It’s been years since I’ve done a blog post warning authors of unscrupulous agents–those with little to no experience looking to take advantage of an author’s dreams. Recently though, we had an interesting experience where an unscrupulous “editor” was looking to take advantage of us.
A few weeks ago we received an email from a freelance editor about a client of his. He claimed that he met one of us at a conference a few years ago and was told to get in touch about any of his clients with real promise. Immediately this felt fishy and not like something any of us would do. Not in the way he described anyway. We are happy to hear from editors we know who have someone they think has promise, but I can’t imagine any of us telling someone we don’t know to do this. Or at least, not in the way this editor was presenting.
Instead of calling him out we decided to do a little investigating ourselves, thinking maybe a picture would ring some bells and maybe we did tell him to send us material. See, we’ll give people the benefit of the doubt. Instead, what we found were red flags and warnings all over the internet about a con artist who scams unsuspecting women, and has run into problems with the law in several states for his scams. On top of that, the name he gave wasn’t even real. And apparently the client doesn’t exist—it’s just a pseudonym he created for himself.
All of this reminded me that I haven’t reminded authors for a long time to become very familiar with Writer Beware, one of the best resources writers can have when it comes to evaluating and checking on agents.
Now, back to thinking up the most effective and enjoyable way to call this con artist out.