No way, you say? Well, fee-charging literary agent Eddie Kritzer begs to differ.
Since Writer Beware’s founding, I’ve been getting questions and advisories about Mr. Kritzer and his company, EKP Productions. In 1998 and 1999, most involved Kritzer’s referrals to Edit Ink, a fraudulent editing service that paid kickbacks to agents who sent clients its way. More recently, I’ve begun hearing that Mr. Kritzer is asking for a $500-600 “advance on commission.” (I have documentation of these fees, but you don’t have to take my word for it–a number of writers have blogged or posted about their encounters with Kritzer, and there’s a whole thread on him at Absolute Write.)
Mr. Kritzer’s bio and credits drop some well-known showbiz names–Art Linkletter, Bill Cosby, Burt Reynolds, Christina Aguilera, Phylicia Rashad–and cite a number of TV and radio production credits. Though most of these do check out, many prove on investigation to be rather elderly. For instance, the Rashad TV movie, False Witness, aired in 1989, and the Burt Reynolds TV special, Shattered, premiered in 1986. Animals Are People Too, featuring Alan Thicke, was broadcast in 1999, and How Do They Do That?, a radio show with Ed McMahon, in 1991. Aguilera, who Kritzer’s bio claims to have “just” secured for New Dana Perfume, signed with New Dana in 2000, and parted ways with the company in 2002.
Kritzer also cites a number of books sold to publishers. Some of the publishers are reputable, but again, there’s a certain lack of recency. Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darndest Things, published by Ten Speed Press, has a hardcover pub date of 1985, with a softcover re-issue in 2005. Bill Cosby’s book of the same title, from Bantam, was released in 1998. And Saving Money With the Tightwad Twins, from HCI Books, came out in 2003.
Other “sales” are, well, not really sales at all. Barry Broad’s Eve of Destruction (2008), Dr. Tom Yi’s The Practical Patient (2004), and Dominic Spinale’s G-Men and Gangsters (2004) have all been placed with Seven Locks Press, which offers contracts charging thousands of dollars to publish (Writer Beware has received documented reports of these fees), and has been sued by at least one of its authors for nonperformance (other complaints can be seen here). Craig A. Miller’s The Making of a Surgeon in the 21st Century (2008) was placed with Blue Dolphin Publishing, which asks authors to find “investors” to fund the multi-thousand dollar cost of publication (again, Writer Beware has received documented complaints, similar to the one that can be seen here).
So what does all this have to do with wrinkles and lesbianism?
Well, this past Sunday, Kritzer emailed me to let me know about his latest book sale. If you’re wondering why he’d bother, he’s unhappy with me because of what I’ve posted about him on Absolute Write (he’s been emailing me for some time to let me know), and I guess he thought maybe the following would make me change my mind, or prove me wrong, or something.
You be the judge:
Then, a couple of hours later:
The sale doesn’t seem to have been officially announced anywhere (an Internet search turns up only the fact that “Tiger Woods Syndrome” is a popular phrase with a variety of definitions), but HCI is a real publisher, and I’m content to take Kritzer’s word for it, especially given the delightful professionalism on display above.
Congratulations on the sale, Eddie. I’m wishing you a happy New Year too, and also a supply of apostrophes.
(P.S. I’m not the only one getting love notes from Kritzer. Check out this series of blog posts from another writer who displeased him.)
UPDATE 1/16/10: I’ve gotten a lot of angry and/or abusive emails in my time, but never one quite like this. (Warning: smutty content.) Clearly he is not happy about this blog post.
UPDATE 1/17/10: He just can’t quit me. He’s sent me seven or eight emails in the past five days. Here’s the latest:
Points for creativity, I guess. I don’t know why he thinks I have a son, though.
UPDATE 3/23/19: Just found out that Eddie Kritzer passed away last February. Here’s his obituary.
I found this search result very helpful. Mr. Kritzer sent me an email encouraging me to do a google sarch of his name. I did, and now I'm glad I did. I won't be responding to his email. I found he posts ads on Craigslist and this is how he almost snagged me.
Oh he does get upset when he's told no. His agreement is at best sketchy and then when he's told no thanks he attempts to use bullying techniques.
