Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Barbara Bauer Ph.D - Pretend (and profane) Agent

Once upon a time - actually, for the last 20 years, right up until today - there was a pretend literary agent named Barbara Bauer Ph.D. Now, in the book publishing world, real agents make their money by selling real books written by real writers to real publishers. They then take a percentage of what the writer is paid as their fee. It’s a system that has worked well for a long time.

We know that Barbara Bauer Ph.D. was and is a pretend agent because, well, she didn’t sell any of her client’s books. She did, however, charge them fees - sometimes reading fees, sometimes marketing fees and sometimes representation fees.

One day, Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss, real writers who advocate on behalf of other real writers, assembled a list of the 20 Worst Agents. These agents are commonly known as “scam” agents. They’re not interested in earning money by selling books to publishers. They’re interested in “pretending” to sell books but in reality, make their money by charging fees.

Well, Barbara Bauer Ph.D. (who, by the way, seems extraordinarily proud of those letters after her name - you can tell because the only pictures of her on her website are of her graduation - be-capped and be-gowned, by golly) was very annoyed to see that her agency was listed as one of the 20 Worst. She became ultra-annoyed when other websites picked on the list and republished it.

She huffed and she puffed and she threatened to blow their houses down! And she did so profanely! (Maybe the Ph.D. stands for “profane huffer doc.”)

But everyone’s house stayed up.

Until one day she saw her listing on a bulletin board called the AbsoluteWrite forums. Those forums were created by a writer named Jenna Glatzer as a place for other writers to gather and learn from each other. Over 7,000 of them did so. It was a happy and educational place for all writers, from hobbyists to professionals.

Barbara Bauer Ph.D. knew profane huffing wouldn’t work on Jenna, so she huffed and she puffed at the hosts of that forum (JC-Hosting - TotalWeb International Net Consulting) and guess what?

They closed the forums! And over 7,000 formerly-happy writers had no place to gather!

Barbara Bauer Ph.D. and JC-Hosting had made very many writers very angry. Angry writers are a fearsome lot. They dip their keyboards in acid and wield words as daggers.

Guess who’s bleeding now?

Links: Making Light - NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES - Miss Snark - Writer Beware - - More blogs about Barbara Bauer.

10 comments:

Dawno said...

That is one great post, Frank. I shall link to it and with great pride!

TJWriter said...

Good Post. A good reminder to never pee into the wind

Othmar Vohringer said...

That is absolutely terrible news for AW. Makes you really wonder when scam artiste can wield so much power. Terryfying really.

But you are right Frank, a writers pen can be sharper than a sword. I hope that the members of AW can change the situation and get the forums back on line and Barbara Bauer into a corner where she belongs.

Othmar aka Huntwriter

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Dawno. :)

tj, as a person who's spent a lot of time in the outdoors, I learned that one early. ;)

Lots of good people are working hard at getting AW back Othmar. Thanks for your well-wishes.

September said...

I came back to re-read your post (now that I'm a little more calm - LOL) and you know what? I loved it even more the second time around! :)

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Esther. You're a peach. :)

Yeshanu/Ruth said...

One must wonder about the intelligence of a person who takes on a community of articulate, intelligent, and most of all, cantankerous writers.

But I wonder even more when the community of writers in question managed to collect material for, edit, publish and market a book called STORIES OF STRENGTH in a period of a couple of months.

She obviously hasn't read the book. We will never give in. We will never give up.

AW will be back, better than ever, as soon as we can manage it.

See you there, Frank.

Frank Baron said...

Right you are Ruth. :)

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