The following article is taken from artists.ca This is a site to aid artists, particularly against scams
I recently received an email, in November 2017 asking me to send a painting to a man as a present for his wife for their wedding anniversary. The request was polite and seemed legitimate.
This is typical of the kind of scam mentioned on this site. Don't be flattered by the attention. Suggest, as I did that the inquiry be forwarded to another source, that they purchase your work through a public gallery or your agent. My suspicions were aroused when he stated he did not mind which painting I suggested. I had the feeling the price did not matter either. I know from experience that price always matters, unless a person is trying a fast game and is intent on stealing or scamming. When I did not follow up he never emailed back. Unfortunately I deleted the email and I cannot recall which name was in use this time around.
If you have a website and your art is visible you possibly will receive a request.
The phrase speculate to accumulate could have been written by a publisher since speculation is at the heart of the process; whether it be an agent deciding which author to sign up or a production director deciding how many copies of a book to sign off. Judgment and not hard numbers is what underlines the process of manuscript purchasing and book publishing.
Before a manuscript becomes a book it will have been through myriad judgment calls on the text, the cover, the market and the sales expectations. Ultimately the only real judgment that counts, that one decision that either confirms or undermines what everyone has thought about a book, is that of the reader, the person who buys the book. Ironically, when choosing what to take on, agents or editors are the same as the people they want to reach: readers deciding if they like a story. If they do like the story and they can persuade others to as well, the manuscript has a chance of becoming a book.