To Anonymous, who posted a long, long comment about your experience with Kritzer:
I understand why you don't want to use your name. However, without your name, there's nothing to distinguish your comment from trolldom and/or libel. If you'd like to return and use your your real name, I'll publish your comment, but for now, I've deleted it.
I have had my run in with him s well for $2000 he will make copies of my work and the cost of phone calls…..
I wonder, was he a partner with "Art" before or after his death?
Here is a recent email from Mr. Kritzer about a "script" I was trying to pitch. Notice how horribly this query is written and his response.
Re: Good script
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:52 AM
Interesting; I only work on an exclusive basis, with an executed agreement. I need to know your totally committed
email me your phone number, include your full name and number along with the logline again.
EddieKritzer.com some details
From: Clarke Harrington
Sent: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 9:17 am
Subject: Good script
Hey man, I have this cool script that i htink you want to be interested in. It's call "Died Yesterday." Basically John January is the star and he's this total badass right. And so his daughter who he's not really that close with get kidnapped by some Chinese mafia guys and he has to go get her in Montana. Why is the Chinese mafia in Montana? That's just one of the twists. Let me know if you want to read it.
TIGER WOODS… book mentioned above was actually published. And it's probably not about Woods.
As of this writing (early 2-5-2011) a copy with free shipping is $3.00 at Abebooks – only $3.00 for a silly-titled book.
(The Kritzer exchanges in blog above are amusing and sad, too).
Just… WOW. I'm late to the party, but this is truly something special.
Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Saith Eddie: "I (and others) need to know the writer is commited."
Looks to me like Eddie is the one who should be committed.
My login word was "inglonsc." Is that the language they speak in Complainacloch?
Wow, he was definately too rude
this is what happens when you do not get your early stage syphillis treated… poor fellow
This is my very first blog, so I'll be brief. Victoria, you are hilarious and absolutely correct. He needs an English lesson coupled with an ettiquette class. Keep up the good work.
Well this gave me a nice chuckle. Ah that Eddie, with such a lack of finesse and grammar comprehension. Eddie, you do know that real agents don't have to go emailing people to announce their sales right? I guess he doesn't know how to use a Google search, considering Victoria's non-self published titles are rather easy to find.
"Exposing this very private email for commenters to jump on this man like jackals on a newborn baby, was an unfortunate judgment call."
Judging from the links, EK hasn't been too private about his insults. Sure, this was a letter, but it's not very different from comments left in other places.
"And for those commenters who threw written acid all over a man you don't even know, which was sadly most of you, it might behoove you to take a refresher course in humanity before you try to publish your novels."
What's wrong with that? Some people make a living off it. And some people you don't need to know to understand and not like. And you don't always have to be nice to get published. Unfortunate, yes, but true.
I think VS was right to do this. One warning sign is the $600, but this crazy email stuff takes it to a whole new level. People need to know.
Oh, and it's more like jackals on another jackal. Poetic irony, you know.
WV: prevole. An unborn vole.
At first I thought that Anonymous was Mr. Kritzer, until I realized that the comment was perfectly spelled and had nearly perfect grammar. Also, it lacked vitriol and didn't bring Ms. Strauss's sexual orientation into question.
Exposing this very private email for commenters to jump on this man like jackals on a newborn baby
Witliz, I would not be comparing this trash talking, bigot to a newborn.
Never in my wildest dreams would I consider sending such a vile letter to anyone but if I did, it would be fair game for my ignorance and unprofessional conduct to be exposed to anyone the victim cared to share it with.
I think it behoves this man to take that refresher course in humanity before he continues to "represent" authors and their novels.
That is simply disgusting. What a sick, sad man he must be to write something so horrible!
Thank you, Victoria, for sharing, so we can all avoid another mad person that preys on writers. That was very kind and generous of you, even tho I'm sure you'd rather ignore him completely.
Great use of "showing" not "telling" btw.
Oh, and some of my favourite people are wrinkly lesbians.
WitLiz, grow the hell up. If there is a human being on the internet who hasn't offended you in some way by not acting like a three-year-old who curls into a corner and cries the second someone frowns at them, I'd be shocked.
