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August 28, 2009

Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Scammer. Part IV
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 07:55 PM * 24 comments

The Broward-Palm Beach New Times has this: In Boca, Even the Book Publishers Are Fraud Suspects.

Both Publishers Weekly and The Bookseller have picked up the story of Robert “Strategic Book Group” Fletcher’s ignominious rout in his long-threatened, but utterly baseless, lawsuit.

From the PW story, we find:

Although PW was unable to reach Fletcher by phone, he responded to several e-mails. Fletcher defended himself, claiming that the lawsuit was “a waste of corporate resources so I killed it.” Fletcher agreed industry self-regulation is important, but asked, “What happens when a company or individual is wrongly tagged? It is… impossible to remove negative comments about a company, even if proved baseless.” According to Fletcher, his company has published more than 1,000 authors and sold 50,000 books, acting as a “blend of a traditional publisher and AuthorSolutions” wherein some manuscripts are published following a traditional model and others are published through a joint-venture subsidy program. He charges a flat rate of $895, and writers are told the cost up front.

Robert is not being exactly forthcoming: Both sides of his house are pure vanity publication. The only thing “traditional” about them is that vanity presses have traditions too. And the 50 copies per author that he’s boasting of is below pathetic.

But what of the lawsuit? The one of which the judge said, “This Court concludes and finds that this case was brought in bad faith by the plaintiffs for the mere purpose of causing great inconvenience and financial costs to Crispin and Strauss (as set out in Fletcher’s pre-lawsuit e-mails to the defendants, Crispin and Strauss). This case is frivolous and this Court finds so, finds that the two plaintiffs and their lawyer, Jerrold G. Neeff, knew it to be frivolous before it even commenced.”

I’m attaching the full text here, as a series of PDFs.

Highlights:

Exhibit A

AFFIDAVIT OF ROBERT FLETCHER

I, ROBERT FLETCHER, do hereby depose and state as follows:

1. I am the principal of the Literary Agency Group, a company whose mission is to dedicate and provide quality services to authors.

If he had been providing “quality services” to anyone he wouldn’t be in this trouble to start with. And I love that “I am the principal of the Literary Agency Group” when he’d been claiming for years (via various sockpuppets, pseudonyms, and fake identities) that no one named Fletcher was associated with The Literary Agency Group (TLAG/LAG).
2. We use the Internet as our primary vehicle for providing these services.

3. In the age of the Internet, the venue has become a key resource to authors everywhere; as such, our reputation in cyberspace is integral to our success.

4. The Defendants’ publications are false and defamatory and have been devastating to our business.

Devastating? Score one for the good guys! As to “false and defamatory,” not so much. And that reputation is one he worked hard for, he earned, and now he owns.
5. I have had at least 100 potential clients, including those in Massachusetts, tell me that they were interested in doing business but have declined to [sic] due to the disparaging postings by the Defendants and I do hereby attest to the integrity of providing those reproductions of same as they are attached to the Motion papers.
Just 100? Darn it! We’ve got to work harder.

(Yo, Bobby! Editing is important, even in legal filings. Did you proofread?)

6. I have also had several clients seek reimbursement of fees for services provided after finding these postings.
Score! Those “services provided” were worthless.
7. I estimate that these defamatory postings which have spread rampantly throughout cyberspace have cost us approximately $25,000 per month in lost revenue.
$25,000 per month? Really? This is a damaging admission. Fletcher claims in his advertising that “we only get paid when you get paid.” Yet he also claims (via a sockpuppet) that, in nearly ten years in operation, “We now have 4 deals.” Those four deals are minor at best. (One that he doesn’t mention went to PublishAmerica for a presumed $1.00 advance, putting another $0.15 in his pocket). So where’s the money coming from? In publishing there are exactly two sources of cash: From the readers, or from the authors. He’s admitting here that he’s getting money from authors, and he’s admitting that he’s getting a lot. All that money, and next-to-nothing from sales.
8. The defamatory publications posted by the Defendants have caused clear irreparable harm and will continue to do so if not removed.
I think of it as saving authors from clear irreparable harm.
SIGNED UNDER THE PAINS AND PENALTIES OF PERJURY:

/s/
ROBERT FLETCHER

(Woo! Perjury! Are you sure you want to do that, Bobby?)

