today -- Henley, Dowson, and, of course, Wilde.

Henley's 'Villon's straight tip to all cross coves' is, I believe, proof of reincarnation, since anyone who reads it is going to be irresistibly reminded of John M. Ford.

#76 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 09:11 AM:

Fragano, of course. And to those I would add many others: Kipling, (the quotable par excellance), Hopkins, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carrol, Swinburne, Housman, Harte Crane, Service, even our own Banjo Paterson.

Funny thing. Some of those are truly great poets, and some are, well, what Orwell called "good bad poets", and McGonagall was in a class of his own. But here's the thing: those who are remembered and read (and declaimed) today are a tiny fraction of the number of versifiers who were published in the later nineteenth century. It is those who are remembered who are important, and intrinsic quality be blowed.

#77 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 11:49 AM:

Dave Luckett: You're right. Quality, though, is often a matter of perception and taste. And those change over time.

#78 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 12:52 PM:

Fragano:

John M. Ford: On point #9 above I'd say that if 'Romance' was spun then that should read 'Heroine's bosom heaved with a deep sigh'.

Ah, but in which subgenre of romance?
(The romance genre looks like sf/fantasy these days. Vampires and werewolves and everything. No dinosaur sodomy yet, though.)

And if you rolled "Romance", start with the heroine, then the hero shows up.

I'll be attending a romance writer's convention this weekend; I might have more useful hints afterwards.

#79 ::: Harthad ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 01:22 PM:

I am now sitting at my desk clawing out my eyes with a plastic spoon

I realize it's too late now, but for future reference, the tool to have at hand is a spork. Combines the eyeball-hugging curves of the spoon with the skewering power of the fork. Gotta love modern technology.

#80 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 01:57 PM:

Patrick Connors: OK. Somebody's got to write a romance novel involving gay dinosaurs, then.

#81 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 02:33 PM:

Operating by the rules of Necessary Plot Components, that would presumably have to be Brokeback Volcano. Though Gojira vs. Capote has solid Oscar(tm) potential.

Recall, however, that the Wheel O'Genres does not deal with fine subdivisions; it is a novice's instrument, less refined than that well-established indicator of romantic content, the cover painting's location of the Hero's fingers on* the Heroine's anatomy.

*If they are not On, the book is not Romance (unless they are fondling her reticule,** in which case we have a Highwayman story, or other scritti banditti). If they are In, it is Erotica, unless it is Sci-Fi about android maintenance, or a medical-examiner procedural. (Note that medical-examiner romances, or "Habeas corpus" novels, occupy a pinkish-gray and spongiform area outside our current discussion.)

**Reticular fondling in the more technical sense occurs about two-thirds of the way through Fantastic Voyage.

#82 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 03:06 PM:

Raptor Red by Robert Bakker is a romance starring dinosaurs. Not that you can tell right away, but there comes a moment when you put the book down and think, "Hey! I know I've read this before; last time it was about a pirate and a governess..."

#83 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2006, 05:30 PM:

Michael I. wrote:
Do we live in a world of the fiery eye?

We used to. Then this magic ring fell into a volcano...

I saw a bumper snicker the other day that said:
"Frodo failed - Bush has the Ring"

#84 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2006, 03:04 AM:

The Stuffed Owl, edited by D. B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee

This is indeed the classic bad verse anthology, but Thog also has a soft spot for:

Pegasus Descending: A Book of the Best Best Verse (1971) ed. James Camp, X.J. Kennedy*, and Keith Waldrop;

The Joy of Bad Verse (1988) by Nicholas T. Parsons, which devotes a long chapter to the least ept British Poets Laureate.


* XJK, a former sf fan, also gave us this quatrain on self-criticism:

The goose that laid the golden eggs
Died looking up its crotch
To find out how its sphincter worked.
Would you lay well? Don't watch.

#85 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2006, 02:36 PM:

So they built another ship that they called the Mary Lou
and the bow was painted green and the stern was painted blue
then they christened it with beer
and they sunk it off the pier
It was sad when the great ship went down
It was (&c)
Uncles and aunts, little children lost their pants
it was sad when the great ship went down.

so I guess brownies are even meaner.