Seriously. Fitzer sent Victoria an insulting email. She has every right to post it if she wants (just as you whined and moaned all over the internet because Miss Snark didn't kiss your behind a few years back). Get over it and quit wagging your finger at every publishing professional who doesn't bend over to make you and other idiots happy.
The surest sign someone is a complete loser is when they define themselves and others by their comparative credits. That's so pathetic.
You want credits, Eddie? How's this? Today, I helped a few people with disabilities learn job skills they're going to need to get off of welfare and live independently. Make all the movies you want, write all the books in the library, you'll never top that. Does that make me a better person than you? No, although I suspect there are other criteria that might.
The Complainaclochs were anxious, because their tour bus had stalled and time was running out. “This is all you’re fault!” snarled the lead singer, Eddie the Ass. “I TOLD you to have you’re cousin check the guts!” Alas, the end was nere. The gig was up.
Stripping someone of their dignity would imply they had some measure of dignity to begin with. I don't think there is a dignified way to send somebody hate mail that misspells the word "fucking." It is possible that he's suffering from dementia or other mental illness. That would be sad, but at the same time, for an agent to be suffering from this (or possibly enjoying it) is important to know for anyone considering using his services.
My own stab at defining complainacloch: a Scottish Anglican lakeside evening prayer service.
Did he mean "complainalot" (which sounds like an Enid Blyton character)?
Was a public lynching really necessary, Ms Strauss?
You normally do such wonderful things for publishing. Yesterday's blog post was not representative of that. Exposing this very private email for commenters to jump on this man like jackals on a newborn baby, was an unfortunate judgment call.
And for those commenters who threw written acid all over a man you don't even know, which was sadly most of you, it might behoove you to take a refresher course in humanity before you try to publish your novels.
It's appallingly sad to me, when writers defend someone, in this case, Ms Strauss, by stripping another person of their dignity.
Nobody deserves this kind of callous, judgmental treatment. NOBODY! You are not this man's judge, jury or executioner no matter what you think of his email. And yes, I understand this email was highly offensive!
Nevertheless, Ms Strauss being an author, would have been far better served to take the high road and dealt with this matter in a more dignified fashion.
Because as a reader and buyer, I am greatly influenced by acts of kindness, rather than acts of cruelty.
So glad I found Writer Beware and AbsoluteWrite first. I'm a new writer and you have saved me from many novice mistakes.
I'd say to keep exposing him, but he probably forgets to put his pants on already. ROFL
Keep it up Victoria – you rock!!
Wow. Seriously, wow. What an idiot. I'm not qualified to critique anyone (I is kinda smart sumtimes), but I have enough common sense to use spell check and proofread for grammatical errors before I send nasty grams. Oh wait, I have enough common sense to know hate mail is just a load of whining and I don't send it. Did he seriously imply that you would read it and weep? Wow.
>Your to busy<
I hope he has nothing to do with editing his clients books.
Why oh WHY do idots think calling someone gay is an insult????
Speaks to the man's character, or rather lack there of.
Reading the book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man one thing I took out of it was how hard those con men worked to take money from their marks. Seriously, you'd be pressed to find harder-working Americans than a mob of con men working a rag.
I don't say this to imply Mr. Kritzer is a con man; I don't know enough about his business practices to say that. But I do know he exhibits behaviors that are worth warning writers about. And I know that "hard-working American" doesn't always mean "doing the right thing."
Oh,that all our enemies could be such transparent, lazy asses! and your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
I'd be laughing hysterically except he's serious.
Anon–If you don't like the blog, why follow it?
Some hard-working Americans need to be discredited.
OMG ROFLMAO his typos and grammatical errors in his email are ridiculous for someone who's supposed to be in a high selling – and high charging – agent.
Really, that's all that needs to be said by me. We all know why we're reading this post on Writer Beware, and all I can do is laugh at Kritzer's unprofessionalism. What? Because reacting in such a way isn't a sign that you know you're being caught out? lol
I'm torn between ROFL and feeling like someone should get in touch with this guy's family and warn them that he's off his meds again and needs to be monitored more closely. (I'm not saying this to make fun — I've known several people who are perfectly functional while on their meds and almost as dysfunctional as this guy, though fortunately in less public ways, when not.)
