Outback Writer

Friday, October 12, 2007

Writer's Beware

Yesterday I almost fell for a 'literary agent' scam. Thank goodness for a writers forum, which absolutely slated this 'agency'. Based in New York they appear very encouraging. Everything is done by e-mail. I submitted a synopsis and bio and the next day they replied that they would like to see more. So I sent it to them. A week later I received a positive response, but still no personal e-mail, which I found a bit odd, but the e-mail, which was very long, explained this away. Then the contract arrived and alarm bells started ringing.
The writers forum said that this was simply a mail drop. None of the submissions were read, just automatically given the same reply. Just to be sure I went through the process from the beginning again. I gave myself a terrible bio, that anyone would have rejected immediately, (I said that I wrote all day, exactly 500 words) and the new synopsis, about a cat that sat on the mat, was equally appalling. Guess what? Yes, a positive reply, identical to the one I'd received for my genuine submission, came back. This pretend 'agency' want money ... not for them, of course, but for the price of editing your novel, even if it's already been edited. The contract urges one not to have it checked by a solicitor, because this will waste time and it's been drawn up by their attorney.
Two of the people at this bogus agency are Sherry Fine and Georgina Orr, although the names are probably as fake as their agency. The comments about them on the web are very unflattering. So writers beware.