Monday, October 03, 2011

The Agenda of "The Write Agenda"

Posted by Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Some of you may be aware that for the past few months, a group calling itself The Write Agenda has been attempting to wage a disinformation campaign against Writer Beware and other anti-scam activists.

(Note: We're expecting that at least some of the data we're linking to in this post will disappear after the post goes live, so we've taken a bunch of screenshots and, rather than clutter up this post with images, set up a special Screenshots page to host them. Be sure to click the links to get the full picture--you don't want to miss it!).

The Write Agenda is an anonymous group that claims to be
a group of individuals, writers, want-to-be authors and inquisitive wordsmiths that have become “literally” numb from reading the numerous author help related blog posts. Many of these postings are subjective and do not offer any substantial documentation regarding purported claims regarding publishers and other industry professionals. In addition, many of these sites have become nothing more than complaint boards that disseminate speculative claims without any substantiation. We do not discount the validity of some claims made. However, we want to question both sides of an issue and to assist other authors in making informed decisions. If a fact is proven true we’ll support it. If a claim is twisted, slanted, incomplete, not updated (retracted) or smells like innuendo . . . we’ll challenge it.
Sounds admirably even-handed, doesn't it? Unfortunately, providing reasoned discourse to assist in the formulation of balanced choices is not what The Write Agenda is all about. TWA's real agenda is to harass, discredit, and intimidate just about anyone who speaks out about literary scams, or supports anti-scam activities.

The Write Agenda's shenanigans over the past few months have included suggesting that activist author James Macdonald has a criminal historyasserting that Writer Beware Chair Ann Crispin's recent sprained ankle is "karma", attempting to embarrass Victoria Strauss with quotes from her personal Facebook page (oh dear, they do follow us closely, don't they?), praying for Victoria to die (this link may stop working, so see #1 on the Screenshots page), suggesting that Writer Beware, and watchdogs in general, engage in threats and blackmail attempts, calling for a boycott of Ann's books based on her colloquial use of the word "mitzvah," implied stalking threats (see #2 on the Screenshots page), a public call for information on a lawsuit that they don't appear to realize has been dismissed, attempting to intimidate a critic with a laughably fake Cease and Desist notice, compiling an extensive "author boycott list", soliciting donations for a bonfire of its critics' books (while neglecting to provide an address for those who wish to contribute to the promised pyre), and general frothing and ranting, including a bizarre open letter to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Till now, Writer Beware has pretty much ignored The Write Agenda. We feel no need to defend ourselves against anonymous groups with obvious hate agendas. Also, despite its best efforts, TWA hasn't succeeded in attracting much attention, so we don't feel that its fractured logic is much of a threat to new authors. Plus, it's kind of hard to take seriously a group whose logo is a guy with a bag over his head, or that creates a website called BadReads devoted to posting bad reviews of its critics' books, or claims that criticizing literary scams leads to low Amazon sales rankings. (Do they also think that kissing leads to pregnancy?)

However, we've become concerned by the way The Write Agenda's venom seems to be spilling beyond the "watchdogs" and into the wider writing and publishing community. TWA's rapidly growing "boycott list" now includes many writers who have nothing at all to do with Writer Beware or WB's activities; one writer is on the list for nothing more than the crime of having Victoria as a guest on her radio show (she blogged about TWA's attempts to hijack the interview even as it was being conducted); others are included, apparently, simply because they're SFWA members. Recently, TWA posted hundreds of one-star reviews of "boycott" authors' books on Goodreads (see #3 on the Screenshots page for an example); these reviews were flagged by Goodreads as spam and removed, but not before they prompted some angry responses by targeted authors.

So who's behind The Write Agenda? Clearly, someone with an axe to grind. Despite TWA's preoccupation with fee-charging publisher American Book Publishing (on Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Publisher List), our research suggests a more likely connection with Strategic Book Publishing, a.k.a. Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (also on our Thumbs Down List, as well as the subject of an Alert at Writer Beware and of many other online warnings and complaints)--including material similar to TWA's residing on Strategic websites (these links may disappear; if so, see #4 on the Screenshots page); and a big "whoops" on Twitter (see #5 on the Screenshots page), in which Strategic publicity material was mistakenly posted to TWA's Twitterfeed. (We can't help finding it amusing that TWA, which has dubbed us "weiner dogs" after disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, should, like Weiner, screw up on Twitter.)

There's also a familiar feel to the tone of The Write Agenda, as compared to the several threats Ann, Victoria, and Jim Macdonald received from Strategic's owner, Robert Fletcher, just before he launched a defamation lawsuit against us in 2007 (Fletcher lost, and we won our motion to have the suit declared frivolous, giving him good reason to nurse a grudge).

Other assorted names, websites, trolls, and sockpuppets that we believe are associated with The Write Agenda:
  • Turnaround Media (an obscure PR and digital publishing firm, which apparently maintains TWA--see #6 on the Screenshots page for the connections)
  • Jared Goldstein, Turnaround Media's VP of Marketing (we don't know whether this is a real name or not, but he has a Facebook page)
  • Jonna Silverman, another Turnaround Media staffer (again, we don't know if this is a real name or even a real person, but she's on Twitter)
  • Miriam Silverstein ("Miriam" has a Facebook page, but "her" profile uses a stock photo)
  • Lizzy Greenberg (the name TWA uses for posting press releases, uploading content to Smashwords, etc. "Lizzy" has a Goodreads profile--note the presence of books published by Turnaround Media) Don't these colorful names sound oddly similar?
  • Nick Caruso (a Strategic Book Publishing sockpuppet. See #6 on the Screenshots page for an appearance by "Nick")
  • Michael Sigvagni (signatory to TWA's fake Cease and Desist letter; according to Google, there's not a single real person in the world by this name)
  • A mirror blog, also called The Write Agenda
  • Another mirror blog called Writer Be Aware
The bottom line: The Write Agenda is not a credible group--not just because of the trollish obviousness of its agenda, but because whoever is behind it isn't brave enough to publicly own their words. So if you're alarmed by finding your name on its "boycott" list, or by its so-called B.A.D. Project (which supposedly disseminates the list to libraries and bookstores), or if its one-star reviews show up again on your books--don't be concerned. In fact, consider it a badge of honor.

In addition to buffing your badge, Writer Beware advocates could also let The Write Agenda know they're not going to put up with this kind of childish smear campaign. If you run across these absurd allegations, or others in the same vein, don't let them stand unchallenged. Link to this post, or blog about the truth, or post messages so that those who don't know Writer Beware's reputation as advocates for authors don't have to see just TWA's ridiculous rants.

(This post was edited 10/7/11 to reflect new information connecting Turnaround Media to The Write Agenda. See #6 on the Screenshots page.)

146 comments:

RealmQuests said...

Hi Victoria. Sorry to see that Writer Beware has been the target & subject of such misguided malevolence.

While I have one minor "nit" (the use of an anonymous identify has, through history, been used for good as well as bad), you've done a great job of documenting the obvious slander campaign.