Though it's hard to believe that someone who can't correctly spell, punctuate, or capitalize even a single sentence at a time could ever have been a functioning publishing professional of any sort.
I hate Victoria Strauss, and my name sure as hell isn't Michelle Glance Rooney. Poor little Vicky is once again the "victim" of bad men with atrocious spelling and no manners, even worse than a 16-year-old's. Cry your heart out. She discredits the efforts of hard-working Americans. But don't worry Vicky, your flunkeys will some come rushing to your aid to give you your daily ego boost. She receives an e-mail and doctors it to make the spelling so bad (either that or she simply fabricated the whole thing) and then presents it to her fan club. She's the Sir Freddie Laker of the publishing business.
What a tosser. you do good work, and have hundreds, if not thousands of gratefuls who bless you every day. Thank-you very much. I'll be sure to avoid this idiot when it comes to submitting works.
With writing like that, it's no wonder he's such a sensation. Did he write that with a 9-digit keypad?
He can't spell and he has an IQ of 10. Where do I sign? lol
I doubt this e-mail really exists. It's funny that all the people who are against Victoria and seemingly dedicate their lives to trying to discredit her are always rude and atrociously poor spellers
It's funny that everyone who interacts with Mr. Kritzer reports outrageous rudeness and poor spelling (cf. Lee Goldberg's links), but that for some reason you disbelieve it in Victoria's case.
Oh, wait, did I write "funny"? I meant "embarrassing". For you, that is.
My goodness. I'm sixteen and I behave more civil! And his writing it's self is awful. Even I can see mistakes in it.
Congrats and thanks for warning people about him!
You and I have never met (and I hope I never have the misfortune to meet Mr. Kritzer), but even if I wasn't a regular reader, and all I had to go on was your post and Kritzer's email, I could tell you have one thing he'll never have, and that's class.
I'm sorry you have to put up with garbage from people like him. Please know that your efforts are most appreciated by decent, honest folk.
Thank you for all you do for us.
Keep up the good work 🙂
I believe this is the same guy who years ago wanted to see one of my books, but he demanded it be sent Fed Express over night. Anyway, it cost about 12.00 back then to send it and it was a real pain to find the office to send it. Then I never heard back from him again despite several letters over the following months. Others writers contacted me during the next year telling me the same thing: the over night request and then they never heard from him again. I could never figure out the angle other than he had stock in Fed Ex or something. I think the original guy is probably long dead and someone is scamming under his name. Either that or he has just gone stone crazy.
Followed the link from Janet Reid's blog, which was actually about how to use Twitter to promote books, and am so glad I did. The complete lack of professionalism on display by Mr. Kritzer is amazing, are there really writers who get taken in by this nut?
Oh, and if as Anonymous suggested, you made up that whole letter, then you are a comic genius.
I doubt this e-mail really exists. It's funny that all the people who are against Victoria and seemingly dedicate their lives to trying to discredit her are always rude and atrociously poor spellers. This whole post just doesn't ring true. It was almost exactly a year ago that she was all heated up about a similar post from "Michelle Glance Rooney" even though whoever it was who posted those messages never actually claimed to be Ms. Rooney as far as I could make out. In my opinion, Victoria makes up these attacks on herself and then delights in the "OMG Vicky, what a nasty piece of work" comments that inevitably pour out in their wake. Like everyone else online who pulls people's legs, she ends up giving herself away by going too far. The whole thing just doesn't ring true to me. Of course, within seconds somebody will be calling me a "troll"… but we've all got a right to voice our opinions.
I was appalled by the letter and wanted to say "please ignore the troll – you do a great job". Then I read all the comments above and think you are probably laughing along too now!
Thanks for your fantastic work.
Victoria, you don't know me from Adam, but I've been following Writer Beware for years and have to say, until my daughter loses her wit, grows old, and self-publishes a book about navigating gay life in the Bible Belt, you'll be my favorite Boring Wrinkled Self-Published Lesbian. Rock on, Girlfriend!
Let's all raise our glasses to the gentleman. I don't know what else to say. Manners are so important in life.
He makes my 9 year old look like a genius.
Even this short story my daughter penned makes more sense than his e-mail (and considering I work for the government that says alot).
