4 posts • joined Monday 16th June 2008 13:53 GMT
Re: Are the books bad?
A literary agent is *supposed* to match up a book with a publisher in exchange for a percentage of the royalties. Since far more books are written than can be published, the success rate for authors is fairly low and a lot of people become desperate for a taste of success. So there's a whole subculture of scammer agents who instead take the author's money up front and either never find a publisher for the book, or send it to a vanity press that demands yet more money from the author. This leads to a lot of bad writers being bilked for the privilege of being told their unpublishable works are masterpieces, and some good books being condemned to vanity publishing limbo where they won't be distributed properly, will find hardly any readers, and will not earn the money their authors deserve to get.
Barbara Bauer is one of the most notorious scam agents in the business, partly due to her habit of sending legal threats to anyone who criticises her. See here:
I'd like one
I have a number of downloaded ebooks, only some of which I bought. Publishers (including respected ones) occasionally give them away as promotional material. I'm also an unpublished writer, and I have friends who write, and we exchange chunks of our novels by email. It would be much easier to read their stuff and my own stuff at length on one of these than on a laptop screen or a big sheaf of printouts.
£200 though? Maybe I'll wait a while.
"We have systems to ensure these errors ARE made."
My favourite Npower experience was when their meter reader wrote down a 7 instead of a 1 in the thousands column and they put my direct debit way, way up to a level that might have been appropriate if I was a family of five with a monster TV on all the time and a server farm in the attic, but was ridiculous for a single, energy-conscious person like me. I submitted my own meter readings and they rejected them because they didn't believe me. Eventually they sent their own meter reader round and rejected that reading too because their system thought it didn't look realistic. I got them to reduce my direct debit at one point but the next month they put it back up again. After many months it finally got sorted out and I got a refund of £600.
I have stuck with them but only because the more data they gather about my usage habits, the more likely they are to get it right in future - I hope.