checks for manuscript-reading and one-year representation fees from hopeful writers. She then expanded her business to include kickback vanity publishing schemes with "publishers" in Utah and Canada, who took vanity fees from authors but produced no books, and when those schemes petered out, Deering started her own vanity "press," which collected millions of dollars in fees but also produced no books. How did Deering get away with it, and for so long? The fact is, there is nothing so gullible as a vain, unpublished writer. Also, when it came to representing herself as a literary agent, all Deering had to do to justify her fees (both to her "clients" and in the eyes of the law) was to occasionally shotgun copies of her clients' manuscripts to publishers whose contact information she found in Writer's Market or on the Internet. She then inevitably steered the rejection-crushed authors toward one of her vanity publishing scams so she could fleece them for even more money. With only about 1-2% of today's manuscript submissions getting accepted by legitimate literary agents (and only about 10% of represented scripts ever seeing the light of publication) small wonder that Deering had a nearly inexhaustible supply
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
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