Comparison test, my daughter's story:
and the legend in his own mind, Eddie Kritzer.
Oh for Pete's sake. The man can't spell, he can barely put a single sentence together. He has the brain power of a goat. Yet he's trying to call you out?
Excuse me while I laugh myself into a coma.
Hooked on Phonics did NOT work for him. 🙂
The punctuation! Oh, mine eyes… Mine eyes!
People like this make life so difficult for the satirist. When people self-satirize, what is left for us to do?
But seriously, I fear the comment about dementia may be correct. This does sound like the rantings of someone with Alzheimer's. There's a "neener neener" quality, like the taunts of a small child.
In that case I suppose we should be kind and not act like a bunch of complainalochs (I liked the dissatisfied lake the best: Scottish and dour.) But all of the suggestions were awfully creative.
Now I am curious. A Google search for Jerry Richards MD shows as a top hit, that he is a psychiatrist, specializing in geriatric psychiatry. What the heck is Tiger Woods Syndrome? Or perhaps, EK is regurgitating the name of the physician treating his dementia with behavioral disturbance. Yes…we have meds for that.
In this classified ad, someone who sounds suspiciously familiar claims they recently "acquired" a " new Tiger Woods manuscript called Man or Mirage," by a psychiatrist named Dr. Jerry Bruns and a Dr. "Rich" (not "Rick") Richards. And that the "acquisition" happened "yesterday, and every major publisher has requested a copy for review."
Google shows that there is a psychiatrist in the LA area by the name of J Bruns; he appears to be a very serious and learned man. There are plenty of hits for Dr. Rick Richards, but not so many for Rich.
I feel sorry for the doctors, Bruns and Richards. I wish them the best of success in spite of their clearly awful pseudo-agent.
Assuming they're real doctors. It's sad that I question that simply because of who they have representing them. Reputations are precious and should be guarded carefully.
Was his email really this riddled with spelling errors and typos? Wow. What a true credit to the world of literature. (barf)
This guy sounds seriously mentally ill, but given how old his credentials are, it's possible he is in the earlier but very ugly, stages of dementia. The loss of verbal control and sexual obsession would fit with the latter explanation. These behaviors can strike hitherto completely reasonable people. They can also be the response to certain medications.
Those of you who are receiving the personal attacks might consider contacting the police in his home town and letting them know that this person is sending out sexually harassing letters to strangers and appears to need some kind of welfare check.
So…over on Twitter as well as here, people have been trying to figure out the meaning of "complainaclochs." Here's what we have so far:
An act of protest against clocks (complainaclocks)
A deep yet dissatisfied lake (complainaloch)
A stylish yet peevish hat (complainacloche)
An undiscovered yet bilious dinosaur (complainaclochus)
A noisy yet disgruntled rooster (complainacock)
keep your chin up ! people like your erst while agent make me stay away from publishing forever, ick.
Oh. Well. Now I'm convinced. The man is a genius and if we think he's unprofessional or uneducated it's because we (and all the dictionaries) are wrong.
Everyone else pretty much sums up my feelings about this… what a MORON!
This is astonishing. To quote All About Eve, "This breaks all world records for running, jumping, or standing gall."
Thank you for sharing this deathless prose with us all!
My Word Verification was "buplist", which is obviously a small village on the shores of Complainaloch.
I'm still trying to figure out what a Complainacloch is.
He sounds terminally stupid.
I thought this was a joke… actually, I guess it is. He is.
oh my! Such awful grammar and such dainty language. Wow.
YOU ARE = YOU'RE NOT YOUR! For god's sake, Mr. Kritzer, get it right. It's basic English. My eight-year-old niece knows the difference.
Even if I were able to ignore the rudeness, the lack of basic spelling and grammar, and the fees, the fact that Mr. Kritzer can't be bothered to do the most rudimentary research would turn me off completely. Why in holy hell would he say you're self-published? Why would he think Lee Goldberg hasn't sold a script?
How could anyone trust him to sell anything if he can't even get that right?
This is a publishing professional? His such poor grammar, poor spelling, and, oh yeah, his unprofessional comments make me want to rush my manuscript right out!
