The internet has covered this horror story for several days. Go here to read about the scam, if you have been under a rock, in your writing cave or off the internet for a week or so.
Self-published YA author, Aaronni, was supposedly offered representation by Writers House Jodi Reamer. And with lightning speed the author was also offered a book deal with Razorbill and one with Harper Teen.
As I learned about the scam and read other posts dealing with this horror, I wondered if this could happen to me. I consider myself *experienced* in our world. I believe I would catch the obvious. And I know I would never announce the agent deal until after the contract was signed. A caution flag would be seen in my minds eye if an agent told me she got a seventy-five percent commission. More warnings would color my eyes if the agent told me she had gotten a book deal that fast. With an exorbitant advance offer, I believe I would become keenly aware that all was not as it appeared. Or would I?
I waited to write this post until I could have time to think about it. This author has been through enough. But I wondered...would thrill take over and could I possibly lose all sense of *experience*? Would elation color the red flags green? Could this happen to me?
The person that carried out this hoax should be ashamed of him/herself. And would another writer actually do this to one of their own? Their own kind??
I've learned a lot in this business and I still have lots to learn. But kindness, decency, caring for all life makes me feel sick at my stomach after reading about this hoax.
Can we learn from this? Dang right we can! Pay attention to the warning signs. Be diligent. We're in this for the long haul. Nothing this great ever happens that fast. You do not pick up an agent and a book deal in the same week.
Could this happen to me? Maybe. Could it happen to you?
I know I've been missing in action lately. Sorry. My Christopher is having a health issue. He needs your prayers. And so do I. <3