I got an unexpected and unsolicited tweet from the folks at The Write Agenda tonight:
I wrote back pointing out that they are spouting absolute bullshit, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured I ought to put it here in the blog, too, for the benefit of future people who might find it via searching on these issues.
For those that don’t know about the group, Writer Beware has been working to identify scammers that try to rip off or leech authors and not-yet authors, educate authors about these shady and (often) illegal business practices, and find ways to fix problems for authors where they can.
This has, obviously, pissed off a number of these people who see authors as a group they can suck money off of without returning a useful service in return.
I know a number of the people who’ve been involved in Writer Beware over the years. Some of them are friends of mine. They are doing tough work on a volunteer basis to try to get these scam operations identified and shut down.
The Write Agenda isn’t happy with this, because the people Writer Beware are trying to save writers from are the people behind The Write Agenda.
I have recommended a number of friends to Writer Beware over the years when they started trying to market and sell their first novels. it’s a critical resource for anyone who’s trying to break into the market as a new author as a resource on what kind of businesses to avoid getting involved with. (Basic hint: if they want money up front, or want you to fund their work for you, run like hell).
Even though I haven’t been a member of SFWA for a number of years, I fully support the operations of Writer Beware; if I were doing any fiction writing at all, I’d be putting some of the income from that writing behind Writer Beware.
Just to make it painfully clear: The Write Agenda is an organization attempting to confuse you about what’s going on so you don’t listen to Writer Beware when they tell you to avoid doing business with the people hiding behind The Write Agenda. Don’t listen to them. Read both web sites. Ask yourself which one is working for you, and which one isn’t. It should be obvious.
Writer Beware has my full backing and support, and if you’re trying to figure out how to sell a book or buy services to help you get your book into the market, pay attention to Writer Beware, and follow their advice about what not to do, and who not to get involved in. And avoid dealing with anyone involved with The Write Agenda under any circumstance.
That is, in case it’s not painfully obvious, my opinion.