A website for writers called Absolute Write put up a list of 20 literary agents they considered scam artists. One lady on the list, Barbara Bauer, sent out some rather nasty letters threatening legal action. Their ISP pulled the plug. Absolute Write is now gone and everyone who used to read it is FURIOUS.
I should emphasize that I never read Absolute Write and I’m pretty sure I would have never heard of this if Bauer kept her mouth shut. But no, her actions have caused such an incredible amount of anger that it seems like every writing website on the internet is encouraging people to link to the list, preferably with the tag Barbara Bauer.
The angriest people in all of this have to be the other 19 people and agencies on the list. That list probably would have remained fairly obscure. I'm sure I wouldn’t ever have even seen it, but now the list has gotten huge amounts of publicity among the writing community.
For a strong indication that Barbara Bauer is not on the up and up, all you have to do is check out her website. Following her link, you can see an impressive list of publishers she has “worked with.”
What you do not see is any publishers she has “sold to.” Her links section has a few authors, but those that have published books have had them published by vanity presses.
I’ve looked at a few literary agent websites in my day. This is the only one I’ve ever seen that didn’t talk about sales.
Oh, and apparently she charges fees up front. NOT a good sign in an agent of any sort.