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Thread: The Belfrey Literary Agency (Mary Louise Schwartz)

  1. #1
    Absolutely Fazed
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    The Belfrey Literary Agency (Mary Louise Schwartz)

    Any information on this agency or agent?
    http://www.thebelfreyliteraryagency.com/index.html

    Couldn't find anything in the index here or on Preditors and Editors.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I found this, if it helps: http://www.writersweekend.com/success.htm

    Scot R. Stone (WW '04) has now had two novels optioned for movies. The first is The Chimes of Yawrana, the first in his Snowtear Wars series. And recently, his agent Mary Louise Schwartz of the Belfrey Literary Agency announced the mid-five figures sale of the option for Stroke of Midnight Toys, a standalone Christmas story.
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    I see a bit more now. He's published by Behler, which is great, but you don't need an agent to contact them. I'm a bit concerned by her desire to keep her client list confidential. She does seem legit, though. Maybe I'll submit a synopsis and see what happens.

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    Wow, that was the fastest rejection I've ever received (less than one hour). I haven't even entered it in my Excel file yet.

    In this case, she already has a story with an editor that is similar to mine. (Curses!)

  5. #5
    Elder Scrolls devotee
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    At least you heard back and can cross the agency off your list. That's one advantage to email queries--if you get a response, it's usually within 48-72 hours. I wish more agents would accept them.

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    Ah yes, the speed of response with e-mail queries....

    I sent one to Belfrey on March 4 and never heard a peep.

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    Well, I did say, "if you get a response"...

    The response rate of email and snail mail is about the same for me, though I'm having more luck with email queries in terms of getting positive replies.

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    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    e- versus snail

    I do wish every agent would 'get with the program' and handle at least initial queries by e-mail. For one, it is so much easier for us to cut and paste & hit the send button -- no need to print anything out, find a clean envelope, dig out some stamps, and head to the post box. Plus, record keeping is done almost by default. And as someone currently residing out of the US, there's almost instant gratification -- or instant despair -- without having to factor in time for trans-Pacific delivery (before wondering about the outcome).

    I wonder if newer/previously unpublished writers have better luck with agents who accept e-mail? I can think of several reasons why this MIGHT be the case -- anyone looking for a research dissertation topic?
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    I wonder if newer/previously unpublished writers have better luck with agents who accept e-mail? I can think of several reasons why this MIGHT be the case -- anyone looking for a research dissertation topic?
    I can't see why it would be easier for an unpublished writer to interest an agent through email. Newer and more established agents accept email queries. There doesn't seem to be any trend in who does and who doesn't.

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    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Cool Unproven

    Quote Originally Posted by brinkett
    I can't see why it would be easier for an unpublished writer to interest an agent through email. Newer and more established agents accept email queries. There doesn't seem to be any trend in who does and who doesn't.
    I wasn't proposing that it would be easier for an unpublished writer to interest an agent through e-mail -- I was focusing more on the type of agent, i.e. e-mail as being more acceptable to agents who are also open to new authors.

    I was thinking that perhaps younger/newer agents are more likely to accept e-mail queries than older/established-ages-ago-why-change-things-now?-types of agents. Of course, I could be completely off-base with this ...

    Further unproven thesis statement: perhaps the hungrier the agent, the more attractive the idea of receiving tons of queries -- since e-mail queries are easier for us, an agent could receive more via the 'Net than from the post. A more established agent would be more likely to devote time to old clients than sorting through tons of outside queries. So, queries through the post would already be "more than enough" for him/her. Someone starting out on his/her own, however, needs to build his/her own stable of writers to represent -- hence, more inclined to want more queries to sift.
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    I do wish every agent would 'get with the program' and handle at least initial queries by e-mail...I wonder if newer/previously unpublished writers have better luck with agents who accept e-mail?
    In Scot's case, he met with Mary Louise at a conference and spoke with her at great length. Personal contact is very advantageous because the agent can get a feel for your project and your personal passion.

