The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How to Bait a Literary Predator

As a freelance writer sniffing out new leads, I've become addicted to craigslist. I offer my opinion on this gem of an ad, as a free service to literary scam artists (you can read up on some major offenders here):

does anyone can write a book?
Reply to:

Date: 2005-12-06, 11:13PM EST

what do I have to do? most people I know said, I'll have no chance, because I'm not famous,with no special skills .

do you think anyone could be published? thanks

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: thanks

Yes, a vanity press will tell you, anyone (with extra cash) can be published. I think the author of this ad wants to see how far some folks will go in soliticiting him to submit a novel. They will be effusive in assessing his literary potential. Of course, he'll have to pay hefty "reviewing" and "printing" fees. He'll have to promise to buy many copies of the book himself, and it will be on him to persuade Barnes & Noble to stock his book. Maybe it's a sting, or just the craigslist equivalent of a crank call.