Writer Beware Says Goodbye

For nine years, Writer Beware has been tracking and warning about questionable literary agents, publishers, and all the other sharks who infest the publishing waters. We’ve built the Writer Beware website into a timely and reliable resource, and collected a huge database of complaints and documentation. We’ve even helped bring a scammer or two to justice.

Sadly, the time has come to call it quits.

Much as we love the work we do, the harassment and the threats of litigation have just gotten to be too much. We’re tired of fearing for our own safety and the safety of our loved ones, not to mention the health of our bank accounts, and though in the past we’ve raised high the banner of “Never retreat, never surrender,” we’ve just…gotten tired.

So, dear readers, and with great regret, this is goodbye. Thanks for your attention, your comments, and your support over the years–it’s meant more to us than we can say. We wish you all the very best. May you find the agents of your dreams and the publishers of your hearts, and may the sharks swim far, far away from your manuscripts.

(P.S. Please don’t worry about us. For nine years we’ve been two nutty housewives on a mission. We’re looking forward to being just plain old housewives again.)


  1. Ann and Victoria… thanks for all you’ve done. And, Dave, thanks for the news that “Writers Beware” itself is not folding. It, along with P&E is an invaluable resource.

  2. wait wait, does this mean you’re leaving the dragoon?

    You have to turn in your t-shirt and kazoo if you do.

    And Killer Yapp wants his cattle prod returned too.

  3. I’ve since heard today that SammyK is going to take over the Writer Beware counter. He swears he’s not going to swear at the newbies and will swear only at the scammers. Of course, he’s doing it only so he can protect innocent young women from being screwed by scams. Strangely, he didn’t respond to my question about who would protect them from him.

    Anyway, Ann and Victoria, you’ve fought the good fight. May your rest be deserved.

  4. Those are certainly valid reasons for stepping back. Like others here, I hope it’s a joke. If it isn’t, I understand and support your decision.

    This is NO joke (it’s the 2nd of April somewhere, right?): Over the years I’ve sat on writing and publishing panels (as both a panelist and audience member) and whenever someone asks about how writers can protect themselves, “Writer Beware” and “SFWA” are generally the first words spoken in reply. Your reach has grown far beyond the online community.

    I raise my virtual glass to you!

  5. Aha! This clears the way for me to give up everything I have to shoddy vanity publishers and scam “agents”! About time, I say, about time!

    Off to get myself victimized by the scum of the Earth…!

    Seriously…*snicker*…you guys have been doing fabulous work, and if you did pack it in now, i wouldn’t blame you; it would not diminish what you’ve done in the least.

    -Steven E. McDonald (who took a vow of silence in honor of Unos Avrilias, First Of Fools, this morning)

  6. I cling to the hope that this is an April Fool’s joke.

    If it isn’t, you will leave a huge void for your many readers.

    I know we’ll get over it, but we are really going to miss you. It must feel great to accomplish what you have by providing this service to writers.

    Thank you.

  7. Yes, I certainly hope this is an April Fool’s joke. But, if not, thanks for all you’ve done and all the heartbreak you’ve prevented.

  8. You two have been of inestimable help to writers everywhere. I hope this is an April Fool’s joke, but whether it is or not, know that we love you.

  9. Hah. Very nice. Now of course, if you post this same thing tomorrow, saying “No, we’re serious,” then I will post a most sad, but understanding farewell. Thanks for all you do.

  10. Ah, well. Sorry to see you go, but we all understand–after all, writing is fun and all, but it isn’t real work, not like raising a spouse and kids and keeping up the family scrapbook. There’s a time when we all have to put our little hobbies on the shelf, and to focus on the things that really matter.

  11. April Fool?

    I did the same thing on my blog and have received no less than 83 “say it isn’t so” type emails.

  12. Awww. Well damn, I’m going to miss the handy and humorous tidbits of info you two have provided. Nine years is a fricking long time to be doing something like this. I imagine folks at places like Publish America and such are dancing around the office at the moment. Hope you enjoy your lives resuming some sense of normalcy.

  13. Don’t care if this is April Fools or not, I just wish to share a small revelation, as am Internet Scam Observer And Enthusiast: Most of these scams are tiring and downright depressing. People just don’t learn.

    One might guess that now that we have Google, everyone would have at least half a clue and do some research before making life-changing decisions.

    Sadly, some people don’t – they never have and never will. There’s nothing new under the Sun.

  14. Oh, I will be terribly sad to see you go, but I totally understand the need to put down the banner. Best wishes, and thank you so much for all you’ve done for all of us in the past years.

  15. Well hopefully the spouses and kiddies will be nicer to you.

    Thank you for a great job and for your willingness to stick your necks out for us.

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MARCH 30, 2007

Author Identity Publishing Redux

APRIL 2, 2007

Not Just Yet…April Fools!