UPDATE 04/08/11 – Today, Victoria Strauss posted an article in support of “Atlanta Nights.” Click Here to read the post in its entirety. The film project has a projected fundraising goal of $25,000. Filmmaker Rachael Saltzman, addressing potential legal ramifications, readily admits that the E&O (errors & omissions) insurance is nearly $10,000 alone. Currently, the film project has only 31 identified backers, only $1,063 has been pledged and 38 days remain on the fundraising project. The hard-copy of “Atlanta Nights” has a current Amazon Sales Ranking of 1,134,916. (Victoria Strauss and the SFWAremain the subjects of our research regarding a claim of a police “investigation” involving American Book Publishing which remains unsubstantiated. For more information Click Here).
Rachael Saltzman: HAHAHAHA. That site [The Write Agenda] is also trying to defend Fletcher, who is wanted by the Florida Attorney general for fraud! I wonder who runs the site…there is certainly an obvious agenda. I looked at the post history. Every single post is a poor attempt at an attack on either P&E or Absolute Write, and personal attack against those who run it. Nobody has put their actual name as a creator of that joke of a blog, listing the creators as ‘a group of individuals’. Sure…
Rachael Saltzman: Looking further, the claims get more and more ridiculous. Including claiming that the filed and won suits against Fletcher don’t exist. Makes it pretty clear who runs it.
TWA:Rachel [Saltzman], I certainly hope that you are a better filmmaker than you are a reader. The site isn’t defending Robert Fletcher at all or any publisher for that matter. It is seeking to reveal the truth of the statements made by the “watchdogs” that you are obviously in bed with. There is no agenda there at all. What you want to call attacks are actually factually-based evidentiary proofs which dispute many “watchdog” claims. For example, Victoria Strauss has made numerous claims which appear to have been proven false through the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, there may be a major industry trade publication conducting an independent investigation of their own as a peer review to further substantiate the findings. Also, I do not see anything that remotely suggests that suits against Fletcher do not exist. They were very clearly acknowledged if you read carefully. You are playing the same game the “watchdogs” play . . . making statements with no credible evidence or documentation to back it up. Perhaps you are referring to the post regarding American Book Publishing. The posting about American Book Publishing does involve an “investigation” that doesn’t exist. Read. Read. Read. This really questions your ability to digest and synthesize what you have read. I surely hope that whatever script you have for “Atlanta Nights” is factual and that you digest it. Clearly, you are way off the mark. Kind of like the support of your request regarding the funding of your film venture. 31 backers, 43 days to go, need to raise $25,000 and you’ve only raised $1063? Maybe this means something . . . this lack of support for your project. You can continue to suckle the breasts of these “watchdogs” if you want . . . but please do it in a responsible, ethical and moral fashion. You have raised the bar on your credibility with these unsupported statements. If you can’t make factually correct statements, and back them up, you will be challenged. The last thing you need to be doing, especially when asking authors to financially support your defunct film project, is have your credibility questioned. Otherwise, you will appear to be a self-promoting predator yourself. Be responsible, this project could be a very defining event for your career and reputation.
Rachael Saltzman: Thanks for the free plug regarding my project! I’m not interested in ‘suckling’ anything, thanks; nor supporting a highly slanted agenda of vanity presses who masquerade as commercial publishing houses to mislead aspiring writers into thinking they have to spend money in order to be published. I’ve never been anything but impressed at the level of Victoria’s [Victoria Strauss] fact checking. Since she [Victoria Strauss], unpaid, puts herself at the front of the firing line on behalf of all writers, she knows full well how her statements must be substantiated, or risk numerous lawsuits from these vanity presses. They have tried, over and over, and each attack has been thrown out of court.
TWA: HAHA. I seriously doubt that my “plug” will cause any derivative benefit in this forum for your project. However, I wouldn’t doubt that was your motive and hidden agenda. I agree, in principle, with the cause for exposing scams and support it 100%. However, not everyone can be published by a “traditional” publisher. The pay-to-play publishing industry has its place and not all of them are scams. In the following post, there is a very clear incident where fact-checking has revealed unsubstantiated claims. If anything needs to be thrown out it is these apparent false claims on these postings. All of the police agencies were contacted and no report has been located. In addition, she [Victoria Strauss] has been requested to provide her evidence of this “investigation” and has failed to do so. She [Victoria Strauss] may know that her “statements must be substantiated,” but she’s [Victoria Strauss] failed to do so in this instance. If you’re not “suckling anything” you must be drinking Kool-Aid.
Rachael Saltzman: You posted about my project, not me. Must be a very well hidden agenda. I agree that vanity publishing has it’s place – upfront, honest printers, who don’t claim to be other than what they are. There are plenty of them. Lulu and CreateSpace have their purpose. Claiming to send books to Oprah? How about charging $99 to upload a novel for a screenplay contest that’s free to enter? How do you support activity like that?
