Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something Smells...

I just received an email entry form for the 2007 (!) London Book Festival, which allegedly celebrates "books that deserve greater recognition from the international publishing community."

I'd never heard of such a festival--not to be confused with the London Book Fair, which is next April. The email didn't have a link to a website, which I only found after some patient Googling. It also didn't have any information about exactly when--or even where--said festival is. One would assume it's in London, UK, but the postal address for entries is Hollywood, CA.

More oddities:
  1. Applicants must pay a non-refundable $50 entry fee per book.

  2. "Our grand prize for the 2007 London Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and a flight to London OR a flight to Los Angeles - your choice!" Since when does a book festival give out prizes? And what the hell is this prize for, anyway?

  3. From the Past Festivals page comes this fact, not mentioned elsewhere: "This is the inaugural London Book Festival."

  4. From the FAQ page:
    Q: I've never heard of this event. How do I know this is not a scam?
    A: We have been in business since 1999 and stand by our track record of first-class productions around the world. Please feel free to review past contest winners and events from our large inventory of past success stories.
I've been associated with the Virginia Festival of the Book for years, and have never heard of a reputable book festival that a) charges an admission fee, or b) gives out prizes for unspecified criteria.

You know the old saw about how a scammer always lets you know you're being scammed? I rest my case.

I knew I recognized that odor! Seems that JM Northern Media LLC, which operates the London Book Festival, also did the Hollywood Book Festival, discussed by Miss Snark 11 months ago in Crock of shit alert.

1 comment:

Merc said...

Hi Bella,
Thanks for this. The email has also arrived in Australia.
From the FAQ there is also:
Q: Are you affiliated with the London Book Fair?
A: No. JM Northern Media is an independent media company based in Los Angeles and has no ties with any other U.K. event or company.