Thanks for addressing it in a way that folks can follow up. You may also want to screen-shot any page copies that landed in Google cache as well as those that might still show up on the Wayback Machine (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php) - that's a very good way to capture documentary evidence, but it's subject to removal upon request so it's best to capture it as soon as possible to help corroborate your other screenshots.

Good luck.

I'll share this on FB & Twitter. (h/t to Jen Nipps [https://www.facebook.com/jennipps] for the heads-up)

P. David Gardner said...

Interesting. I have replied in the past to posts here and on the Facebook group, and so I'm on their "Propaganda Watch List". Except they reversed my first and middle names. I guess anyone is fair game.

I wonder if this is really the work of an organized group, or perhaps it's just one or two people (perhaps on WB's own lists) with a nit to pick.

Anonymous said...

Isn't banned book week coming up? I hope that if I "make it big" I'm on one of these lists!

PLJ

RealmQuests said...

@P.DG - I vote for the latter, "one or two people" with a nit to pick...but, they could have a few sympathetic friends.

I'd be surprised if it could be any kind of actual, cohesive group consisting of a large number of people.

Leslie said...

Oh dear. I wonder if any of the people associated with TWA are unpublished, frustrated writers? If so, they should spend their time writing. All of this crap is time-consuming.

And I made very angry by the photo of the people waving placards with Victoria's name on them. Ugly.

Kelly Robinson said...

Wow. I'm glad you've documented all of this.

Anonymous said...

Nice work. A few broken links you might want to fix:

* "quotes" leads to http://www.blogger.com/http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/victoria-strauss-the-anthony-weiner-scandal-is-a-bs-story-weinerdog-still-shows-no-compunction-for-the-truth/ … need to remove the blogger.com bit at the front (this is usually due to malformed a href tag)
* "a bizarre open letter to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America" leads to http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/letter-to-the-science-fiction-fantasy-writers-of-america/" <- note extra quote mark at the end.
* "responses" leads to http://afantasyfiction.blogspot.com/2011/08/write-agenda-defines-hate-groups.htm should be .html

(Feel free to delete this comment when you've fixed them, if it's cluttering things up.)

Simon C. said...

Thank you for posting this material. Good luck with your efforts. (By the way, I noticed that the open letter to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has also gone 'awol'. Any chance of adding a screenshot link to thata s well?

CNHolmberg said...

Wow. This is insane.

Thank you for taking the time to alert us and document all of this. It's so ridiculous I can hardly believe it.

Suzanne Palmer said...

Hey, I'm being boycotted! Awesome! (-:

Sean T Poindexter said...

NO FAIR! I wanna be on their list! What do I have to do?

Sean T Poindexter said...

Have you seen the book burning page? Book burning? BOOK BURNING!?!? They really want that kind of association?

RealmQuests said...

@Sean - "what do I have to do" - quite possibly, you've just done it. :) I suspect that we'll all be boycotted...and the scifi/fantasy book I've co-authored hasn't even been published yet. (Tho they could opt to boycott the caregiving memoir...I wonder if they're focused on any specific topics, or just anything/anyone connected to Writer Beware...?)

RealmQuests said...

General clarification of my previous comment - I'm ~not~ "associated" with Writer Beware. I'm an author and tech consultant (read: "professional irritant") who just happens to be commenting in support of Writer Beware.

I think that's the only association needed to make the hate ("boycott") list.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I'm commenting in the hopes that these people boycott me should I be published someday. Don't they know that controversy and boycotts are the quickest way to get people to read something?

DMBeucler said...

As a cynical person I wonder if they monetized their blog somehow and all of this attention is going to their bank accounts? Otherwise they are hilariously delusional.

Sean T Poindexter said...

@RealmQuests - "quite possibly, you've just done it. :)"

Well, that was easy! Usually to inspire that level of rancor in someone, I have to date them for a few months.

My book will be out sometime early next year. Looking forward to them buying thousands of copy of it to burn.

Theresa Milstein said...

It's a shame you guys provide a service only to be slandered. Keep doing what you do. Thank you.

Michael Z. Williamson said...

Probably one or two people with no lives and no jobs. I'd poke them with sticks (figuratively), but what's the fun in that?

RealmQuests said...

@Sean - "My book will be out sometime early next year. Looking forward to them buying thousands of copy of it to burn."

Heh - that's ~one~ way to get on a best-seller list. :)

BTW - what's the title, and what's it about? (Feel free to email that instead of cluttering the thread here, and I'll gladly reciprocate with info about my two collaborative works.)

Anonymous said...

I hope you saved the screenshots of the lewd altered photos and videos that you all googlebombed on poor Dr. Barbara Bauer. We would not want to forget what malice you heaped onto that beautiful, wonderful person and fabulous literary agent. Bauer vs. Glatzer L 001169 07 is still pending further discovery. Judge Paul Kapalko and Judge Jamie S. Perri have allowed Bauer and her agency to go forward without prejudice.
And it's too bad that your defense in Bauer vs Glatzer was "Lack of Jurisdiction." I guess you knew you had told too many lies about Bauer to just say you were telling the truth and let that remain as your defense. Lack of Jurisdiction sounds like a cop out. St. John's University Office of General Counsel has denounced your postings on Absolute Write, Writers.net and Wikipedia when you and your lackeys stated that Bauer's Ph.D. was bogus. And the University of California at San Diego has denounced your Absolute Write Moderator Shweta Narayan and has thrown her defamatory ,non-scholarly and offensive paper and abstract about Bauer off their web site. On behalf of Chancellor Fox and Vice Chancellor Chandler, Dean Jeffrey Elman has stated, "We deeply regret this incident." A big university like UCSD has a lot to lose-- its reputation-- by having someone like Shweta Narayan coming in there to louse up a conference with offensive behavior.
And you really ought to tell your attorneys to look up "Calder vs. Jones." Bauer has every right to sue in the state in which she received the harm you dished out to her in your deep envy and malice. I see that neither you nor Ann and I daresay I haven't seen any SFWA authors lately as guests on Regis, although Bauer's client Father Orsini has been on there numerous times with his books. The Write Agenda has more supporters than you realize, and you should be held accountable for your actions.

Anonymous said...

I support the Write Agenda.: Karen Blocker

P. David Gardner said...

You know, it's one thing to be on their boycott list, quite another to be the recipient of one of their wonky cease and desist letters. When you've made it that far, you're one of the elite, the proud, the few!

fantasydreamer12 said...

Whereever these nut-jobs come from, we'll never know.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous who noted the links that needed to be fixed--thanks, I've done it. Really appreciate the proofreading!

Simon C., the SFWA letter link wasn't working because I screwed up the URL. It's fixed now, and you can read it in all its glory.

RealmQuests said...

@Anonymous from 10/03/2011 4:22 PM -

"I hope you saved the screenshots of the lewd altered photos and videos that you all googlebombed on poor Dr. Barbara Bauer."

You realize that such a blanket accusation impugnes anyone commenting here, and that it can be construed as slander? I hope you've got supporting documentation that provides evidence of your broad-brush accusation...