    From what Scot has told me, he's very happy with her. Scot is one of those dynamic personalities and creates a total picture of writing great books and being the handsome author.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    I was thinking that perhaps younger/newer agents are more likely to accept e-mail queries than older/established-ages-ago-why-change-things-now?-types of agents.
    Email is so prevalent these days that I doubt it's a matter of old vs. young. From what I've read, some agents like paper queries because they can read them anywhere, like in a coffee shop or on the bus. It's a preference thing.

    Further unproven thesis statement: perhaps the hungrier the agent, the more attractive the idea of receiving tons of queries
    Again, from what I've read, I don't think any agent would find the idea of receiving tons of queries attractive, established or no.

  13. #13
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brinkett
    Email is so prevalent these days that I doubt it's a matter of old vs. young. From what I've read, some agents like paper queries because they can read them anywhere, like in a coffee shop or on the bus. It's a preference thing.
    Good point -- sorta like how I prefer to read a "real" (ahem) newspaper than an online edition (unless I am doing research).

    Quote Originally Posted by brinkett
    Again, from what I've read, I don't think any agent would find the idea of receiving tons of queries attractive, established or no.
    Unless, of course, we're talking about fronts for POD/vanity publishers -- heh-heh.

    Well, I did say 'research dissertation topic' -- but not that it would make a good, or even particularly long, dissertation, eh?
    Last edited by smallthunder; 04-18-2005 at 03:55 PM.
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    I do wish every agent would 'get with the program' and handle at least initial queries by e-mail. For one, it is so much easier for us to cut and paste & hit the send button -- no need to print anything out, find a clean envelope, dig out some stamps, and head to the post box.
    You've just hit on one important reason why. It's more convenient at your end, but less convenient at the agent's end.

    - Victoria

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Julie, several of the agents on your list have no sales and/or no professional experience that would qualify them to be agents.

    - Victoria

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    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Julie, several of the agents on your list have no sales and/or no professional experience that would qualify them to be agents.

    - Victoria
    I know about the last two (plus Lantz Powell and Pamela Shelton). How about the others?
    Last edited by Julie Worth; 04-19-2005 at 09:05 PM.

  17. #17
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    The Belfrey Agency & Barbara Zitwer

    Hi, both the Belfrey Agency and Barbara Zitwer have expressed interest in representing my novel. I have concerns about the legitimacy of both. Please advise if anyone has any new information.

    Thanks!!!!


  18. #18
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Well, I found two fantasy authors that she represents.

    Scot R. Stone's first novel was with PA prior to signing with Belfrey. The second book was sold to Behler Publications. Although it came out in April of this year (so nearly three full months ago), there is no data on Amazon, including a cover image, and only one copy of a paperback for $15.95, available used from a third party. I'm thinking, but have no confirmation, that Behler might be an e-pub or subsidy pub. At the very least they're POD, based on the price for paperback.

    She signed Julianne Goodman in May but hasn't sold anything I could find.

    It does appear that she attended this year's Writer's Weekend in Seattle and gave a panel. She also apparently sold something there.

    I remember seeing that Uncle Jim went to Writer's Weekend as well. Did you happen to meet her, Jim? Any impressions?

    That's about it for my research.
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  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Behler's relatively new, but they are a "legit" small press, as in pays advance/royalties, markets to bookstores, and receives industry reviews of their books. The founders post here on AW, if you have any questions about them. http://behlerpublications.com/

    They do not, however, require an agent to submit, so factor that in when calculating the value of this agent's sales.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-29-2005 at 12:06 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganesha6
    Hi, both the Belfrey Agency and Barbara Zitwer have expressed interest in representing my novel. I have concerns about the legitimacy of both. Please advise if anyone has any new information.

    Thanks!!!!

    Have you checked Preditors and Editors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy C
    Well, I found two fantasy authors that she represents.

    Scot R. Stone's first novel was with PA prior to signing with Belfrey. The second book was sold to Behler Publications. Although it came out in April of this year (so nearly three full months ago), there is no data on Amazon, including a cover image, and only one copy of a paperback for $15.95, available used from a third party. I'm thinking, but have no confirmation, that Behler might be an e-pub or subsidy pub. At the very least they're POD, based on the price for paperback.
    I'm going to hijack this thread slightly so I can clarify a couple things.

