Have you ever written a book review?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Author Fraud also Tars the Publisher

I published an author one time. I will never publish him again.


He is a fraud.

Now, I have been associated with Savas Beatie, published widely under Savas Publishing, and have assisted many other agents, publishers, etc. so I am not sharing which outlet this man/woman wrote for, or the genre. I will refer to this author as a "he" for convenience sake. It may be a woman. But the gender is irrelevant. It is WHAT do you as an author that matters.

His work is barely mediocre but tends to sell. His writing is pretty awful, and needs to be rewritten from soup to nuts, and cut by about 40% to remove the repetitious filler and chaff to find the wheat. Sort of like taking a shovel to a pile of manure to find the pony hidden in there somewhere.

One publisher who had also released one of his books called him a "one-man editorial wrecking crew." I can vouch for that. One of my hired editors made it through three chapters before throwing up her hands to scream "no mas."

At that point I hired another, told him to completely rewrite and cut whatever, and he did. And the author never said a word. I don't even know that he read the galley proof. He really didn't give a damn as long as he had yet another book out with his name on it.

So you are are thinking, "What does the fraud part come into this?" right?

Another publisher who had suffered through one of his poorly written repetitive manuscripts to produce a book, demonstrated the perfidy to me some time ago. "This guy posts fake reviews on Amazon, either directly or through accounts of others. And I think he also hires fake reviewers, which is not hard to do. He has done it for several books."

Then my publishing acquaintance pointed out about half a dozen of these "reviews". We read them together on-line. They all had something in common, and you can find these commonalities here:


The kicker for me was when I later discovered one "reviewer" who reviewed two of this author's books on the same day, writing almost entirely the same thing.

After I poured a gin and tonic and burned through a good cigar to relax, I called this author on it and told him that, as his publisher his fraud taints MY company. MY name is on the spine, copyright page, title page, etc. I made it clear he had 24 hours to remove the bullshit review on the book I had published, or I would report him publicly.

Of course he vigorously denied it. I told him the clock was running. The review remained. I published a comment to the review under my own name, called him out publicly, and apologized to anyone who had bought the book.

The review came down within hours.

The same author offered me other manuscripts to publish. Breathtaking, I know. I told him what I thought of that idea. He went elsewhere to peddle his junk.


Your behavior as an author reflects upon your publisher.

As a man and a publisher who values his reputation (and the reputation of my partners--i.e, our authors), if you ever pull that stunt with me and I find out, I will name you to the world and tar and feather your behind to Kingdom Come. And trust me, Ted's will WILL be done.

Your work will stand or fall on its own merits. When you put yourself out there, you will get some bad reviews. It is the nature of the beast.

Learn to live with it.


Unknown said...

Sad, but these are the times we live in.

Eric said...

You'll recall that we discussed this particular author and his terrible work at the event in October. Kudos, Ted. You did precisely the right thing.

TPS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...

Glad you exposed this fraud. It would be helpful though to know who they are so we can avoid his works. I guess there are legal reasons for this.

Anonymous said...

This is an instructive post. I have most of your books, but have no idea who this author is. Actually, I don't care that much. It is the larger point you are making and that is how an author acts affects everyone associated with the book. Wise words.

Stephen K.

Anonymous said...

Ive tried to figure out who this might be but gave up since there are so many you have published over the years. still your point is a good one that being honest and working as one is very important for everyone. I am glad you wrote this post.

Thx Zachary

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Sinclair said...

Thanks, Ted, for having the courage to admit you were fooled by this author. Few publishers would be willing to do so and would simply bury their mistake. Well done.

TPS said...

Hi John

Many thanks. I suppose what you write is true, but this gnawed at my gut too long and I had to get it out. I would like the fellow to think it is him, call me out publicly, or sue me, so I can then produce his original manuscript, all our emails, and my correspondence with Amazon and THEIR research, which includes IP addresses, etc. It would destroy his career because not another publisher would ever touch him.

Unknown said...

It's good to know, Ted, that there are guys like you out there who still support integrity in publishing and editing and will go way beyond the extra mile to insist upon it. As a professional historian myself, I don't think there's anything more damaging to the work we do than the kind of publishing fraud you encountered and dealt with here. Bravo. My fondest wish is that this guy, whoever he is, gets exposed. The fact that he's even got a "career" rankles.