Victoria, from one lesbian to another, keep calling these idiots out. Your site is a Godsend to emerging writers! Thank you!
Complainaclochs: The act of protest against clocks, usually by people out of time.
That is the classiest email ever. Seriously, who wouldn't want to deal with a man who insults a lady's appearance, implies she's frigid, and thinks "lesbian" is an insult?
That guy just oozes… well, I don't know what he's oozing, but it's not class.
I refuse to take seriously the words of any "agent" who cannot spell the word "fucking" correctly.
I mean, really!
I've had a few run-ins on my blog with eddie kritzer myself. Here's one of my favorite exchanges…
Eddie Kritzer said…
This is for Lee Goldberg: Please tell me your credits, you certainly have a lot to say..IM sure you had many hits?
Reply Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 10:08 PM
Lee Goldberg said…
You can check them for yourself at IMDB or at my site, http://www.LeeGoldberg.com.
Reply Wednesday, November 23, 2005 at 08:35 AM
Eddie Kritzer said…
Lee, your "books" wont be coming anybody's way……..
Your personal priinting press at Kinkos is working full time
Reply Friday, November 25, 2005 at 01:48 PM
Lee Goldberg said…
You may not remember this, but back in the early 80s, you once tried to option one of my books. We met in your office on Sunset (you were partnered with someone at the time… Renee Valente perhaps?) and later went to lunch at Le Dome to discuss it. I ended up selling the rights to New World Pictures instead.
Reply Friday, November 25, 2005 at 05:20 PM
He later posted this on my blog:
"Eddie Kritzer said:
Everybody say's they have a compelling script. However if your not a brand name i.e. had a script produced for the screen that has been distributed, then your an aspiring writer. In this very tough economic climate, I (and others) need to know the writer is commited. I'ts just to hard to place a script, and see it made into a distributed movie, this is why, I always receive an advance for taking on a script to sell (Spec Script) Many people complain on The Internet, however, they are not realistic about their chances see below Eddie Kritzer"
Kay Theodoratus said,
Just wondering. Do poison pen pals get tedious after a while? Or, are you able to laugh at them?
I only reprint the funny ones.
Seriously, though, after nearly 12 years of Writer Beware, it takes a lot more than this to get my goat.
Wow. I bet your shaken in you're boots.
Sorry, I have no respect for someone who can't take the time to spell, capitalize correctly, or punctuate.
People don't realize sometimes that every interaction they have after putting themselves into the public view is a representation of them professionally.
And no mistake, there is no professionalism here.
Good for you for not cowing to his nastiness.
I can't believe that this guy can flaunt publishing credit around when he can't even spell correctly or use proper grammar. It's not even bad grammar, it's atrocious!
Furthermore, his manners are despicable. Even if he doesn't agree with you, he should at least be professional about it. If he acts like this towards you, I wonder what kind of disservice he does for his clientele. Some people obviously don't grow up.
That has got to be the most awesomely hilarious email ever! What a maroon. He's having a hard time figuring out why his writing seems to end up on LOLcat images.
Haha! Thanks for reprinting the email. What a joke — does he actually think sending these out is going to do anything but harm his reputation? ;o)
Just wondering. Do poison pen pals get tedious after a while? Or, are you able to laugh at them?
Can the guy think his diatribe professional? If he's so unhappy with you, one would think he'd take spleen and go home. Or at least, leave you alone.
I suspect his entire family has a collective IQ of 23 – and he didn't get his share.
You know you're doing your job right when the people like him stoop so low – professionally (?), personally and grammatically. Keep up the good work!
I've started just sending his comments to spam, especially when he started talking about his penis, but it seems like every other Sunday he searches "Eddie Kritzer Spam" and then posts really sad comments on anything he finds. So you've got that to look forward to.
My goodness. His letter shows why he's afraid of daylight. Thank you for helping the sun shine, Victoria!
Ugh! I hate seeing stuff like this. Publishing is suppossed to be a genteel business, people!
That's just RUDE.
With writing skills like that, we can see why he's had such an impact in the publishing world.
What a nasty piece of work he is. You've obviously touched a raw spot with him.
Hope you didn't take to heart his spineless drivel? And keep up with your good work!
Gosh. A literary agent who can't spell. Convincing.