The legend is that Jack Johnson (the "great white hope" boxer) was refused passage on the Titanic because of his race and cursed the ship from dockside.

#86 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2006, 09:47 PM:

Patrick Connor: (The romance genre looks like sf/fantasy these days. Vampires and werewolves and everything. No dinosaur sodomy yet, though.)

Will a romance with dragon sodomy do instead? I know of at least one such...

#87 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2006, 11:53 PM:

The legend is that Jack Johnson (the "great white hope" boxer)
was refused passage on the Titanic because of his race
and cursed the ship from dockside.

I remember a long rambling song
a local progressive radio station played occasionally
in the mid 70's.

One character who got on the Titanic
( in this song ) carried a coil of Mexican hemp rope
which he saved from the Mexican rope factory where he worked
just before the factory burned to the ground.

He later convinces the crew to try smoking Mexican rope,
with disasterous results.

Jack Johnson had sat down on the docks
after being denied passage on the boat,
and didn't get up until the captain's hat floated by;
satisfied that his curse took hold.


#88 ::: Don ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2006, 04:09 AM:

However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed (sic) filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency.

I'm reminded of Guys and Dolls:

"I have gone straight as I can prove by my record: thirty-three arrests and no convictions."

#89 ::: Andy ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2006, 12:21 PM:

Is it just me who heard the bird flu poem in the voice of Pam Ayres?

#90 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2006, 04:59 PM:

Julia: Sure. I have the odd feeling that I know this story from Some Time Ago, but I may actually be thinking of Nancy Freeman's song "Blue Knight", in which the lady dragon wants some loving and has a thing for those funny little men in the tin suits.

#91 ::: Colleen Lindsay ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2006, 12:02 PM:

Why don't you guys get together and post a list the of best, or the ones you most enjoy working with? Why should the losers get all the free publicity?

:-)

#92 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2006, 02:43 PM:

Dave Luckett:
Well said. Great poets come and go, but McGonagall endures.

Dave Langford:
Yes! Pegasus Descending! I used to take it to parties, for performances. If I recall correctly, it contains 'Queen of Cheese' as well as a couple of McGonagall's best efforts.

Rob Rusick:
Our local college station used to play that song too, and I regret I never got the name of the singer either - it fell somewhere between "demented" and "dementedly brilliant". "Well they wouldn't let Jack Johnson on/Said this ship don't carry no coal/Fare-thee-well Titanic, fare-thee-well" Hmmm, a quick Google for one of the phrases above says it was Jaime Brockett.

#93 ::: Calluna V. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2006, 01:01 AM:

I am glad to hear that The Stuffed Owl is back in print. For one thing, that will let me look up the author of one of my favorite pieces, "The Convalescent Gypsy." I only know the last verse. Imagine how good it must be in its entirety:

There we leave her,
There we leave her,
Far from where her swarthy kindred roam,
In the scarlet fever
Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever convalescent home.

#94 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2006, 01:52 AM:

Well, my Stuffed Owl is ready to hand, for reasons less unfathomable than usual, and it notes that the peom(1) on the Invalid Gipsy is by "Author Unknown." (It's not actually given a title, and is in the "Hors-D'Oeuvre" section of excerpts. It's probably one of the bits the editors mention being sent by thoughtful admirers between the First and Second Editions.)

In the interests of Science, here's another offering from the book:

The Birth of KNO3
Hence orient Nitre owes its sparkling birth,
And with prismatic crystals gems the earth,
O'er tottering domes the filmy foliage crawls,
Or frosts with branching plumes the mold'ring walls,
As woos(2) Azotic Gas the virgin Air,
And veils in crimson clouds the yielding fair.

It's by Erasmus Darwin, who wrote numerous odes to the Natural World.

(1)stet, he said irrelevantly.
(2)See note 1.