I wonder if someone could look more closely at this Affidavit and maybe find some more charges against Bobby for that day when he stands in front of a judge. Well, for starters, calling the posts “false and defamatory” is a lie, and Fletcher knew it was a lie, because he knows his own business and he knows that we’ve been telling the truth about him and his businesses.


[UPDATE: 20JUN12]
Bobby has renamed his scam (again) to Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency (SBPRA), Publish On Demand Global, Best Quality Editing Services, and Best Selling Book Rights Agency, plus a dozen other names.


Where shall we start?

Let’s start with the WL Literary Agency’s homepage, where one of the very first things you’ll read is:

As literary agents, it is our job and pleasure to find publishers for our clients. We sell to traditional publishers, NOT vanity presses. We are paid on success only.

Count the palpable lies. They sell to vanity presses. They’re paid a lot of ways other than “on success,” because if they were only paid “on success” they’d have gone out of business years ago. They don’t find publishers for their clients (with, perhaps, two exceptions, and I have my doubts about those). Calling them “literary agents” at all is a stretch. It just goes on and keeps getting worse. The only people this would fool are ones who fell off the turnip truck last night, but, as someone once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.

So, lots of people noticed that this agency (under a whole lot of different names), was, essentially, yet another fake fee-charging agency. And said so. This upset poor Bobby Fletcher (who perhaps doesn’t like to think of himself as scum) or at the very least cut into his bottom line (that is to say, the bottom of the lining of his pockets). So in order to clear the decks while he was setting up his own vanity press, he sued (probably figuring that on advice of counsel his targets wouldn’t be able to say anything about Strategic Book Group/Author’s Edge/Eloquent Books/Strategic Book Publishing/AEG Publishing Group)

So, let’s dive into the lawsuit itself. The full text is attached here as a series of PDFs, since retyping it would be tedious, both for you and for me. But I’ll include a bit of a blooper reel with comments.

As recently as this week, Fletcher has been sending email to his would-be victims who question the reports they’ve read online:

We are aware that they have asked that we are investigated. We have lawyers working for us because there is a difference between free speech and absolute slander and we are quite sure that we will win. Unfortunately, it takes only one unhappy person to try to take down a whole company. We believe that we said ‘no’ to publishing someone and this is their revenge. It’s sad but we know the truth and know that our authors are pleased with the publishing service we have provided.

We have published over 800 authors in the last 2 years and you are welcome to contact any of them: www.aegauthorsedge.com

I wonder what part of “we already lost” sounds like “quite sure that we will win”?

Here is the entire thing. I’m not a lawyer, so my comments are purely for entertainment. (And, Bobby, I am entertained.)

The Complaint of Fletcher (to his purse)
All grammatical oopsies in Fletcher’s complaint are [sic].
COUNT I: DEFAMATION AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS

23. Plaintiff restates and reincorporates paragraphs one through twenty-two above.
24. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the Defendant’s publications are false and damaging to the Plaintiffs’ reputation and business and falsely impute the commission of a crime and, thus, constitute defamation.
25. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the Defendant’s publications on the Internet including, but not limited to the publications set forth above constitute defamation “per se”.
26. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the Defendant’s publications are false and defamatory and have caused great harm to the Plaintiffs’ reputation and standing in the community including its business.

WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, the Plaintiffs demand judgment for damages against the Defendants including but not limited to all emotional distress, loss of business, revenues and profits, damage to reputation, damages for personal humiliation and mental anguish and suffering and all costs and attorney’s fees and whatever this Court deems additionally just and proper.

What the Court deemed just and proper was this:
This Court concludes and finds that this case was brought in bad faith by the plaintiffs for the mere purpose of causing great inconvenience and financial costs to Crispin and Strauss (as set out in Fletcher’s pre-lawsuit e-mails to the defendants, Crispin and Strauss). This case is frivolous and this Court finds so, finds that the two plaintiffs and their lawyer, Jerrold G. Neeff, knew it to be frivolous before it even commenced. This Court rules that the defendants, Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss are entitled to have all their legal fees and expenses incurred paid to them by the plaintiffs, Robert Fletcher and The Literary Agency Group.