Oh, or are you presuming that your IP address isn't stored in log files? (Or were you pseudo-intellectual enough to use a public computer and/or an anonymizer...?)

No matter - I'd say "nice of you to comment - surprised to see you" but your presence was not only expected, it's also not very pleasing to see.

green_knight said...

I just want to make a comment on 'Weiner dogs'. People who can spell call them 'Wiener dogs' after the long and thin sausages which come from the city of Vienna. (Note relative locations of 'i' and 'e'.)

I'm always puzzled by people who choose to ridicule the dog breed, though. The German name for them is 'Dachshund' which means 'badger hound' - they were bred to go down into badger setts and take on badgers on their home turf. They're fierce and strong and great fighters - and very easily underestimated and dismissed.

Really, if you need to adopt a mascot, you could do much worse.

Beth said...

*peers up at the Great Wall o' Words left by the anonymous ranter, aka TWA sock puppet*

Wow. If I could get my espresso to froth like that, I'd be proud.

Frances Grimble said...

For all us types who were considered "weird" in junior high and high school, because we spent so much time reading and/or doing geeky technical things:

The refreshing thing about the Internet is you discover how many people are way, way, way weirder than you are. Like, the Write Agenda . . .

Suzanne Palmer said...

@Sean -- all I did, as best as I can tell, was retweet Yog's Law a year or so ago. They started following me on twitter right after. So, as others have said, that bar is remarkably low.

Harry Connolly said...

Thank you, Writer Beware, for all the good work you do. Don't let the fools bring you down.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to pick sides here. But, it just seems that all of the crap from The Write Agenda would go away if Writer Beware would prove that American Book Publishing "has been the subject of a police investigation." You have not done that. Upon reviewing their site it appears that is all they are asking for. Yes, there is a fixation on this. I think that if you do that this negativity will go away. God bless you.

Sean T Poindexter said...

@RealmQuests - "BTW - what's the title, and what's it about? (Feel free to email that instead of cluttering the thread here, and I'll gladly reciprocate with info about my two collaborative works.)"

I'd be glad too, but I don't have your email address. There is more about it on my website, seanpoindexter.com

G said...

This is so beyond bizarre that I'm not sure what kind of comment I can make beyond comparing it to some of the bogus complaints and end-arounds that some employees do to avoid actually earning a legitimate paycheck.

Pathetic really.

Victoria Strauss said...

TWA is bragging on Twitter that its blog stats hit a new high today.

You're welcome.

(BTW, those blog stats are cumulative--so that lovely five-figure number represents TWA's total visitors EVAH. It has been averaging fewer than 100 visitors a day.)

Polenth said...

Though I'd hope people will realise it's false, it wouldn't surprise me if a few fall for it. Some authors are looking for a ray of hope that the book deal they were just offered isn't a scam. A site declaring all watchdog groups are liars might appeal to someone in that position. I've seen people go for deals after being told they're scams, simply because one person out of a hundred said they thought it was a good idea. That ray of hope doesn't have to be very substantial.

Anon said:
I'm not going to pick sides here. But, it just seems that all of the crap from The Write Agenda would go away if Writer Beware would prove that American Book Publishing "has been the subject of a police investigation." You have not done that. Upon reviewing their site it appears that is all they are asking for. Yes, there is a fixation on this. I think that if you do that this negativity will go away.

They've added people to the boycott list who have nothing to do with any of it (other than happening to be SFF writers). So it's overly hopeful to think one statement would stop the site.

Renee Miller said...

The Write Agenda lurked in one of our writing groups on Goodreads, quoted a few posts by members and promptly added them to their many ridiculous lists. They also attacked friends, whose blogs you've linked to in this post, for doing nothing more than calling a snake a snake. Karma's a bitch. I hope we all get to witness what she has in store for the Write Agenda.

To the Anonymous poster who identified themselves as "Karen Blocker"; is that your real name or another of your many aliases, Write Agenda? Care to supply us with a blog or Twitter name we might check your validity against?

As for the "I'm not going to pick sides here...." comment:

Nice try, Write Agenda. You know and we know that no matter what Writer Beware proves about you, and from what I can see, you've proven enough all on your own, your childish antics will continue.

Now, will you PLEASE boycott me? I've done everything but backflips to get the badge.

Scooter Carlyle said...

Reminds me of a guy here in Montana. He was on the Public Service Commission. He frequently engaged in stupendously stupid behavior, often in front of witnesses. When the local paper would cover his stupidity, he would make up several different aliases and post ridiculous rhetoric in support of himself in the paper's comment section.

I wonder if Karen Blocker is an alias, as well.

Amalie said...

Yikes.

The crazy... it burnssss

FigmentQueen said...

Oh goody, a new list of books to purchase!
I will buy all of the ones I don't own already.
Thanks for the list of the next lot of books to own, TWA!
I only hope that I can end up on their list one day...

Digitalsabre said...

Their website uses too much centered text, thus making it far too difficult to read. These are definitely not publishing professionals.

Anonymous said...

Like it was said: "I'm not going to pick sides here. But, it just seems that all of the crap from The Write Agenda would go away if Writer Beware would prove that American Book Publishing "has been the subject of a police investigation." You have not done that. Upon reviewing their site it appears that is all they are asking for. Yes, there is a fixation on this. I think that if you do that this negativity will go away. God bless you."

Why can't you disprove this? Why all of the effort into all of this other BS when you could just back up your claims on this?

http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/american-book-publishing-investigation-research-released-no-proof-of-victoria-strauss-claims/

RealmQuests said...

I'd be glad too, but I don't have your email address. There is more about it on my website, seanpoindexter.com

Ah - heh. Sorry. Thought my profile gave that: it's "me" (at) gmail.com ...but I'll visit your site anyway.

Muchas gracias!

FigmentQueen said...

Also, TWA, I am spreading the bad word about you to my 847 facebook friends, and a few besides who don't have facebook...
My name is Stephanie O'Connell...
Can I make it on your list, or do I have to do more? I will.
I am "Steph O'Connell" on facebook, though. I prefer Steph to Stephanie, but making it on your list is the important thing...

Oh, and Shweta Narayan is one of my friends... Does that help your decision?

barrettmanor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
barrettmanor said...

Deleted my own comment and trying again for clarity. Sinus meds are not fun. ;-) There's an anonymous commenter who supposedly identified themselves. If the name is who I think it is, that person will not be amused. I've let them know.

P.N. Elrod said...

Hey, if BB is back, I'm just saying that this link has nothing, nothing whatever to do with her. Nothing at all.

http://www.vampwriter.com/The%20Trial%20of%20Agent%20B.htm

Digitalis said...

Proudly one of the boycotted. Couldn't ask for better press than that.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

As the real Karen Funk Blocher, I resent the misappropriation of my misspelled name in the "anonymous" endorsement of The Write Agenda, which I've never heard of until today. It's certainly possible that there is a "Karen Blocker" associated with or sympathetic to these people, but it's much more likely that someone remembered my name from the Barbara Bauer Wikipedia article years ago (which I tried to research and edit for maximum fairness), and thought it would be fun to use it as an alias.

