How Jessica Mitford Exposed A $48m Scam From America’s Literary Establishment

22 Dec

David Gaughran

Cerf1Jessica Mitford took on the American funeral industry, the California Department of Corrections, and the Ku Klux Klan, but it was her 1970 exposé of The Famous Writers School which led to Time calling her “The Queen of the Muckrakers.” And if a courageous editor hadn’t reversed his decision to kill her story, it might never have happened.

Mitford had been aware of The Famous Writers School’s existence for some time. Anyone who was a frequent reader of newspapers, books or magazines would have seen its ever-present advertisements, inviting aspiring writers to cut out and apply for the free aptitude test. While Mitford was suspicious, she didn’t have anything concrete until her lawyer husband took on a new client.

Bob Treuhaft was approached by a 72-year old widow, living on Social Security, who had cleaned out her bank account to make a down-payment to The Famous Writers School. On the…

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Author Solutions Takes Signing Scam To Miami Book Fair

17 Sep

Be warned!

David Gaughran

authorhouse1Another day, another Author Solutions scam in my inbox. Remember the Author Solutions book signing scam planned for The Word on the Street Festival in Toronto next month (to which the organizers are turning a blind eye)?

I suspected that the Word on the Street Festival wasn’t the only literary event that Author Solutions would be targeting, given that Author Solutions made $297,000 from the 2012 Word on the Street Festival. I was right.

The Miami Book Fair is a long-established, reputable literary festival (celebrating its 30th year) which has wheeled in some big names for this year’s event, such as Junot Díaz. Unfortunately, the Miami Book Fair is also allowing a terrible scam to take place at one of its booths.

Author Solutions – and their various subsidiaries, including Palibrio, Trafford, iUniverse, Xlibris, and AuthorHouse – has emailed customers pimping a unique opportunity to get your book…

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Oops, I have one more blog!

21 Feb

Somehow I lost my way in WordPress. Ended up creating this blog. All started becaause in a discussion group I tried to log in under WordPress. I spare the details. Without realizing, I was creating a blog. Happens I already run several others, see About bjprc.

Keep posted.