I wonder: Is Fletcher planning to pay restitution to his authors for their emotional distress, loss of business revenues and profits, damage to reputation, personal humiliation, and mental anguish and suffering?

Fletcher then goes on to his…

MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER ENJOINING THE DEFENDANTS FROM PUBLISHING ANY FURTHER DEFAMATORY PUBLICATIONS REGARDING THE PLAINTIFF AND REQUEST THAT DEFENDANT REMOVE ALL SAID PUBLICATIONS POSTED REGARDING THE PLAINTIFF.

In my opinion, that’s the meat of it. He wanted cover from criticism while he was launching his vanity presses, Eloquent Books and Strategic Book Publishing.

B. There is a Likelihood That Plaintiff Will Succeed on the Merits.
The Defendants have repeatedly posted disparaging comments regarding the Plaintiffs implying and outright stating that the Plaintiffs are running some form of criminal operation claiming that they have committed fraud and that Robert Fletcher is a convicted criminal. (See copy of Affidavit attached as Exhibit “A”). The publications are clearly defamatory; indeed defamatory “per se.” In addition, defamation which concerns false imputation of a crime or moral turpitude is also considered defamation “per se.” Shafir v. Steele, 431 Mass. 365 (2000).

(Nice call on that “likelihood,” Bobby.)

As Thomas E. Connolly, Justice of the Superior Court, said, “Basically, Fletcher and LAG were running a fraud by charging fees for all services while falsely giving hope to the authors that Fletcher and LAG would find a publisher for their book.” [emphasis mine] And as to Fletcher’s history, read it yourself.

Based on the foregoing, NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent Robert M. Fletcher, his agents and employees, shall cease and desist from offering and/or selling securities in any manner in violation of RCW 21.20.140.
It is further ORDERED that Respondent, his agents and employees, shall cease and desist from violation of RCW 21.20.040.
It is further ORDERED that Respondent shall cease and desist from violation of RCW 21.20.010.
It is further ORDERED that based upon the violations of RCW 21.20.010, the exemptions available to Respondent under RCW 21.20.320(1), (9), (11) and (17) are hereby withdrawn.
It is further ORDERED that, pursuant to RCW 21.20.395, Respondent is liable for, and shall pay, within 30 days of the entry of this Order, a fine in the amount of $50,000. Such payment shall be: (a) made by United States postal money order, certified check, bank cashier’s check or bank money order; (b) made payable to the Washington State Treasurer; (c) delivered by certified mail to Deborah R. Bortner, SecuritiesAdministrator, Department of Financial Institutions, PO Box 9033, Olympia, Washington 98507-9033; and (d) submitted with a cover letter that identifies Robert M. Fletcher as a Respondent under these proceedings, and the Order and Case number of these proceedings.

It is further ORDERED that, pursuant to RCW 21.20.390, Respondent is liable for, and shall pay, restitution to all Washington purchasers of ByteAudio.com, Inc. stock.

WILLFUL VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

Here’s the next bit of comedy gold:

D. The public interest will not be adversely affected by granting an injunction.

The issuance of an Order restraining the Defendants from publishing any further defamatory publications will not adversely affect the public interest in any manner. To the contrary, the issuance of such an Order will only serve to protect the public interest in ensuring that such interests pertinent in this matter are protected in the future.

Yeah, there’s no public interest in warning marks away from a grifter. Why, that poor grifter might have to get an honest job. And all the other grifters, and future generations of grifters, will thank you!

Exhibit A
AFFIDAVIT OF ROBERT FLETCHER

As above.

Exhibit B
An email from someone making a lucky escape from The WL Screenplay Agency after finding the Twenty Worst list. Also includes a copy of the Twenty Worst Agents list, and the reasons they’re on that list. (Was making sure the judge saw that really such a good idea, Bobby?)
Exhibit C
An email from a writer making a quick getaway from the WL Writer’s Literary Agency. You can read one of the “Sherry Fine” form letters in the quoted part of the email. Notice how it has Bobby’s verbal tics.
Exhibit D
An email demanding a full refund for the critique and telling Bobby to pack sand.
Exhibit E
An email from a gent, an attorney from Texas, who says, “Tell me the Crispin lady is a nut case, and that her slam charges against your company are not true. Her comments from the writer’s blog is noted below.”

