FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Free Book Scammer on the Loose

The Bookseller reports on an enterprising book collector who has been scamming publishers of free books for well over a decade. Peter Oosterbos, who also calls himself Fred, has approached Dutch publishers for over 15 years, claiming to be the book reviews editor for the non-existent Furore Magazine. Oosterbos, who communicates only by fax, has now contacted British publishers as well as Penguin USA and Italy, and Dutch publishers De Geus and Tirion. In mid-April he requested that Canongate forward 25 review copies. Canongate export sales manager Anna-Lisa Sandstrum said: “Most of the books were not frontlist titles, so I called a customer in Holland and they said this man had been pulling this scam for years.”

Hans van der Klis, a reporter for Dutch publishing magazine Boekblad, estimates that Oosterbos has received “hundreds, maybe thousands” of free books over the years. He said: “By now, most publishers in Holland know him. But he tries to target new PR people and publishers who may not have heard of him.” So if there’s a request pending from this guy at your publishing house, better steer clear.

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!