6-Year-Old Lands a Book Deal…Or Does He?

Last week, the big news in publishing was that six-year-old Leo Hunter had landed a deal to write 23 books for Strategic Book Publishing. His mother, Jamie, claimed Leo wrote Me and My Best Friend, which is based on his relationship with his pet dog. She’s an author (writing under the pseudonym JS Huntlands) and apparently took the book to her publisher, Strategic, who liked the book so much they asked for 23 more.

It’s a cute story, but several blogs are saying not so fast. Apparently Strategic is being sued by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida for sketchy business practices. According to the Writer Beware Blog, Strategic charges authors $995 for a contract and then more fees for marketing and editing services.

Another interesting wrinkle to this story is addressed by Mick Rooney (a publishing consultant) over on his blog. He points out that Jamie Hunter first published Me and My Best Friend back in 2009 when little Leo was just four-years-old. In the introduction to the book she apparently writes, “Thank you to my son for the inspiration to write this series.” So did Leo write the book or was he just the inspiration?

It’s looking more and more like this story is just too good to be true. It also serves as a warning to do your homework when dealing with fee-charging publishers.

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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