Writer Beware Welcomes New Team Member

Hi, Friends:

Well, it’s been a difficult year for me, but I have one thing to be very thankful for–we have a new Writer Beware team member! His name is Richard White, and he’s a SFWA member. He’s spent the last six months or so “apprenticing” and getting up to speed on Writer Beware matters, and he’s now ready to fly solo, I assure you. Rich will be helping out when Victoria and I are unavailable, and we’re still trying to think of ways to transfer some of the email volume to him. In addition, he’ll be available to answer questions from folks here on the blog, and on message boards. He’ll be taking on projects of his own as they crop up.

And, no doubt, he’ll soon win the ultimate “accolade” for a Writer Beware team member–having some agent get foaming at the mouth mad at him, and bluster online. Fun and games!

Seriously, it’s great to have another team member. Rich will also be helping us by serving on panels at s.f. and fantasy conventions. So many aspiring writers have first encountered Writer Beware via panels at conventions.

So please join me in welcoming Rich!

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware

I asked Rich to give you a little background on himself, and here’s what he sent me.

Hi, I’m Rich White, the newest member of Writer Beware. I’m a fairly new novelist but I’ve been following the workings of Writer Beware for a while now. I joined SFWA two years ago and offered my services to Writer Beware earlier this spring.

One of the things I think I bring to WB besides a lot of enthusiasm and tenacity (both of which are definitely needed for this job) is 15+ years training as an Analyst in the Military. I hope to be able to help Victoria and Ann spot trends that we see in the database as well as noting when things are “a little too quiet”. I’m also a tech writer at my day job, so doing formal papers and reports is definitely up my alley.

As I said, I’m fairly new at the writing gig, but I do have one novel (Gauntlet Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil), a novella (Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #63 “Echoes of Coventry”), and a few short stories under my belt. I do not currently have an agent, but I’m certainly taking advantage of the information at Writer Beware as well as other sites like Preditors and Editors before I send out my queries.

As I joked with Ann at Capclave, right now, I see myself as the gofer for the team right now, but I expect to take on more responsibilities as I get more comfortable with the mission. I look forward to working with some of you and for all of you in the future.

Website: www.nightwolfgraphics.com/
Blog: nightwolfwriter.livejournal.com/


  1. Gregory,

    Sorry about getting back to you so late. Caught a bug over the Thanksgiving holiday and am just now getting back into the swing of things.

    The biggest reason I can see why Writer Beware doesn’t attempt to put out a non-fiction book is timeliness. Agencies change names, publishers change names, agents move from agency to agency on what seems to be a regular basis. Given the time it takes to write, edit, publish and distribute a book, it would be obsolete before it ever reached the markets.

    One of the other advantages to keeping the information on line is cost. Not only for us (keeping a book updated yearly (at a minimum)would take time away from our own writing projects), but the people who use Writer Beware’s information would have to pay for a service that they currently can access for free.

    Also, since they can access the information freely on Writer Beware, who is the target audience? What is the financial incentive for a publisher to put out a book when the information is easily accessible on the web?

    Another I can think of is the fact that I don’t believe any of us currently do non-fiction work (outside of the tech writing I do in my other job).

    So, to sum up, given the time, effort, cost, lack of identifiable market, the information’s availability on the web, and the effort required to keep the information updated, it makes more sense to continue to post the information on the web and to talk to people at conventions about our committee’s mission than producing a book.

    Hope this answers your questions.


  2. gregory,

    what do you mean by “I was involved as a client with an agent, regarding whom entries by and about me were posted last year.”? i don’t want to open old wounds, but I cannot make sense of that statement and if i can’t, i imagine neither can rich.

  3. Mr. White–
    Welcome. I check this blog fairly often but I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. In some ways it offers fascinating perspectives by Victoria and Ann, occasionally by commenters; on some matters, though, comments can be naive and/or abusive. I was involved as a client with an agent, regarding whom entries by and about me were posted last year. Some aspects of that “blog tussle” rankle with me a bit even today. For months now, I have been seeking a new agent, and have mailed either queries or proposal packages to roughly 45. There are interesting things to observe about the results.
    (Also, on a personal note: one of my uncles was a career soldier in the Army, specifically the Corps of Engineers; he retired in 1992. He saw two tours of duty in Vietnam. His son is in the Army and has been in Afghanistan lately, among other foreign places. I admire and respect this uncle’s branch of the family for being part of the “green machine” culture, but I have often thought, without the *typical* civilian bitchiness about this, that they can’t quite understand the types of civilian challenges to career that exist when there is no merit system, no benefits, no security of any kind, not even a good death benefit, when you work in the media world. I have worked in freelance and other kinds of editing for about 16 years.)
    But for now, I would pose to you a question I’ve thought of posing to Ann and Victoria lately–one that should bring out some good observations: Why doesn’t Writer Beware actually try to publish a nonfiction book representing the same viewpoint and info it does in its website and this blog? Consider agenting, liability issues, marketing. I think the answer may show part of why some of us who are alienated from Writer Beware, if still interested in it, have the skepticism about it that we do.

  4. Live long and prosper.


    (I just couldn’t resist! Classic Trek? Or TNG? Or both?)

    Looking forward to your contributions!


  5. Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone.

    I look forward to getting more and more involved with the Writer Beware committee and posting a few observations I’ve made over the past few months myself.

    Plus, I doubt many of these “agents” or “publishers” can say much that I didn’t hear from my drill sergeants (or that I may have said to my troops once or twice *grin*).

  6. Welcome, Rich! Thanks for volunteering and putting your neck on the line. It’s deeply appreciated — and admired.

Leave a Reply

NOVEMBER 13, 2007

Lessons for Self-Publishers

NOVEMBER 21, 2007

Literary Agent News: A New Agent Blog (Not)