Beware of Anthony Giangregorio.
I wasn’t going to give this particular guy any press, but horror novelist Brian Keene posted this on his blog and on Facebook, and I felt I really needed to get the word out to any readers who may not be aware of it. Tim Lieder posted about him here also, as did Kelli Dunlap. And poor Mandy DeGeit, who was so excited that her story was going to be included in an anthology from Giangregorio’s small Undead Press (he also runs Living Dead Press, and Open Casket Press), until she found…..
Well, click her name for the story. It’s pretty unbelievable.
In short, Giangregorio joins a list of disgustingly nasty people who prey on UNPUBs who want to see their work in print. There are other small presses out there that do this. In this case, I think this guy is a poser. Even so, he’s damaged other writers and deserves to be called out.
He published and sold unauthorized sequels to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. One poster on Kelli Dunlap’s blog entry mentions he read one of Giangregorio’s books, and realized it was a complete rip-off of Stephen King’s The Mist. Some author, huh?
TO TOP IT OFF…..
According to Brian, he’s apparently begun to threaten people who speak out against him. Um, that’s not very smart, when everything on the Internet stays there FOREVER.
Alyn Day had a run-in with him and she posts about it here. (If it asks you about adult Previewcontent, say yes; it’s not dirty or anything). She’s the one who had the veiled threat messaged in Facebook.
How can writers avoid people like this?
Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware (who also posted about Anthony Giangregorio and editing clauses in contracts) reminds writers to make sure editing clauses include their cooperation. A true professional will indeed work with you on changes, but it MUST be in your contract.
#1 – READ EVERY WORD OF YOUR CONTRACT
If you don’t understand something, ask about it. If you need time to have a lawyer (preferably one that has publishing experience) take a look at it, do so. Remember, anyone, ANYWHERE, who pushes you to sign anything, does not have YOUR interests at heart. Don’t sign until you understand every word and have come to a mutual agreement as to the terms.
#2 – Check out agents and publishers before submitting
You can look them up at Writer Beware, or Preditors and Editors, or google the name of the press or agent along with “scam,” and “review.” Look for a decent website rather than just a Facebook page or email. Absolute Write Water Cooler has forums where people post their impressions and experiences with industry people. The link will take you to the beware page.
#3 – Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
This is the golden rule to avoid scams of any kind. And remember, with the exception of self-publishing (that’s a whole other can of scammer worms right there), money should flow TO the author, not FROM the author. Do your homework on the industry so you know what is normal and accepted practice.
#4 – Report people who are unscrupulous, who threaten you, or otherwise act in an unprofessional manner.
This assumes, of course, that YOU didn’t act in an unprofessional manner, such as throwing an email fit when an agent politely says no, etc. You can squeal on them at the links in #3.
People like Anthony Giangregorio who pull this type of shit give small publishers a bad name. It’s worthwhile to out them, so if they sleaze their way over into another genre, they’ll be recognized for what they are.