I'm not involved in this current battle, but by default, my support is always with Strauss and Crispin. If I were to have any doubts about this, their enemies using my name to promote disinformation would dispel them.

What puzzles me, though, is why anyone would think that my forged endorsement would carry any weight. I'm still struggling to sell my first novel. And guess what: I use Writer Beware as one of my sources for vetting agencies and publishers before submission.

P. David Gardner said...

By the way, if it isn't already obvious, the photos that the blog uses, the ones with people holding signs disparaging WB and Co., are photoshopped.

FigmentQueen said...

To try and make it look like they have numbers of real people involved, P. David Gardner?

Anonymous said...

You know, if these people (TWA, et. al.) would put as much effort into making money *honestly* as they do into running scams and harassing people who call them on it--

--no the first unhinged folks I've interacted with on the web, or the worst, but still "impressive".

(I think it's hilarious that they're sending a book boycott list to libraries -- librarians tending o be the most rabidly anti-censorship professionals around.)

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous sockpuppet said,

But, it just seems that all of the crap from The Write Agenda would go away if Writer Beware would prove that American Book Publishing "has been the subject of a police investigation."

Several observations here.

First, I don't see that I have any obligation to "prove" anything to anonymous smear campaigners.

Second, Writer Beware stands on its reputation for honesty and meticulous research.

Third, regarding TWA's ridiculous and defamatory allegations about me and my "motives"--I'll let people judge for themselves how plausible it is that I (among other nefarious alleged actions) "followed up on a threat to post a false report because American Book Publishing refused to retain [me] as a contract administrator."

Fourth, I notice that TWA has never challenged any of the other elements of Writer Beware's Alert on American Book Publishing. If they are unable to dispute complaints of upfront fees, delayed publication schedules, non-payment of royalties, pressure on authors to buy huge quantities of their own books, and harassment, I'd say that making a fuss about whether or not there was a police investigation is pretty silly.

Fifth, my documentation includes emails from authors as well as my handwritten notes of the phone conversations I had with both investigators. People who contact Writer Beware do so in the assurance of confidentiality; I am certainly not going to breach that trust in order to satisfy a bunch of faceless name-callers.

Sixth, my documentation also includes message board postings. These boards have vanished into the Internet ether, but they have left traces behind, thanks to the Internet Archive. I've added two images to the Screenshots page--see #7.

Seventh, I don't expect that any of the above will make the "crap" go away--any more than Pres. Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate made the birthers go away. However, I'm curious to see what rationales TWA will manufacture to explain away those screenshots.

Knightsky said...

Wow.

As someone on the outside looking in, can I just say that what TWA is doing is really, really nuts?

Anonymous said...

Actually, aside from the hilarity of sending librarians a list of books to boycott, it's even more hilarious that a group that brags about burning books would expect librarian's support on anything. (And do they really think that *librarians* of all people, don't do their homework? They *majored* in fact-checking!)

Anonymous said...

Wow. You know, this whole lawsuit thing...I almost hope it proceeds. Not because you guys deserve the hassle of dealing with paranoid price gougers, but I would LOVE to get some real names and faces for these idiots.

I'm saving this link for my classroom. It's always nice to find such a clearcut example of John Gabriels Greater Internet Dickwad Theory in action.

RealmQuests said...

@Victoria - earlier, Anonymous sockpuppet had said "you and your lackeys" ... you have lackeys?

Where did you get them? Was there a sale or something, or is that a perk of becoming a member of the SWFA?

If it's a perk, then I've ~really~ got to get on the stick and get some sci-fi work published...

I mean, lackeys?

Wow! :)

Heather Hawke said...

I'm a lurker here so haven't commented. But my oh my how useful this blog is. I just scanned the comments and the sock puppets do leap out. You rock Victoria.

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha! Their most recent post:

"BLOG STATS: New High for The Write Agenda 20,718 Visitors Today!"

That's like a museum being excited about the number of visitors when there is a fire.

Elizabeth Moon said...

Geez Louise--all the times I've recommended Writer Beware in writing advice online and I'm STILL not on their banned list. And I was an officer of SFWA...and damnation of Faust, but they're badmouthing not just Writer Beware but a lot of my friends.

(Stands up, waving large sign that says "The Write Agenda Is The WRONG Agenda! Shut Up and Write Books!" My T-shirt says "Money flows TO the writer." THAT should do it.)

GregM said...

Congratulations, guys. You're nobody in publishing unless somebody wants you dead, I guess? Cold comfort, but you've got a lot of people out there who like you--not the least of which are John Scalzi and TNH and PNH.

I like you, too, and I would really like to be on that boycott list.

GregM said...

Side note: Now might be an excellent time to ask for donations. I would absolutely toss in $10 to help. Never waste a good crisis.

Alan Yee said...

When I saw that one of the anonymous TWA folks has been talking smack about Shweta Narayan, I became seriously pissed off. Though Shweta and I have yet to meet face-to-face, I consider her a very good friend who has helped me through some extremely rough patches in my life.

That "offensive" paper and presentation of hers consisted largely of the logged chatroom antics of several participants in the AW chatroom during May 2006 (when AW was temporarily offline). Never mind that those were mainly satire through taking different fictional roles. As for her statements about Bauer, those were based on the well-documented statements made by Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin. And the presentation indeed was academic in the sense of how it showed how people joined together and comforted each other in entertaining ways when they are all in a stressful situation. There was more to it, but I forgot what else was in there since it has since been removed from UCSD's website.

And of course, UCSD probably just took it off their website because they didn't want to have to deal with the time and expense of a frivolous lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I see some of the same slander, mischief behavior on MMORPG games being performed by this Write Agenda group. Really, who's going to take them seriously except for others like them. One thing I really learn from life, the mean ones usually get ignored. The internet is vary public and there's going to be a bad crowd hanging around the net.

The truly crazy has always been around, the only difference is now we have cameras almost everywhere to record them in action. But they've been around since the beginning of man.

The comment on the post about "kissing leads to pregnancies", if that was true, places like Paris would be swimming in crying babies. That's a good joke.

It's also vary funny that there's a devil's advocate against...a devil's advocate. Why would there be people for scamming anyway? Do they have any other way to make an honest buck, or are they just criminally insane? Besides, there should be no shame in having little to no money, but sometimes that's not the message we are getting. Seriously it's better to be poor but on the side of good than rich and on the side of evil. Bottomline, this Write Agenda just sounds like another crazy internet group, there's enough of them.

Besides, it is practically madhouse insane to be a group of "writers" and be for book burning. it's a new league of dangerous crazy if you think about it?

-I'm known as D.L.B.

Illustrator Rep, Christine Tripp said...

Hey, cool, I'm probably the only illustrator on the "bad reads" authors watch list:)

RealmQuests said...

@Christine - Congrats! :) ...many other folks (writers, illustrators, editors, agents, etc.) seek such notoriety, but apparently only a few are selected...(at least until the newest wave of sedatives wears off?)...