#95 ::: Beth Friedman ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2006, 05:38 PM:

Rob Rusick, the long rambling song about the Titanic that you mention is Jaime Brockett's "Legend of the USS Titanic." The album (Remember the Wind and the Rain) with the song is back in print, probably because of the movie.

Words of the 13-minute song -- or whatever you call it -- can be found here:

#97 ::: Glenn Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2006, 01:20 PM:

ths thrd rprsnts ppl nggng n smg, slf-cngrtltry trd---hw mny tms nd n hw mny wys n cn cll smn 'dmb,' s n nsmly xrcs.
Hw ds nyn n th thrd hv tm t wrt? ny sccssfl thrs n ths thrd?---

tk th tm t flly ngg sm f th gnts cmplnd bt hr. Wht fnd wr srs ppl, flly wllng t cnvrs bt th 'sss' lstd hr. f crs thr s frd, bt yr nsrnc cmpny nd th Rpblcns r scrwng y vry dy---whr's th trg bt ll f tht?

Rdng th frms, nd pplyng th sm mthd s s ppld t crtszng th gnts, wld hv t sy tht t snds lk hg, cllctv whn---bt srly dn't mn tht t ncld vryn n th sts.

#98 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2006, 01:59 AM:

If Dave Langford, John M. Ford, and Neil Gaiman aren't successful enough for you, I'm not sure who would be.

#99 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2006, 11:29 AM:

Of course there is fraud, but your insurance company and the Republicans are screwing you every day---where's the outrage about all of that?

In other threads in this same blog--which you would know if you had tried to "engage" with the commenters here, instead of resorting to a driveby posting.

Scam agents prey on hopeful writers. Writer Beware makes sure the word gets out. Why do you have a problem with that?

#100 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Beth, you've hung out in AW long enough to recognize the tone. There's a possibility that it's an author who's been taken on as a client by one of those agents, but odds are it's one of the agents themselves. The IP address is 24.17.157.206, if anyone can make anything of it.

#101 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2006, 01:54 PM:

That address points to a ComCast customer in Washington state, which is all I can get from it. Not very helpful, I'm afraid.

#102 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Teresa: Indeed I do recognize the tone. I was only hoping to point up how unreasonable *his* (or her) post sounded.

I see that you've dealt with him far more effectively.

#103 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:39 AM:

"Glenn Stewart" asks:

ny sccssfl thrs n ths thrd?

Ys, Gln, thr r. Nxt qstn?

#104 ::: joan/delijoan ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 06:41 PM:

i have cut-and-pasted, from the beginning of this to the bottom of the actual list, to my livejournal, and added a link to this page.

i did it after following a link here that the list had been taken off of a site.

my cut-and-paste:

http://d-e-l-i-r-i-u-m.livejournal.com/188897.html

#105 ::: Tom ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 10:01 PM:

I can't believe Southeast Literary Agency is still in business. That woman scammed me four years ago. She belongs in jail.

#106 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 08:47 PM:

Be advised that the 20 Worst Agents List has been revised -- it seems that a couple of them have changed their names since the list came out.

Updated versions are available here and here.

#108 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2006, 05:26 PM:

Take a bow, take a bow, everyone!

Notorious scam agent Barbara Bauer has put out a podcast (the unfortunately named AWOL), where you can hear her say:

"Now they did do a Google-bombing of the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency in May after a popular writers' website was shut down by its service provider and some are saying that that Google-bombing had to have been done by experts who were paid to program and to write that blog."

The rest is just as funny. Listen to a group of scammers discuss What's Wrong with Publishing.

#109 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2006, 06:19 PM:

Oh, lord. "The David Hyatt Literary Agency in
Enterprise, OR." I have friends living there. It's a lovely little town with a population of less than 2,000.

It's not the first place I think of, when I'm thinking of finding an agent.

#110 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2006, 06:21 PM:

Oop. Make that Enterprise, OR.

#111 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2006, 06:49 PM:

David Hyatt (of the David Hyatt Literary Agency) on his webpage boasts of sales to Northwest Publishing of Salt Lake City (presumably before James Van Treese was hauled away to the federal pen for fraud) and to Masquerade Books (who paid a maximum advance of $750 and insisted on a do-with-me-what-you-will contract). He charges a $350 up-front fee.