Then follows one of Ann’s typically sane and sober notes:

Since this company began operating in 2001 under the name Sydra-Techniques, Writer Beware has received hundreds of complaints and advisories of fee-charging, editing referrals, and other questionable practices. We’re not aware that the company has a significant track record of commercial book sales under any of its names, despite its claims to the contrary.

(Wow, Bob. Who told you that it was a clever plan to make sure the judge saw that?)

Exhibit F
Another author dumps WL Writers Literary Agency. Includes the complete text of Take My Logline… Please. Alas, he didn’t print out the comments. As always at Making Light, the comments are the best part. The judge would have seen another couple of Bobby’s sockpuppets, and me calling out “Sheriff Sherry.”
Exhibit G
My post from Absolute Write where I called the Poets Literary Agency “an utter fraud.”
This agency is an utter fraud.

What will Poet’s Literary Agency do for you? They’ll betray, bluff, burn, cheat, chisel, con, deceive, delude, diddle, double-cross, dupe, entice, exploit, finesse, flimflam, gyp, have, hoodwink, impose on, jockey, juggle, lure, manipulate, mislead, play, rook, rope in, scam, screw, seduce, shave, snow, stick, string along, suck in, take, take in, and trick you.

That must have really gotten under Bobby’s skin.

If I were re-writing that I’d leave out “take in,” since I already had “take” and “suck in.”

(Was it really a good idea to show that to the judge, Bobby? It had links to your little problem back there in Washington state. Are you sure you wanted him to know about it?)

Exhibit H
This is a writer heading for the door, and quoting an extensive, factual, well-supported email from Victoria, demonstrating beyond the shadow of a doubt that Fletcher was running a con.

(Here’s a shout-out to Jerry Neeff: Hey, man, did you read any of this stuff before you put the package together?) Is that why the judge said, “this Court … finds that the two plaintiffs and their lawyer, Jerrold G. Neeff, knew it to be frivolous before it even commenced”?

Then we come to a long section apparently printed out from the Writer Beware blog in black on a colored background, then cut apart with literal scissors and pasted down, then photocopied. In short, nearly impossible to read.

Exhibit I
The final and funniest bit. This is a nice blank order, all ready for the judge to sign, that Bobby helpfully included. I quote it in full.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
SUPERIOR COURT DEPT.

SUFFOLK, SS

ROBERT FLETCHER AND THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP,
An individual and a corporation,

PLAINTIFFS

V.

ANN CRISPIN, VICTORIA STRAUSS, JAMES MCDONALD [sic],
Individuals,

DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

After hearing, the Court hereby ENJOINS and RESTRAINS the Defendants, ANN CRISPIN, VICTORIA STRAUSS, JAMES MCDONALD [sic] his agents, affiliates, servants, and employees as well as those over which they maintain any control from publishing any further defamatory publications regarding the Plaintiff and further Orders that said parties make all diligent effort to have all such defamatory statements removed from publication.
Dated:

___________________________
(                                          , J.)

(In your dreams, Bobby.)

Here’s what the court actually said:

This Court finds that the claims asserted by the plaintiffs to be wholly insubstantial, frivolous and not advanced in good faith.

Comments on Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Scammer. Part IV:
#1 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 08:46 PM:

Wow, Bob. Who told you that it was a clever plan to make sure the judge saw that?

Actually, they need the judge to see *something* like that, to prove that the defendants said something defamatory about the plaintiff. Which it certainly does prove.

Unfortunately for Fletcher, in order to recover in the lawsuit, it has to be FALSE and defamatory, which I gather was his problem.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 08:53 PM:

Since we know Robert Fletcher's home address, I at one point looked up the place where he lives. It's awfully nice -- attractive house, backyard swimming pool/jacuzzi and pool house, very flossy neighborhood, five nearby golf courses, with a classic Florida vacation-poster beach a few minutes' drive in one direction and a national wildlife reserve a few minutes' drive in the other. I also looked up its probable value. Even with the recent collapse in Florida real estate, it's worth a fair bit. He owns a boat, too.