Anonymous said...

that have become “literally” numb

The medical community should be told about this. If people can become literally numb from reading blog posts, maybe that could replace Novocaine and other local anaesthesia drugs.

S.M. Carrière said...

I'm on their boycott list and I have no idea how I got there. I mean, all I have is one self-published anthology... I'm a huge nobody.

I do hope that people will by the anthology now, though! That would be nice!

I was so clueless about this group that I was alerted about my name appearing on their silly little list by friends on facebook.

As always, Victoria, your tireless efforts to keep us all informed are greatly appreciated. You ought to have a gold pin.

Speaking of, I should go polish my boycotted badge.

BuffySquirrel said...

I would back Shweta against these people any day. I have worked with her on several occasions wrt publication of her work in GUD, and never found her other than professional.

That's GUD Magazine, boycott peeps. We published Janrae Frank in our first issue, if that's persuasive.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Hey! How come I'm not on the list? I recommend Writer Beware all the time.

*fumes*

Dario said...

Thanks for your hard work in bringing these scams to light and staying on the case. Your courage and tenacity in the face of opposition is admirable. You're doing the writing community a terrific service.

Ulysses said...

Ann, Victoria and Jim, I've been following Writer Beware for several years now.

I can't express my gratitude for all that you do, and for the diligence with which you do it.

Ulysses said...

Post scriptum:
I don't know if anyone has picked up on this (probably), but the photo of the gathering with signs looks photoshopped to me.

1) On the white sign, the upper words "Pray for" show proper perspective, the correct converging angles relative to the edges of the sign, and letters on the right being smaller than those on the left. They're obviously hand-lettered in marker (varying thickness of the lines that make up the letters). The words Victoria Strauss are in a stencil style and darker color, as well as showing no perspective at all (the letters are always the same size, left to right, and their distance from the bottom edge of the sign narrows).

2) In the 2nd sign, the font is patchy and rough, but each letter is identical no matter where it appears on the sign. Definitely not hand-lettered or stenciled (paint stencils will show variations from letter to letter). It could be printed, but it seems unlikely given the hand-painted look of the rest of the sign (note the greenish streaks and discoloration at the lower right of the sign and other places).

Yeah... so I bet everyone already knew that. I just didn't see it mentioned.

Theresa said...

I guess this is how criminals behave.

CobraMisfit said...

Lurker posting for the first time.

Checked out TWA's site out of curiosity and it seems the entire "About" page is dedicated to slamming Victoria, Ann, and Jim. And they list a LOT of "slamming" links.

But great googalie-moogalie, the animated video of Victoria (depicted in her undergarments, no less!) being "interviewed" is both childish and unprofessional. These "create your own animated videos" are the kinds of things my buddies and I might do to poke fun at one another, but creating one to defend yourself is sad. Worse, it's not even funny! Guys, if you're going to go to the trouble of designing a ridiculous movie, at least expend a tiny bit more effort to make it bearable. 6.5 minutes of boring repetition is boring and repetitive.

To the Writer Beware gang, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why you chose to defend yourselves with "lack of jurisdiction" in Bauer vs. Glatzer. That is really dodging the issue of whether or not what you say on Writer Beware is true. What gives you the right to make up lies about people? If the police and numerous gov't agencies have it in writing on the Write Agenda's web site on their own official gov't stationery that there is no investigation of American Book Publishing going on, we don't need Writer Beware to tell us lies and say they have evidence when the police have said differently. Also,Shweta Narayan's paper was removed from the UCSD university's web site because the entire administration, Chancellor Fox, Dean Elman and the Senior Vice Chancellor Chandler, as well as the Provost's offices had learned of the incident and believed that Narayan had acted improperly. The university has its reputation to uphold. They removed Narayan's paper because as they said, "We deeply regret this incident." The letter of apology to Dr. Barbara Bauer, Ph.D, is written on official UCSD University letterhead and is visible on The Write Agenda's web site. The Write Agenda does not hide its information as Writer Beware does claiming "confidentiality." That is just another cop out so you don't have to be held accountable for what you post on your blogs. Narayan's disgraceful behavior was not representative of the University's mission. The University's General Counsel, Mr. Park, has disclaimed any responsibility for the contents of her offensive talk and paper in writing. According to attorney Park, the university is not responsible for the speech of anyone coming to the campus. That speech was not given under the auspices of the college, and the college takes no responsiblity for her speech.

Danielle said...

Wow a lot of comments here! Way to go guys!

It's hard to take a site like that seriously. In my head I'm imagining a dorky, angry teenager posting for TWA. Is it possible it's an adult?

Anyways, great post.

waltc said...

Backstory: At one point, I was distressed that Writer Beware seemed to be lumping Lulu and CreateSpace in with subsidy/vanity publishers. I may have written to you about that. In any case, the problem has long since disappeared.

I'm finishing up a book (published by a traditional small publisher, Information Today, Inc., with advance, royalties, copyediting, the whole schmear) to appear around the end of the year, The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing--about "micropublishing," for family histories and the like, books that have a potential "market" of one to 50 copies in most cases. Zero-upfront-cost fulfillment services like Lulu make this feasible; my book (and accompanying Word templates) should make it realistic.

I mention the book mostly because Writers Beware appears twice in it--one section as a resource in the brief bibliography, and the site itself in the text as the first place a writer should look if they're considering some apparent "alternative" to Lulu or CreateSpace. I think you're doing great work here. Oh, and as a library person, I find it wildly amusing that TWA believes libraries will boycott authors because some site tells them to. (Now if only I was high-profile enough to get on TWA's boycott list!)

Victoria Strauss said...

Ann and I just want to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who has commented here (well, almost everyone!), linked to this post, blogged about it, etc. We truly appreciate the support.

Anonymous said...

I am not a writer, but I read.

Actually, I read a lot and I'm always looking for new writers to feed my addiction, sorry, provide me with intellectual stimulation, so I strongly support the efforts here and at AbsoluteWrite, because the work you do increases the chances of me getting my hands on books which I want to read.

In a similar vein I avoid Amazon wherever possible, not least because it is prepared to destroy writers by pulling their books as a pre-emptive strike on a publisher.

As a reader I expect, at the very least, that people claiming to be writers would centre their criticisms on the contents of the books they want burned and boycotted. It is irrational to suggest in the first place that a book should be burned/boycotted, but, granted that irrationality, it is sheer lunacy to do so on the basis of who wrote the book.

I simply do not believe that there are any writers in 'The Write Agenda'; I think it's an attempt to con people who are trying to write for publication into passing up the wealth of informed comment available to them here and thus make them easier prey for the slimeballs.

So, for the benefit of aspiring authors who may read this post, please bear in mind that there are lots of readers who really do want to buy good books, and your work stands a much better chance of finding its way to them if you learn from people who are putting a lot of time and effort into teaching you.

Stevie

Claude Nougat said...

Hi Victoria, this is so depressing! I hadn't realized there were such unsavory trolls on Internet...Of course you've got our support, I can see from the comments you do! And I've tweeted about it. I really feel you do a fab job of keeping us informed about all the traps and trolls threatening us!

