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James Barclay
June 22nd, 2003, 10:59 AM
I urge anyone who has sent manuscripts to this man to proceed very carefully. He could be genuine in which case, good luck to you.

BUT:

Have you any assurances on confidentiality if he decides not to proceed with your work?

Indeed has he offered you a confidentiality contract or a pre-contract for the promotion of your work?

Has he discussed what he will charge you for his 'PR and marketing'?

Has he discussed with you how he can help you if he likes your work? Does he aim to get you in front of publishers, producers, what?

Do you know anything about him barring his email address?

If your ideas are later used in another place, how will you seek redress if you have one hotmail address?

Think. These are your ideas, your work and if you have delivered them into the hands of an untraceable stranger you are taking a big risk.

NOM

I, Brian
June 23rd, 2003, 05:25 AM
I don't understand why the original post was even allowed to remain in the first place. :(

choppy
June 23rd, 2003, 01:47 PM
I just wanted to say thanks to the administrators of this forum (and NOM in particular) for the professionalism displayed in handling this.

While, it is possible that Mr. Haxton's intentions could have been legitimate, there are many predators out there that are looking to take advantage of those of us with big dreams.

The typical scam isn't so much someone trying to "steal ideas." All of an author's work is copyrighted as soon as it is written down. Most scams work more along the lines of the following:
- You answer an add looking for story ideas, and send in a query or manuscript.
- You are told that your work is wonderful, and that you have the next "Harry Potter" or "Matrix" or whatever. I've even seen people get promised flights to London (from the US) and meetings with movie producers.
- Then they hit you up for a "reading fee" or a "licensing fee" or something else that for whatever reason has to come out of your pocket (even though they are sure they'll market your idea for millions.
- Finally you never hear from them again, once you send them money. Any follow up work leads to a company that doesn't even exist.

That fact that the moderators of this board are taking a stand against this kind of thing is commendable.

Hungry Jo
June 23rd, 2003, 02:26 PM
In my opinion this guys is either:

A - A fraudster, after your money.

B - Incredibly nieve and not the sort of person you'd want to trust your most cherished ideas too.

I find choppy's scenario very convincing anyway.

James Barclay
June 23rd, 2003, 03:02 PM
I think we had to give him some time to justify himself, I, Brian, even though my first thought was to delete the thread immediately.

Trouble is, if you do that, there's just the chance that he was genuine and then you're denying people opportunity.

Now, with everyone warned about the dangers, I think we've done all that we can to steer people in the right direction (or at least, to be cautious). I'm surprised some have sent scripts already. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed they don't get burned by it.

Good post, Choppy, it adds to the possible danger scenarios and sounds horribly plausible.

NOM

IaNo
June 23rd, 2003, 08:29 PM
Yeah, anyone named Hax "hacks" sounds fishy to me. It was very suspicious. Just so everyone knows, my reply to his post in the other thread was a complete joke. Incidentally, he never even replied to me. I really hope he didn't receive any manuscripts from anyone.

Bear
June 23rd, 2003, 11:11 PM
I've encountered this before, and my advice to anyone who encounters an agent (or random person that wants to supoort people's "babies") that asks for any kind of fee is: tuck tail and run. It's never a good omen. The way an agent will make his/her money is by selling your manuscript, not editing it. Their faith in your ability to write should be their only incentives for picking you up. Or perhaps I should say, your ability to sell. . .

I, Brian
June 24th, 2003, 02:01 AM
Yes, I realise there's always the chance of being too harsh. I remember a couple of years back being censored in a writing community - for offering to showcase author work on my chronicles site, when I first launched it. Never asked for, or promised, anything. But I guess there's always room to misconstrue.