If his house and lifestyle were paid for by commissions on the deals he's made for his clients, he'd not only have more than four bitty deals to his credit, but some of his clients would have to be well-known authors.

In other news, I recentlly saw where Fletcher was boasting to Publishers Weekly that his publishing branch (which he insists isn't a vanity operation) has published over 1,000 authors and sold 50,000 books, which of course comes out to an average of fifty sales per title. Want to know how pathetic that is? Publish America, which is unquestionably a vanity publishing operation, sells an average of 72-73 copies per title.

#3 ::: Lighthill ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:51 PM:

To the contrary, the issuance of such an Order will only serve to protect the public interest in ensuring that such interests pertinent in this matter are protected in the future.

Is it just me, or is this completely circular? I ask because I'm not used to seeing one-sentence instances of circular reasoning. Most practitioners stick a few sentences in between the "Assuming X" part and the "So therefore X" part.

("Putting peanut butter on your kitten will protect him from goblins by insuring that such kitten is protected from goblins in the future.")

#4 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:44 PM:

I'm thrilled to pieces for you guys.

I hope he ends up writing you large checks.

#5 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 01:36 AM:

He'll probably claim to be too poor to pay, and that his house isn't his house.

#6 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 06:31 AM:

Okay, we get it. This guy is a fraud who filed a frivilous SLAPP lawsuit that was dismissed with some rather forceful language by the judge.

At some point, doesn't it become a bit like kicking a corpse to keep posting harangues about it?

Granted, he apparently is still holding out to some marks that he'll win this lawsuit, which may make it more like kicking a zombie, Still, there's something about this latest post that just feels wrong. (While still being entertaining)

I can't quite put my finger on it, but it feels a bit like when we're telling war stories at work about unqualified candidates - it's okay to a point, but at some point it slips from mocking hillariously wrong answers to mocking the candidates themselves, and that's decidedly not ok. I won't claim that this situation is at all analogous, but I'm beginning to get a similarly uneasy feeling to the one I get when those conversations turn awry.

#7 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 06:43 AM:

At some point, doesn't it become a bit like kicking a corpse to keep posting harangues about it?

No.

This man is still out there, and still, today, defrauding authors.

Mocking Bobby Fletcher, himself, personally, is not just "okay." It's an admirable thing to do.

Nor is this the last post I plan to make about Bouncing Bobby. My last post will be when I report how much prison time he gets.

This man launched a frivolous lawsuit against me, for the purpose of harassment. He should be able to take a couple--or even a half-dozen--blog posts.

#8 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 07:00 AM:

"WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons,"

As opposed to "wherefore for the following reasons?"

Hint to whoever wrote that: "wherefore" and "for the foregoing reasons" both mean the same thing. You come across as though either you don't understand what you're writing or you think the judge won't understand it. I'm sure you didn't want to imply the latter...

#9 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 07:26 AM:

Daniel Martin @ 7: As long as Bobby Fletcher is still running his scam, it's a public service to generate as many Google hits as possible blowing the lid off his shenanigans.

#10 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 09:00 AM:

One thing that happens all the time in scam hunting is hearing from poor deluded first-time authors who write saying, "Woe! Alas! I spent $X,XXX and all I got was a run-around! What shall I do? Can you help me get my money back?"

And I say, "Didn't you see the warnings about Scammer Y?"

And the new author says, "Yes, but they were all from a year ago, so I figured that he must have cleaned up his act or he wouldn't be in business any more!"

#11 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 09:24 AM:

Daniel @7:

Do you realize that you're telling a victim of attempted censorship (that being what all SLAPP lawsuits are) to stop talking about the subject?

That's very different from pointing out flaws in an unsolicitied manuscript or job application (or love not): a person or company can simply ignore those. They aren't being forced to hire lawyers to protect their right to tell the truth about a thief or other criminal.

More generally, I'd say it's up to someone who has been attacked to decide how much they want to say, and your and my decision is whether we want to engage in the conversation. In person or otherwise one-on-one, that may mean saying "I'm sorry, I find this stressful" or politely changing the subject if you think you've heard it all and expressed sympathy already. On something like Making Light, if you find a subject uninteresting, go read the next thing. That this is, in fact, Jim's blog rather than yours or mine is relevant here: but the key point is that, I hope without realizing it, you're siding with a bully and thief and against his victims.