Many many thanks!

Victoria Strauss said...

GregM--thanks so much for your offer of a donation. However, Writer Beware doesn't solicit or accept donations.

Donations can be made to SFWA's benevolent funds. Or you might consider buying some of our books!

Sean T Poindexter said...

It looks like they took down the book burning list and have made most sections of the page (like the boycott list) password access only. How bold.

Victoria Strauss said...

Really? All the links still work for me. Just in case, though, I took a screenshot of the book burning post.

Twilight2000 said...

Write Agenda's website looks (and behaves) very much like most of the Politically Offensive TeaParty Attack Sites. Anyone who would send a banned book list to a librarian as anything other than a "Suggested Reading/Purchase List" clearly doesn't know any librarians. And a site that advocates ANY book burning, not hasn't met any, but doesn't have a clue as to what librarians do.

That aside - Writer Beware offers a really valuable service and I'm *really* glad you're out there.

Hope I can get on that banned list when I get published too ;>.

A. C. Crispin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. C. Crispin said...

First off, let me echo Victoria's thanks to all our supporters. We so much appreciate your helping us get the truth out about this hate site that seems determined to try and hamstring the scam watchdogs, like Writer Beware.

Re: the accusations made on The Write Agenda that Writer Beware or Victoria Strauss created the “investigation” of American Book Publishing and C. Lee Nunn by the authorities out of whole cloth…NOT SO.

Last night, here on WB’s blog,in the "Comments" section, Victoria entered links for archived posts from the old Speculations site that document the Utah investigation of C. Lee Nunn and American Book Publishing.

Writer Beware cannot breach confidentiality for any reason short of a subpoena, but reading these archived posts should provide convincing proof that the police were indeed contacting victims and other witnesses as part of some kind of investigation, or perhaps a preliminary investigation, into C. Lee Nunn and her vanity press. It’s too bad that they decided not to pursue it, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Speculations was a public site, so WB felt comfortable posting those archived links. We will NOT, however, compromise WB confidentiality to provide our actual correspondence with the authorities. Besides, those Speculations links pretty much tell the whole story.

Someone above mentioned donations, I think…(or was that on John Scalzi's blog? I’ve read so many posts that I may be confusing the two). But, to set the record straight, Writer Beware is made up of volunteers, and we DO NOT SOLICIT, NOR ACCEPT DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS for our work. Writer Beware is funded by SFWA, with assistance from MWA, and we’ve also received some help occasionally from RWA. (But if someone is grateful, and wants to say “thank you” for what we do, they might consider buying one of our books.)

If anyone has questions about how Writer Beware operates, or our history, please feel free to ask. Victoria and I will be happy to answer, though we do stick to our promise of confidentiality, and never reveal our sources without express permission.

Thank you again for your support.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

Kevin Michaels said...

Damn.....always just a little late for a good beating (oops...I meant intelligent back and forth dialogue).

I've always found Writer Beware helpful and although I've been aware of The Write Agenda's existence, I never found a reason to read it - that centered text as well as their poor grammar usage ('that' instead of 'who' is the most glaring but hardly the only example). I think we all know that the publishing industry is filled with vultures who are happy to take advantage of the hopes and dreams of aspiring writers, and anyone or any entity that can make that path a little easier performs a valuable service for all of us. If the Write Agenda has an issue with Victoria there are any number of paths they could take instead of what looks like a nasty, vindictive approach that has clearly singled her out on their blog/website (seriously.....a whole section on Victoria including 21 reasons not to trust VS???). And I would think that would include having the testicular fortitude to post comments like an adult, instead of hiding behind an anonymous ID.

Victoria- keep up the fight.

KM

Sean T Poindexter said...

I'll throw my hat in the ring: http://seanpoindexter.blogspot.com/2011/10/say-something-mean-really-loudly-agenda.html

Stacia Kane said...

Tweeted.

JFC, these people terrify me. That kind of hatred and fixation can't be healthy.

Deb said...

Oh, waily, waily! My name is not on the boycott list. That must mean I'm not being taken seriously...

Janrae Frank said...

I have no idea why I am on this list, unless it is because I sometimes comment here.

FigmentQueen said...

Wow... They actually expect to get "thousands, maybe millions" of people to engage in the boycott and burnings... (Collecting for the "1st annual book burning", by the way... ANNUAL!)

They have 13 followers on their blog... LMAO

Anyways, I realised my previous messages were more just stating what idiots they are, and I wanted to take a moment out to say that I really appreciate all the investigating that WB does... So many people have been saved from scams by you, and anyone who goes up against you, as these guys have, shows that they are not only idiots, but nasty pieces of work... WHY the F would you want to remove the watchdogs? Doesn't anyone within their "special club" see how blantantly transparent that makes them?

Ann, Victoria, James... You are wonderful people for putting so much of your time into this endeavour that you don't always get thanked for.

And of the people on the list, who I have either met or spent great amounts of time talking to online, I couldn't think anything negative.

Catherynne M. Valente, Sean Williams, Shweta Narayan: any list that holds your names must be something special!

Sorry... I guess I am feeling sentimental today...

pezibc said...

"By the way, if it isn't already obvious, the photos that the blog uses, the ones with people holding signs disparaging WB and Co., are photoshopped."

I wasn't able to source the original for certain, but was able to find the image in a series of reverse image searches.

Found one that had clearly been Photoshopped for an 'education' spin, but my first guess is that the original was from a peace rally of some sort. The evidence is fairly strong for that.

The closest that I could get to an original file is 1600 x 1108, ~190kb. No EXIF data, but not surprised; probably stripped when optimized.

(The Photoshop work is as bad as the rest of their work.)

Richard White said...

Darn it. I always get left out of the good stuff.

*sniff*

Oh well, back to planning on talking about scams at the next convention I go to and editing Writer Beware brochures.

Richard White
Writer Beware's personal (and apparently much overlooked) lackey

Marian Perera said...

I'm on the "Write Agenda" boycott list as well. Guess I must be doing something right!

Glad to see you're dealing with their nastiness in the best possible way - calmly documenting it. And thanks again for everything you do to help writers.

Lucy said...

RealmQuests said...

If it's a perk, then I've ~really~ got to get on the stick and get some sci-fi work published... I mean, lackeys?

*******

No, hon, they're minions. Or drones, but I think minions sounds better. :D

I'm glad to see Victoria posting on this subject--a timely one, after a particularly toxic and ill-conceived attack was launched by this group in the comments of a well-known agent's blog.

A word of advice: be careful how you feed the trolls when replying to these people--it's all too easy to get caught up in the heat of an argument. Link back to this post as Victoria suggested, but avoid flaming or anything else that will reflect poorly on yourself or those you are trying to defend. Comment sections and forums are for guests, and should not be turned into battlegrounds--which, unfortunately, seems to be exactly what TWA is trying to do.

Lucy said...

Also, I notice that the "boycott" list includes quite a few people associated with the Atlanta Nights project, for whatever that's worth.

