Can You Shed Any Light on This?

I received an inquiry today that I’m not sure what to do with. I’d like any feedback, suggestions, and/or advice you might have as to whether you think it’s real or a scam, and if the former, what to do next. Does anyone have any contacts at any of the publishers mentioned, or of any literary agents and/or related attorneys? ( I left off the name, company name, and contact info out of respect for privacy of the other party. If it’s a scam it is better researched and provides a lot more specific info than most.) 

The message read:

“I am pleased to inform you that one of our clients has interest and would like to consider to publish into Indonesia edition as follows:

Honest, Honey, That’s How It Happened: Humorous and Heartwarming Stories and Insight Into Marriage; by Russ Towne

•        Hardcover

•        Publisher: Russ Towne (November 7, 2016)

•        Language: English

•        ISBN-10: 0692804234

•        ISBN-13: 978-0692804230

Please let us know if the Indonesia translation rights for this title is available or not. If the rights are available, please kindly send us the reading material for further review.By any chance, if you don’t control the right of the above title, could you please let us know who the copyright holder is.


We are a sub-agent of few publishers such as Hodder & Stoughton, Allen & Unwin, Penguin Group, Thomas Nelson, Career press, Crown Publishing, Perseus Books, Kensington, Random House, Shambhala Publication and etc. 

 And agencies such as William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Inkwel Management, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, HarperCollins, Anderson Literary Management, David Black, Diana Finch, Jean V. Naggar, The Axelrod agency, Writers House and etc.

 We have sold more than 2700 titles for Fiction, Non Fiction and Children titles. 

 You can see some of titles that we have represent. 

Fiction : Penguin USA (The Fault in Our Stars), Writers House ( Nora Robert and J.D Robb’s Work : Bed Of Roses, Vision In White, Savour The Moment, Reunion In Death, Seduction In Death, Imitation In Death, etc.) Harpercollins Publisher (USA) Johanna Lindsey’s Work : Say You Love Me, All I Need is You, The magic Of You, etc). The Axelrod (Julia Quinn’s Title). William Morris endeavor Entertainment ( Lisa Kleypas’s Titles etc).

 Non Fiction : Chicken Shop Titles, The Crown (Nick Vujicic Titles), Perseus Books (Brain Rules by John Medina, 29 Gifts by Cami Walker, etc), NewMarket Press (The new Totally Awesome Money book for Kids, What’s Happening to My Body, Chasing Miracles Ready, Set, Grow ! and etc), Levine Greenberg ( China’s Megatrend by John & Doris Naisbitt, etc), Thomas Nelson ( John C Maxwell’s Work : The winning Attitude, Life @ Work, Failing Forward, etc).

Children : Random House Australia ( The Floods Series by Colin Thompson, etc), Scholastic Canada (Robert Munsch’s titles, etc).

 Looking forward to hearing from you  and thank you for your kind cooperation in advance.


Best wishes,”

Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide. If it’s a legitimate opportunity I’d like to get back to her soon. (I’d planned to begin looking for literary agents after the first of the year anyway.)

With Love,


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Non-Fiction, Non-fiction Stories I've Written, Non-Fiction Writing I've Done, Opportunities, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Can You Shed Any Light on This?

  1. I vote scam but honestly have no idea. Indonesia is my tipoff.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Tess. It’s going to be an adventure to see how this plays out.

    • …you’ve obviously never been there or learnt anything about the country, that’s like saying to a guy that’s carrying a briefcase who tells you he is Muslim-
      “Oh your Muslim? You must have a bomb in that case!”

      I personally don’t think it’s a scam because there are MANY people in Indonesia that need help with marriages and things like that (and sometimes their religion forbids them to divorce etc.).

      What makes you think its a scam (apart from ‘Indonesia’)

      • russtowne says:

        Actually, respectfully, I believe scams occur in every culture and country of the world. I don’t think it’s unkind to attempt to defend oneself against scams, ID theft, etc, and believe it would be just as foolish to assume a country was scam-free as it would be that everything from a country was a scam. I asked for people’s opinions and got them from all over the map. This thread isn’t to malign any country or people and I have great admiration for much of what I’ve seen and experienced from the people and culture of Indonesia.


  2. My immediate reaction was ‘scam’ but I don’t know Russ. I hope it isn’t. It would be wonderful if someone was reaching out to you!

  3. quiall says:

    I am always suspicious when there are glaring grammatical errors. If in doubt contact the agencies they list. Good luck. If they ask for money, it’s a scam.

  4. Hey Russ!

    I really don’t know as I have some insight into the country and as I said to @Lets CUT the crap! Many many people in places like Indonesia (this is not a prejudice or whatever -this is from personal experience) that need help, hell there are people EVERYWHERE that need help with marriages!

    I agree with @quiall contact the agencies in list of in doubt.

    Good luck!

  5. Have to say, I’d tread lightly here. It doesn’t seem quite right.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Annette. I Googled them and so far they seem to be legit. I plan to attempt to get more info and to tread slowly and send no money or info that would make it easy to steal my ID.


  6. Mrs. P says:

    I did a random check into some of the titles and all did have Indonesian translations. I think this may be a legit possibility but do not know how to advise other than asking for mor information from the author of the letter.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for the additional info and suggestion, Mrs. P. Later tonight I plan to reply to their email and request more info.In a world of rampant IP theft I give them credit for taking the time to contact me.

  7. ksbeth says:

    i have absolutely no idea. i’d look into the names

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your feedback, David. I plan to watch for telltale clues such as if they ask for money or orly sensitive info such as a Social Security Number.


    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for both replies, the links, and other information,Chris. I believe the firm is a literary agent or sub-agent, but your information may come in handy if/when their interested party is identified. I may be able to look up information that will help me to determine whether to do business with them (via this agent of course.)

  8. I always check with Victoria Strauss’ blog Writer Beware. She is a wealth of information on scams. I have to say that this reads like those scam emails I get everyday telling me some stranger is leaving me millions. The “Honey” is a good tip-off – not very professional. But I’ve been known to be wrong??????

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