Monday, November 22, 2010

James Frey Wants to do WHAT?

Okay! So, I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus, BUT I saw this post on Robert Paul Weston's blog and just had to jump in here.

The gist is that James Frey wants Creative Writing students to send him one-line pitches and full manuscripts for high-concept paranormal books, which he will buy exclusive rights to for the low-low-price of...


Yeah, I know. It gets better!

Then he'll rewrite it, and market it under a pseudonym, and keep 60% while giving you 40%.


Right. Does this say "turd" to anyone else, or is it just me?

Here's my take. If James Frey wants my ideas so he can write his own stories, fine. He can have them for $250 each, because the ideas are the easy part. But for me to do all the work, and then let him rewrite it and sell it under a pseudonym, and not get any credit whatsoever for my work? Thanks, but - no, actually, not even thanks. Just "no".

Look. This type of assembly-line-style writing is not for me. But even if it is what you want to do, don't do it this way. Go to a publishing house that does this type of thing and at least pays you decent money and puts your name on the cover of your work. Go get hired by James Patterson, who will at least list you as co-author on the cover.

But please, for the love of print, don't sell your work for peanuts to some guy with an inflated ego and a big name so he can rewrite it and pretend it's his. Surely the publishing industry isn't that far gone.

(More on this over at KT Literary's blog, in New York Magazine, and in The Globe and Mail. Enjoy. Or, throw things at your computer. Whatever takes your fancy.)


  1. W.O.W. Really?! WOW!! What a freaking...omg! No freaking way! I would laugh in his face! That is craziness...

  2. I read the article about this. It's outrageous. The co-author of I am Number Four didn't get any credit or much reward for that hugely popular book. He backed out of the second book and I wonder how it'll change the series. It almost makes me not want to read it.

  3. Glad to see Frey is at least writing in the correct genre these days, even if he still hasn't figured out how to do it honestly. What a loser!

  4. Yeah, I read the article about his company, and it just did not sit well at all. -__-;

  5. I think I'm a little confused. Is this the James Frey of the Million Little Pieces fiasco or the James N. Frey of the How to Write a Damn Good Novel books? Two very different men with the unlucky resemblance of name. If it's the first guy, it doesn't surprise me but makes me feel bad for JNF. I really liked his How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, which is the reason why I know there is a difference between the two men.

  6. Jaleh, this is referring to the first James Frey - he has gone on record as wanting to write controversial books, but I think his Fiction Factory project is going a little too far.

  7. Wow. I feel sorry for James N. Frey!


  8. Oh my word that is enough to bring a bear out of hibernation nevermind a blog hiatus! Thanks for sharing Ishta. How low can you go?

  9. It's terrible! The bad part is that he'll probably find creative writing students willing! I hope it totally flops!