Possibly someone who works for (or used to work for) PA is involved here as well?

FigmentQueen said...

Lucy - That sounds plausible...

I mean, that's one of the big ones that Absoulte Write, Writer Beware, and SFWA all have in common...

FigmentQueen said...

And they would also be a group who would benefit from AW, WB, and SFWA not being around anymore...

Oh, yes, and on top of that, they are stupid enough to think they could actually succeed... It does *sound* like something that they would do.

Marian Perera said...

I blogged about this as well : http://marianperera.blogspot.com/2011/10/write-agenda-soliciting-donations-to.html

Victoria Strauss said...

We do suspect that The Write Agenda is reaching out to the people on our Thumbs Down Publishers List (we're guessing that's why the "boycott" includes so many authors who've criticized or complained about Thumbs Down publishers), and we wouldn't be surprised if many of those publishers were closely following TWA's antics. But we think that TWA is basically a one- or two-man band, and that it's an individual effort rather than a collaboration.

Sir Otter said...

Is it too late to get in on this boycotting action? Hey, Write Agenda folks, my name is Mark Orr, and Janrae Frank published my short story collection, Hardboiled Horrors: Tales of the ParaNOIRmal, available at both Amazon and Smashwords. Boycott me, too, please.

Keep after 'em, Victoria. Never give up, never surrender.

P. Kirby said...

Oh, so that's who they are.

Several months ago, soon after I created my Twitter account, they popped up on my follower list. I'll usually follow writers/industry folk back, but I always check out their profile first. Anyway, I noticed that most of their tweets were devoted to Victoria, and not in a good way. Clearly someone had ish-shoes. So no follow back.

I don't know why they are following me. I'm a nobody whose debut novel is published with a small epress. Most of my tweets are political. *Shrugs.*

If they want to add me to the boycott list, though, that would be peachy keen. I could use the press.

Nyki Blatchley said...

All I can say to that is, if you're reading this, TWA, can you put me on your list too? It's probably the most prestigious company in the writing world at the moment, and I'd consider it an honour to be included.

Keep up the great work, Writer Beware.

RealmQuests said...

@Lucy (10/04/2011 11:07 PM) - Hi Lucy,

I understand about not letting them turn the comments section into a flame pit; I was unsure if I should post what I did, but thought it might be mild enough to pass muster w/o inciting riot or reflecting (too?) poorly upon me.

Glad to see so many folks posting here in support of WB. :)

Frances Grimble said...

I do know PR agents who, if a writer they represented were on the "burn his/her books list" would be immediately turning the incident into some press release with a header like "Burn My Books--Please!" and sending it all over the place, in the hope of increasing sales through the publicity if not through donations-to-burn.

Lucy said...

@ RealmQuests

:)

Actually, that wasn't directed at you at all--mostly a general look-out-for-the-troll-wars comment. I've seen it get pretty flaming on comment sections before when these people were involved, and thought I'd remind us all to stay professional.

So yeah--not thinking of your comment when I wrote that. :)

AnneMarble said...

I clicked the link to The Write Agenda site, and I felt like I was back in high school -- except that the mean girls in my high school were more articulate.

I can't believe they're calling for a boycott of Donna Lea Simpson?! Who could possibly want to be mean to her?!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/DonnaLeaSimpson

Robin Bayne said...

Wow, if they put all of their schemes, emotion and persistence into a respectable line of work, they would be so successful.

Cat Rambo said...

Holy cow, their site is insane.

I salute you for having ticked off a group of people to the point where they will put such effort into defaming you in typo-ridden rhetoric worthy of a Dr. Bronner's label. Now I'm going to go shower to wash some of the crazy off from having looked at their blog.

Marion Gropen said...

I'm so glad that you are doing what you're doing. I'd donate, but of course I know you don't take money from individuals. I buy your books, too, but I'm afraid that's because I like them. I must confess that I bought them before I even knew about WB.

As for TWA: can I get you to join my Internet zoo? The "troll" cage is running a little low these days.

I'd love to be boycotted, too. Can I? I've only written an e-monograph on publishing profitably. Maybe if I promised to write a longer book?

cussedness said...

Mark Coker has tossed TWA off smashwords for TOS violations.

Victoria Strauss said...

cussedness--thanks for the update, and kudos to Mark.

Victoria Strauss said...

Miffed that you're not on The Write Agenda's boycott list? Stand up for your rights! Join the League of Reluctant Adults and demand to be added!

Victoria Strauss said...

The Write Agenda has responded--sort of--though not on its blog, which has been eerily silent since Monday. Instead, it has posted several rambling addenda to the Ripoff Report complaint it filed about me a while back.

Apparently, I'm still a lying liar.

cussedness said...

I am in the process of writing a rebuttal to the latest complaint. I haven't blogged about anything in close to a year, but I think I'm about to start up again.

Janrae

Sir Otter said...

Janrae's blogging again. Be afraid; be very afraid. :D

Just joined the League of Reluctant Adults. It's nice to find a place for people like me on the web.

Thanks for the kudos, Victoria.

Victoria Strauss said...

I just updated the blog post to reflect new information connecting Turnaround Media to The Write Agenda. See also #6 on the Screenshots page.

Andy said...

Wowzers. Somebody forget how to use the cropping tool?

Liz said...

.....A "Turnaround" media folder? They can't run a logical smear campaign within those parameters.

If that sounds a bit confused, sorry. It boggles the mind, which may provide me a minor excuse.

Sir Otter said...

I went to the ripoff report page to see the gladitorial contest there in action, but it kept crashing my internet. Based on what little I was able to see of it, every point they make is based on a falsehood, a misquote or a remark taken wildly out of context. I'd say there's almost enough defamation of character for a class-action lawsuit by all the boycottees. Durn, wish I were one. :( And I've tried sooo hard.

UrsulaV said...

Just read the new info on the screenshots...for Pete's sake, how hard is it to crop a screenshot in Photoshop? Did they really not have thirty whole seconds to cover their tracks?

You guys rock. Keep up the good work.

toliver said...

That is what boggles my mind, the sheer stupidity. By continuing their ugly crusade they practically guarantee that their identities (or identity - I have a feeling that it will turn out to be the work of one person) will be discovered.

cussedness said...

They are very logic challenged. I needed a new hobby and decided to make them my new one.

Alan Yee said...

As of right now, it looks the Author Boycott list has been cut down to nine people. This is rather the opposite of what all of us wished. I guess the prospect of maintaining a boycott list of hundreds of writers (and non-writers, too) was too much for them to handle?

Alessandra Kelley said...

Oh, I thought the boycott list just had the first nine biggies, and somehow we could click to see the rest, not that they had dropped most of it. What a pity. I was looking forward to buying their books.

These people seem seriously nuts.

P. David Gardner said...

Snif. I am one of the authors who was dropped off the boycott list. On a bright note, however, I am still on their propaganda watch list! I suppose I shall have to return my badge regardless. Snif.

Anastasia said...