TWA: You’re off topic. We were talking about your statements that 1) Robert Fletcher was being defended, and 2) your misreading of information. You are engaging in propaganda strategies, presenting data or issues that, while compelling, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument. How did Oprah, fee charging and the support thereof enter into this? P&E, Absolute Write, Victoria Strausset al and some of their unsupported claims is the topic. However, since you mentioned it, I would be interested in seeing links from a non-traditional publisher claiming to send books to Oprah and charging $99 to upload a novel for a screen play contest. Of course, I wouldn’t support or defend these. Also, from my experience, sending your book to Oprah is futile and there is more to (behind the scenes) it than mere submission.
Rachael Saltzman: Actually, I’m not. These are well documented offers from Publish America, the publisher that we’re discussing on this very page.
TWA: Yes, this is the page but it wasn’t the topic that you initially raised. (See above)
TWA: The case against Fletcher was never contested. Utah? You’re confusing this with American Book Publishing which is an unaffiliated business entity.
Rachael Saltzman: The point raised was about personal attacks, which, I might add, you attempted to throw at me in this very thread. You jabbed at my reading comprehension and professional abilities, attacked my personal project, and accused me of ‘suckling’. I chose to ignore those for the sake of a clear argument, and again, question your support for these companies. When presented with verifiable links, you choose to say that I’m ‘off topic’, rather than addressing the issue.
Rachael Saltzman: ABP – charges a fee to be ‘published’. Fees to the initial tune of $800, claims that they’re looking for ‘the next great talent’, and a series of other red flag remarks. AKA – claims to be a small commercial press, but asks writers for money. What more, exactly, do you need to know?
TWA: Your ignorance regarding your reading comprehension is well-documented herein. You don’t have it correct and you clearly have not grasped the postings. Fletcher is not being defended, Fletcher is not “wanted” (it’s a civil case, not criminal), the case that doesn’t exist refers to American Book Publishing (not Fletcher) and Fletcher didn’t run to Utah (American Book Publishing is in Utah and has no relationship to Fletcher). So, you wonder why anyone would question your reading comprehension? I didn’t attack your professional abilities; if you took it that way I apologize. I merely warned you to be credible, vetted and substantiate claims in your professional pursuits. Your reputation will be at stake and interested parties certainly will be watching and reviewing your end product. You are entering into dangerous territory and you are going to need thick skin. I do not support these companies. I do support truthful reporting and supporting claims with primary source material. Referring to sites that have questionable unvetted postings does not do that. However, the fact that you’ve posted the link to the Attorney General’s complaint is a good start. Yes, that proves that there is indeed an investigation . . . still pending but is true. That’s what it’s all about. Proofs. We all have our own hero’s and sometimes they fail us. The question is how long do we continue to “suckle” and drink their Kool-Aid when claims appear to be false. The point is that there comes a point where people need to have the opportunity to be presented with both sides of an issue. Unfortunately, many are not capable of thinking for themselves are guided into the cult-ish propaganda and misinformation. Too many individuals, many first time authors, unfortunately take this kind of information as gospel. I’m all about “fair & balanced” information. If there was a police “investigation” regarding American Book Publishing, wouldn’t there be a document like the link you provided regarding Fletcher? Wouldn’t the police agencies have a document available under the Freedom of Information? But, there isn’t. Do you seriously support this kind of reporting? Personally, if there was I would support the findings therein. I’m not taking sides. I’ll call a scam a scam. For now, the scam being perpetrated is the lack of information regarding this police “investigation.” There are other instances of misinformation like this one below. If these claims regarding delays could be substantiated, I would fully support it. However, again, there is no proof and it’s merely more propaganda.
TWA: I’m curious to know, is your “Atlanta Nights” project a for-profit enterprise? Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the SFWA‘s Emergency Medical Fund. How will the proceeds from the movie be utilized?
Rachael Saltzman: It’s very sweet of you to be so concerned about my reputation, and the spread of ‘propaganda’. I am wondering if this isn’t a pointed attempt for more blog hits, as you keep posting to your blog. For someone so concerned about ‘showing both sides’, the post display a remarkable lack of evidence, and a heavy bias. I’ve no issue with editorials, but displaying such under the pretense of ‘balance’ is highly suspect. Do keep up with the personal attacks, they do wonders toward making your posts look balanced and reasonable. And you have yet to actually discuss any of the points that I’ve brought up. Good luck to you, I’m done here.
TWA: Yeh, we’re both kinda self-serving bitches aren’t we? And, in that regard, I did plug your project. So, that’s fair and balanced. Yes, the posts do show a lack of evidence. Especially from the people that you are defending. Again, your reading comprehension has much to be desired. And, don’t even think of defending yourself by my failure to address your points. You raised issues which I did in fact address, you made statements which demonstrated that you didn’t read the posts, you engaged in further baseless propaganda of the very issues you initially raised. Now, you’ve conveniently clouded the issues when you were called to task on the initial ones that you raised. You’re in good company . . . that’s how they roll.
“Well, be sure to send a film crew to interview Victoria Strauss, Jim Macdonald [James D. Macdonald], and yours truly. We were all involved with the project, to varying degrees. I’m the one that “took responsibility” for it when PublishAmerica announced that people were going to prison for doing it.”
“It’s easy to treat it all as a joke, but do be careful, not just with what you do but with what you say. Retaliatory lawsuits may be frivolous, but you still have to defend yourself–and that’s not a joke.”