#112 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2006, 08:27 PM:

For more on Babs, watch her taking action against Miss Teresa.

If you want to know more about Joshua Dinnerman, the info is here. Compare what you read in that thread to what you hear Josh say in the podcast; make up your own mind on who sounds the more credible.

Last, what can we say about Thomas Wahl of the Austin Wahl Literary Agency other than that he charges $525 and hasn't sold anything lately?

#113 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2006, 03:01 PM:

When I searched Google for "Barbara Bauer" the SFWA.org/beware 20 Worst list comes up first - *this* thread comes up second, the third hit is the "Barbara Bauer takes action! *yawn*" thread also found here on Making Light. Bab's own site doesn't come up until #4.


#114 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2006, 03:43 PM:

I'm wondering if there's much point in a Web page listing authors and what they've written and statements from them about the fact that they don't pay agents would have any utility in convincing naive writers that the techniques of Barbara Bauer et al are not standard, and not usual, and not acceptable?

I suspect I could do this fairly easily . . .

#115 ::: Idowu Addison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 05:02 AM:

Hi,
I am a writer from Nigeria. Recently, I sent the manuscript of a novel I wrote, TEMIYA, to The New York Literary Agency and Washington Literary Agency, two agencies that I discovered to be in your list of 20 worst in the industry. I was just wondering if my work is safe because I called off our arrangement after finding their dealings dishonest.
ID.

#116 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 08:13 AM:

Idowu Addison: Yes. Neither company has the ability to sell a manuscript even if they want to, and both will forget about you as soon as it becomes clear you won't give them money. Anything else might be too much like work.

#117 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 09:14 AM:

Idowu, I'm ashamed to say that when I first read your post, I was expecting it to say that your manuscript is being held for ransom, and you just need an American with a bank account...

Sorry.

#118 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 11:57 AM:

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the list of the "Twenty Worst" comes from "Writer Beware", an excellent site, and did not originate here. But Teresa and Patrick gave it the nod, and their marker is good anywhere in the real publishing business.

#119 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 12:11 PM:

Yes, your manuscript is safe, if you mean by that "will they sell it behind my back and keep the advance for themselves?"

None of those agencies know how to sell manuscripts; they aren't interested in your book. All they want to do is convince you to send them money, then more money, then more money after that.

#120 ::: david springer ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 08:39 PM:

Can anyone supply me with a list of good and reputable literary editors? Email me at david@davidandgoliathbooks.com I am willing to do something for you too. Just let me know.

Thank you

Sincerely,

David

#121 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 08:52 PM:

David #120: Check out the agent listings on Preditors and Editors, to be found at:
http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm

#122 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 08:55 PM:

Whoops, you said editors, not agents. Still, that's a good place to start.

#123 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 04:24 PM:

Thanks Suzanne. Yes, a good editor is what I am looking for, but a lead for an agent will be good too. Thanks.

Dave

#124 ::: charlotte ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2007, 08:49 AM:

hi im wondering if anyone knows the top 20 good agencies to send a script to. thanks everyone - you guys made me realise that the screenplay agency isnt to be trusted thanks again guys! email me on the email address please!

#125 ::: Michael Briel ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2008, 07:38 AM:

I learned about the list from Neil Gaiman's journal and decided to post it into my blog, including the reasons why, right away. Let's see those *bleeps* trying to threaten a German ISP. ;)

Mr Ford: The short form of the German phrase "es macht nichts" is "macht nichts", without the apostrophe-s. Or, if you live in the Cologne region of the Rhineland as I do, "mäht nüscht". The rest of your explanation is completely correct. ;)

#126 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2008, 02:02 AM:

Alas, Herr Briel: Mr. Ford can no longer hear you.

#127 ::: Jockdoonunder ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 11:26 PM:

Another attributed to McGonigal....

As i was walking doon(down) the road
I met a coo(cow), a bull b'god!

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

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Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.