#12 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 10:02 AM:

Mark @10: I would comment, however, that due to the way google collapses any chunk of more than 2 results from the same site to the top 2 plus a "more from this site" link[1], it would be more productive to do so on as many different sites as possible.

As an aside, people may be interested in hearing a little more about the action that lead to Fletcher's securities fraud conviction. Fletcher was one of three directors of byteaudio.com at the time this was happening, and when the SEC press release states that byteaudio "maintained [its] own sales force to attract investors", that appears to have been Fletcher's role in the company.

[1]: To save people googling themselves: the top two Making Light links are currently parts 1 and 3 of this series, and show up in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. The 1st place is a writers.net discussion ("Robert M. Fletcher - EXPOSED!") The fourth is the unregistered securities order Jim linked to above; the fifth is a document from the same site that has Fletcher's name in the title but does not concern him. Sixth comes the absolutewrite discussion on LAG; next is a "zoominfo" page about Fletcher (a collection of articles scraped from various web sites that describe his business, in terms varying from "not recommended" to "[ST Literary Agency] is only the latest incarnation is what appears to be an ongoing string of cash-cow FRAUDS") Then we have Writer Beware, a page that seems to be scraped from Making Light's RSS feed, and finally an irrelevant page that isn't about Fletcher at all.

#13 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 11:35 AM:

The link to the Judge's decision on costs isn't working. It looks as though the sfwa.org site is being reorganised, and the URL needs adjusting.

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 11:37 AM:

When it all settles down over there I'll make any necessary changes.

#15 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 12:40 PM:

Jules @13: what string did you Google on? Listing Google results without saying what you searched for is like listing economic stats without mentioning what country was involved.

#16 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 01:46 PM:

tom whitmore @16: my own quick test suggests that he searched on "robert m. fletcher" - without the quotes.

#17 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 02:50 PM:

Wyman @ 5,
I believe under Florida law it's impossible for your house to be seized as part of either bankruptcy or criminal penalties. That's another reason there are a lot of scammers based in Florida (with very nice houses.)

#18 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 09:56 PM:

I suspect if I'd been the target of a SLAPP suit, I'd be good and happy to dance on its grave.

Just saying.

#19 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 11:13 PM:

Fletcher's a professional. He's been doing this stuff for a long time, under innumerable pseudonyms. I can't begin to tell you how cynical he is about it. Don't waste your compassion on him. He's got none himself, and extending it to him will just make him think you're a sucker.

Meanwhile, Jim's put in years of work at AW to help aspiring writers understand why Fletcher and his ilk are pushing scams. In a lot of cases, the writers have already been defrauded, sometimes by more than one scammer.

It gets very, very frustrating.

Jim has earned this wrath, and Fletcher has earned the kicking.

#20 ::: Jane Smith ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 03:59 AM:

Yes, I can understand Daniel Martin's point: but I agree more with Teresa in #20.

If James ever wants to write a post about Fletcher for my blog, I'd be very glad to play host to him. Fletcher attracts writers from the UK too, and there's not nearly enough awareness about publishing scams over here.

#21 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 06:30 AM:

Jane Smith: If you want to use any of this, or link to it, feel free.

#22 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 08:33 AM:

I think the important thing for anyone to remember is that the world is changing. If you want a few copies of a book, you can go the Print-on-Demand self-publishing route. You can keep control, and if you put a bit of effort in on the copy editing, you can have a better book on your bookshelf than any vanity publisher can get you.

Call it a big fanzine.

But it is a more honest way of feeding the desire that the vanity publisher exploits.

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 04:23 PM:

The vanity publisher exploits the need for validation. The feeling that someone thinks that your prose is good. Selected it. Approves of it.

Vanity publishing provides a false seeming. It's like a photo-realistic painting of a diner. No matter how much it looks like a diner from out front you still can't get a cup of coffee there.

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2009, 12:53 PM:

More details on how Fletcher treats his own employees in the comment thread here.

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