In the wake of the most recent fake-memoir scandals, many people have asked why editors don’t do a better job of fact-checking potential frauds. Well, maybe it’s because (invoking Shatner here) those editors. Don’t. In fact. Exist!
But, one reader assures me, sending out rejection letters under false names, in the hopes of avoiding long, tiresome correspondence with would-be writers, really has happened – at at least one company. “I worked at a publishing house which used a ‘fake’ contact for slush submissions and rejections,” this woman emails. “The name used was the maiden name of the deceased mother of one of the editors.”
OK, so maybe it’s not really all that unethical–and, in some instances, it’s even kind of understandable. But still, shouldn’t publishing houses be setting a good example for their would-be authors?