Writers House has learned that a series of fake emails claiming to be from WH agent Jodi Reamer have been circulating to self-published authors this week. "These emails, which contain a number of false statements, have not in fact come from Jodi Reamer and should thus be disregarded." One easy "tell": they advise that any e-mail from a non-Writers House address "expressing interest in representation is counterfeit."
I think this is worth noting on a couple of levels. Firstly, I extend my sympathy to any victims of this pointless prank.
This is fucking with someone's career, period. End of story. I've heard a lot of talk about squashing hopes and dreams, and it's all that, too; but to me writing is a career. I know too many writers who struggle to make a living doing what they do. Not a joke. I guess I don't like the "hopes and dreams" plea because it makes writing seem less than it is. It's a job. It's my job. It's the job of several people I know; it's how they put food on the table. In the fucked-up version of the US we live in, work is important and to equate something with hopes and dreams, even if it's true, seems to lessen its import.
To me it's both: 1. A job. 2. Hopes and dreams.
There's also been some talk about the "victims" needing to educate themselves on the industry.
Yeppers. Couldn't agree more.
Except, I don't know the victims and maybe they were super educated on the industry. I think the view of self-publishing has been people write some shitty book, never revise it or study craft, code it for Amazon, and wait for the windfall. There are certainly those people out there, no doubt. But I'd guess many writers who self-pub have been on the publishing merry-go-round for awhile now and decided to try another option. At least that's the case for the dozen or so self-published writers I know. Many of them have tried self-publishing as an experiment (I'm considering it myself for next year, but I likely will wait as I think it's more beneficial to build my career traditionally first.)
All cruelty is pointless, and it's not apparent the perpetrator stood to gain anything. Unfortunately, I'd guess since Jodi Reamer was also the victim--in fact it could be claimed she was the primary victim since her name was on all the letters-- it was a prank aimed at her, not the writers. If the perpetrator had aimed it at the writers I'd guess this person would have used several different agents in the letters.
What's clear is someone went to a lot of trouble to be an asshole. And I sincerely hope that what goes around comes around.