    Hi Cathy, a bit of explanation about Scot's book. Amazon nabs their information from Bowker's database after an ISBN is listed in their database. You have to fill in a publication date on the form and we thought his book would be released in April, hence Amazon's listing as April. However, before we completed his editing we decided to give his title more pre-release time so that reviewers could take a look at it.

    Even though his title is listed on Amazon's site, it wasn't at our doing since it's official release isn't until August. In July we'll list the title with Amazon and you'll see cover art, synopsis and author bio.

    Amazon is great but they can also be a royal pain about releasing titles on their site before they're actually released. It ends up making us look like we're cross-eyed.

    So, long story short, we're not a vanity press, nor are we a POD. We've been reviewed by Bloomsbury Reviews, Publisher's Weekly and they don't accept POD companies for review. But we are new. I'll grant you that.

    Thanks, CAO.

    Lynn

  22. #22
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Ms. Schwartz was at Writers' Weekend, as was I. I attended one of her panels and spoke with her briefly afterward.

    On the e-mail issue -- apparently when the word got out that she was accepting email subs, the response from writers crashed her ISP's server. So ... if you've been waiting for a while, you might re-submit.

    Second, she told a funny story. She got a manuscript by email. She read it. She loved it. She called an editor she knew and described it. He said, "Send it right over!" Alas, the writer had not included his/her name or contact information on the manuscript, and it had gotten separated from the cover letter (perhaps lost in the server crash?)

    So there she sits, with what she thinks is a sure sale on her hands, unable to do anything with it.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 06-29-2005 at 12:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    So there she sits, with what she thinks is a sure sale on her hands, unable to do anything with it.
    Oh yeah. That was mine. How foolish can one man be? I'll call her right now and get this straightened out...

    John

  24. #24
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Even though his title is listed on Amazon's site, it wasn't at our doing since it's official release isn't until August. In July we'll list the title with Amazon and you'll see cover art, synopsis and author bio.

    I guess I don't understand this, since our August release has been listed on Amazon, B&N and Borders for pre-order since December of last year. Likewise, the cover art can be loaded with the stroke of a mouse by either the publisher or author (I wouldn't expect the author to know that, because they sort of bury the information on their site, but it's a two minute process if a person has FTP software.) I just loaded a new cover on our page because the publisher changed covers at the last minute.

    Why wouldn't you want to encourage pre-orders on Amazon, B&N.com or Bordersstores.com to help determine your print run?
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    "[Shapeshifter] fans are about to hit the jackpot as Clamp returns to re-energize this amazing series. Searching for layered plotlines and complex characters? Look no further, as Clamp truly delivers!" -- RT BookReviews

    "Cathy Clamp is a visionary author, creating new worlds that are both strong and vividly drawn. Adventure and excitement at its best." -- Yasmine Galenorn, New York Times Bestselling Author

    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling with dark secrets ... FORBIDDEN hit all my favorite notes, and I love the rich world of the Sazi!" - Rachel Caine, New York Times Bestselling Author

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy C
    I guess I don't understand this, since our August release has been listed on Amazon, B&N and Borders for pre-order since December of last year. Likewise, the cover art can be loaded with the stroke of a mouse by either the publisher or author (I wouldn't expect the author to know that, because they sort of bury the information on their site, but it's a two minute process if a person has FTP software.) I just loaded a new cover on our page because the publisher changed covers at the last minute.

    Why wouldn't you want to encourage pre-orders on Amazon, B&N.com or Bordersstores.com to help determine your print run?
    Yes, I realize it takes two seconds to upload the cover art to Amazon. I've had to do it many times.

    It was suggested to us by one of the fiction editors at PW to keep unreleased titles off the online stores because it gives the impession that the title is released. Since reviewers won't review released titles, we didn't want to give that impression. We're really big on obtaining big guy reviews because we're in negotiations with a major book distributor and we want to present a professional picture of our marketing efforts. It's a domino effect that requires us to jump through certain hoops.

    If we had control over what Amazon puts up on their sites, none of our pre-released titles would be up at all. Since we don't have that luxury, well, you see the result.

    As for pre-orders to determine our print run, we determined our print run a long time ago when we went over our marketing plan with the author. His books are already stocked in our warehouse.

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