I've never commented in this blog before, but on seeing the Write Agenda, couldn't help but comment.
How angry are these people? Not to mention psychotic, they even have a boycotted authors page and they claim to be professional?
As for myself, I've read Writers Beware for quite a while and am thankful that this blog exists. Like every industry, there are shonky people within publishing and I can only see positives when blogs such as Writer's Beware exist to rectify this negativity.

Anonymous said...

Alan Yee, the Univ. of CA removed Shweta Narayan's paper and abstract entitled "The Parodies of Barbara Bauer" from their site because they need to uphold their reputation as a scholarly institution using proper methods to pursue academic excellence, not because they were afraid of being sued. They are the state and they have plenty of money and nothing to lose. The reason they removed Narayan's paper from their site is because it was a bloody disgrace to their academic reputation. They could lose millions in grant money should anyone actually read that appalling piece of nonsense.

Nyki Blatchley said...

I've just posted a blog on my views about "Publishing, Self-Publishing and Scams" that includes a warning about this mob. Hopefully it'll get me onto the list.

http://nyki-blatchley.blogspot.com/2011/10/publishing-self-publishing-and-scams.html

Shweta Narayan said...

@ Alan Yee: it's notable that Anon chooses to continue their libel anonymously. And it's not worth engaging with.

But some of their misinformation should be cleared up -- the fact is that UCSD as a whole is simply not connected to my paper at all. The conference happened to be held at UCSD that year (and it's a right laugh to claim that any given paper in it affects the university's reputation), so the linguistics department had abstracts up online for participants' convenience.

That's the other misleading part: UCSD linguistics hosted abstracts, not papers. These jokers have never seen my paper, which passed editorial muster no problem; they might have seen the pdf of the slides I put up for a while on Absolute Write, but if so they ought to know those were never up at UCSD.

I am rather delighted at the notion that my *abstract* was so impressive that it could be called a bloody disgrace :)

Anyway, since the conference was over when the harrassment started, there wasn't any issue with taking my abstract down; I advised the people involved to do so, and to do everything necessary to avoid engaging with these people. Ignorant waffle about UCSD having all the money aside, professors don't need to have their time taken up with frivolous lawsuits.

@Anon, shall I put my stuff back up online so that people can see how terrible my scholarship is themselves? If you believe a word you're saying, then you ought to agree happily, because in doing so I'll only prove your point. Whatcha say?

BuffySquirrel said...

I tried reading some of the Write Agenda's comments under the rip-off report entry, but my brain glazed over. Poor thing. I shall have to feed it some nice SF later.

I don't know how Victoria and Ann put up with this stuff. I'm very glad they're prepared to do so, however.

cussedness said...

The case they are harping on about American Book Publishing Group dates to 2003. I have emailed the detective who was handling the case at that time in the hopes that she is still there. I have also posted another rebuttal to their rebuttal.

jonlevir said...

@Shweta: Please do put it up online somewhere. Not only would it hopefully shut up the sock-puppets, but I'm now extremely curious about the paper they keep yapping about.

Shweta Narayan said...

@jonlevir: I would, but I would run the risk of being frivolously sued again. (I'm sure it would be thrown out, again, but I have better things to do with my time).

I *am* happy to email the talk slides and abstract to folks who'd like 'em, though; I'm in favor of people drawing their own conclusions from the data.

I'd rather not post my email address here, because, sockpuppets. Pretty sure you can find it! But if not, not sure what to do...

BuffySquirrel said...

The Boycott list has become a Propaganda Watch List and can be seen at the bottom of this page. Scroll quickly; you don't want to infect your brain.

http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/category/janrae-frank/

A. C. Crispin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. C. Crispin said...

I remember talking to Detective Wilkins when she was gathering information about C. Lee Nunn. She asked what information Writer Beware had collected on Ms. Nunn's current "publishing" endeavor, and I referred her to Victoria, who keeps the database. I distinctly recall her using the word "investigation" to refer to her activities.

(Since the name has now been mentioned publicly in a variety of places, I guess it's not a violation of confidentiality for me to use it -- otherwise, I wouldn't.)

I bet C. Lee Nunn had a cow when Victoria posted those screenshots from Speculations, where a lively discussion about Det. Wilkins and her investigation took place, and is still archived. I bet C. Lee thought there was NO EVIDENCE left about the investigation.

Heh, heh. As they say, the internet is forever...

If you haven't looked at Vic's screenshots, you should. They make fascinating reading.

Best,

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware

Albert / Abogados de Accidentes said...

Very significant information that I think the points you mentioned simpre we take them into account.

stevenpoore said...

fun ahoy: the Wrong Agenda has decided to make its Tweets private - in effect, only preaching to the converted/gullible.

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction! No one among us could make any of this up!

I checked the Propaganda Watch List, and found this: Anonymous Posters Always a Red Flag, Utilize C.R.A.P. Test

Good advice, no matter who it comes from!

Wow. Just wow.

Bill West said...

When I was a bookseller I used to refer would be authors to Writers Beware for information on publishers to watch out for. It's nice to see you folks are keeping up the good work!

Not Anonymous in Canada said...

Well, he's busy, I'll give him that http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA:


Writer's Literary Agency Group, Writer's Literary Agency, Writer's Literary & Publishing Services, New York Literary Agency, Writer's Literary Children's Agency, The Children's Literary Agency, Children's Book Publishing Agency, Writer's Literary Poet's Agency, Poet's Literary Agency, Poetry Book Publishing Agency, The Christian Literary Agency, Writer's Literary Screenplay Agency, Screenplay Writers' Agency, The Screenplay Agency, The Literary Agency Group, f/k/a Rapidpublishing-screenwriter911, Inc., Stylus Literary Agency, S T Literary Agency, Inc. , Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company, Writers' Book Publishing Agency, Strategic Publishing Group, Strategic Book Publishing, Strategic Book Marketing, AEG Publishing Group, My Editor Is A Saint, Author's Edge, Sydra-Techniques, Global Book Agency, Eloquent Books, Strategic Book and Rights Agency, and Robert M. Fletcher a/k/a Robert Williams a/k/a Bob WIlliams a/k/a Robert West and Leslie Williams a/k/a Leslie W. Mroz

Subject's address:
699 SW 8th Terrace, Boca Raton, FL 33486-5509 (Home Address) 1355 West Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486 (P.O. Box) or 3840 West Hillsboro Blvd., #302, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 (P.O. Box)

Anonymous said...

I read The Write agenda's commnets on Amazon Ranking. Foa "scam" publisher whose only outlet might be online sources such as Amazon it is a tremendous indicator how few copies of any books the print actually sell. This is of greater significance when it compares to the cost the writer endures, payment to these so-called publishers, books bought to send to reviewers. It indicates these writers have nevver made a dime truly most have lost hundreds if not thoushands of dollars. Further, it indicates that these "publishers" could not exist on book sales to the public. Where then do they make their money? Obviously from the wirter.

Carolyn said...

I find it weird that the very people who want to ban or burn books fail to realize that if we had censorship laws that allowed it, they wouldn't have the freedom of speech to call for books to be banned or burned!